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22 Picnic-Perfect Pasta Salads

BLT Pasta Salad image

Gather 'round... it's picnic season! The best side dish for any picnic? A zippy, tangy, and refreshing pasta salad! Pasta salads are the perfect classic side dish that everyone loves. The best part? They are super customizable! From Italian flavors to cowboy zest, from summer corn to cheesy feta — the flavor options are endless for pasta salads. Pull up a chair and get creative with these 22 Picnic-Perfect Pasta Salads.

1. Light-Hearted Pesto Salad

Light Hearted Pesto Salad

No reason to get too heavy this Valentine's Day! You can keep things as light and breezy as the first heady days of romance with this Light-Hearted Pesto Salad on the table! Dressed in a homemade kale pesto with all the herbaceous flavor you could ever hope for, the tender, cool pasta and vibrant tomatoes are ready to impress your date from the very first bite! Creamy, melt-in-your-mouth mozzarella helps Light-Hearted Pesto Salad stay enchantingly upbeat! Despair shrinks away from this lovely, light dish!

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2. BLT Pasta Salad

BLT Pasta Salad image

BLT Pasta Salad is the prime choice when you'd prefer to switch out your carbs, say, a bun for some pasta. Bouncy fusilli spirals, sweet cherry tomatoes, crunchy romaine lettuce, healthy baby spinach, and salty chopped bacon are tossed together with a creamy, garlicky, dilly dressing. You can serve it as-is or chilled; either way, tasty BLT Pasta Salad will make you forget there are other options out there!

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3. Delicious Pasta Salad

Delicious Pasta Salad

It may be one of the smallest in the pasta family, but orzo brings so much to the table. Delicious Pasta Salad welcomes orzo as its main attraction and it's such a great choice! When added to flavorful garbanzo beans, spicy red onion, fresh spinach, juicy diced tomatoes, and its perfect match of sharp feta cheese. It's orzo's time to shine! The zesty dressing doesn't hurt either! Delicious Pasta Salad is an awesome salad to keep on hand for any occasion and meal. Small, but mighty and oh, so delicious!

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4. Pappi's Pasta Salad

Pappi’s Pasta Salad 3

Our sweet Pappi has always been a family man. He loves his kids more than anything in the world... and don't even get him started on his grandkids! He's also big on traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation and yummy foods that celebrate his Italian heritage. He was born to host, so it gives him great joy to have everyone over and keep the traditions alive while eating delicious foods, like his staple, Pappi's Pasta Salad. No matter if it's Christmas, a birthday, or just a regular Wednesday, if there are people visiting, there's going to be a big bowl waiting on the table full of his bouncy pasta salad mixed with the best salami on the market. He mixes in fresh veggies and herbs, along with some creamy cheeses, for the perfect combo. Oh, and nothing can ever beat the tangy Italian dressing he uses for the burst of flavor in every bite. Having Pappi's Pasta Salad every chance we get is the tastiest tradition... one we plan to continue for years and years!

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5. Bacon Broccoli Pasta Salad

Bacon Broccoli Salad 1

Nothing says "potluck" like a good pasta salad! This Bacon Broccoli Pasta Salad will be the most requested side dish on the checkered-tablecloth circuit all year long! Al dente rotini pasta loaded with crisp broccoli, cubed cheddar cheese, roasted sunflower seeds, crumbled bacon, all topped with a bacon-infused, tangy, sweet vinaigrette dressing... well, it may just become the anthem at all the barbecues, birthday parties, Fourth of July celebrations, graduation parties, and so on! Let this Bacon Broccoli Pasta Salad carry you all summer (or any season) long and you're sure to be the belle of every ball! Happy eating everyone!

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6. Lemon Pasta Salad

Lemon Pasta Salad

Lemon Pasta Salad sparkles and shines compared to other pasta salads, and that's no lie! Instead of mayo, this dish uses a bright, zesty lemon dressing that leaves quite a tangy sensation on the tongue. But don't worry, the pasta in this Lemon Pasta Salad is just as tender as ever, accented with the crunch of pine nuts and the sharp goodness of parmesan. This is a pasta salad that will definitely outshine its competitors!

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7. Momma's Tortellini Pasta Salad

Momma's Tortellini Pasta Salad

Mom knows how to wow at potlucks, cookouts, and summer dinner parties with ease. All she has to do is make Momma's Tortellini Pasta Salad and the gratitude from her friends and guests just starts rolling in! Tender, cheese-filled tortellini in a dressing that's equal parts sweet, tangy, bright, and smooth, with plenty of creamy mozzarella cheese, savory salami, and spicy peppers to really keep things exciting! Momma's Tortellini Pasta Salad will make all other pasta salads seem not quite as dynamic in comparison.

