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What to Eat With Pasta Salad (10 Delicious Main Dishes to Serve Pasta Salad With)

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Pasta Salad is such a light and irresistible dish. It just screams summertime cookouts. Once summertime is here, it is at all the cookouts I go to and other gatherings. Sometimes it can be hard to figure out what to eat with pasta salad though. That is where this list will come in handy.


Spaghetti Pasta Salad Recipe

What is Pasta Salad?

Pasta Salad is a cold dish. The main ingredients are cooked then cooled pasta noodles and various other ingredients like fresh vegetables. There are several types that you can make that are separated by the type of dressing they use.  

Some recipes call for an oil-based dressing such as Italian dressing or olive oil. Other recipes call for the use of a creamy dressing like ranch dressing or mayonnaise as the base. 

Fresh herbs and vegetables are added such as fresh basil or dill weed,  red onions, bell peppers, black olives, and juicy cherry tomatoes. 

Sometimes cheese is added such as parmesan cheese or fresh mozzarella cheese. 

Pasta Salad is such an easy dish to make. You can throw the ingredients together in a pinch the day before and store them in the refrigerator overnight. In my opinion, it is actually better to make it the day before. I find that it tastes better after it has marinated overnight.  

My Favorite Pasta Salad to make is Spaghetti Pasta Salad

There are so many easy pasta salad recipes but my favorite is Spaghetti pasta salad. Spaghetti Pasta Salad is a cold pasta salad that is full of fresh veggies, Parmesan Cheese, and a zesty dressing mix that is to die for. One of the key ingredients in this dish is Salad Supreme Seasoning

Spaghetti Pasta Salad Recipe
Spaghetti Pasta Salad

 A few weeks back I posted a recipe for an irresistible Spaghetti Pasta Salad dish but that begs the question, what should I serve the pasta salad with? That is why I came up with this helpful list of what to eat with pasta salad [10 delicious main dishes to serve pasta salad with]

What To Eat With Pasta Salad [10 delicious main dishes to serve Pasta Salad With]

1- Roasted Whole Chicken Breast [Juicy Cajun Style]

There is nothing quite as flavorful as Roasted Whole Chicken breast if it is cooked right. One of my favorite ways to season it is by using a Cajun Seasoning rub on the chicken.

As it cooks, the juices transport the cajun seasoning and it penetrates the meat to make a juicy and flavorful combination. One tip I would like to add is before cooking any chicken dish, make sure to do a chicken brine the day before you make it. You will thank me later for that tip.

Cajun Roasted Whole Chicken Breast Recipe
Cajun Roasted whole chicken breast recipe. Step by Step on how to make this recipe.

The Cajun seasoning does add a bit of heat to it so I like to pair this Roasted Whole Chicken Breast recipe with a creamy pasta salad. The fat from the mayo or ranch dressing helps to cool the mouth from the spicy cajun seasoning on the Cajun Roasted Chicken Breast.

2- Hamburgers

Photo by Valeria Boltneva

Pasta salad makes an excellent side dish for hamburgers. Especially ones that have been cooked on the grill. Hamburgers are one of the first things you think about when it comes to Summertime cookouts and Pasta salad might be the second thing. Whenever you are struggling to decide what to eat with pasta salad, Hamburgers have to be at the top of the list right next to the next dish down below, hot dogs.

I like to serve Hamburgers with spaghetti pasta salad.

3- Hot Dogs

photo by Photo by Samson Katt

Another great option to serve pasta salad with is Hot Dogs or Bratwurst. Being at a cookout grilling dogs always begs for that cool pasta side dish. There is not much to say about one of America’s favorite foods of all time. Hot Dogs are always a good choice.

I prefer spaghetti pasta salad or Italian Pasta Salad to pair with hot dogs.

4- Summer Soups

Photo By Foodie Factor

Summer soups are also another great idea to serve pasta salad with. Many times we only think of soups as wintertime dishes but there are many great summer soups that would pair with this dish such as Blackbean soup, tomato soup, or a Summer Corn Soup. Many of the summer soups are chilled so they make a great dish to eat with pasta salad. 

