This summer pasta salad is perfect for your BBQ, picnic or summer parties!
With the summer heat in full swing, I am all about finding ways to put together meals that are easy to make, delicious and don’t heat up the whole kitchen (I have the Arizona heat for that!). One meal that we always enjoy during summer months is pasta salad. One of the things I love about pasta salad is that it is so flexible, you can really get creative with it, you can make it up ahead of time, it can be a side dish or a main dish and it’s perfect to bring to a summer bbq, 4th of July get together or pool party.
Pasta salads are one of those things that can be made to fit almost any taste, both kids and adults enjoy them. I love to fill my pasta salads with color, which is easy to do with lots of fresh veggies such as broccoli, carrots and tomatoes, and sometimes I’ll throw in peppers and even fresh roasted corn.
I also like to add chicken or turkey to a pasta salad, turning into a meal. Sometimes I’ll use leftover grilled chicken, other times I’ll use deli chicken or turkey. Have to love an all in one meal.
We are all olive lovers in my house, so those are a must in our pasta salads. My girls are both big cheese eaters, so two kinds of cheese are the way to go. I even whip up some Italian dressing with a GOOD SEASONS Dressing Mix. It seriously takes all of about a minute to make, you simply add water, oil and vinegar, and you have fresh dressing.
Truly one of my favorite and easy summer meals. I especially love that I can make it in the morning and stick it in the fridge, ready to pull out and serve when we are ready to eat.
I even have a fun way to bring these to summer cookouts and bar-b-ques. I fill individual cups with pasta salad, close with a lid on top and then place into a cooler filled with ice.
Enjoy this easy meal on a warm summer night!
Summer Time Pasta Salad Recipe
- 2 cups pasta such as rotini, fusilli, penne or farfalle, uncooked
- 2 cups fresh broccoli florets
- 6 oz . chopped cooked chicken or turkey breast (approximately two small chicken breasts)
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes or 1 large tomato cut into chunks
- 1 cup chopped or grated carrots
- 1/2 cup prepared GOOD SEASONS Italian Dressing Mix
- 4 oz . KRAFT Cheddar Cheese Cubes
- 1/4 cup sliced black olives
- 1/4 cup KRAFT Shredded Italian* Five Cheese Blend
- leaves Optional: A few of fresh herbs such as basil for garnish
- COOK pasta as directed on package, adding broccoli to the cooking water for the last 2 min. of the pasta cooking time; drain and rinse with cold water.
- TOSS chicken, tomatoes, carrots, dressing, cheddar cheese and olives in large bowl. Add pasta mixture; mix lightly.
- SPRINKLE with Shredded Italian cheese.
- If not serving immediately, store in refrigerator. Enjoy this easy meal on a warm summer night!
Looking for something a little different? Barefeet In The Kitchen has a great Creamy Pasta Salad recipe.
She also has a great Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad recipe.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Kraft. All opinions however are mine and mine alone.
Originally published June 2014