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Summer barbecues are one of my favorite activities of the season! I love getting together with awesome people and eating delicious food while enjoying the outdoors. One of my favorite side dishes is my signature Italian pasta salad. My husband is obviously a much better cook than I am, but I have 10 recipes that I make REALLY well and this one is at the top of the list as everyone’s favorite. I get SO many compliments on it and what’s great is that it’s so simple, anyone can make it! You don’t have to be a chef, but it certainly tastes amazing!
I’ve partnered with Barilla and Gold Peak to bring you a step by step tutorial on how to make my signature pasta salad, and my favorite drink recommendation, so you can be the star of the side dishes at your next get together. Typically, I will divide all of my ingredients and make two large bowls: one to bring to the party and one to keep at home for us. (Pictured below are enough ingredients for one bowl/one box. If you want to make extra like I do, just double everything!) This is a flexible recipe so feel free to adapt to the preferences of your party guests. Below is one of my favorite versions. Enjoy!
Everyone’s Favorite Pasta Salad Recipe:
Prep & cook time: The recipe takes about 15 minutes to make and it’s ready to serve as soon as you finish!
1-2 boxes of Barilla Tri-Color Rotini Pasta (boiled and strained)
Fresh shredded Parmasean cheese
One can of olives, sliced
3 cups of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
2 cans of three bean salad, drained
2 cups of sliced mushrooms, cooked not raw
2 jars of artichoke hearts (I always chop them up into smaller pieces)
2 cups of fresh bacon bits
Italian salad dressing
First, boil the pasta for about 11 minutes and prep ingredients while the pasta is cooking. Then, strain your pasta. Add both the Italian and Salad seasonings to the pasta.
Next, add in the mushrooms, three bean salad, olives, artichokes, and tomatoes. Toss the ingredients so that they are evenly distributed.
Once all of the ingredients are mixed evenly, add the Parmesan cheese and bacon bits and mix.
Be sure everything is mixed evenly. Then, add in half a bottle of dressing and mix. (If you are making 2 batches, add one half bottle of dressing to each bowl.)
Voila! That’s it! I promise you that it’s as delicious as it is colorful!
Pasta salad pairs quite well with all kinds of barbecue, grilled meat, and even steak and potatoes. I hope you enjoyed this recipe! As a busy mom, this is my go to recipe because it’s so easy, and I can enjoy the left overs once the party is over! Even my kids will eat it! And it’s a great way to sneak in some veggies. 🙂
Side Dish + Drink:
My signature Italian pasta salad is so easy to make that if you are attending the party, you can also volunteer to bring a drink along with it! Here’s my favorite choice that goes SO good with the pasta salad:
When it comes to party drinks, tea is a great choice! I LOVE tea, especially iced tea in the summer! My favorite brand of tea is Gold Peak. I find the flavors to be just right. Anyone who knows me or comes to my house knows they will always find at least one bottle of Gold Peak in the fridge, probably with a spare in the garage fridge as well! Gold Peak offers a selection of unsweet, sweet, and green tea. I really like them all and I usually switch up the choices myself to keep things interesting.
You can purchase a container of tea or a 6-pack, which are perfect for parties!
Make it a Party:
Arrange the bottles beautifully on a tray and add some fun paper straws to match the party colors! You can also leave a marker for guests to write their name on their lid or on the bottle to keep track of their drinks.
You can find Barilla pasta at your local Walmart on the pasta aisle (look for the Blue boxes) and Gold Peak Tea on the beverage aisle in the back of the store (see product packaging pictured below).
Check out a few ways to make your shopping trip even better:
*Save $1 on any 2 64oz. bottles of Gold Peak Tea here at Coupons.com.
*Ibotta users: Buy 3 Barilla products and earn $1. Valid on all Barilla Blue Box Products and Barilla Pesto Sauce. Learn more here.
To learn more about Barilla or Gold Peak Tea visit www.Barilla.com or www.goldpeakbeverages.com
For more fun summer recipes, click here!
If you make the recipe, PLEASE let me know what you think!
Also, do you have your own favorite pasta salad recipe?
Share it with me in the comments!
Owner and operator of Paperclips & Pacis, a lifestyle blog sharing the best of #momlife and #entrepreneurship. Wife to Drew, Mommy to Andrew (age 4), Aidan (age 3), and Avalynn (newborn). Cat mom x2. Lover of Disney World, office supplies, and social media. Instagram: @paperclipsandpacis