Classic Pasta Salad or Spaghetti Pasta Salad would be my go-to for summer soups.

5-  Fried Chicken

What says summertime in the South more than fried chicken? The hot crispy chicken and that cold pasta salad are a match made in food heaven. Fried chicken makes for a great main course meal to eat with pasta salad. 

Photo by Yunuar Putut Widjanarko

Since the fried chicken is rich and heavy from being fried, I prefer a Spaghetti or Classic Pasta Salad with Fried chicken. This will help lighten the meal a bit.

6- Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Crockpot Chicken

Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Crockpot Chicken is a recipe that I came across a few years ago. I changed it up a little to better suit me. BBQ Chicken also goes great with Pasta Salad. I feel like there is a theme going on here, chicken haha. 

 I just love that sweet and tangy bbq sauce and then getting a bite of that zesty cold pasta salad. I think I am getting hungry thinking about it.

This recipe combines sweet baby ray bbq sauce with Apple cider vinegar, red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, onion, bell pepper, brown sugar, Texas Pete, and garlic powder. The best part is you put it in the crockpot, set it, and forget it until it is done. It is hard to bet that. It is such an easy recipe to make and really doesn’t take any time other than the passive time it takes to cook it.

Macaroni salad would be a great choice for a pasta salad to serve with bbq chicken.

7- Summer Potluck

If you are trying to think of something to bring to your church social or a summer potluck, you really can’t go wrong with pasta salad. I am sure no one is going to turn their nose up to it, as a matter of fact, I bet it will be a huge hit!

My favorite pasta salad to serve with a summer potluck would be the classic pasta salad.

8- Grilled Chicken Skewers

I just love to make Grilled chicken skewers. We also call them Chicken Kabobs. The way I cook mine is I cut up pineapple, red onion, and yellow, green, and red bell pepper. I then cut up chunks of boneless chicken breast.

Chicken Skewers on the Grill by Pixabay

I alternate them on the metal skewers then throw them on the grill. I like to use a thick teriyaki sauce to baste them in while they cook. 

I like a creamy pasta salad with grilled chicken skewers. Since the protein is fairly light and not a very rich protein, the creaminess of the pasta salad adds some fat to the dish. It makes for a great side dish for grilled chicken skewers.

9- Meatball Subs

Meatball subs can be a very heavy meal. It is carbs and protein with a little bit of sauce, I wouldn’t really call that getting your vegetables. One way to lighten up the meal is to have a cold pasta salad as a side dish. 

The Pasta Salad has all your vegetables in it such as fresh tomatoes, red onion, and bell pepper as well as other fresh vegetables. It is really a great rounded dish that would pair well with meatball subs. 

My favorite pasta salad to serve with Meatball subs would be Spaghetti Pasta Salad

10- Steak

Nothing compliments the richness of a meaty-flavorful steak like that zesty cold pasta salad. It is the classic hot and cold combo that our taste buds die for. Whether you cook it on the grill, stovetop in a cast iron pan, or in the oven, steak is one of Americans’ favorite foods to splurge on.

Photo by Nadin Sh

Pasta Salad makes a delicious side dish to pair with steak. All the different flavors from the pasta salad pair well with the steak. You can still eat your steak with a side salad or even serve fruity summer salads with it.

A great pasta salad to serve with steaks would be a Greek Pasta Salad. I also love serving this Marinated Cucumber Onion and Vinegar recipe with steaks and Spaghetti Pasta Salad.


Next time you have a cookout, family reunion, or whatever the case may be, make sure to take Pasta Salad with you to the meal. It is such a popular side dish that everyone will be raving over it. With this extensive list of popular main dishes, you will have an easier time deciding what to eat with pasta salad next time.

Thanks for stopping by Southern Food Junkie. It is our hope that you enjoy this recipe sharing it with friends, family, and coworkers. Make sure to take time to give thanks to the creator, God, by which all blessings flow.
John 6:35

-Ronnie | Let’s Get Food Junked

Also, try these delicious recipes as well:

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Brunswick Stew

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