Surprising Pasta Salad Recipes Sure to Win All Your Summer Parties

Surprising Pasta Salad Recipes Sure to Win All Your Summer Parties
Photo: From Valerie's Kitchen.

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Pasta salad is a summer staple for a reason. There’s something particularly satisfying about seeing light, refreshing pasta salad served alongside the smokiest dishes coming off your grill. We know, we know—pasta is a comfort food. But because pasta salad recipes call for the side to be served up cool, it feels far less heavy than your average spaghetti bolognese. (Plus, anything feels light compared to a piping hot burger or hot dog—right?)

Of course, the issue with pasta salad is that it’s so damn ubiquitous. This is, of course, both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because, as we’ve already made clear, we love pasta salad. We take full advantage of every excuse we get to eat it. And we’d be delighted if it made its way into autumn, winter and spring, as well as summer. But. No one needs to see the same exact dish served up two, three, 10 times at the same summer barbecue. We like pasta salad, but we don’t like it enough to forego all other side dishes ever. Plus, it never feels good to show up to a party with a dish someone’s already supplied. It feels obvious—lazy, even. It’s fair to assume pasta salad is so delicious it’s everyone’s go-to.

The good news? There are ways around this predicament. You can have your unique side dish and eat pasta salad, too (as it were). That’s because there’s a veritable plethora of pasta salad recipes from which to choose—some of which are far less traditional than others. So play around with some of these out-of-the-box pasta salad recipes, and let your tastebuds delight in new versions of their favorite summer side. You’re fighting the good fight against monotonous pasta salad ubiquity—keep at it.

STYLECASTER | Pasta Salad Recipes Sure to Win All Your Summer Parties

Busy Budgeter.

1. 15-Minute BLT Pasta Salad

How could you possibly go wrong with a pasta salad recipe that’s basically a BLT in a bowl?

STYLECASTER | Pasta Salad Recipes Sure to Win All Your Summer Parties

Valerie’s Kitchen.

2. Asian Pasta Salad

Everything about this surprising pasta salad—from its crunchy texture to its to-die-for sesame-soy dressing—will have your friends begging for more.

STYLECASTER | Pasta Salad Recipes Sure to Win All Your Summer Parties

Dinner Then Dessert.

3. Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

Chicken, bacon, cheese and pasta tossed in ranch dressing—this chicken bacon ranch pasta salad recipe doesn’t need much selling, does it?

STYLECASTER | Pasta Salad Recipes Sure to Win All Your Summer Parties

Carlsbad Cravings.

4. Cowboy Pasta Salad

If you’re craving something hearty with a little zing to it, look no further than this “cowboy” pasta salad. Crafted from juicy ground beef, sweet corn, black beans, bacon, tomatoes and cheese, it sounds too good to be true. Oh, and did we mention it’s smothered in a tangy, creamy southwest barbecue sauce?

STYLECASTER | Pasta Salad Recipes Sure to Win All Your Summer Parties

Wine and Glue.

5. Crab Pasta Salad

You’ll quickly become the superhero of any summer party when you surprise partygoers with this true treat—pasta salad filled with crab meat.

STYLECASTER | Pasta Salad Recipes Sure to Win All Your Summer Parties

Trial and Eater.

6. Deviled Egg Macaroni Pasta Salad

We’re not saying this deviled egg/pasta salad hybrid is a work of culinary genius—wait, actually, that’s exactly what we’re saying.

STYLECASTER | Pasta Salad Recipes Sure to Win All Your Summer Parties

Spend with Pennies.

7. Dill Pickle Pasta Salad

Dill pickles are, in a word, magnificent. And this dill pickle pasta salad recipe is equally so.

STYLECASTER | Pasta Salad Recipes Sure to Win All Your Summer Parties

Taste Better from Scratch.

8. Easy Tuna Pasta Salad

If you love tuna salad just as much as you love pasta salad, this easy tuna pasta salad recipe is sure to make you one happy BBQ attendee.

STYLECASTER | Pasta Salad Recipes Sure to Win All Your Summer Parties

Cafe Delites.

9. Lemon Herb Mediterranean Pasta Salad

When you want to whip up something simple yet sophisticated, turn to this lemon herb Mediterranean pasta salad. It’s light, summery and chock-full of fresh ingredients like cucumbers, olives, sun-dried tomatoes and bell peppers.

STYLECASTER | Pasta Salad Recipes Sure to Win All Your Summer Parties

Let’s Dish.

10. Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

Mexican street corn might be one of the greatest gifts to descend upon our earth, so it stands to reason that Mexican street corn pasta salad would be a veritable dream come true.

STYLECASTER | Pasta Salad Recipes Sure to Win All Your Summer Parties

Dinner at the Zoo.

11. Orzo Pasta Salad

Hey, there’s no rule that says pasta salad has to be made with a certain kind of pasta. We’re obsessed with the textural switch-up of this orzo pasta salad.

STYLECASTER | Pasta Salad Recipes Sure to Win All Your Summer Parties

Cooking Classy.

12. Poppyseed Chicken and Grape Pasta Salad

Anyone who’s whipped up a batch of chicken salad knows that grapes and poppyseed dressing are absolutely on the menu. This poppyseed chicken and grape pasta salad recipe fully understands that—and took things to the next level by adding some pasta into the mix, too.

STYLECASTER | Pasta Salad Recipes Sure to Win All Your Summer Parties

Catching Seeds.

13. Protein-Packed Thai Pasta Salad

How does a pasta salad that only takes 20 minutes to make manage to pack 18 grams of protein and tons of flavor? We have no idea, but this protein-packed Thai pasta salad is so wonderful we don’t even want to question it.

STYLECASTER | Pasta Salad Recipes Sure to Win All Your Summer Parties

Inspired by Charm.

14. Southwest Pasta Salad

There are a handful of Southwest-style pasta salads out there, but we’re partial to this one. For starters, the choice of wagon wheel pasta is, well, inspired. And beyond that, the combo of corn, beans, roasted red peppers and creamy ranch dressing is destined to make this dish a show-stopper.

STYLECASTER | Pasta Salad Recipes Sure to Win All Your Summer Parties

Like Mother, Like Daughter.

15. Taco Pasta Salad

You really can’t go wrong imbuing anything with the flavors of a taco—pasta salad, included. (We bet you’ll find the addition of crushed Doritos to this taco pasta salad recipe particularly delightful.)

STYLECASTER | Pasta Salad Recipes Sure to Win All Your Summer Parties

The Chunky Chef.

16. Italian Caprese Pasta Salad

Don’t want to mess with a ton of ingredients? This Italian Caprese pasta salad recipe only calls for a few—juicy tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, a little basil and Italian vinaigrette.

STYLECASTER | Pasta Salad Recipes Sure to Win All Your Summer Parties

Amanda Cooks & Styles.

17. Hawaiian Pasta Salad

This Hawaiian pasta salad offers all the joy of Hawaiian pizza—just rendered in pasta form. And really, isn’t that what dreams are made of?

 

Originally published on SheKnows.com.

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