45 Pasta Recipes to Bring to Every Picnic and Potluck This Summer – Yahoo Lifestyle

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How do we love thee, pasta salad? Let us count the ways. No backyard party or barbecue is complete without pasta salad. No, not the macaroni with specks of cabbage and carrot, held together by globs of mayonnaise. We’re talking about the good stuff. Here are 45 summer pasta recipes to bring to every picnic and potluck.

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If there’s one thing everyone can agree on, it’s that macaroni and cheese is heavenly. This one even more so, thanks to pickled jalapeños and avocado, not to mention a ton of white cheddar. It’s great as a burger side, but even better on the burger.

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Take this lunchbox gem up a notch for a crowd. It has sour cream, yellow mustard and honey, and a lot to crunch about with a whole head of lettuce and sliced green onion. At only $1.50 per serving, it’s a no-brainer.

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Who said *real* pasta should have all the fun? Cucumber noodles are so refreshing on a hot day and a breeze to make with a spiralizer or peeler. And the sesame-soy tahini dressing is one for the books.

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From salami to ricotta to artichoke hearts, this salad has it all. Have it with barbecue brisket or grilled veggies. The mustard vinaigrette works wonders on mixed greens, too.

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We love both fruit and crunchy bits in our salad, so this is a win-win. Salty Parmesan cheese will pop on the tongue alongside sweet grapes and apples. Even the kids will dig the lemon-mustard dressing.

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Looking for an app to grill? Skewer and cook spicy paprika shrimp, then add a citrus vinaigrette to bring the cabbage and corn to life. Substitute doughy noodles for spiralized jicama, which is like a cross between a pear and an apple.

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Rice-stick noodles offer a light alternative to pasta. Make one big batch topped with seasoned chicken, grated carrot, scallions and avocado. Peanut sauce and chopped cashews pull it all together, and we’re betting a drizzle of Sriracha and a lime wedge won’t hurt either.

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The simplest sandwich on earth just ditched white bread for your cutest serving bowl. This version is just as crunchy and creamy as its predecessor (props to mayo and Dijon mustard), plus has a ton of black-pepper bacon. It also leaves you with room to try everything else at the potluck, which is a big plus in our book.

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Meet the prettiest centerpiece of the season. Wow guests with this one-pan prize complete with charred corn fresh off the cob and a creamy ball of burrata. No one will believe it took an hour to make.

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Cute curls of cavatappi just got a Southwest-inspired makeover. Corn, jalapeño and homemade lime-cilantro dressing make this a party favorite that pairs with everything from grilled chicken to ribs.

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Picky kids beware: This salad just might get you to like vegetables. Well, one vegetable. And it’s surrounded by crispy bacon, penne and buttery bread crumbs. Try turning your nose up at that, little ones.

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It never hurts to squeeze some veggies in between all those burgers and hot dogs. This soba-noodle starter is loaded with red bell peppers, cabbage, carrots, radishes and scallions. But the main attraction here is without a doubt the peanut butter sauce spiked with citrus, honey and soy sauce.

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This is the picnic side everyone silently waits by the table for. It’s got all the butter, cheddar, Parmesan and breadcrumbs you could want in a macaroni dish, plus a whole head of cauliflower florets. That makes this count as a vegetable, right?

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Have low-carb eaters in your crew? No prob. This dish uses tofu noodles instead of pasta. Wilted kale tossed in garlic and olive oil checks your greens box for the day, so treat yourself to an extra slice of that lemon pie with blueberry meringue. Serve this hot or cold with lots of grated Parmesan.

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This homemade basil-pine nut sauce tastes great on pretty much everything. Sauté zucchini noodles with onion and top ‘em with Parmesan curls and red-pepper flakes. We’d make a backup batch for a rainy day, but it’s your call.

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This classic combo of summer produce never gets old. Especially mixed with cubes of sharp cheddar, fresh basil and lemon juice. Substitute salty Parmesan for milder Manchego or add jalapeños for heat.

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This dish is impressive enough for a potluck yet simple enough for your schedule. What’s not to like about garlic, lemon and heavy cream over pasta? Present it warm or cold next to a dish of fresh mozzarella pearls.

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Stir-fry lovers, rejoice. This honey-soy marinade is about to change your life. Minced garlic, ginger and hot pepper add spice and heat to savory fish sauce and hoisin sauce, a Chinese condiment made from fermented soybean paste. Start this one the night before so the pork has enough time to marinate.

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There’s a lot to dig into here. Think salami, sun-dried tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, marinated artichoke hearts, pine nuts and Parmesan. Serve warm or cold.

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Hello, in-season produce. Zucchini, yellow squash, corn and more are tossed in garlic-lemon balsamic vinaigrette before being folded into fettucine. If you want something milder and less funky, substitute goat cheese for ricotta or burrata.

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We love a one-pan wonder. But we *adore* one that puts sweet, nutty summer squash front and center. Top the pan with foil and head straight for the party. The beers are waiting.

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Everyone’s favorite side at the party doesn’t come in a bowl. And it’s made with two types of cheese, lots of whole milk and butter. These minis are poppable, a hit with kids and a breeze to make. Save a few for yourself before going to the party; they keep for two days in the fridge.

