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Easy Pasta Salad Recipes Perfect for Summer in AZ

If summer was a food group, we’re pretty confident it would be pasta salad. There’s just something so refreshing about cold noodles, tossed with a flavorful dressing and topped with your favorite veggies, herbs, and proteins. Here are three absolutely delicious summer pasta salad recipes that are on repeat when BBQs and side snacks are part of the conversation. 



 

Basil Pesto and Sundried Tomato Pasta Salad
This pesto pasta salad is always a crowd favorite. Add this to the BBQ buffet and it will be the first bowl that is empty! All you need are a few ingredients and you’ll have the side dish everyone is raving about. The bold flavors of the basil pesto paired with the sundried tomatoes make for a well-rounded summer dish. Give it a try and you’ll see what we mean!


Ingredients:

- 1 pkg bowtie noodles

- 1 cup basil pesto sauce (you can find this at most local North Phoenix grocery stores)

- ½ cup sundried tomatoes, chopped 

- ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese 

 

Directions: Boil bowtie noodles according to package directions. Once cooked al dente, strain and rinse under cold water to prevent further cooking. While noodles are boiling, chop the sundried tomatoes. Combine the basil pesto sauce and the bowtie noddles first. Then add the sundried tomatoes and parmesan cheese. This pasta is best served nice and cold! 


Tortellini Caprese Pasta Salad

Four staple ingredients are all you need for this fresh and flavorful vegetarian pasta salad. Like most pasta salads, you can add as much or as little of the ingredients as you’d like, and you can get creative with the pasta noodles you use! Tortellini is our favorite for this dish because it’s dense and filling, which compliments the other ingredients. When serving this cold pasta salad we encourage fresh basil leaves and mozzarella. You’ll notice enhanced flavor and increased quality when these key ingredients are fresh! 

 

Ingredients:

- 1 pkg. cheese tortellini 
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 1 cup fresh mozzarella cheese, ripped
- Olive oil and salt + pepper
 

Directions: Boil cheese tortellini according to package directions. Once cooked al dente, strain and rinse under cold water to prevent further cooking. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half, and toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Chill and serve!


Chicken and Vegetable Pasta Salad

As you can imagine, this pasta salad is exactly what it sounds like. Think broccoli florets, diced carrots, red and green bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and some grilled chicken tossed together with penne noodles and a zesty Italian dressing. That right there is the essence of this tasty and filling cold pasta salad!

 

Ingredients:

- 1 pkg penne noodles
- Small head of broccoli 
- ½ Green bell pepper
- ½ Red bell pepper
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 Carrots, diced
- Grilled chicken breast, diced
- ½ cup Italian Salad Dressing
 

Directions: Boil penne noodles according to package directions. Once cooked al dente, strain and rinse under cold water to prevent further cooking. While noodles are boiling, grill the chicken. Once cooked, dice the chicken and all of your vegetables into bitesize pieces. Toss the noodles, Italian dressing, chicken and vegetables, then top with salt and pepper. *Chef kiss* 


Weekend BBQs and small gatherings are in our near future here in the North Valley, so keep these cold pasta salads in mind the next time you’re deciding what to make! They are easy and delicious pasta salads that everyone will love. If you liked these recipes, share this blog with your friends and family on Facebook or Instagram! And while you’re at it, keep following the Acero North Valley Blog here for more posts like this one.