Pasta Salad

5 Links to Read Before Making Pasta Salad

June 18, 2014

Each week, we’ll be sharing a comprehensive list of links to help you master something new in the kitchen. Culinary greatness, here you come.

Today: Perfect pasta salads for picnics and potlucks.

The return of warm weather and sunshine means a significant increase in outdoor meals and human contact. That first picnic in the park or potluck on your friend's deck is equal parts exciting and terrifying. After months of eating soup in your pajamas while streaming Twin Peaks on Netflix, you're now tasked with whipping up a delicious dish to satisfy a group of hungry pals. Enter pasta salad. When done right (read: without mayo), it's light yet filling and strikes the perfect balance of flavors and textures. These links will show you how to do just that.

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Pasta PuttanescaLemon-Dill Orzo
How to Make Pasta Salad Without a RecipeSummer Pasta alla Caprese

  • The pasta salad manifesto. (Slate.)
  • Make pasta salad on the fly -- no recipe required. (Food52.)
  • Avoid these common pasta salad mistakes and you'll be all set. (Bon Appétit.)
  • How to help your pasta salad "dress for success." (NPR.)
  • 7 tips and tricks to elevate pasta salad. (The Kitchn.)

Pasta pros -- share your secrets in the comments!  

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Kari2011
  • Catherine Lamb
    Catherine Lamb
  • Lauren Kodiak
    Lauren Kodiak
  • Kenzi Wilbur
    Kenzi Wilbur
The grocery store is my happy place.


Kari2011 June 21, 2014
Nice group of articles. I love the advice to cook or blanche the veggies as they do add more flavor that way. America's Test Kitchen has a fantastic antipasto pasta salad that uses a few techniques not mentioned in the articles above. First, after the pasta is cooked, you mix the warm pasta with half of the vinaigrette and chill in the refrigerator for 30 mins. It also has you cook the mushrooms in the other half of the vinaigrette. These steps increase the flavor all around. The recipe is a favorite at neighborhood potlucks and picnics.
Catherine L. June 18, 2014
How did you know I watched all of Twin Peaks in my pajamas while eating soup this winter...
Lauren K. June 18, 2014
I'm so glad I wasn't the only one :)
Kenzi W. June 19, 2014
I'm going to go ahead and join this group right now...
Lauren K. June 23, 2014