Home Side Dishes What to Serve with Pasta Salad: 12 Easy Sides

What to Serve with Pasta Salad: 12 Easy Sides

Figuring out what to serve with pasta salad can seem challenging. Truthfully, though, pasta salad goes well with practically everything.

The combo of cold, colorful pasta, bright veggies, and zesty dressing always hits the spot.

It tastes great, no matter what else is with it.

Pasta Salad with tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, feta, and avocado
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You can easily serve it with BBQ, chicken, burgers, hot dogs, or even green salad recipes!

It’s perfect for summer and always one of the first things to disappear at parties. Luckily, there are tons of great side dishes for pasta salad.

So, even if it disappears, there’ll be plenty of other great stuff left!

Homemade Travis Scott Burger with Ground Beef, Cheese and Bacon

1. Bacon Cheeseburgers

Pasta salad is primarily starch, so you’ll want some protein to break the monotony. And what better protein is there than burgers?!

Especially juicy, cheese-smothered burgers with crisp, salty bacon on them!

They’re delicious, easy to eat, and beautifully complement the robust flavor of pasta salad.

And honestly… what’s a cookout or picnic without burgers?

Peri-peri Chicken cooked in a cast iron, top view

2. Grilled Peri Peri Chicken

Peri peri chicken is like any delicious baked chicken recipe. Only it has much more flavor and spice.

The secret is in the marinade. It contains such flavorful ingredients as peppers, onions, paprika, cayenne, chili peppers, and more.

It adds a delicious heat and flavorsome spice to every juicy bite.

Sliced sandwich with Swiss cheese, ham, pulled pork, and pickles,

3. Cuban Sandwich

I don’t know about you, but I love pairing pasta salad with sandwiches. The two go together so well. They’re both cool and refreshing.

Especially this sandwich.

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With Swiss cheese, ham, pulled pork, and pickles, it’s pretty much the stuff. Meaty and filling and with a surprising amount of flavor.

Even people who don’t like sandwiches can appreciate this one.

Bunch of fried chicken in bowl layered with fresh lettuce.

4. Fried Chicken

What more classic combo is there than pasta and fried chicken?

Imagine this: Umami-rich chicken with crispy skin and tender meat. Now picture it served with al dente pasta coated in a creamy dressing.

That’s what I call a perfect combination. Pasta salad is also a lighter option than something like French fries or onion rings.

Hot dog sandwich with tomato salad toppings.

5. Mexican Hot Dogs

So, what makes a Mexican hotdog different from every other hotdog out there? Simple.

Mexican hotdogs are my favorite thing to serve with pasta salad. Well, that, and they’re smothered in mild pico de gallo, queso franco, and lime crema.

Add a dash of cayenne or chili pepper flakes to your pasta salad for an even better match.

Tacos with grilled steak and sliced jalapeño and garnish with a squeeze of fresh lime, cilantro, and pickled red onions.
Source: Leitesculinaria.com

6. Grilled Skirt Steak Tacos

These grilled skirt steak tacos are one of the best pasta salad sides. Or pasta salad is one of the best sides to serve with them.

Either way, the two make an excellent combination. Both recipes pack a ton of flavor and are filling, fresh, and fantastically yummy.

Plus, who doesn’t love skirt steak tacos anyway? They’re incredible.

Three cooked yellow corn with a piece of butter served on white plate.

7. Corn on the Cob

Pasta salad is usually served as a side dish with BBQ. That doesn’t mean it can’t be the main event. In that case, it needs side dishes of its own.

Since it’s predominantly tender, pairing it with something crunchy can make things more exciting.

And you can’t go wrong with corn on the cob for something crunchy and delicious.

Bunch of breaded fried okra.

8. Fried Okra

Fried okra is another “something crunchy” that’ll complement the tenderness of pasta salad.

It doesn’t just give your meal a nice crunch. It also offers a refreshing twist to traditional picnic items.

Fried okra might be a little tedious to prepare, but the result is worth it.

Baked beans with BBQ sauce in a skillet

9. Baked Beans

Baked beans are another classic side if you’re enjoying pasta salad with BBQ. They taste great and are filling and easy to make in large batches.

They have loads of sweet, savory, and smoky flavors. All of which go well with the bold zestiness of pasta salad.

Pro tip: Soak the beans the night before baking them. They’ll cook faster.

Homemade Deviled Eggs with Mayonnaise, Mustard and Pickles

10. Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are another easy pasta salad side. They’re also one of my go-to dishes when hosting a picnic.

These flavorful little hors d’oeuvres are rich and creamy, just like pasta salad. That’s why they make a brilliant team.

