If your summer is filled with family barbecues, graduation parties, birthday celebrations, picnics, beach days, as well as the other many events that take place during the summer, then you will need the perfect pasta salad dish to bring to each event.
Pasta salads are a must-have dish at any family event this summer. Usually, trying to find recipes and then cooking dishes that everyone will enjoy, proves to be challenging. However, you really cannot go wrong with bringing a pasta dish that compliments every meal and that will sure to become everyone’s favorite.
Here are 15 pasta salad ideas that will be a hit at any family BBQ or other summer events you have coming up.
15 Pizza Pasta Salad
Pizza is basically everyone’s favorite food, so you obviously cannot go wrong with making it into a pasta salad. It’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser. This pizza pasta salad from The Girl Who Ate Everything, should be a must-have on your summer pasta salad list. It’s a fun and tasty dish that both kids and grown ups will fall in love with from the very first bite to the very last.
Some highlight ingredients of this recipe include: rotini pasta, pepperoni, provolone cheese, tomato, green bell pepper, olives, green onions, Parmesan, olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, and garlic. But just because those are the main ingredients does not mean that you can’t customize it with your favorite pizza toppings. Adding mushrooms, sausage, spinach, banana peppers, pineapple, anchovies, red onions, or anything else you usually order on your pizza, will personalize your pizza pasta and make it extra tasty.
14 Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
This one may sound a little bit odd, but I recommend that you at least give it an honest try. This dill pickle pasta salad is a one of a kind dish. You get the saltiness of the dill pickle and then the creaminess of the sour cream and mayonnaise, which makes for a delicious combination. If you are a pickle lover, then this is the dish for you. This dill pickle lovers pasta salad from Spend With Pennies, is an inexpensive, but tasty pasta salad dish you should really consider bringing to any family BBQ to wow your guests.
This will be a great side dish next to the burgers and hot dogs that you are grilling up on those fun, cool summer nights. Some highlight ingredients of the recipe include: shell pasta, pickles, mayonnaise, sour cream, onion, fresh dill, pickle juice, and cheddar cheese. Salty and creamy goodness!
13 Pesto Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes and Roasted Asparagus
This pasta salad is as unique as it is tasty. This pesto pasta with sundried tomatoes and roasted asparagus is the perfect dish to bring to a fancy dinner party or more formal summer event or potluck. This is the type of dish that you will divulge on while the kids are sleeping or away at summer camp. This pesto pasta salad recipe from Damn Delicious, claims that to in order to make this dish even better, you should top it with a fried egg. How can it get any better than that?
If you are a fan of pesto, then be sure to add this to the list and find an excuse to make this and share with all your friends and family members. Some highlight ingredients of this recipe include: shell pasta, asparagus, olive oil, basil pesto, sundried tomatoes, mozzarella, and that fried egg for serving. Yum!
12 Vegetable Pasta Salad
This pasta salad option is perfect for all the vegetarians in your family and friend group. Sometimes, it’s difficult for vegetarians and vegans to find food to eat while at parties, so be the hero and be the one who brings something they can actually eat. This recipe for a vegetable pasta salad from BudgetBytes, costs less than eight dollars to buy all the ingredients and serves eight people. BudgetBytes is one of my all-time favorite places to find recipes that are quick, inexpensive, but absolutely delicious.
Some highlight ingredients of this recipe include: bow tie pasta, tomatoes, summer squash, zucchini, broccoli, red onion, roasted red peppers, parsley, vegetable oil, olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, oregano, and garlic. If there are any other vegetables that aren’t listed that are your favorites, be sure to chop them up and toss them into the pasta salad. The more vegetables the merrier!
11 Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
Everyone loves bacon and everyone also loves ranch. Nothing is better than bacon... except for bacon with ranch and ranch with bacon—it’s the perfect pairing! This pasta dish is bursting with flavor with every single bite you and your barbecue party guests will take. This is the perfect summer recipe for any occasion. I found this bacon ranch pasta salad recipe from Life in the Loft, and it will satisfy every taste bud.
Some highlight ingredients of this recipe include: tri-color rotini pasta, mayonnaise, sour cream, dry ranch dressing mix, garlic powder, milk, cooked bacon, tomato, black olives, and shredded cheddar cheese. To help cut down your time in the kitchen, use Oscar Meyer packages of pre-cooked bacon pieces to save on time and then when you are ready to serve, you can toss with a little extra milk if it seems dry.
10 Classic Italian Pasta Salad
You can’t go wrong with a classic, especially if it’s an Italian classic. This classic Italian pasta salad recipe from I Wash You Dry, will be a hit at any party. Think about how delicious it will be when perfectly paired with wine at a wine tasting event your friend plans on hosting. Some highlight ingredients of this recipe include: tri-colored rotini pasta, olive oil, broccoli florets, English cucumber, red bell pepper, black olives, purple onion, pepperoni, and Italian salad dressing.
Feel free to swap out the rotini pasta for tortellini or another type of your favorite pasta—you really can’t go wrong here. The cook leaves a tip: if you’re not a fan of raw broccoli then add the broccoli to the boiling pasta water for the last two minutes and then drain. Rinse with cold water so the broccoli stops cooking, and you are left with a tender, crisp bite.
9 Mediterranean Pasta Salad
Have a travel-themed BBQ planned for this summer? This mediterranean pasta salad will make you feel like you are traveling and relaxing in the Greek Isles. This salad is not only fresh, but packs that saltiness that will make you come back for seconds. This mediterranean pasta salad from Gimme Some Oven, will become your new favorite pasta dish. Don’t you want to be known for bringing the best dishes to all your family parties this summer? Your friends and family will request you make this for them for every occasion since it’s that good.
