By Anna Kocharian

Published on June 2, 2018

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Photography by the awesome green

The warm weather hits and suddenly, the only thing we have on our minds is outdoor entertaining. Whether this comes in the form of an al fresco fete, a casual picnic in the park, or an impromptu beach spread, there are a handful of essentials you’ll undoubtedly find in our baskets this season. And since we would argue that no gathering would be complete sans the food, we’re looking to the recipes that will make yours all the better. 

We may be biased but tell us that a chilled summer pasta salad doesn’t sound good right now. Often loaded with cheese, fresh veggies, and a sauce that will have you eating up every last bite, it hits about every one of our preferred food groups. 

With that, we took to Pinterest (because, where else?) to source the most mouthwatering, indulgent, and utterly irresistible summer pasta salad recipes you’re going to want to recreate ASAP. See for yourself. 

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Photography by alex lau for bon appetit

Ramen with Steak and Sesame-Ginger Dressing

Pasta, noodles, we’re not one to discriminate when it comes to the carbo-loaded category. Hence why we’re all for embracing this clever riff on the classic, comprised of a medley of bold spices and dressing with hints of tahini, ginger, and garlic. 

Get the recipe on Bon Appetit

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Photography by pinch of yum

Easy Italian Pasta Salad

Whip this one up in 30 minutes or less, and we’re pretty sure it’s going to end up in heavy rotation this summer. Loaded with mozzarella, sausage, and fresh tomatoes, this version comes dressed in a delectable basil-oregano dressing.

Get the recipe on Pinch of Yum.

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Photography by Half Baked Harvest

Sun-Dried Tomato, White Bean, and Goat Cheese Pasta

This one hardly needs any more explanation but just in case you find yourself still debating on whether or not you should make it (you should), perhaps the creamy goat cheese filling or homemade basil vinaigrette may persuade you to do so.

Get the recipe on Half Baked Harvest.

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Photography by the awesome green

Vegan Pasta Salad

This ultra-green version is essentially so healthy, we’re giving you the go-ahead to help yourself to seconds (and thirds). Featuring roasted chickpeas, zesty zucchini bites, and even a refreshing hint of mint, this protein-rich take will surely keep you satisfied long after that mid-day snack craving. 

Get the recipe on The Awesome Green

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Photography by minimalist baker

Pea Pesto Pasta

Both vegan and gluten-free, this easy-to-make dish features sun-dried tomatoes, arugula for an added kick, toasted pine nuts for a bit of crunch, and the ever-so-slightest hint of sweetness thanks to the peas. 

Get the recipe on Minimalist Baker.

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Photography by The Recipe Critic

Tuscan Pasta Salad

Bring a touch of the Italian countryside home with this delectable take on a pasta salad. Sun-dried tomatoes, plenty of fresh basil, and a white wine vinaigrette complete this easy-to-make dish. 

Get the recipe on The Recipe Critic.

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Photography by Helene Dujardin for southern living

Lemony Green Bean Pasta Salad

Yet another light and refreshing dish we can’t wait to whip up this summer. Thanks to the dynamic combo of lemon, shallots, and fresh arugula, this one definitely delivers in the flavor department. 

Get the recipe on My Recipes.

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Photography by Seasons and Suppers.

Italian Pasta Salad

Light, refreshing, and utterly delicious, this aptly-titled pasta salad is essentially Italy in a bowl. Roasted red peppers, fresh basil, and a herb-loaded marinade bring on the flavors, further elevated by the rich balsamic vinegar and hint of garlic. 

Get the recipe on Seasons and Suppers.

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Photography by two peas and their pod

Southwest Pasta Salad

Bring on the bold flavors of the Southwest home, courtesy of this loaded recipe that promises to be quite the crowd-pleaser. Comprised of a mixture of fresh corn, avocado, and crumbled Cotija cheese, it’s definitely not one to miss. 

Get the recipe on Two Peas and their Pod

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Photography by le creme de la crumb

Pesto Chicken Pasta Salad

Pesto and pasta were made for one another and this summer-friendly salad is further proof. Topped with a basil pesto sauce and Italian dressing, this veggie-loaded dish wouldn’t be the same sans the copious (and very necessary) amount of fresh Parmesan on top. 

Get the recipe on Creme de la Crumb.

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Photography by salt and lavender

Grilled Chicken Pasta Salad

Put that leftover grilled chicken to good use with this healthy take that boasts all the best flavors of summer with a hint of a smoky (and creamy!) BBQ sauce. 

Get the recipe on Salt and Lavender

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Photography by foodie crush

Kale Caesar Pasta Salad

Your go-to lunch recipe just got an upgrade by way of a carby accent we’re sure you’ll love. Requiring only a mere five ingredients, you can easily whip this one up in no time at all. 

Get the recipe on Foodie Crush

See the recipes we’re making this summer:

21 Easy Desserts You Can Make in a Cast Iron Skillet
40 Fun Summer Cocktails You Have to Try

16 Veggie-Friendly Recipes to Make on Meatless Monday