I love love love pasta salad. Now Jeff and I have differing ideas of what makes a good pasta salad. He’s more of a ranch creamy salad, and I’m more of an italian salad lover.
So we compromise. I devise a pasta salad bar when we have this for dinner, and everyone gets to design their own.
Pasta: cook one or several of these: bowtie, twist, or spaghetti. I like the tricolor because it adds in some vegetable servings
Meat: chicken, fajita meat (yum!), hamburger meat, taco meat, sausage
Cheese: parmesan (the grated kind is best to my mind), colby jack (my kids’ choice), feta cheese (mine), cheddar, not as common but yummy: manchego (LOVE that stuff)
Other things: sunflower seeds, croutons (if you can find the smaller ones, that’s even better), raisins, ramen noodles lightly sauteed in butter, or just uncooked ramen noodles
Sauce (our favorites): Italian, Caesar, Miso dressing, Ranch
I usually give each person a bowl and let them go down the line adding in what they want. If I’m preparing it for a picnic I make two versions, a bigger version with Ranch dressing for Jeff and the kids, and a smaller version for me with Italian dressing. I figure if I’m the one wanting different stuff I’m willing to do that.
It’s always devoured, and it makes for great travel food.
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