Some highlight ingredients of this recipe include: farfalle pasta, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, feta cheese, and red onion. Plus the lemon-herb vinaigrette that is whipped up from extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, freshly-squeezed lemon juice, dried oregano, honey, garlic cloves, and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Talk about delicious!
8 Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
Chicken Caesar salad is one of my all-time favorites. The traditional chicken caesar salad is elevated when it’s turned into a pasta dish. The creaminess of the dressing, the freshness of the lettuce, and the crunch of the croutons is an delectable combination. Not only would this be a wonderful dish to bring to any party you may attend or host this summer, but this would be a tasty side snack to bring on a picnic in the park or movie nights at the drive-in theater.
7 Greek Orzo Pasta Salad
A different twist on a classic pasta salad. This Greek Orzo pasta salad from A Cedar Spoon, is packed with tons of vegetables mixed in with delicious orzo. Some highlight ingredients of this recipe include: orzo pasta, red pepper, red onion, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, cucumber, pepperoncini, and feta cheese. And then for the dressing you’ll need: olive oil, fresh lemon juice, red wine vinegar, honey, garlic, and dried oregano.
The light Greek dressing livens up the entire dish and makes it a pasta salad you will not feel guilty about. Another wonderful thing about this dish is that you can make this salad in advance and it can be used for up to four days after you make it. You will want to save any leftovers from this dish for yourself and pack and enjoy them for your lunch. Your coworkers will be jealous of how delicious it looks.
6 Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
Have a Hawaiian luau or beach-themed party this summer? Well, then this is the perfect pasta salad to bring to that Hawaiian luau or beach-themed BBQ or party that may pop up during the busy summer months. It is definitely an interesting and flavorful pasta salad mix of ham, pineapple, and macaroni that is almost unexpected, but incredibly delicious with every bite you take. This is the perfect summer flavor combination of sweet and tangy that will wow your guests. Try making this recipe for the Hawaiian macaroni salad from The Recipe Critic for a special summer treat. The mix of the sweet fruit and the salty ham screams summer fun. Just be sure that none of your party guests are allergic to pineapple before serving!
5 Avocado Pasta Salad
Avocado has become insanely popular in recent years. It’s almost as if you can’t seem to go anywhere without seeing avocado as part of the menu options or making it a great addition to any sandwich you buy or even a sandwich you make yourself. There are even trends for avocados, such as making a rose out of them. So clearly, you can’t go wrong with making a side dish that is filled to the bowl with avocados. Here is the recipe for the avocado pasta salad from Spend With Pennies. It’s a cold pasta salad that will pair well with nearly anything off the grill.
Some highlight ingredients of this recipe include: rotini or bow tie pasta, bacon, green onion, cilantro, avocado, and lime juice. The dressing is a delicious mix of the following: avocado, lime, cilantro, cumin, garlic powder, and buttermilk. So rich and so creamy! Yum!
4 Mexican Pasta Salad
I’m sure you will be attending BBQ after BBQ this summer, and it can get repetitive, especially towards the end of the summer. But by brining this spicy and saucy pasta salad, you will be sure to turn any BBQ into a true fiesta. Side dishes are always requested from your friends or family members who are hosting a party or BBQ, so be sure to have this recipe from The Recipe Critic on deck. This Mexican pasta salad is jam-packed with flavor and would be a great dish to bring to a fiesta that obviously has to include margaritas and mojitos.
Some highlight ingredients of this recipe include: macaroni, black beans, corn, tomatoes, green onions, onion, cilantro, feta cheese, salsa, sour cream, mayonnaise, garlic, cumin, and lime juice. Consider switching out the feta cheese for another type of favorite cheese, such as cheddar or a more traditional Mexican cheese. Can you say Olé!?
3 BLT Pasta Salad
This tasty but super simple recipe doesn’t have many ingredients and only has about three steps for creating a top notch dish for your party or BBQ. The secret sauce is a mix of ranch dressing and barbecue sauce that make this a delicious pasta salad that truly tastes like you are biting into a bacon, lettuce, and tomato (BLT) sandwich. BLT sandwiches are always a classic favorite for a summer lunch, so making it into a pasta salad makes it even better.
Be sure to try out this recipe for the BLT pasta salad from Life In The Lofthouse. Even though this recipe does not call for croutons, I recommend tossing some on top to add another depth to the dish and get that sandwich feel to the BLT pasta salad.
2 Caprese Pasta Salad
This pasta salad is so fresh and filled with tons of flavor, plus it only takes about fifteen minutes to make! Easy peasy! This dish can easily be tossed together in the drop of a hat if you get invited to a last-minute dinner party or BBQ. There are plenty of recipes out there for a caprese pasta salad, but I recommend trying this one from Swanky Recipes for starters and then adjusting to fit your cooking and flavor style.
Some highlight ingredients of this recipe include: cavatappi pasta, cherry tomatoes, small mozzarella, fresh basil, fresh parsley, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and lemon juice. Use those homegrown tomatoes, basil, and parsley growing in your garden to make this dish even better. This light, fresh, and delicious pasta salad will be incredible for any occasion you attend this summer.
1 Creamy Southern Pasta Salad
Nothing is better than a southern BBQ or seafood boil during the hot, summer months. If you are planning on hosting or attending one, then you must add this creamy southern pasta salad to the night’s menu. Try this recipe for the creamy southern pasta salad from Flavorite for a decadent side dish that is equal parts creamy and equal parts unique. This recipe definitely takes creamy pasta salad to a whole other level that you need to try.
Some highlight ingredients of this recipe include: macaroni pasta, celery, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, green onions, sweet pickle relish, red wine vinegar, mayonnaise, sour cream, and sharp cheddar cheese. I know what you are thinking after reading that list of ingredients, but have no fear! It tastes way better than those ingredients make it sound. And your guests will be asking you for the recipe after they devour it during the party.