Meat, chips and ice cream sandwiches always characterize summer barbecues, but all of that food can make you feel groggy in the hot sun.

Freshen up your BBQ offerings with a delicious pasta salad that lets you incorporate some unique flavors (as well as some vegetables) into your meal. Here are a few pasta salads you should make sure you try.

20-Minute Rainbow Veggie Pasta Salad

Recipe courtesy of


For the pasta salad:

  • (1) 16 oz box of farfalle pasta
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 small yellow zucchini, cut in half vertically then thinly sliced
  • 1 small green zucchini, cut in half vertically then thinly sliced
  • 1 broccoli crown, cut into tiny bite-sized pieces
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 orange pepper, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

For the dressing:

  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the salt, stir, then add in the pasta. Boil, stirring occasionally, for 10-11 minutes, or until al dente. Drain in a colander and run the pasta under cold water for a few minutes. Cut the veggies.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, Italian seasoning, minced garlic, lemon zest, salt, and pepper.
  3. Once the pasta has cooled, transfer it to a large serving bowl. Add in the chopped vegetables and half of the dressing. Stir until everything is well mixed, and add more dressing as needed. Serve at once or refrigerate until ready to eat (can be made up to 24 hours ahead of time).

Barbecue Macaroni Salad


Recipe courtesy of


  • (1) 16 oz box elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup cubed cucumber
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 tablespoons green onion, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons purple onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup colby jack cheese, cubed


  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain the noodles, rinse in cold water and drain again.
  2. In a large bowl, combine mayo, BBQ sauce, seasonings, hot sauce and vinegar. Add the drained noodles and chopped veggies and cheese. Stir to combine and refrigerate before serving.

Parmesan Pasta Salad


Photo by David Tsay. Recipe courtesy of


  • 1 pound small pasta shells
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 ounces parmesan, broken into small pieces with a fork
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • Kosher salt and black pepper


  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and return to pot.
  2. Add the tomatoes, parmesan, oil, chives, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and toss to combine.

Tangy Tzatziki Pasta Salad


Photo by Jennifer Davick and Caroline M. Cunningham. Recipe courtesy of


  • (1) 16 oz container low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • (1) 16 oz package penne pasta
  • 1 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
  • (1) 9.9 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
  1. Process first seven ingredients in a food processor 30 seconds or until thoroughly blended. Transfer to a bowl, and cover and chill 1 to 24 hours.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse with cold water.
  3. Place cooled pasta in a large bowl. Stir in olives, cucumbers, sun-dried tomatoes, and artichoke hearts until well blended. Add yogurt mixture, and stir just until well coated. Gently stir in feta cheese. Cover and chill 1 hour.
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