What to Serve with Pasta Salad: 15 Complementing Sides


Quick Answer: What to Serve with Pasta Salad?

The most complementing side dishes that you can serve with Pasta Salad are- BBQ Chicken, Hamburgers, Sandwiches, Corn on the Cob, Broccoli Slaw, Grilled Hotdogs, Fried Okra, Cornbread, Baked Beans with Bacon, Roasted Veggies, Buttered Breadsticks, Caprese Skewers, Roasted Red Potatoes, Spicy Cashews and Deviled Eggs.

Looking for side dishes that will complement a light, hearty and refreshing Pasta Salad?

We have got you covered with a whole lot of optimum options!

In this post, we have compiled a list of 15 side dishes that are perfect for serving alongside your healthy and colorful pasta salad at your next gathering.

With their complementary flavors and interesting textures, these sides are sure to leave all bellies utterly satisfied.

I have personally tried my hand at these recipes and these sides are super easy to prepare, refreshing and nutritious at the same time.

Let’s get started!

1. BBQ Chicken

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 226
Total preparation time– 110 min

There is no doubt that the smoky flavors of barbecue go along seamlessly with the rich and refreshing flavors of Pasta salad.

Cooked slowly on the grill and slathered with a savory barbecue sauce, the bbq chicken rounds out just about any meal to perfection.

However, the trick to a good bbq chicken side is Patience!

When done right, it can take up at least an hour or even two.

Slow and steady ensures a perfectly succulent BBQ Chicken.

Quick tip: The key is to moderate the heat, however you can.

Check out this quick and yum recipe by Toasted:

2. Hamburgers

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 332
Total preparation time– 20 min

Even the pickiest of eaters out there love a good burger, isn’t it?

What better pairing than the protein from Hamburgers and starch from the Pasta salad?

It may sound crazy and simple, but quality meat, salt, and pepper is all you need to ace this easy-peasy hamburger recipe.

Rest, you can always include some extras- olive oil, mustard, cream or grated onion.

Here’s how Natasha’s Kitchen makes the juiciest burgers ever:

3. Sandwiches

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 260
Total preparation time– 30 min

Sandwiches are that one finger food which packs all flavors at once: sweet, salty, spicy, and savory!

Fairly easy to get together and eat, there are multiple variations to a sandwich recipe and all of them are downright delicious.

Soft bread with a rich filling of veggies, cheese or meat along with a dip of cilantro chutney is just the kind of filling and comforting side your Pasta salad needs!

So put on your chef hats and try out your favourite versions: be it a simple veggie sandwich, corned beef sandwich or simple grilled cheese sandwich.

Check out these delicious chicken sandwich recipes:

4. Corn on the Cob

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 106
Total preparation time– 20 min

Pasta Salad is sweet and tender, so it’s only fitting to combine it with a little charred and crunchy Corn on the Cob.

It promises the benefits of a vegetable in the form of a dessert.

Grilling and roasting are the most practical methods and provides that extra richness to the corn.

On the other hand, steaming or boiling too gives similar textures and promises juicy kernels .

Work some butter on the corn and drizzle with salt and pepper to make the side catapult to a new level.

Check out this fun recipe by The Domestic Geek:

5. Broccoli Slaw

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 116
Total preparation time– 20 min

Ditch the classic cabbage slaw and give this sweet and tangy broccoli slaw a try.

We promise you won’t regret it!

You need broccolis, carrots, cabbage, onion, dried cranberries, almonds and a creamy coleslaw dressing to throw the slaw together.

To prepare the dressing, combine some mayo, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, and maple syrup.

Quick tip: The slaw is tasty as it is but the longer you allow it to marinate, the greater is the chance of flavours melding up. Hence, make it a few hours before you plan on serving it.

Here’s how you can make this colorful slaw at home fuss-free:

6. Grilled Hotdogs

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 290
Total preparation time– 15 min

These luscious Grilled Hotdogs is another way to add some contrasting protein to your starchy main dish.

Make cuts in the hotdog using a sharp knife and let them marinate a few minutes before you work them on the grill.

Grill until they are charred to perfection and the cuts have opened up.

Do not grill for more than 5 minutes.

Here are 6 different ways you can make your hot dogs:

7. Fried Okra

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 60
Total preparation time– 30 min

A Southern classic, Okra promises a refreshing and crunchy twist to your Pasta Salad.

It is dredged in seasoned cornmeal and fried till golden brown perfection which is both scrumptious and utterly satisfying.

Okra, eggs, cornmeal, vegetable oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper are all you need to get this side together.

The recipe might be monotonous for some, but we guarantee you that the result will be totally worth it!

Here’s an easy recipe for you:

8. Cornbread

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 330
Total preparation time– 30 min

Don’t we all admire a salad with a classic side of sweet cornbread?

It is delectable, delicious and so filling.

Go conventional and pair up this tender, moist and buttery side with your Pasta Salad.

If you do not have a sweet tooth, there are plenty of variations for you to try!

Just add some cheddar cheese and throw in green chili into the usual recipe, we bet you will love the twist.

Additionally, you can use brown sugar and ditch the flavorless white sugar for an enhanced corn flavor.

