Pasta salads are a great way to switch up your summertime dinners.
They are refreshing, flavorful, and always a hit with the family.
But if you are wondering what to serve with pasta salad, then you have come to the right place.
I’ve rounded up 15 of the best side dishes for pasta salad so that you can make sure your meal is complete.
From green salads and grilled vegetables to breads and dips, there is sure to be something on this list that your family will love.
So go ahead and give one (or more!) of these sides a try next time you make pasta salad!
Read Also: What Vegetables Go in Pasta Salad? (15 Best Veggies)
Why Consider Serving Sides with Pasta Salad?
- Variety: Serving sides with pasta salad adds variety to the meal, allowing guests to choose from a range of flavors and textures. This can be especially helpful if you are serving a large group of people who have different dietary needs or preferences.
- Balance: Sides can help balance out the dish by adding complementary flavors and ingredients that will enhance the overall flavor profile of the pasta salad. For example, adding roasted vegetables like bell peppers or zucchini will add sweetness and crunch, while grilled chicken or shrimp will provide protein and heartiness to round out the dish.
- Presentation: Serving sides with pasta salad also makes for an attractive presentation on your table or buffet line, as it allows you to create colorful platters full of delicious food that everyone can enjoy!
What To Serve With Pasta Salad? 15 Best Side Dishes
Pasta salad can be a delicious and hearty meal, but it’s often best served with side dishes to round out the flavors.
Here are fifteen ideas for what to serve with pasta salad – from crunchy salads to cheesy baked goods – that will make your next dinner go off without a hitch:
1 – Roasted Veggies
When it comes to sides, you can’t go wrong with roasted veggies.
They’re a hearty and colorful addition to any meal, not mention add a delicious flavor too!
Load up your roasting tray with whatever looks good – peppers, squash, onions; the options are practically endless.
Toss them in olive oil and throw some salt and pepper into the mix for an extra punch of flavor.
Squeeze some lemon or lime juice over the top – it’s like a little taste of summertime sunshine in every bite!
Ready to get creative?
Try seasoning these healthy gems with garlic powder or fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme; they make excellent accompaniments that will surely have everyone coming back for seconds (or thirds!).
2 – Grilled Corn on the Cob
Corn-Corn-Cobble me this! What’s the perfect side to go with your summer BBQ?
The answer is Grilled Corn on the Cob!
It tantalizes with a sweetness that can’t be beat and its bright yellow color adds a bit of sunshine flare to any meal.
Plus, it’s easy to make – simply dip in some melted butter, sprinkle on some smoked paprika and garlic powder (optional), then cook up on the grill for a few minutes until golden perfection.
Let’s not forget about flavor variety too; feel free to switch out classic herbs like rosemary or basil for an extra zing of herby goodness.
Or better yet, slather it with vegan mayo and grated cheese for extra creaminess.
Who knew corn could taste so good?! 🌽 🤤
3 – Hamburgers
Hamburger buns, oh my! It’s time to bring the grill party inside your own kitchen.
Nothing says summer quite like burgers hot off the barbie, but let’s take it a step further by putting our spin on these classic beauties.
Let’s kick things up a notch with some freshly baked hamburger buns to pair with those burgers. Load ’em up with your favorite condiments and pickles for extra flavor and crunch.
It doesn’t get easier than that – in no time you’ll have delicious, juicy burgers that are sure to steal the show at any outdoor gathering or weekday meal.
Now that’s something everyone can agree on – nothing beats homemade!
4 – Grilled Tandoori Chicken with Indian-Style Rice
Say hello to star-studded side dishes, because when the temperature starts to rise, nothing beats a zesty and flavorful tandoori chicken mixed with savory Indian-style rice.
The combination of these two tasty ingredients brings you an unbeatable experience packed with flavor and that signature South Asian kick.
For the best result possible, make sure you slow cook your chicken for ultimate tenderness before grilling it on high heat to get that smoky char.
While the tandoori chicken is cooking away in its own juices, prepare some fluffy basmati or jasmine rice with just the right amount of spices and seasonings.
And don’t forget some fragrant herbs like mint leaves or cilantro!
This pairing will take your cooling summer drinks up a notch and leave everyone asking for more. 🍻
5 – Fluffy Garlic Butter Breadsticks
When it comes to sides, fluffy garlic butter-dipped breadsticks are where it’s at!
