Portable & Patriotic: Memorial Day Pasta Salads

Celebrate Memorial Day with the quintessential American cookout side: pasta salad. Planning a picnic? No problem. These recipes are mayo-free and perfect for toting to the park.
By: Emily Lee


Food Stylist: Maggie Ruggeiro Prop Stylist: Marcus Hay ,Food Stylist: Maggie Ruggeiro Prop Stylist: Marcus Hay

Photo by: Yunhee Kim

Yunhee Kim

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.

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.



Food Stylist: Maggie Ruggeiro Prop Stylist: Marcus Hay

Photo by: Yunhee Kim

Yunhee Kim

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.

Rachael Ray's Spinach Artichoke Pasta Salad for Potluck Picks as seen on Food Network's 30 Minute Meals

Photo by: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Alice Gao, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

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.

Neely's Lemon Pasta Salad; The Neelys

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

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.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Portable Dishes for Memorial Day Weekend

Recipes for portable dishes that can be made ahead, travel well and hold up to the weather for the summer on Food Network.

Portable Thanksgiving Dishes — Thanksgiving Tip of the Day

If you’re traveling for Thanksgiving and have been asked to bring a dish, keep food safety in mind. Check out these options from Food Network.

Memorial Day Picnic Menu

Throw the best tasting picnic on the block by combining classic favorites with some fresh ideas. You’ll find healthy and delicious recipes with lots of things you can make ahead of time. Set it up buffet style and let your guests dig in!

Throw a Memorial Day Picnic

Though for some Memorial Day can mean an excuse to sleep in before hitting a blowout sale, the real fans of this holiday are all about the food.

Portable Labor Day Picnic Favorites (That Taste Even Better Outside)

The days that can entail plans for a picnic are numbered, and Labor Day might be your last opportunity for a true eat-outside affair this year.

Memorial Day Treats - Catch Us On TV!

We appeared on Good Morning America Health to talk about healthy grilling and prepping some deliciously fresh dishes. Here are the recipes we made.