Janet's Notebook
Elevate the Pasta Salad at Your Next Cookout

Holy Guacamole Pasta Salad

Cookout season is in full effect! My husband and I were looking at the calendar and realized we have a cookout nearly every weekend for the next few weeks.

One of my favorite things to bring is pasta salad. They're so simple to make. Combining a bit of this and a dash of that and something memorable is created.

Millie York (Lebanon, TN) cooks for the hospitality team at her church and she was looking to mix things up. She came up with her Holy Guacamole Pasta Salad and, according to Millie, "This salad was a huge hit!"

If you're a fan of avocados, then you'll love this pasta salad recipe. Packed with fresh cilantro, tomatoes, corn, black beans and of course cheese, the spices, textures and ingredients blend really well. It's unusual and seriously delish.

Barbara Mitchell (Aurora, IL) combines the ingredients of a traditional Greek salad with the feel of a yummy, light pasta salad. "[You] can use as a main dish if you add chicken or a side salad to accompany steak, lamb or pork," says Barbara.

I love to bring Barbara's Greek Pasta Salad with me because it pairs with any protein. Since I don't know what will be served at every barbecue, I know that the flavors in this pasta salad will pair great with everything. Plus, if someone's looking to eat a bit lighter, it's fabulous on its own.

"My girls love this," exclaims Michelle Flory (Dundalk, MD) of her famous Shrimp Pasta Salad. Michelle's quick and easy pasta salad recipe is sure to be a hit at your party.

Steaming the shrimp in beer and Old Bay makes the shrimp pretty tasty. If you're not familiar with Old Bay, it's very popular in the Maryland area but you can find it at most local grocers. It's a mix of paprika, black pepper, red pepper flakes, mustard, and other spices and adds tons of flavor.

Marianne Gleason's (Cincinnati, OH) Bacon & Tomato Pasta Salad is fresh, satisfying, creamy and crunchy! "Perfect for these hot summer nights," thinks Marianne. "[It's] not too heavy!"

The cherry tomatoes pop in your mouth. The sauce is a typical pasta salad sauce but is really enhanced by the flavors from green onions and smokiness from the bacon. Yum!

I recently tested Meryl Hauser's (Fair Lawn, NJ) Lemon Vegetable Pasta Salad and fell in love. "This salad goes a long way, great for large gatherings," says Meryl. "This pasta salad is easy and takes no time to throw together."

It's very different from any type of pasta salad I've had in the past and I really enjoyed this. The fresh veggies add tons of crunch. And the lemon mayo has a light, fresh taste. The recipe does make a lot... so prepare to feed a crowd.

Are you heading to a cookout this weekend? Make sure to share your favorite pasta salad recipe. I'm always on the hunt for a new one. Happy Pinching!

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Melanie B - Jun 26, 2016
This is never the same twice. I use whatever I have on hand. Everyone love it.
Anything Goes Pasta Salad
Rose Mary Mogan - Jun 23, 2016
Meat Lover's Spaghetti Salad This one has lots of meat and cheese and is a family favorite.
sallye bates - Jun 23, 2016
Hi Janet, Ask and ye shall receive. LOL You're probably going to have to do a special summer blog about the many varieties of pasta salads on JAP.
Rose Mary Mogan - Jun 21, 2016
PARTY SIZE OVERNIGHT PASTA SALAD this is another all time party favorite, you can make it a day before the party, and have it ready to go when the party starts.
Rose Mary Mogan - Jun 21, 2016
PARTY SIZE PASTA & CHICKEN SALAD this salad is great if you are serving a crowd, the meat lovers in the crowd will really enjoy this salad.
Rose Mary Mogan - Jun 21, 2016
Garden Rotini Pasta Salad this salad is great any time but especially during the warmer months.
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