These tasty morsels have all the flavor of your favorite garlic bread, but they’re a light and airy treat that won’t weigh you down.
Plus, they have just enough crunch to satisfy even the pickiest eaters.
To make ’em extra special, slather each one with plenty of warm garlic butter before popping them in the oven. Don’t forget a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese for added yumminess!
Trust me when I say these babies will disappear faster than ice cream on a hot summer day – no one can resist their mouthwatering aroma and irresistible taste.
So if you want some unforgettable sides for your meals, don’t settle for anything less than these incredible treats – Fluffy Garlic Butter Breadsticks!.
6 – Caprese Skewers
These Caprese skewers are a delicious way to put a colorful twist on your summer salad.
Fresh tomatoes and mozzarella cheese with a drizzle of fragrant balsamic glaze – it’s all you need for the perfect side dish.
It takes less than 10 minutes to assemble, which means you can get right back to enjoying your summertime hangouts.
Plus, the presentation looks super festive, like little flags waving in the breeze (kinda like an Italian party!).
So why not give these Caprese skewers a go? You won’t be disappointed.
7 – Broccoli Slaw with Pecans and Cranberries
Take your summer BBQs to the next level with a side of broccoli slaw.
This light and crunchy dish is packed with flavor.
The combination of cool, crisp broccoli, crunchy pecans, and tart cranberries will leave your taste buds wanting more.
And don’t be fooled by its simple ingredients – the combo packs a punch!
A homemade honey mustard dressing adds zest to this powerhouse recipe without overwhelming other flavors in the mix.
And bonus points for being low-calorie yet satisfyingly filling!
Bursting with protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals; it’s as healthy as it is delicious!
Feed that family of yours some real sustenance without breaking the bank – they’ll thank you later!
8 – Roasted Red Potatoes
Forget about sad, unseasoned potatoes, ’cause roasted red potatoes are here to add some much needed flavor to your meal!
These hearty spuds have the perfect combination of crunchy and creamy that could keep even the pickiest eaters coming back for more.
You can switch up the seasonings depending on the dish you’re making, and they always pair perfectly with whatever you put on the plate.
The key to a successful batch of roasted red potatoes is all in how long you cook them – don’t overcook them or else they’ll turn into an unflavorful mush.
So pay attention while these babies are roasting away and watch as dinner becomes dinner theater in no time!
9 – Baked Beans with Bacon
If you’re lookin’ for a classic side dish that’ll take your tacos from ho-hum to hallelujah, then bacon baked beans should be your go-to.
These flavor bombs are made with a variety of spices and sauces, providing an explosion of taste in every bite.
But the real star is the bacon – it adds just enough smoky goodness to take this side to a whole new level.
And when served alongside those taco creations?
Let’s just say pure perfection!
So make sure you always keep them handy this summer season.
Plus, they can be prepared quickly without any fuss or muss, making them ideal for busy weeknights!
10 – Fresh Fruit Salad
Summer’s just around the corner, and that means it’s time to whip up some cool and refreshing fruit salad!
This bold yet simple dish is a must-have sidekick for your summertime meals.
Pairing sweet and juicy fruits with tangy citrus is the perfect way to hit those taste buds with deliciousness.
You’ll find yourself wanting more of this light and flavorful treat – even at breakfast, lunch or dinner! It’s like an explosion in your mouth.
Plus, unlike other sides, you don’t have to slave away in the kitchen; just toss ’em together for a quickie snack or lazy meal fix.
Fruit salads are always a family favorite no matter what mood everyone’s in—they can even bring Aunt Sue out from hiding (it works every time!).
11 – Garlic Bread
When it comes to sides, garlic bread is definitely the way to go!
This indulgent treat will give your meal an extra kick of flavor.
Whether you make it yourself or buy a pre-made loaf, this timeless classic never fails to please.
A generous sprinkling of fresh garlic and herbs gives that unmistakable garlicky aroma that’ll tantalize your senses and have the family clamoring for seconds (or thirds!).
For a truly adventurous experience, why not try adding some interesting flavors?
From prosciutto and basil to rosemary and Parmesan, there’s something for everyone!
Plus you won’t over stuff yourself like with most traditional sides.
A few pieces of garlic bread go a long way…mmm so delicious!
