7 Ways to Amp Up Your Pasta Salad Game



Food Stylist: Maggie Ruggeiro Prop Stylist: Marcus Hay

Photo by: Yunhee Kim Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin 917 751 2855

Yunhee Kim Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin 917 751 2855

As our calendars begin to fill up with plans for picnics, potlucks and backyard barbecues, it’s safe to say that we’re going to be seeing a lot of pasta salads. The danger of such a staple side dish though is that “safe” can quickly become “boring.” Don’t let pasta salad after pasta salad blur together this season. Take a break from your standard mayonnaise-laced fare and give these 7 recipes a try.

Grill, meet vegetables. Radicchio, fennel and bell peppers take a turn on the grill to add a crisp-tender texture and charred flavor to a dish simply seasoned with lemon juice and Parmesan cheese.

Punch up the flavor in your pasta salad with a double helping of sun-dried tomatoes, chopped up for the salad – along with olives, fresh tomatoes and cubes of feta cheese – and mixed into a savory dressing, with red wine vinegar and capers, for Ina Garten’s 5-star recipe.



Food stylist: Stephana Bottom Prop Stylist: Meghan Guthrie ,Food stylist: Stephana BottomProp Stylist: Meghan Guthrie

Photo by: Kang Kim

Kang Kim

With bacon and steak in the mix, this creamy pasta salad edges towards main dish-worthy levels of satisfaction. Bright green beans and bell peppers help to add crunch, color and lightness.

BLT Pasta_012.tif

BLT Pasta_012.tif

After seeing BLT work its magic in a pasta skillet, macaroni and cheese and a lobster roll, we can't say we're too surprised that these classic flavors work just as well in a pasta salad.




This Mediterranean-inspired dish features refreshing herbs and the bright, salty flavors of olives, feta cheese and pepperoncini peppers.



Food Stylist: Maggie Ruggeiro Prop Stylist: Marcus Hay

Photo by: Yunhee Kim

Yunhee Kim

Easy to assemble and impressively stacked, this 5-star recipe has a little bit of everything, including deli ham, cheddar cheese, avocado and broccoli.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Bobby Flay adds some Southwestern flair to his pasta salad with corn, cilantro, chipotle pepper, tomatillos and grilled peppers.

Next Up

7 Delicious Pastas, Lightened Up!

Make these Healthy Pastas Without the Guilt. Find more healthy recipes like this at Food Network.

Pasta Salad, Lightened Up

Traditional pasta salad is swimming with hidden calories that’ll have you hiding from bathing suit season. Find out how to lighten up this summer classic and still keep your svelte shape.

7 Ways to Fire Up Summer Vegetables

Just a few minutes of scorching heat will transform any farmers market find into charred, perfectly smoky bliss.

5 Ways to Up Your Greens Game

Greens that taste amazing? You better be-leaf it! These healthy, delicious green sides will upgrade any main dish (if they don't steal the show first).

5 Fun Ways to Use Up Pasta

Get creative with the pasta you have in the pantry

7 Ways to Win at Potato Salad

When you're cooking a spread in the name of summer, you better bet a side of potato salad will make the cut.

Guacamole: 7 Great Ways

There are many delicious variations on this avocado favorite.

Up Your Ice Game

Never underestimate the importance of ice at your party! We've got some easy ways for you to up your ice game at your next get-together. 

The New Age of Potato Salad: 7 Ways to Do It Up Right

Never gloopy, these new-age picks — each with its own flavor-boosting edge — deserve a spot on your cookout menu, starting now.

Related Pages