I’ve even seen people toss their deviled eggs on top of their pasta salad and eat them together!

Stack of sliced cornbread bars on a wooden board.

11. Cornbread

Cornbread is another must-have party food item. It’s delicious and filling and tastes great with pasta salad.

Because it’s such a hearty side, it’s a substantial addition. Especially if you need to feed a hungry crowd.

You can make it sweet or savory, but I prefer the latter. I also add a bit of jalapeno to give it some kick.

Shrimp with Cajun seasoning on pan.

12. Cajun Shrimp

Would you believe me if I told you you could whip up delicious Cajun shrimp in just 5 minutes? It’s true!

Simply mix the seasoning blend and toss your shrimp in it. Then, cook the shrimp on the stove top in mere minutes!

It’s a quick and easy pairing for pasta salad or just about any other side you enjoy.

Sliced marinated pork ribs.

13. Fall Off the Bone Ribs

It doesn’t matter if you need something to serve with pasta salad or just want something good for dinner. These fall-off-the-bone ribs are perfect.

How do I know? Because they’re perfect for just about any occasion. Backyard BBQ? Big family dinner? Lazy Saturday afternoon lunch?

Tender, succulent, fall-off-the-bone ribs are the answer for all those things.

Sliders with ham and cheese filling on plate.
Source: Mybakingaddiction.com

14. Ham and Cheese Sliders

My grandmother makes these sliders for nearly every event we have. And there are never — and I do mean NEVER — any leftovers.

I don’t know what it is about these bite-sized sammys that makes them so irresistible.

Maybe it’s the classic ham and cheese pairing. Or perhaps it’s the flavorful Dijon-herb butter on top. Either way, they’re scrumptious!

Chunky meatballs garnished with chopped fresh parsley served on a white bowl.

15. Gordon Ramsay Meatballs

Round, juicy, meaty, and savory. These chunky meatballs are bite-sized mouthfuls of Heaven.

Love Gordon Ramsay or hate him, it’s hard to deny that he knows what he’s doing in the kitchen.

These meatballs are absolute proof of that. Flavored with garlic, shallots, chilis, and more, they are exquisite.

You won’t find many non-vegetarians who don’t appreciate them.

Grilled marinated chicken thighs served on a plate garnished with chopped parsley.
Source: Homemadeheather.com

16. BBQ Chicken Thighs

BBQ and pasta salad go together like peanut butter and jelly. One CAN exist without the other, but what’s the point?

They’re definitely two things that taste better together. And these grilled BBQ chicken thighs are some of the easiest things to whip up EVER.

They require only two ingredients and just 15 minutes to cook.

Buffalo Chicken Wraps with Buffalo Wing Sauce and Tomatoes

17. Buffalo Chicken Wraps

I enjoy wraps, but sometimes, they can get a little boring. Take your sandwich wraps up a notch with this buffalo-inspired recipe.

Each bite combines cheesy, creamy, saucy, and spicy. There’s also salty, crispy bacon and tender chunks of juicy chicken.

Each wrap is filling, flavorful, and fantastic till the last bite.

Buns with thick pulled pork and sauce filling,

18. Pulled Pork Sandwiches

I probably have more pulled pork recipes than is healthy for one person. I have recipes for Coca-Cola pulled pork, root beer pulled pork, and even more!

But Dr. Pepper pulled pork sliders are probably my favorite. The Dr. Pepper gives the meat such a robust, rich flavor.

It also helps tenderize it so that it isn’t tough. It’s awesome.

Sliced grilled pork tenderloin served with roasted sliced potatoes garnished with parsley leaves.
Source: Diethood.com

19. Juicy Grilled Pork Tenderloin

And here’s another saucy, savory, succulent pork-based recipe. Because really, can you ever have too many? I don’t think so!

These juicy grilled pork tenderloins are perfect for backyard BBQs and other get-togethers.

They’re filling and delicious and pair well with practically any sides. I like to serve mine with pasta salad, deviled eggs, and baked beans.

Chicken wings on a wooden board brushed with sauce.

20. Jamaican Jerk Chicken Wings

I’m always a little iffy when it comes to Jamaican jerk chicken. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE Jamaican jerk chicken.

But it doesn’t always measure up unless you buy it from an authentic Jamaican restaurant. Fortunately, this recipe measures up.

It has just the right amount of heat, spice, and sweet-n-savory tang to taste like the real thing.

What to Serve with Pasta Salad: 20 Easy Sides

Course: Side Dish

Wondering what to serve with pasta salad? These recipes are all good choices. Simply take your pick!


  • Select your favorite recipe.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a delicious side dish!
What to Serve with Pasta Salad

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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