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The best thing about tiny tubular pasta is that it’s easy to eat by the heaping spoonful. Yes, even if it’s heavy on the veggies (we see you, green beans and spinach). This one is extra painless because you probably have most of the the ingredients in your kitchen right now. A sprinkle of parm + a squeeze of lemon = ta-da.

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The gang’s all here: cherry tomatoes, fresh mozz, Kalamata olives, salami and pepperoncini. Add a garlicky herb dressing and you’re in business. (Out of salami? Try swapping it for Italian sausage.)

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Tri-color rotini just screams summertime. Personalize a pot with your favorite antipasto ingredients, like olives, prosciutto, roasted red peppers and artichoke hearts. Finish it off with an easy herb vinaigrette, kick up your feet and join the party.

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If you signed up to bring an app but want to stay far away from the stove, this recipe has your back. Zucchini noodles and pink radishes make for a pretty plate on their own, but a coating of lemon-mustard dressing takes it over the top.

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Combine farfalle, diced chicken breast, veggies and homemade yogurt-Caesar dressing for an easy win both kids and adults will devour. Bonus points if you make your own croutons.

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Calling all Greek salad-diehards. Kalamata olives, crumbled feta and English cucumber should hold your attention. If not, how about the lemon-herb vinaigrette made with honey, garlic and oregano? That’s better.

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Fetch the julienne peeler, y’all. We have veggie noodles to make. Blistered tomatoes offer tiny bursts of sweetness, while the lemon-arugula pesto is equal parts peppery and bright. If you can’t find kelp noodles or prefer regular pasta, substitute it with angel hair. Rice noodles work too.

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No one’s expecting to see peanut noodles at a barbecue, so we’ll call this dish a pleasant surprise. Boil some buckwheat noodles, add snap peas, then toss in a spicy peanut sauce made with peanut butter, sesame oil, soy sauce, lime juice, ginger, garlic and agave. Top with cilantro, scallions and sesame seeds for a cheffy finishing touch.

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Ooo, so salty and savory. Sure, the grated Parmesan and Pecorino Romano probably has a lot to do with it. But the real secret ingredients are pancetta and egg.

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Oh, you fancy, huh? This dish has the right amount of wow factor for an intimate shindig or celebratory girls’ night. Brown these pretties in butter and olive oil , then add your favorite pesto to hot pasta and plate. (Brave enough to make your own?)

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Yup, we invited red sauce to the picnic. You only need six ingredients to pull it off, including feta, marinated artichokes and olives. Oh, and consider the sundried tomato dressing your secret weapon for every potluck you ever go to.

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Canned tuna is the versatile queen every pantry needs. Two cans of the stuff might not look like much, but they transform into a snapshot-worthy side dish when combined with cherry tomatoes, herbs and bowties.

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Fusilli looks good on this cult-favorite dip. It’s as creamy as it sounds thanks to a seasoned Greek yogurt mixture with mayo, Italian seasoning, garlic and lemon. You might want to reserve a bowl for yourself; it’s going to disappear fast.

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All the deliciousness of elote minus the corn cob stuck in your teeth. Season and grill the corn until charred, then make the cashew-lime cilantro pesto. Top it off with goat cheese and jalapeños. We won’t stop you from treating yourself to a dollop of sour cream or crema, either.

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Never used this spice before? You can thank us later. It’s herbaceous, it’s toasty, it’s a spice we all deserve. But admit it, we had you at tortellini.

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We love this fluffy rice-shaped pasta. It somehow seems sophisticated even though it’s just as easy to make as elbows or penne. Substitute grilling for roasting for an extra dose of summer.

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Linguini goes east in this dish showcasing a ginger-brown sugar dressing made with soy sauce, sesame oil and garlic. Cabbage, pepper, carrot, pea pods, cucumber and more crudités make it a crunch-lover’s dream.

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Fruit and salad are a collab we never grow tired of. Tomatoes take a backseat in this caprese remix to another red beauty, while basil pairs up with fresh mint. And introducing the pièce de résistance, a sweet honey-balsamic vinaigrette.

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Shrimp and farfalle glistening with honey-Dijon dressing? Scampi could never. The fresh dill is a game changer, adding grassy freshness and a pop of green to the bowl.

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Want to make modifications? Swap goat cheese for feta or pickled onions for raw. And if you have gluten-free guests, try chickpea pasta instead of whole wheat.

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Sometimes less is more, and this recipe is proof. Odds are you don’t even have to go to the grocery store to make it. Linguine or spaghetti work best, but if your heart (or your pantry) says rigatoni, we’re here for it.

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You’re only 15 minutes away from this stunner. Peas and spinach bring freshness to salty Parmesan and crunchy chopped almonds. Speaking of Parm, when we say, “plus extra for finishing,” we mean it.

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The red wine vinaigrette is the star of this dish, rounded out with sweet honey and zesty Dijon. (Be sure to dress it within an hour of the picnic so it doesn’t get soggy.)

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RELATED: 50 Vegetarian Pasta Recipes That Go Beyond Buttered Noodles

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