14 Pasta Side Dishes for BBQ (14 Interesting Sides)
There’s nothing like a good BBQ to bring friends and family together. The smell of grilled food in the air is enough to make your mouth water. But what should you serve as a side dish? It might not be the most popular of the opinions, but pasta recipes are the perfect complement to any BBQ!
And since I consider myself somewhat of a pasta connoisseur, in this article, I’ll discuss some of my favorite pasta recipes that will pair perfectly with your food. I’ll also give tips on how to cook them so they’re just right. So fire up the grill and get ready for some delicious eats!
Pasta Side Dishes for BBQ
- Spicy Bacon Pasta Salad
- Ranch Pasta Salad
- Seafood Pasta Salad
- Bruschetta Pasta Salad
- Tuscan Tortellini Salad
- Tuna Pasta Salad
- Chicken and Egg Pasta Salad
- Curry Pasta Salad
- Grilled Chicken Cajun Pasta Salad
- Peanut and Raisin Pasta Salad
- Pesto Pasta Salad
- Tropical Chicken Pasta Salad
- Mexican Pasta Salad
- Prawn Pasta Salad
Spicy Bacon Pasta Salad
Spicy bacon pasta salad is easy to prepare and can be made ahead of time, making it perfect for entertaining. And, because it features both bacon and pasta, it is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. To make spicy bacon pasta salad, simply cook pasta according to the package directions.
Then, add cooked bacon, diced tomatoes, and shredded cheese to the pasta. For the dressing, mix mayonnaise, vinegar, and hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and stir to combine. Then, refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
When pairing spicy bacon pasta salad with other dishes, look for foods that will offset the spice. For example, grilled chicken or pulled pork would make a great main course. Serve the salad alongside some fresh fruit or green beans to round out the meal.
Ranch Pasta Salad
Ranch pasta salad is a creamy, flavorful dish that is perfect for barbecues and potlucks. The salad is made with rotini pasta, celery, carrots, and green onions, all tossed in a homemade ranch dressing. For an added kick, you can also add in some chopped bacon or diced avocado.
This dish can be served as a side or main course, and it pairs well with grilled meats and vegetables. Best of all, it’s a healthy option that is packed with vitamins and minerals. So whether you’re looking for a delicious side dish or a nutritious meal, ranch pasta salad is a great choice.
Seafood Pasta Salad
A seafood pasta salad is a great way to add some protein and veggies to your BBQ menu. This salad is packed with shrimp, scallops, and calamari, as well as a variety of colorful vegetables. To further customize the salad, you can add your favorite seasoning or dressing.
For a health-conscious option, try using a light vinaigrette or olive oil and lemon juice. When pairing the salad with other dishes, consider adding a grilled chicken or fish to round out the meal.
Seafood is not only a delicious addition to any BBQ spread, but it also provides numerous health benefits. So, not only will your guests enjoy this flavorful salad, but they’ll also be getting a nutritious meal.
Bruschetta Pasta Salad
This dish is healthy, flavorful, and easy to make – perfect for a summer BBQ! To make the salad, start by cooking the pasta according to the package directions. While the pasta is cooking, dice up some fresh tomatoes and finely chop some fresh basil.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to a large bowl along with the tomatoes and basil. Add in some olive oil, season with salt and pepper to taste, and give everything a good stir. The salad can be served immediately or refrigerated until you’re ready to eat. It pairs well with grilled chicken or fish, but can also be enjoyed on its own as a light lunch or side dish.
In addition to being delicious, this salad is also packed with nutrients. Tomatoes are a great source of lycopene – an antioxidant that has been linked to several health benefits, including reduced risk of cancer and heart disease. And if this salad is made with whole wheat pasta, it’s also a good source of fiber. So go ahead and enjoy – your body will thank you!
Tuscan Tortellini Salad
Tuscan tortellini salad is a flavorful and easy-to-prepare side dish that is perfect for summer BBQs. This salad is packed with nutrients and flavors that will complement any grilled main course. Plus, it’s easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time.
To make Tuscan tortellini salad, you will need tortellini, black olives, sun-dried tomatoes, pesto, and balsamic vinegar. Simply cook the tortellini according to the package instructions. Then, mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl.
If you’re serving the salad immediately, you can add some crumbled feta cheese on top. Otherwise, simply cover the bowl and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve. When pairing it with your main course, keep in mind that the pesto and balsamic vinegar can be quite strong. For this reason, it’s best to pair the salad with lighter-flavored meats such as chicken or fish.
Tuna Pasta Salad
A classic pasta salad recipe with a tuna twist, tuna pasta salad is an easy dish to whip up for your next potluck or BBQ. Perfect for summer get-togethers, this salad is bursting with flavor.
To make the salad, start by cooking the pasta according to the package directions. Once it is cooked, drain it and rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking process. In a large bowl, combine the pasta with tuna, diced tomatoes, diced red onion, and chopped parsley.
For the dressing, whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic powder, and salt. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix everything until it is evenly coated. Cover the salad and refrigerate it for at least an hour before serving, as this will give the flavors a chance to meld together.
When you are ready to serve, add some freshly ground black pepper and give the salad a final stir. Serve it alongside your favorite grilled meats or enjoy it on its own as a light lunch or snack.
Chicken and Egg Pasta Salad
Chicken and egg pasta salad is a perfect summertime dish. It’s light, refreshing, and can be made ahead of time. Plus, it pairs well with just about anything off the grill.
To make the salad, simply cook the pasta according to the package directions. Then, combine it with shredded chicken, diced eggs, chopped celery, and mayonnaise. For a bit of crunch, add in some chopped bacon or crumbled-up crackers and season to taste with salt and pepper, then chill until ready to serve.
