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Cabbage and Pasta Salad with Salmon and Bacon

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16 ounce box gemelli pasta
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3 tablespoons honey mustard
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 head red cabbage, chopped
4 cooked salmon filets, broken into chunks
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 orange bell pepper, chopped
1 (10 ounce) package frozen baby peas
1 cup cubed Monterey jack cheese
6 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled

Cabbage and Pasta Salad with Salmon and Bacon

The delicious combination of textures and flavors in this main dish chicken salad is perfect.

  • Serves 6
  • Easy

About This Recipe

I usually don’t like recipe names like this one for Cabbage and Pasta Salad with Salmon and Bacon because they give away all of the secrets of the dish! When I first read I recipe I like to be a little surprised by some of the ingredients. But this recipe is so complex and wonderful I felt that putting a lot of descriptives in the title was a good thing.

And there are a lot of ingredients in this wonderful and fresh pasta salad. They all complement each other beautifully. Salmon and bacon are natural partners. And the fresh crunch of cabbage, tender pasta, and the sweet pop of peas are delicious together.

I love to have this salad in the fridge, especially on hot summer days. It’s finally starting to warm up and it’s going to feel like summer next week. With this salad in the fridge I don’t have to worry about dinner at all!

Tips for the best Cabbage and Pasta Salad with Salmon and Bacon:

  • As always be careful with the pasta doneness. You have to taste it to see if it’s done. Pasta that is properly cooked to al dente will be tender yet firm in the center.
  • Make sure you chop the cabbage in small pieces. No one wants to bite into a big piece of cabbage.
  • And make sure the bacon is super crisp. Soggy bacon has no place in this salad, or anywhere, for that matter.

Why this recipe works:

  • Salmon is delicious in pasta salads. Its tender and nutty and really complements the vegetables.
  • You can use any vegetable you’d like in this salad. Try sliced zucchini or yellow summer squash, cooked green beans, or corn.
  • The pasta absorbs some of the dressing as it cools, making it very flavorful. Make sure you don’t skimp on the dressing. In fact, I sometimes make extra to add to the salad the next day.

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Bring a large pot of water to a boil to cook the pasta.


Meanwhile, combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, mustard, and lemon juice in a large bowl and whisk to combine.


Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 8 to 9 minutes. Drain well and add to the dressing in the bowl.


Add all of the remaining ingredients to the bowl and stir gently to combine. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.


Linda is a bestselling cookbook author and home economist who has written 54 books (53 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005. She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

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