Fresh and flavorful pasta salads, including your favorite macaroni salad recipes, are fitting side dishes for your favorite grilled entrées. But many of them can also star as main dishes for an easy summer dinner.
Picnic-Perfect Tuna-and-Macaroni Salad
This colorful macaroni salad with tuna features grated carrot, chopped celery and red onion, all tossed in a creamy mayonnaise-yogurt
dressing. Serve it chilled as a side salad or a main dish.
Green Bean Pasta Salad with Lemon-Thyme Vinaigrette
This pasta side dish Is made with casarecce [cah-sah-RECH-ee], a pasta that looks similar to a scroll with the long sides
curled inward toward the center. If you can’t find casarecce, you can use penne pasta.
Add bright flavor and a punch of color to the traditional pasta salad by using a simple homemade pesto. Mix the pesto ingredients
in a food processor for a quick side, which only calls for three other ingredients.
Instead of a mayonnaise-based dressing, this fruited pasta salad has a citrus-mustard vinaigrette. Chopped celery and toasted
walnuts add crunch, and red grapes contribute just the right amount of sweetness.
Fresh green beans and roasted red peppers are the stars of this satisfying pasta salad. Because it has shredded chicken, it's
certainly hearty enough for a quick weeknight meal and takes about 35 minutes to make.
Feature your favorite Greek flavors in this easy pasta salad: feta cheese, cucumbers, and Kalamata olives. The dressing of
lemon juice, olive oil, and oregano further bring out the salad's Grecian nature, and fresh tuna makes it worthy of serving
on Mount Olympus.
Macaroni Salad with Bacon, Peas, and Creamy Dijon Dressing
It's hard to say what makes this salad so spectacular–it's either crisp bacon crumbles or the creamy dressing that's made
with cream cheese, mayonnaise, and sour cream. This will be quite a crowd pleaser at your next picnic.
A traditional pesto is made with pine nuts and basil, but this version features the more intense flavors of walnuts and fresh
sage. The warm pasta is tossed with the pesto, roasted butternut squash, and arugula for a satisfying salad that can fill
in as a main dish.
A colorful medley of chopped fresh veggies gives this creamy pasta salad both color and flavor. For a shortcut, you can use
rotisserie chicken instead of simmering fresh chicken breasts. Or, stir in leftover grilled chicken.
Spinach, Tomato, and Fresh Mozzarella Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing
Dressed with a simple vinaigrette made from fresh herbs and a good quality extra-virgin olive oil, this pasta salad is as
delicious as it is easy to prepare. The homemade Italian dressing will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days, so consider
doubling the recipe to keep some on hand.