Portable & Patriotic: Memorial Day Pasta Salads
On a day like Memorial Day, classic American dishes deserve special attention. And since no cookout is complete without a bevy of seasonal sides, it’s only right to show your patriotism by including a national staple: pasta salad. Celebrate the holiday weekend with any of these five summer pasta salads guaranteed to feed a crowd. Planning a picnic? No problem. These recipes are mayo-free and perfect for toting to the park.
Garden Pasta with Bocconcini (above)
When it comes to pasta salad, campanelle, Italian for “little bell,” is often overlooked. This pasta has a lovely flower-evoking shape that’s incredibly festive for a summer party or picnic. Though campanelle may look delicate, it’s just as hearty as penne and fusilli — the more-common pasta salad stars. Here, it’s tossed with substantial vegetables and bocconcini for an ample summer side.
Many people shy away from radicchio due to its bitter taste, but this member of the Italian chicory family stands up well to cooking and deserves a second look. Grilled alongside crisp fennel and sweet bell peppers, the brilliant burgundy-tipped lettuce makes an excellent smoky addition to this bountiful orecchiette salad.
Spinach and artichokes are a classic pair, popularized by the hot, comforting dip. Here, the veggies find new expression in Rachael Ray’s light and zesty pasta salad. Perfect in a pinch, this dish comes together in just 13 minutes when using store-bought tortellini. Rachael recommends either fresh mushroom, chicken-prosciutto or spinach-filled tortellini, if you can locate any of these options at the grocery store.
Stick with tried-and-true flavor combinations for an easy crowd-pleaser at your Memorial Day cookout. Ina Garten’s recipe combines classic pasta ingredients, like black olives, nutty Parmesan, feta cheese and fusilli, served chilled or at room temperature for outdoor eating. The corkscrew-shaped noodles are ideal for picking up the chunky tomato dressing.
Invigorate your Memorial Day menu with this quick and easy pasta salad dressed in a tangy lemon vinaigrette. The versatile dish pairs well with just about any main course, whether it’s burgers and dogs, grilled chicken or assorted kebabs. Asparagus, cherry tomatoes and plump green peas tie this summer side together.