This Fall Harvest Pasta Salad is a festive cold pasta dish made with fresh and seasonal ingredients, topped with a deliciously sweet honey poppyseed dressing!
Three years ago I shared the original version of this Fall Harvest Pasta Salad which lacked visual appeal and honestly, the right combination of flavors. Still so many of you come back each year to revisit the idea of creating a beautiful fall festive pasta salad, especially around the holidays.
In three years a lot of growth happens in the life of a blogger/ blog and it can be truly embarrassing looking back at those recipes, particularly the photos. Given your continuous love for this Fall Harvest Pasta Salad, I decided to do a complete makeover yet keep it’s essence alive, after all it’s the reason why we love this fall pasta salad so much!
how to make a festive fall pasta salad
The key is to capture the essences of the season. But let’s break down to the details;
- Start by choosing a fall-themed pasta. I usually have very good luck shopping for fall pasta at Home Goods but unfortunately because they don’t carry a large stock on items, you may not be able to get your hands on any. Amazon is another great option and here are a few picks for you (affiliate links enclosed):
- Pick your seasonal ingredients. Apple and pears are delicious when added to pasta salads. The downside is that they will brown if you plan on having left overs, however in the past I have removed the apple and pear slices and added fresh ones the next day!
Bosc and bartlett pears are my favorite, however any type will work. When it comes to apples I love the combination of sweet honey crisp apples and granny smith, they balance each other really well.
Note: apples and pears are on the dirty dozen list so be sure to buy organic whenever possible!
- Seeds and nuts basically describes fall in a nut-shell, haha 🙂 so be sure to add a layer of crunchiness by including your favorites. I have possibly tried every combination and my current favorite picks are pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and dried cranberries. These not only add a nice flavor and nutritional benefit to our autumn crunch pasta salad but because these are smaller bite size ‘nuts, seeds and fruits’ it’s a lot easier to eat in a salad.
- Dressings can be seasonal too! Try the irresistible combination of olive oil, apple cider vinegar and a little honey. Add poppyseeds for a fun spin and your fall harvest pasta salad is complete!
Additional options are feta cheese or blue cheese. If this is a Thanksgiving pasta salad I’d also add pomegranate.
If you make this fall harvest pasta salad be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Fall Harvest Pasta Salad
- 1 pk fall pasta
- 1 whole pear, of your choice
- 1 whole honeycrisp apple
- 1 whole granny smith apple
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup feta cheese
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp poppyseeds
- 1 pinch salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. When done rinse with cold water.
- Meanwhile wash and slice apples and pear. You can use a mandoline for this but a sharp knife will do the job. Set aside
- Add dressing ingredients to a small glass and whisk to combine. Set aside
- When you are ready to assemble add pasta, apple and pear slices, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds and dressing to a large bowl and toss to combine. Top with feta cheese and serve.