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8. Summer Pasta Slaw

Summer Coleslaw Salad

Summer is not complete without a couple bowls of coleslaw and pasta salad. Or a few... or 12. Well, this Summer Pasta Slaw is so good even 12 bowls of the stuff might not be enough. We combined two beloved summer salad sides into one, and it will blow your mind! Tender macaroni, crunchy coleslaw mix, crisp apples, and juicy cucumbers make up the refreshing and cool side salad, but the heart-and-soul of the dish is obviously the dressing. That dressing is creamy, tangy, sweet, and a perfect way to bring out the most of the fresh flavors. Summer Pasta Slaw is the perfect way to beat the heat!

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9. Dude Ranch Pasta

DudeRanchPasta-6

This one's for the bros! We know what a "dude ranch" is, but the fact that Dude Ranch Pasta has actual creamy ranch dressing mixed in with some tender rotini pasta and fresh, crispy veggies felt like a good time for a fun play on words! So, if you have the boys over, or honestly, anyone else, this super easy pasta salad is a great addition to whatever you're serving! Whether it's game day, game night, or anything in between, this Dude Ranch Pasta will bring the tang and the deliciousness... all the boys (and girls) will love it!

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10. Citrus Pasta Salad

Citrus Pasta Salad 1

Want to freshen up your next picnic? Try this Citrus Pasta Salad for that pick-me-up you didn't know your picnic needed! This tender pasta is scored with all the fresh lemon vinaigrette you can imagine, seasoned so herb-perfectly, and tossed along with some plump peas and juicy tomatoes. Every bite is like a burst of summer for your mouth! Citrus Pasta Salad is sure to become your favorite summertime re-run and will be requested time and again. Why not get fresh today?

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11. Taco Pasta Salad

Taco Pasta Salad

Backyard cookout meets Taco Tuesday! At last! Taco Pasta Salad is the traditional chilled, tender pasta treat with a zesty twist or two: savory and spicy taco meat for protein, vibrant salsa and creamy ranch as a dressing, and bits of cheesy tortilla chips for a Tex-Mex crunch! This a great way to get that taste of summertime even when the weather turns chilly, especially when you bite into the bright vegetables mixed in! Taco Pasta Salad just makes sense, whatever the occasion!

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12. Caesar Pasta Salad

Caesar Pasta Salad

On the surface, it seems like such an obvious idea; combine pasta salad with perhaps the most popular salad in America. Sounds deliciously straightforward! This Caesar Pasta Salad brings the body and heartiness of a pasta salad to a crisp bed of lettuce, which in turn serves up a colossal amount of flavor. You've got the savory grilled chicken, the crunchy croutons, the sharp parmesan, and that classic homemade, creamy, zesty dressing. Can you imagine a better pasta salad than Caesar Pasta Salad? It would be hard to do!

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13. Bruschetta Pasta Salad

Bruschetta Pasta Salad

Classic Italian appetizer meets classic American cookout side! Bruschetta Pasta Salad has the rich tomato, herbaceous flavors, and sharp parmesan of its namesake app, with a little tang from balsamic vinegar to help bring out the bold flavors. Instead of crunchy bread, tender pasta helps carry those tastes to your eager tastebuds! This Bruschetta Pasta Salad adds a little more refreshment to the summer barbeque menu!

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14. Seaside Tuna Pasta Salad

Seaside Tuna Pasta Salad 1

If you find yourself down by the seashore, or you're just dreaming you're there, Seaside Tuna Pasta Salad is a hearty, cool, and refreshing addition to your tropical feast! A delicious compliment to pretty much any meal, the tender pasta shells, hearty tuna, crunchy veggies, and creamy dressing tossed together will certainly enhance your tasty beachfront experience. Grab your flip flops and a fork; this Seaside Tuna Pasta Salad will have you beach-bound for some fun in the sun!

