Pasta Salad Skewers


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Everything you love about pasta salad comes together in these Pasta Salad Skewers that are a fun appetizer or side dish. These are easy to make ahead and great to serve to a crowd – no utensils necessary. 

overhead image of Pasta Salad Skewers on a tray

We are so ready for the weekend over here. June has started smooshing her older sisters’ names together and shouting “MaGaGa” (Molly + Clara) whenever she wants them. Our house is full and loud and feels like summer. There are damp footprints all of the floor from where kids are running through sprinklers and then ducking inside to get towels and sunscreen.  I find myself constantly reminding everyone to close the doors (“we’re air conditioning the outside!”). June is living her best summer life and having popsicles on the deck near daily.

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June with an ice cream cone in her hand

With Father’s Day weekend here, I’m dreaming of all the potluck and BBQ meals, even if these celebrations are small ones this summer. It will just our immediate family at home on the back deck, but I still want the summer entertaining food on our table.

And tasty things on sticks? That is true summer food.

I shared a sneak peak of these Pasta Salad Skewers on Instagram a few weeks ago and heard from so many of you. Food on sticks feels fun to you too! Bonus that these are incredibly easy to make and can be done ahead. Here’s all you need to know.

close up image of Pasta Salad Skewers on a parchment lined sheet pan

How to Make Pasta Salad Skewers

  1. Prepare pasta: Boil the pasta according to package directions and drain well. 
  2. Cool pasta: The most important step in prepping to make pasta salad skewers is to cool the pasta in a way that prevents sticking. If left in the strainer, some pasta may stick together, so instead, spread the drained pasta out in a single layer on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. The pasta will cool completely and then will be ready to slide onto skewers.
  3. Skewer: Thread all of your ingredients onto skewers in any order you’d like. Larger pieces (like basil leaves and meat) are best if they are folded over once or twice before skewering. See below for many other ideas for ingredients to add to pasta salad skewers.
  4. Refrigerate: If not serving right away, place the skewers on a serving platter or sheet pan and cover tightly with plastic wrap (to prevent the pasta from drying out). Refrigerate for up to 24 hours before serving.

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overhead image of cooling tortellini on parchment lined sheet pan

Like to dip? Try these Sauces / Dressings

These pasta salad skewers are fun on their own, but they’re great with a sauce or dressing served on the side. People can add a spoonful of dressing to their plate and dip the ingredients on the skewer as they eat them. Here are a few great sauces and dressings to serve with Pasta Salad Skewers:

overhead image of ingredients for pasta salad skewers, including mozzarella pearls, basil, cherry tomatoes and pepperoni

Variations on Pasta Salad Skewers

Want to mix things up? It’s easy to make these skewers gluten-free, vegetarian, or to load up the veggies by mixing up the ingredients. Try these other items that are great on pasta salad skewers:

  • Olives (black, green, or kalamata)
  • Zucchini
  • Bell Peppers
  • Pickles
  • Cucumbers
  • Steamed Broccoli 
  • Mushrooms
  • Other Pasta Shapes (rigatoni, orecchiette, rotelle, ravioli, or farfalle would work; use gluten-free if needed)
  • Other Cheese (try halloumi, white cheddar, or provolone)

More Easy Skewer Recipes

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Pasta Salad Skewers on a parchment lined sheet pan
4.70 from 13 votes

Pasta Salad Skewers

Everything you love about pasta salad comes together in these Pasta Salad Skewers that are a fun appetizer or side dish. These are easy to make ahead and great to serve to a crowd – no utensils necessary.
Want to adjust the servings in this recipe to make more or less? Click on the number next to servings below.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 6 minutes
Total: 16 minutes
Servings: 6


  • Stockpot
  • Bamboo Skewers


  • 8 ounces Tortellini, uncooked
  • 20 Mozzarella Balls (look for the mozzarella balls called Ciliegine; or use any other cubed cheese)
  • 10 ounces Cherry or Grape Tomatoes, halved (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 20 small slices Salami (or use pepperoni other cured meat)
  • 20 leaves Fresh Basil
  • 20 Skewers


  • Cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain and allow to cool.
  • Thread tortellini, mozzarella, tomato halves, salami, and fresh basil onto skewers. (Note: The tomato halves work well on either end of the other ingredients because they will help to hold the other ingredients in place.)
  • You can serve these skewers on their own or with your favorite sauce or dressing for dipping – pesto, Ranch dressing, or Creamy Herb Yogurt Dressing.


If making these ahead, cover them tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. 


Calories: 207kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 275mg | Potassium: 125mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 482IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 144mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $8.50
Calories: 207
Keyword: bbq side dish, make with kids, party recipe, pasta, pasta salad, potluck recipe, summer, summer recipe
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

4.70 from 13 votes (11 ratings without comment)

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  1. 5 stars
    Such a lovely idea and so easy to make. These were a hit at a potluck I went to. They look good as well as taste good!

  2. 5 stars
    This is the perfect summer meal. My 10 year old is really in to cooking this summer and this is easy enough for her to make by herself! We used mini skewers because that was all they had at the store and they worked great. We even had a bunch leftover and I had them for lunch the next 2 days and they still tasted fresh.