Pasta Salad Recipe Smackdown: Shame Everyone Else Who Brings This Dish to Your Memorial Day BBQ

There is simply no excuse for a boring, sugary, Miracle Whip infused pasta salad recipe.

So often treated as a bland, white footnote to a grill extravaganza, pasta salad is one of the most underrated side dishes of all time. Of all time, as Kanye West would pontificate. So what are the secrets to an amazing pasta salad recipe?

A Babble writer shares her “Lemon Pepper Cali Pasta Salad” recipe, one that flips the genre with the omission of a heavy mayo dressing and adds a symphony of veggies and cheese. A pasta salad recipe like this is great if you’re looking for something that doesn’t resemble the classic version- but my mom won’t even look at something without a respectable addition of Hellman’s.

Luckily, Paula Deen comes to the rescue with a Pasta Salad recipe that comes standard with an entire cup of the wobbly stuff- and surprisingly, no butter or bacon. Food TV has a good standard classic with a short prep time of 10 minutes, and both recipes hit on an important but overlooked secret key ingredient to all amazing pasta salad recipes- vinegar. I personally favor a splash of good, thick balsamic vinegar, but many eschew the mocha tint it lends pasta salad.

Pasta salads are a bit like… opinions- everybody got to have one (recipe.) What’s your pasta salad secret?

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