21 Picnic-Perfect Pasta Salad Recipes to Enjoy All Summer Long
No picnic or barbecue is complete without a crisp pasta salad. Not only is it typically creamy and refreshing, but pasta salad also tends to complement grilled meats and bold spices like a charm. Whether you’re packing for a beach day or whipping up a side dish for your next cookout, make sure to have one of these 21 pasta salads on the menu.
1. Salami, Artichoke and Ricotta Pasta Salad
A few of our favorite ingredients united in savory harmony. It's meaty, briny, creamy and tossed in balsamic-mustard vinaigrette for good measure.
4. Roasted Broccoli and Bacon Pasta Salad
If the crispy bacon isn't enough to sway you, maybe the lemon-garlic breadcrumb topping will.
6. Caesar Pasta Salad
Proof that lettuce (and Caesar salad in general) doesn't need to be boring. The dressing calls on avocado instead of eggs for its creamy, rich texture.
8. Meal-Prep Creamy Pasta Salad with Broccoli and Raisins
It's as close to store-bought, old-school mac salad as you can get, only way more flavorful. Chalk it up to swapping gloppy mayo for tangy sour cream and apple cider vinegar.
12. Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Pasta Salad
Behold: an autumnal pasta salad that you'll want to make a part of your weekly rotation come September. Tender, sweet butternut squash is just the match for tangy goat cheese and crunchy pine nuts.
13. Lemony Orzo Pasta Salad
Give the elbow macaroni a rest and trade it for tender orzo. The shape alone makes the dish appear more elegant.
17. Mediterranean Pasta Salad
Crumbled feta, mixed olives, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, hard salami—yup, gang's all here. Don't even get us started on the oregano-basil dressing.
20. Ramen Noodle Salad
This dish will change the way you see the quintessential college dinner forever. Think shredded veggies, slivered almonds and a sweet-and-sour dressing.
21. Tortellini and Smashed Cucumber Salad with Corn and Tomatoes
As if trading elbows for cheese-stuffed tortellini wasn't ingenious enough, smashing the cukes ensures that they'll soak up as much of the flavorful vinaigrette as possible.
For even more great recipes, check out our first cookbook, Only the Good Stuff.