Are you looking for the best side to pair with grilled food? It’s hot out, and you want a refreshing cold dish. MOMables never runs out of great ideas for any occasion! Whether it be for a kid’s lunch or to bring to a BBQ.
During the summer months, I try to have a cold salad dish made up and in the refrigerator at all times. Some of my personal favorites are coleslaw, potato, caprese, berry, seafood or pasta salads. Something about these types of sides just screams summertime to me.
For one, they complement grilled food very well. In the summertime, we grill out quite frequently at our house. Sometimes just the thought of turning on the oven when it is 90 degrees out seems unfathomable. So instead we opt to grill out on our deck, while we watch our boys play in the backyard. We’ll come inside and dish up everyone’s plates. That is when having a cold salad all ready to go in the fridge comes in quite handy! A cold salad balances the hot food that has just come off a hot grill.
Not only that, most of these types of sides are quick and easy to prepare, require either minimal or no cooking at all, and they are also a great way to enjoy all of the wonderful produce that is in season.
The summer pasta salad I’m sharing with you today is the epitome of all I just described above. It’s a light side, but also filling and chock-full of fresh summertime veggies such as; carrots, peas, cucumbers, tomatoes, red peppers & celery. You can totally make this salad your own and add whatever mix-in’s suit your family’s palates.
There were many times last summer where I would whip this salad up and have it for lunch for several days. You could do the same for your child’s lunch as well- it is a very versatile recipe!
So, do you have a summer BBQ coming up? Make this pasta salad and you’re sure to have at least 5 requests for the recipe!
What are some of your favorite summertime sides?
Summer Pasta Salad
- Yield: Family Sized- Serves 6
- Cuisine: Lunch
- 1 package (1lb) macaroni or shells
- 1 ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 Tablespoons mustard
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
- Ground black pepper (to taste)
- 1 cup diced ham
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
- ⅔ cup frozen peas, thawed
- 2–3 carrots, shredded
- Cucumber, peeled and diced
- Dill pickles, chopped
- Tomato, diced
- Red bell pepper, diced
- Celery, chopped
- Prepare macaroni to al dente according to package directions. After macaroni is cooked, drain and rinse in cold water.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine Greek yogurt, mustard, sour cream, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper.
- In a large bowl toss macaroni with ham, cheese, peas, carrots, and other mix-ins.
- Fold in mayonnaise mixture until pasta is well coated.
- Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit overnight.
- If the salad seems a little dry after setting up overnight, add some milk a little bit at a time until salad becomes nice and creamy again.