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20 Reasons to Fall Back in Love with Pasta Salad

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You sit in one of two camps when it comes to pasta salad:

  1. It is the precursor to grain salads: a portable, good-at-room-temp lunch and picnic essential. Where would we be without it?
  2. It is to the picnic spread what Brie is to the cheese plate: Everyone likes it—at least good versions of it—all the while aware that its glimmer shined brighter at another time, that time being the 80s.
How to Make Any Grain Salad in 4 Steps

How to Make Any Grain Salad in 4 Steps by Emily Horton

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How to Make Baked Brie Without a Recipe by Hillary Pollak

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For those of you in Camp 2, the 20 salads to come are much more interesting than the mushy tri-colored stuff you’re thinking of: These have flair, from thoughtful dressings and cool pasta shapes to add-ins that suit.

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The pasta mushiness? That is up to you.

Pea and Orecchiette Spring Salad with Perlini and Mint

Pea and Orecchiette Spring Salad with Perlini and Mint by Kat Suletzki

Lemon-Dill Orzo Pasta Salad with Cucumbers, Olives, and Feta

Lemon-Dill Orzo Pasta Salad with Cucumbers, Olives, and F... by Sarah Fioritto

Sesame Noodle Salad with Seared Mushroom "Scallops"
Sesame Noodle Salad with Seared Mushroom "Scallops"
Spicy Grilled Chicken Salad with Noodles

Spicy Grilled Chicken Salad with Noodles by Merrill Stubbs

Hot Smoked Salmon, Soba and Asian Greens Salad

Hot Smoked Salmon, Soba and Asian Greens Salad by cheese1227

Kimchi, Shrimp, and Soba Salad
Kimchi, Shrimp, and Soba Salad
Summer Vegetable and Glass Noodle Salad

Summer Vegetable and Glass Noodle Salad by CarolineWright

Peanut Soba Noodle Salad

Peanut Soba Noodle Salad by Nicki

Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad
Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad
Miso Peanut Pasta Salad

Miso Peanut Pasta Salad by mrslarkin

Citrus Ginger Tofu Salad with Buckwheat Soba Noodles

Citrus Ginger Tofu Salad with Buckwheat Soba Noodles by Poppies and Papayas

Rice Noodle Salad with Spring Vegetables and Tahini-Lime Dressing
Rice Noodle Salad with Spring Vegetables and Tahini-Lime Dressing
Summer Cold Noodle Salad

Summer Cold Noodle Salad by Kendra Vaculin

Cold Vegetable and Noodle Salad with Ponzu Dressing

Cold Vegetable and Noodle Salad with Ponzu Dressing by Sarah Jampel

Couscous, Fennel, Mint, and Roasted Lemon Salad
Couscous, Fennel, Mint, and Roasted Lemon Salad
Couscous Salad with Zucchini, Lemon and Ricotta Salata

Couscous Salad with Zucchini, Lemon and Ricotta Salata by Amanda Hesser

Herbed Tuna and Israeli Couscous Salad with Cumin, Coriander and Citrus

Herbed Tuna and Israeli Couscous Salad with Cumin, Corian... by gingerroot

Carrot Chickpea Couscous Salad
Carrot Chickpea Couscous Salad
Radish Cous Cous

Radish Cous Cous by Cristina Sciarra

Orzo Salad with Scallions, Hazelnuts, and Golden Raisins

Orzo Salad with Scallions, Hazelnuts, and Golden Raisins by Cristina Sciarra

Tell us about a pasta salad you love passionately and unabashedly in the comments below.


Tags: pasta salad