Summer Sensations: Pasta Salad, Every Which Way
Oh, the pain and anxiety of the suburban backyard barbecue: What can we bring that everyone else isn’t bringing, too?
If you get too creative, you might suffer the shame of packing up your Pyrex with everything still inside. But if you’re too boring, you might not get invited back. (Not really. People don’t actually think about it too hard, or they shouldn’t, and if they do, you should move.)
Still, if you’re anxious to bust out of a pasta-salad rut, or if you’ve always admired this standard side dish and wondered how it’s done, we’ve collected an array of styles and flavors — enough for an entire season of tasty culinary experiments.
We’re particularly fond of a classy take on the standard deli-counter macaroni salad: eggs give it a solid base, and you might even add capers for a tongue-tingling touch. Though many Asian recipes just recommend you buy a pre-made dressing, we included an Asian-inspired pasta salad that lets you create — and control — the flavor. And we found what just may be the perfect couscous.
Whichever way you go, by the end of your pasta-salad curriculum, you’re sure to be comfortable throwing together all sorts of noodles, vegetables and dressings, and you can look forward to fielding that request that makes any pot-luck-goer secretly proud: “I have to get that recipe!”
If you’re new to this, here’s an quick how-to video that’ll ease your anxiety. It’s easy!
It’s a rule: You cannot go wrong with tortellini. This basic side is welcome at any potluck barbecue.
The DIY dressing, plus fresh grilled veggies, lends this colorful pasta salad a unique appeal.
Mint and citrus are the wonder-twins of refreshing flavors, and a treat for a hot backyard cookout.
Why should Italy corner the market on pasta salad? Here’s a different take.
Hang on. Melon? In pasta salad? You heard right — sweet and savory in a perfect salad balance.
Searching for the perfect pasta salad? Explore all our pasta salad recipes!