12 – Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Nobody can resist a hearty plate of mac ‘n’ cheese!
It’s one of those dishes that make your stomach growl just thinking about it.
But what do you serve alongside these cool, refreshing salads?
The answer is simple: ooey-gooey, cheesy baked macaroni and cheese!
Combine velvety cheddar cheese with elbow macaroni noodles, then bake until the top is golden brown and crunchy.
The contrast between the chilled vegetables and gooey cheesy goodness will be enough to leave tongues wagging at the dinner table – in a good way!
And don’t forget to add your own twist by throwing in some herbs or spices if ya feel like it.
So get ready for some serious flavor combos that’ll take all taste buds on an epic journey together.
13 – Stuffed Mushrooms
Mushrooms are the unsung heroes of the food world. Often overlooked, they don’t get nearly enough credit for the deliciousness they offer!
If you’re looking to add a side dish that’s sure to please your taste buds, then stuffed mushrooms are exactly what you need.
This simple yet flavorful dish comes bursting with cheesy goodness and makes a great accompaniment to any meal.
Stuff ’em with garlic, herbs, and all kinds of yummy fillings – whatever your heart desires!
Just remember that when it comes to cooking stuffed mushrooms, less is definitely more.
They cook quickly so no one wants an overdone mushy mess!
So keep a close eye on them as they roast in their bed of olive oil and spices.
Read Also: What to Serve with Stuffed Mushrooms: 33 Easy Side Dishes
14 – Pull-Apart Garlic Bread
Let’s be honest, garlic bread never really goes out of style.
The combination of crunchy toasted buns and perfectly seasoned garlic is the ultimate crowd pleaser, even among those with the pickiest palettes.
And it doesn’t get much better – or easier – than pull-apart garlic bread.
Start by slicing a loaf of French or Italian into thick slices, then grab your favorite butter or spread, mix in some diced garlic and dried herbs for extra flavor, then generously slather it between each slice.
Pop it into the oven and wait until all that garlicky goodness pops right up!
And if you’re feeling ambitious (or are trying to impress someone special), top it off with grated cheese before baking – they won’t be able to resist!
Now you have yourself a tasty side dish (and maybe even a meal!) that’ll leave your family smiling
15 – Pesto-Parmesan Baked Tomatoes
When it comes to sides, nothing pairs quite as well with the classics like flavorful baked tomatoes.
These succulent bites of goodness have the unique ability to elevate any meal and add some excitement in the kitchen.
So turn those ordinary tomatoes into something extraordinary by throwing them in a delicious mix of pesto and parmesan cheese – talk about flavor overload!
The sweet aroma will fill your home like a magical spell, captivating your taste buds along the way.
Best of all it’s incredibly easy, just pop ’em in an oven-safe dish and you’re good to go!
Once they’ve reached that golden brown perfection take ’em out and savor every juicy bite. 🍅
In conclusion, pasta salad is a delicious and versatile dish that can be served with a variety of side dishes.
From roasted veggies to baked macaroni and cheese, there are plenty of options to choose from.
The best side dishes to serve with pasta salad are roasted veggies, grilled corn on the cob, chili-lime peanuts, spicy cashews, buttered breadsticks, caprese skewers, broccoli slaw with pecans and cranberries, roasted red potatoes, baked beans with bacon, fresh fruit salad, garlic bread, baked macaroni and cheese, and stuffed mushrooms.
These sides are all flavorful and easy to prepare, and will make sure that your pasta salad dinner is one to remember.
With these side dishes, you’ll never run out of ideas for what to serve with pasta salad.
What To Serve With Pasta Salad? 15 Best Side Dishes
- Roasted Veggies
- Grilled Corn on the Cob
- Grilled Tandoori Chicken with Indian-Style Rice
- Fluffy Garlic Butter Breadsticks
- Caprese Skewers
- Broccoli Slaw with Pecans and Cranberries
- Roasted Red Potatoes
- Baked Beans with Bacon
- Fresh Fruit Salad
- Garlic Bread
- Baked Macaroni and Cheese
- Stuffed Mushrooms
- Pull-Apart Garlic Bread
- Pesto-Parmesan Baked Tomatoes
- Select your favorite recipe.
- Organize all of the required ingredients.
- Prep a side dish in 30 minutes or less.
Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.