Pasta Salad Seasoning Mix

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Discover the secret to top-notch pasta salads with our homemade pasta salad seasoning recipe. It makes a large batch to last you the whole summer!

Wondering what the perfect blend of flavors are that can make your pasta salad irresistible? The secret to an outstanding pasta salad lies in the unique mix of herbs and spices that are found in our pasta salad seasoning mix.

We’ve gone beyond the simple sprinkle of salt and pepper and drizzle of Italian dressing. This homemade seasoning mix is full of flavorful ingredients such as paprika, garlic powder, 3 types of seeds and parmesan cheese.

If you’ve ever had a cold pasta salad that was just missing something, this is the fix for you!

a wooden spoon in a jar of pasta salad seasoning mix

About this Pasta Salad Seasoning Mix

  • Flavor: Paprika, garlic and cheese are the strongest flavors in this spice mix. Add more cayenne pepper if you like it spicy.
  • Texture: The sesame seeds, celery seeds and poppy seeds all add texture to this seasoning mix. The cheese, when blended with Italian dressing in the salad, adds a delicious creaminess.
  • Method: This takes just 5 minutes to mix up, and should be stored in fridge because of the parmesan cheese. Leave the cheese out for it to be shelf stable.

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Reader Linda says, “This is the spaghetti salad seasoning I always use. I mix a big batch, but leave out the parmesan, so it stays shelf stable. Add the parmesan fresh when making the salad.”

Salad Supreme Copycat Recipe

When I was growing up, my mom always used McCormick’s Salad Supreme seasoning in her pasta salad.  Even though Italian dressing has all kinds of zesty flavor on its own, adding this seasoning jazzes the flavor up even more.

For years I bought the little bottles of Salad Supreme, but they just don’t last long for the amount of pasta salad we make each summer. I always ended up running out and not having any when I needed it.

I found this recipe for pasta salad seasoning mix and within 5 minutes had a big batch (2 cups worth to be exact) of seasoning to keep on hand in the fridge. It’s the perfect amount for a pint mason jar.


ingredients for pasta salad seasoning on a table

A well-rounded pasta salad seasoning has ingredients that each contribute to the flavor profile. Our recipe includes:

  1. Sesame Seeds (¼ cup): These tiny seeds bring a slight crunch and a rich, nutty flavor to the seasoning mix.
  2. Paprika (2 ½ tablespoons): Paprika provides a smoky-sweet peppery flavor and adds a vibrant color to our mix.
  3. Salt (2 tablespoons): Essential to any seasoning mix, salt works to enhance the other flavors in the mix. You can add less salt if you’d like.
  4. Celery Seeds (1 ½ tablespoons): They add an earthy, slightly bitter taste.
  5. Poppy Seeds (1 ½ tablespoons): These bring in a slight sweet and nutty flavor.
  6. Garlic Powder (2 teaspoons): Garlic powder is a much-loved flavor. It gives the pasta salad a familiar and comforting taste.
  7. Black Pepper (2 teaspoons): A seasoning classic, black pepper adds a spicy kick.
  8. Cayenne Pepper (1 teaspoon): For those who like a bit of heat, cayenne pepper adds a spicy zing. Add more or less as you’d like.
  9. Parmesan Cheese (1 cup): Parmesan cheese steals the show in this mix, pulling together all the flavors with its salty flavor.

How to Make Pasta Salad Seasoning

Making the seasoning mix couldn’t be easier. Simply add all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix well to combine.

Seal and store in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. That’s it!

Using the Pasta Salad Seasoning

If you have your own favorite pasta salad recipe, you’ll use three tablespoons of this seasoning per one pound of pasta.

You can use this salad seasoning in other recipes:

  • tossed with traditional Italian lettuce salad
  • in a chicken marinade (with Italian dressing)
  • sprinkle it over fried eggs for a delicious breakfast
  • in a sour cream/mayo dip
  • sprinkle over popcorn
  • add to butter, then spread on garlic bread
  • potato salad. Just try it!! 😋
pasta salad seasoning sprinkled over pasta salad

Perfect Pasta Salad Recipe

This pasta salad seasoning seasons the traditional Italian pasta. You can read about our best pasta salad, but here’s a quick version of how to make it:

  • Boil 12-16 ounces of pasta according to the package directions. (Our favorite pasta is penne, fusilli, farfalle or rotini pasta.) Drain the water and rinse with cold water. Place the cooled pasta in a large bowl.
  • Add cubed cheddar cheese and pepperoni slices.
  • Then add diced red onion, cherry tomatoes (or grape tomatoes), and other vegetables such as carrots, cucumber and red bell peppers.
  • Toss in black olives, then add fresh herbs if you’d like. Think fresh parsley, oregano or basil.
  • Then add that zesty Italian dressing and 3 tablespoons of this salad seasoning.
  • Mix it all up, then serve!

Storage Instructions

Store the seasoning mix in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 months.

You may also love our Greek pasta salad.

a wooden spoon in a jar of pasta salad seasoning
a wooden spoon in a jar of pasta salad seasoning

Pasta Salad Seasoning Mix

4.42 from 50 votes
Pasta Salad Seasoning Mix makes a big batch so you’ll be ready for summer picnics. Use three tablespoons of this seasoning mix per one pound of pasta salad.
Servings 11
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

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  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons black poppy seeds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons celery seed
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese


  • Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 months.
  • When making pasta salad, use 3 tablespoons of seasoning per pound of pasta, along with your favorite Italian dressing. Use more or less according to taste.



Calories: 69kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 1431mg | Potassium: 96mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 941IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 135mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Condiment
Cuisine American
Calories 69
Keyword homemade seasoning mix, pasta salad recipe, summer salad recipe

Adapted from

About JulieJulie Clark

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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2 years ago

Regular paprika or smoked paprika?

Linda D
3 years ago

5 stars
This is the spaghetti salad seasoning I always use. I mix a big batch, but leave out the parmesan, so it stays shelf stable. Add the parm fresh when making the salad.

Diane McGill
4 years ago

I love the sound of your pasta salad seasoning. But I can not have anything with tiny seeds in it, due to diverticulitis issues. I am new to trying new things to eat and spicing things differently and currently do not have a lot to choose from on my shelf’s. So my question is, can the seed spices in the pasta seasoning be bought in a ground up version? Thank you

4 years ago

I found this mix way to salty….. will cut the amount of salt next time I make it 🙂

7 years ago

Do you need to add olive oil or mayo or something other than the pasta and the dry mix?

Paula Bucher
9 years ago

5 stars
I truly appreciate you sharing this seasoning blend. I too used to buy Salad Supreme by the case because I use it in everything!

9 years ago

Do I need whole or ground celery seed? Do you use white or black poppy seeds? And how long does this seasoning keep fresh (because of the parmesan)? I`m so craving for your classic pasta salad and dont want to do anything wrong on it…
Thanks in advance+hungry greets from Germany!

9 years ago

This is different. I don’t have a pasta salad dry seasoning mix in my recipe box. Thanks for sharing. Pinned.

9 years ago

Homemade seasonings are so economical. This one will be delicious this summer!