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15. Cowboy Pasta Salad

Cowboy Pasta Salad

After a long day on dusty trails, it'd be nice to have a side dish that both quenches your parched throat and leaves your belly full, wouldn't it? Cowboy Pasta Salad reckons it could be that dish, and it has the party-rustlin' skills to prove it; everyone will be herded to the table to have a scoop or two! Tender pasta and juicy ground beef form a posse with spicy jalapenos, sweet cherry tomatoes, fatty bacon crumbles, and herbaceous cilantro. The Cowboy Pasta Salad may not have a Stetson, but it dons a creamy, tangy dressing with plenty of smoky Southwest energy that befits the name. Yee-haw, but if this isn't the tastiest, easiest, and quickest pasta salad on either side of the Mississippi!

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16. Deviled Egg Pasta Salad

Deviled Egg Pasta Salad

One deviled egg is never enough. One serving of Deviled Egg Pasta Salad? Well, that's like a few deviled eggs in each bite. Sounds like a pretty satisfying solution! This fork-eaten-phenomenon keeps everything you love about the classic—the creaminess, tanginess, and the hard-boiled eggs, of course—and combines it with some bouncy, smooth macaroni pasta and a dressing that is responsible for said creaminess and tang. Mix it all together and you have the perfect dish for any occasion! Deviled Egg Pasta Salad is the future of fantastic, flavorful potluck favorites!

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17. Summer Corn Pasta Salad

Summer Corn Pasta Salad image

This Summer Corn Pasta salad just screams summertime! This dish is a delicious mixture of al dente rotini pasta, herby oregano, crunchy corn kernels, hearty black beans, fresh onion, and more. All of these refreshing ingredients make for a pasta that is cooling, scrumptious, and perfect for hot weather! Summer Corn Pasta Salad is savory and full of a wide assortment of wonderful flavors.

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18. Summer Orzo Pasta Salad

Summer Orzo Pasta Salad image

Summer Orzo Pasta Salad is a great addition to any summer get together, or it can be stored to enjoy for the week! It's a delicious mixture of orzo pasta, fresh cucumber, bold feta cheese, juicy cherry tomatoes, and more. To bring it all together, it is topped with a tangy red wine vinaigrette dressing. Summer Orzo Pasta Salad can be served as a main dish or a side dish, and it is truly refreshing and tasty!

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19. Mandarin Pasta Salad

Mandarin Pasta Salad image

If you're serving up teriyaki at your next barbecue, you'll need a side with flavors that will pair well with that distinct, Asian-inspired flavor... and not just pair with it, but bring out the best of it! Mandarin Pasta Salad replaces the traditional mayo with a sweet, tart, fragrant mandarin dressing that coats every bite of the bouncy rotini pasta. In fact, Mandarin Pasta Salad brings the whole stir-fry experience with crisp bell peppers and savory chicken cubes, with a topping of juicy oranges and crunchy almonds to bring new energy to the picnic favorite. On second thought, you don't need teriyaki to enjoy this new take on pasta salad; it goes just as well with regular burgers and sausages since it's just that good.

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20. Hammy Pasta Salad

Hammy Pasta Salad image

We've all been there: taken a bite of the pasta salad at a cookout or pool party and thought, "This is good, but it could use a little more meat on its bones." Well, here comes the meat to make some magic happen! Hammy Pasta Salad brings creamy, tender pasta with the crunch of red onion and bursts of bright green peas, but now with added bites of savory ham mixed throughout. "Now this is where the action is," you'll think as you taste Hammy Pasta Salad for the first time!

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21. Dilly Pasta Salad

Dilly Pasta Salad image

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickles (no peppers) so that he could make some Dilly Pasta Salad! Every pickle-lover will be filled with sour excitement as they indulge in this bouncy pasta mixed with sharp cheddar cheese, sweet white and green onions, and all the pickle-y flavors of dill pickles, dill pickle juice, and fresh dill seasoning. If that wasn't enough tingly taste, it's tossed together in a creamy dill salad dressing. So, if you need to get your pickle fix, Dilly Pasta Salad is your dish!

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22. Creamy Strawberry Pasta Salad

Creamy Strawberry Pasta Salad image

We've heard about all sorts of different pasta salads over the years, but a pasta salad with fruit? That seems a bridge too far. And yet once you try Creamy Strawberry Pasta Salad, you'll wonder why no one has tried it before! The brightness and sweetness of the strawberries add bursts of sunshine to each bite, highlighted by the sharpness of the feta cheese and the crunch of the almonds. The tender bed of pasta is saturated with a creamy, tangy, and sweet dressing with hints of nuttiness, elevating everything it touches to new heights. In under half an hour, and without making you break a sweat, Creamy Strawberry Pasta Salad shines and shimmers. Grab a fork!

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