What to Serve with Pasta Salad: 12 Easy Sides


When I host picnics or garden parties, I always serve a pasta salad. The beautiful combination of cold colored noodles, vibrant vegetables and spicy sauce is always a hit.

It’s perfect for summer, and it’s always one of the first things to disappear at parties, so I make it a point to pair it with lots of other side dishes.

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Since you will likely be serving a pasta salad at a picnic, the other dishes should be picnic-friendly as well. This means that the dishes are easy to pack and eat.

You also want dishes that you can prepare the night before, so you don’t have to do too much on the day. Think hamburgers, sandwiches and other snacks.

Do you have any suggestions? Good, because that’s why I’m here. Without further ado, here are some of my favorite dishes to serve with a pasta salad.


1. Hamburger

Pasta salad is mostly starchy, so you need some protein to break up the monotony. And what’s better than protein for a burger? ! It’s delicious, easy to eat and complements the taste of the pasta salad perfectly.


And let’s face it… what would a barbecue or a picnic be without burgers?

2. Barbecue chicken

If you don’t want to serve beef, chicken is great too. Grilled chicken is especially delicious when serving a pasta salad at a garden party!


You’re probably going to turn on the grill to make this delicious dish anyway. Not only does the pasta complement the pasta, but the smokiness of the grill complements the richness of the dish. It’s a great way to round out a meal.

3. Sandwiches / Paninis

Sandwiches are easy to eat and prepare, so it makes sense to serve them at a picnic. And they taste good too!


There is something special about combining a soft bread with a meat, cheese or vegetable filling. It’s amazing.

Whether it’s a meatball sandwich, a corned beef sandwich or a panini with tomato and cucumber, you’re sure to have a hit.


4. Roast chicken

What’s a more classic combination than pasta and roast chicken? Imagine a chicken rich in umami, with crispy skin and tender meat, served with al dente pasta in a creamy sauce. That’s what I call the perfect combination.

5. Grilled hot dogs

Fire up the grill and warm up the hot dogs! Yes, grilled hot dogs are another protein that goes well with pasta salad.

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6. Italian royal children

Pasta is Italian, after all, so why not serve it with another Italian dish? Italian rolls are flattened slices of bread filled with different kinds of sausage and cheese. Not only do they taste great, but they look great too.

And because they’re easy to start and pack, they’re perfect for a picnic.

7. Maize on the cob

Pasta salad has a rather delicate texture, so you want something crunchy to make it a little more exciting. When it comes to crunchy and flavorful side dishes, you can’t go wrong with a regular corn cob.

What I like about corn is that it’s waterproof. However you prepare them – grilled, steamed, microwaved or fried – the taste is always phenomenal. It is also very nice to eat!

8. Fried okra

Again, you want something crunchy to complement the tenderness of the pasta salad. How about a southern classic: fried okra? Not only does this give your dish a nice crunch, but it also offers a refreshing change from traditional picnic items.

Baked okra can be a bit cumbersome to prepare, but the result is worth it. Preparation: Roll the okra in the cornmeal batter. Then bake them until they are golden brown.

Seriously, these guys are so tasty that even the kids will love them.

9. Baked beans

If you’re inviting a lot of people to your garden party, stock up on classic side dishes. In addition to pasta salad, baked beans will quickly fill your guests’ bellies. And it’s easy to make in large quantities!

Baked beans are filled with a sweet, savory, smoky flavor that pairs well with the richness of the pasta salad.

If you want to make this for your next party, just season the beans with BBQ sauce, onions, peppers and bacon!

Oh, and a little reminder: soak the beans overnight before cooking them. This makes it easier to check the consistency and the beans are cooked faster.

10. Hard-boiled eggs

Edible eggs are another favorite dish of mine when I’m at a picnic. These tasty little bites are rich and creamy, just like the pasta salad. That’s why they’re a great team.

Did you know you can also make stuffed eggs with hummus? It’s a nice change of pace if you’re tired of the original. Plus, it’s just as creamy and delicious, but much healthier.


11. Corn bread

Cornbread is another must-have food for the holidays. It is delicious and filling and is best eaten with a pasta salad. Because it is so rich, it is an indispensable supplement, especially if you have a hungry crowd to feed.

You can make it sweet or savory, but I prefer the latter. I also add some jalapenos to give it a little spice.


12. Cheese and crackers

And, last but not least, say hello to the humble duo of cheese and crackers. This delicious appetizer gives your macaroni salad the crunch it needs, and you know you can never go wrong with a combination of cheese and macaroni.

Don’t just use one type of cheese, give your guests variety! Arrange Gruyère, Gouda, Cheddar and Blue cheeses on a platter, along with an assortment of cookies, and you have a fun snack.


crazy good

Hello! My name is Kim. I love running, cooking and a good book! I share recipes for people who like good food but want to keep it simple 🙂


frequently asked questions

What is served with the pasta salad side dish?


What are the right side dishes for pasta?

‘… Italian parties

What are the most common Italian side dishes?

the most expensive…

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