There’s something about the heat of summer and cold summer salads that just go together. Am I right?
Pasta salads are the quintessential addition to all my summer gatherings and talk about total crowd pleasers! What’s best about pasta salads and summer salads is you can make them ahead of time (depending on ingredients) and eat them throughout the week. They’re great for quick and easy weeknight dinners, family picnics or quick take-to-work lunches. I find that making two to three varieties at the start of the week is easiest, as you can pull them from the fridge as needed. Total WIN!
Even prepare salads in single-serving mason jars with the dressing on the bottom and shake it up when you’re ready to eat. Lunch on the go!
Here are some of my go-to pasta salad recipes:
My favorite part about this Greek Tortellini Salad is the dressing, and the fact that it is so customizable. Feel free to swap out those Kalamata Olives! I make the dressing in a mason jar and add dressing throughout the week as needed. I often pair this one with this recipe for Greek Turkey Burgers, which are very delicious with homemade (and healthy!!) yogurt sauce.
All your favorites in an Italian sub mixed up with cheesy and delicious tortellini – what’s not to love there? This recipe is so simple but the flavors are complex enough to have it stand alone as a meal.
My favorite part about this salad is the kick of ranch and BBQ sauce as the dressing. Plus….bacon.
Sweet childhood memories of eating macaroni salad all summer long pop up in my head as I read this recipe. The added combination of sugar and vinegar to the mayo make this dressing sweet and less heavy than the traditional dressing combination. Plate this next to a burger topped with yellow American cheese and you just can’t go wrong.
Swapping out pasta for quinoa [keen-wah] is a great way to trick your guests into eating something healthy that still packs all the same flavor. Quinoa is naturally gluten free, contains fiber and is a complete protein. Both these varieties below are completely customizable for your pasta salad tastes and extremely flavorful.
Totally Easy Summer Salads
What could possibly be bad about anything that contains toasted Ramen? This summer salad recipe is literally so easy. Mix everything up in a bowl and serve. Tons of flavor, and you don’t even have to slurp the Ramen!
When something contains bacon and cheddar cheese, it doesn’t really need an explanation or an introduction.
If you’re like me and you LOVE the health benefits of Kale, but don’t always like the taste – give this salad a try. It’s loaded with two healthy greens (kale & brussel sprouts) and packed with the flavors of parmesan cheese and toasted almonds…yum. The best part? Kale salads tend to get better with age as the flavors marry together and the kale softens a little. So feel free to make this guy ahead of time, or enjoy for days J
Give any of these delicious summer salads a try at your next summer gathering (or to stock your fridge!!) and you won’t be disappointed.