Whether it’s a holiday celebration or a barbeque, pasta salads are a great side dish. They are served cold so you can make them beforehand and spend your time enjoying the day with your family and friends. Plus, they’re easy enough to make that you can get your kids involved – maybe you can make one salad while your tween makes another. Infuse pasta salads with the ripe flavors of spring with the roasted tomato pasta salad with mozzarella or the pasta salad with broccoli and grapes (there’s bacon in it, too!). For an international flare, try the cold peanut sesame noodle salad, the lemon herb couscous salad or the cheese tortellini salad.
Traditional Italian caprese salad is made with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil. This recipe follows that idea and adds in pasta. Use a glass bowl to show off this roasted tomato pasta with mozzarella from Better Homes & Gardens.
It only takes 15 minutes to put together this antipasto salad from Boar’s Head. Mix together slices of ham, salami, pepperoni, green olives, Kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, roasted red pepper and sliced red onion with Italian dressing. To make the salad go farther, add in your favorite pasta too.
This recipe mixes sweet, savory, salty and crunchy within the same bowl. Start by making farfalle (bowtie) for this pasta salad with broccoli and grapes from Betty Crocker. The dressing is mayonnaise whisked with sugar, red wine vinegar and salt. The finishing touches are broccoli, red grapes cut in half, pecans and crisped bacon.
How about an Asian spin on pasta salad? This cold peanut noodle salad from the Kitchn combines garlic and ginger with peanut butter, rice vinegar, red pepper flakes and soy sauce. The spicy sauce is tossed with chicken, noodles, cucumbers and green onions.
Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil and fresh basil to make this simple cheese tortellini salad from Ezra Pound Cake. The dressing coats the cheese tortellini, cherry tomatoes, spinach and pepperoncini peppers that make up this tasty salad.
There are different types of couscous. For this recipe for lemon herb couscous salad from Inspired Taste use the larger, Israeli couscous. Stir together the cooked couscous with diced tomatoes, cucumbers and walnuts, and then add a honey-mustard dressing and chopped fresh herbs.