9 East-to-Do Side Dishes for Summer Barbecue Picnics

9 East-to-Do Side Dishes for Summer Barbecue Picnics

Pasta salad

Pasta salad is a versatile and easy side dish that is perfect for summer barbecues and picnics. It’s a great way to use up leftover pasta and can be customized to your liking with different ingredients and dressings. Here is a basic recipe for pasta salad:


  • 8 oz of pasta your choice of shape
  • 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 cup of cucumber diced
  • 1/4 cup of red onion finely diced
  • 1/4 cup of black olives sliced
  • 1/4 cup of feta cheese crumbled
  • 1/4 cup of fresh parsley or basil chopped
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Cook pasta according to package instructions until al dente, then drain and rinse with cold water.
  • In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, black olives, feta cheese, and parsley or basil.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, minced garlic, salt and pepper.
  • Pour the dressing over the pasta mixture and toss gently to combine.
  • Cover and refrigerate the salad for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
  • Before serving, give the salad a good toss and adjust the seasoning if needed.


This recipe is a classic and easy way to enjoy pasta during the summer. You can use any kind of pasta you prefer, and you can add or change ingredients to suit your taste. For instance, if you want to add some protein you can add cooked chicken, shrimp, or canned tuna. You can also use different kind of cheese like mozzarella or cheddar. The dressing is a simple olive oil and red wine vinaigrette but you can use any kind of dressing you prefer, like ranch, Caesar, or Italian. This salad pairs well with grilled meat, fish or chicken, and it’s also a great option for vegetarians and vegans as well.
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