Did you know it’s a fact that pasta salad recipes will fix any boring party? I’m only 50% Italian, but I’ve always only identified myself as such. This sounds awful, but I couldn’t even tell you what the other 50% is. My mom calls herself a mutt 🙂
That said, I’m a disappointing Italian – pasta is NOT my favorite. While my husband used to eat a pound of pasta in one sitting, I don’t eat it often. It leaves me bloated, so I tend to save pasta for nights before my long runs.
I do make an exception, though – and that’s pasta salad. Maybe it’s because I love barbecues, or because I love all “salads” – chicken, egg, tuna, potato, you name it. I can’t get enough of chilled pasta salads this summer. Here’s a round up of eight great ones I’ve tried recently!
WHAT KIND OF PASTA IN A PASTA SALAD?
When it comes to pasta salads, the options for different types of pastas are nearly endless, allowing for a diverse range of flavors and textures. One popular choice is rotini, with its twisted shape that holds onto dressings and sauces exceptionally well. Fusilli is another spiral-shaped pasta that provides a great base for pasta salads, allowing ingredients to intertwine with its grooves. Farfalle, commonly known as bow-tie pasta, adds a whimsical touch to salads while still maintaining a delightful bite. Penne is a classic choice, with its tubular shape that traps bits of dressing and ingredients inside. For a lighter and more delicate option, angel hair or vermicelli pasta brings a light and airy element to pasta salads. Orzo, which resembles rice, is a unique choice that adds a delightful texture to salads. And let’s not forget about the classic elbow macaroni, a timeless favorite that is perfect for traditional macaroni salads.
With such a wide variety of pastas available, pasta salads can be customized to suit any taste preference or culinary creativity, making them a versatile and satisfying dish for any occasion.
WHEN TO BRING OR SERVE PASTA SALAD?
Pasta salad is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed in various events and gatherings. One such occasion is a summer picnic or barbecue. Its refreshing and light nature makes it a perfect accompaniment to grilled meats and vegetables, providing a balanced and satisfying meal. Pasta salad is also a great addition to potluck parties and family reunions. Its ability to be made ahead of time and served at room temperature makes it convenient and ideal for large gatherings. It can be easily transported, allowing everyone to enjoy a delicious and hearty dish. Additionally, pasta salad is a popular choice for outdoor events like sporting events, beach trips, and hiking adventures. Its portability, combined with the fact that it can be consumed without the need for reheating, makes it a practical and enjoyable option. Whether it’s a casual get-together or a more formal occasion, pasta salad’s versatility, ease of preparation, and crowd-pleasing flavors make it a delightful choice for a wide range of events.
Avocado Pasta Salad – I absolutely love avocado so this is my type of pasta salad loaded with avocado AND avocado dressing!
Mediterranean Pasta Salad – This pasta salad is full of everything that makes an amazing greek salad – olives, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes and feta cheese.
BLT Pasta Salad – Mmmm…bacon. This bacon, lettuce and tomato pasta salad is sure to be a hit at any picnic or BBQ.
Creamy Southern Pasta Salad – this one is perfect for those of us who prefer a saucier pasta salad.
Cilantro Lime Southwestern Pasta Salad – this salad is packed with lime and all the flavors of the southwest you’d look for.
Tortellini Pasta Salad – if you love tortellini like I do, you’ll love this pasta salad recipe.
Bruschetta Pasta Salad – It’s like a bruschetta pizza but in pasta form. So good!
We hope you liked these fun pasta salad recipes! Which one was your favorite?