When pairing this salad with BBQ, try serving it alongside grilled chicken or hamburgers. As for health benefits, it is a good source of protein and healthy fats. It’s also relatively low in calories, making it a great choice for those watching their weight. So next time you’re planning a BBQ, be sure to include this refreshing dish on the menu.
Curry Pasta Salad
This flavorful dish is easy to make and can be served either warm or cold. And it’s the perfect side dish for any grilled meats or vegetables. To make curry pasta salad, simply cook some pasta and then toss it with a curry-infused dressing.
Then add in your favorite veggies – I love using cherry tomatoes, red onion, and green peppers. For a bit of extra flavor, you can also add in some chopped fruit, such as mango or pineapple. If you’re serving this salad to kids, you can leave out the curry powder or use a milder variety.
Since this dish has a bit of heat from the curry, I recommend pairing it with something cooling, like a cucumber salad or a fruit salad, along with grilled chicken or shrimp.
Grilled Chicken Cajun Pasta Salad
Grilled chicken cajun pasta salad is a hearty and flavorful dish that is sure to please at any outdoor gathering. The pasta is tossed with grilled chicken, bell peppers, and a zesty cajun seasoning, then served chilled or at room temperature.
This dish can be made ahead of time, which makes it ideal for potlucks or picnics. To keep the salad from getting soggy, simply drizzle the dressing over the top just before serving. For a complete meal, serve this salad alongside grilled meats or seafood.
Also, it is not only delicious but it’s packed with nutrients. The chicken and vegetables provide lean protein and fiber, while the pasta offers complex carbohydrates for lasting energy. It is also low in calories and fat, making it a healthy choice for those watching their weight.
Peanut and Raisin Pasta Salad
Peanut and raisin pasta salad is a perfect side dish for BBQ, as it is light, yet filling and has a great blend of sweet and savory flavors. The pasta salad is also very easy to make, as all you have to do it to simply cook the pasta according to the package directions. Once it is cooked, add in the raisins, peanuts, green onions, and cilantro.
For the dressing, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and mix everything. Allow the salad to chill for at least 30 minutes before serving. This will give the flavors time to meld together.
Even though it can be served with any kind of BBQ meat, it pairs especially well with chicken or pork. It is also a good source of protein and fiber, and is low in saturated fat, making this pasta salad a healthy and delicious way to enjoy BBQ!
Pesto Pasta Salad
Pesto pasta salad is a delicious, easy-to-make dish that is perfect for any summer BBQ. This salad features a robust pesto sauce made with fresh basil, garlic, and olive oil, which pairs perfectly with the creamy mozzarella and the crispy bacon.
To make the salad, simply cook the pasta according to the package directions, then mix it with the pesto sauce, mozzarella, and bacon. For an extra pop of flavor, add a handful of cherry tomatoes or some sliced black olives.
This dish can be served cold or at room temperature, making it a great option for a hot summer day. Best of all, it is packed with nutrients like protein, fiber, and healthy fats. So not only is it delicious, but it’s also good for you!
Tropical Chicken Pasta Salad
This dish is light and refreshing, making it the perfect side for a BBQ. The combination of pasta, chicken, and tropical fruits is sure to please any palette, and the unique flavor profile will compliment any grilled meats.
The recipe is simple to follow and can be easily adapted to serve a large crowd. For best results, cook the pasta al dente and use fresh fruits and vegetables. For an extra boost of flavor, try adding a squeeze of fresh lime juice before serving.
In addition to being delicious, this dish is also packed with nutrients. Chicken is a good source of protein, while fruits and vegetables provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This dish is sure to be a hit at your next BBQ!
Mexican Pasta Salad
Mexican pasta salad is a hearty and flavorful side dish that is perfect for summer barbecues. The salad includes a variety of colorful ingredients, such as black beans, corn, tomatoes, and red onions, which are all tossed in a light dressing made with lime juice and cilantro.
When pairing this salad with other dishes, it is important to take into account its bold flavors. Pairing it with a simple grilled steak or chicken will help to balance out the flavors. For a vegetarian option, try serving it alongside grilled vegetables or a bean burger.
It also adds some extra nutrients to your diet, as the beans and vegetables are packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals, while the lime juice dressing is a good source of vitamin C.
Prawn Pasta Salad
Prawn pasta salad is a quintessential summer dish – perfect for barbecues, picnics, and potlucks. This dish is simple to make and can be easily tailored to your taste. To create a basic prawn pasta salad, start by cooking some pasta al dente. Then, add in cooked prawns, diced tomatoes, and freshly chopped herbs.
For a more flavorful salad, try adding in some shredded cheese or a simple vinaigrette. If you’re serving it as a side, try pairing it with grilled chicken or fish, to make this salad a great source of protein and healthy fats.
Other pasta salad ideas:
- Caprese pasta salad (mozzarella, tomatoes, basil)
- Greek pasta salad ( olives, feta cheese, cucumber)
- Shrimp pasta salad
- Broccoli pasta salad
- Caesar pasta salad
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I make pesto sauce?
To make pesto sauce, you will need:
- Fresh basil leaves
- Garlic cloves
- Extra virgin olive oil
Simply combine all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth and season to taste with salt and pepper.
How do I make a vinaigrette?
To make a vinaigrette, you will need olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, honey, salt, and pepper. Simply combine all of the ingredients in a bowl or jar and whisk (or shake) until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
What does cajun mean?
Cajun seasoning is a blend of spices that typically includes paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper.
Pasta is a versatile dish that can be served alongside bbq in a variety of ways. In this article, I’ve shared several delicious pasta recipes that are perfect for summer barbecues. These recipes are easy to follow and include flavorful ingredients like chicken, shrimp, and prawns.
In addition to being tasty, these dishes are also packed with nutrients. So if you’re looking for a healthy side dish to bring to your next BBQ, look no further than the above-suggested kinds of pasta.