Go check out this beyond easy cornbread recipe by Preppy Kitchen:

9. Baked Beans with Bacon

Total calories (per 100 gm)- 160
Total preparation time– 1 h

A classic side of sweet and savory baked beans is sure to fill all hearts to the brim.

Plus, it seamlessly complements the richness of Pasta salad. Win-win situation, isn’t it?

The smoky flavor of bacon is like a cherry on top.

The side is super simple to throw together and is packed with flavors.

Additionally, you can prepare the beans in large batches and store them for the rest of the summer.

Quick tip: Don’t forget to soak the beans overnight before you plan on baking them.

Do check out this awesome recipe:

10. Roasted Veggies

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 85
Total preparation time– 35 min

If you are on a lookout for a healthy and hearty side to pair with your Pasta salad, a bowl of roasted veggies won’t do any harm!

Roasting the vegetables is hands down the best way to cook them.

Not only it adds depth and a delicious flavour, but also a perfect texture.

This is one of those side dishes that can be an excellent pair to just about anything.

Alongside your salad, it is guaranteed to elevate your meal by leaps and bounds.

Just chop your favourite veggies, place them on a baking sheet and drizzle them with olive oil.

Then sprinkle some Italian seasoning, garlic, salt and pepper and toss everything together.

Roast till the veggies are tender and voila!

Here’s a quick and fun recipe by Tasty:

11. Buttered Breadsticks

Total calories (per 100 gm)- 412
Total preparation time– 25 min

After trying your hand on these homemade breadsticks, you won’t go for those store-bought varieties ever again!

Ultra-buttery and golden brown after baking up, they are absolutely delicious and crispy.

Moreover, this easy and quick to prepare side needs only 6 staple ingredients: all-purpose flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, butter and milk.

Go check out this super quick and easy recipe:

12. Caprese Skewers

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 232
Total preparation time– 20 min

Easy to prepare with only 4 ingredients, these Caprese Skewers are guaranteed to impress.

They are made in a delicious balsamic reduction using cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and cheesy mozzarella.

A light and tasty accompaniment, they look extremely vivid on a wooden or metal skewer and imitate the classic Caprese salad to perfection.

Check out this easy recipe using balsamic glaze:

13. Roasted Red Potatoes

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 89
Total preparation time– 45 min

A quick, easy, healthy and elegant side that takes just minutes to put together and is an ultimate crowd-pleaser.

These perfectly roasted red potatoes are coated in garlic, herbs and parmesan and are absolutely crispy and full of interesting flavors.

Red potatoes are great when it comes to roasting as this type holds it shape really well and comes with a neutral flavor that pairs well with just about any seasoning.

Ensure not to overcook the potatoes.

They generally do not take more than 40 minutes to cook.

Check out this amazing recipe by Food Wishes:

14. Spicy Cashews

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 535
Total preparation time– 15 min

These seasoned nuts are so rich and taste even better giving a slight crunch to that tender Pasta salad.

This recipe is extremely simple to throw together and gets ready in less than 20 minutes.

Sauté some cashews in butter and oil for about 5 minutes or until golden brown.

Spread them on a paper towel-lined baking sheet and let stand for 2-3 minutes.

Then transfer to a large bowl and season with salt, chili powder and pepper flakes.

Toss generously to coat and store the mixture in an airtight container.

Here’s how Hebbar’s Kitchen prepares these savory and seasoned nuts:

15. Deviled Eggs

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 201
Total preparation time– 35 min

Equally rich and creamy, these deviled eggs make for a perfectly complementing side dish to your pasta salad.

Once heated, slice the eggs in half lengthwise and mash the yolks into a good crumble via fork.

Then add some mayo, mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper, and mix well.

Sprinkle with paprika for an added flavor and serve these delicacies right away!

Pro tip: Remember that the key is to keep the egg whites and yolk filling separate.

Check how 4 different ways to prepare this recipe here:


Should the chicken skin be peeled before barbecue?

No, it is not required. Even if you do not wish to eat the chicken skin, it’s best to barbecue it with it on as the skin will keep the chicken pieces from drying out.

What can be used in place of Balsamic Reduction?

Following are the three quick fixes you can count on when you need an alternative for balsamic reduction:
1. Grape jelly
2. Red wine vinegar
3. Soy sauce

How far ahead can we make deviled eggs?

The recipe is a make ahead one and you can prepare it for up to 2 days in advance.

What drinks pair well with Pasta Salad?

With the creamy Russian dressing of the salad, it is fitting to pair it with some wine– Chardonnay, Semillon, and Marsanne stand up really well!

Bottom Line

We hope that this wholesome guide on what to pair with Pasta Salad helped you in picking out a side dish for your next gathering.

These incredibly healthy and complementing sides, each with their distinct flavors and textures are sure to make the grade.

If you have any tips or suggestions to share, do let us know below.

Also, please don’t forget to share these marvelous side dish recipes with your friends and family!

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About Barbara Foster

Barbara is a traveler who has traveled to more than 25 countries. She loves the variety of food she gets to experience on her trips and maintains detailed journals of her travels which she plans to publish as a book someday. She loves to bake. Her favorite cuisines are Italian, French, and Mexican.