Pasta Salad—the perfect main OR side dish 
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5 Great Pasta Salads
Pasta salads. I almost feel like I don’t have to say anything else. A good pasta salad is like a little giftby and large, very easy to make, soul-satisfying, crowd-pleasing, colorful, eye-catching, textural, cheap (yay, pasta!), adaptable, a make-ahead dish. . . oh, it turns out I did have other things to say, surprise, surprise.

Pasta salads are often vegetarian or can be made that way. In fact, I sometimes make a vegetarian pasta salad (or a vegetarian version of a pasta salad) and put out bowls of cubed cooked chicken and cooked shrimp for people to add in as they wish, or skip in favor of the vegetarian version.

Pasta salads anchor a plate with what can only be called aplomb (shhh, I know that’s silly, it can be called other things). They are powerful and humble all at the same time. They are dependable. I have now worked myself into a pasta salad tizzy and am off to make one of the following.
This vegetarian salad is also vegan. No mayo, but lots of vegetables with an easy-to-make olive oilbased dressing.

Click here for the recipe. 
This salad is so, so pretty, with tomatoes and feta and zucchini. It can be made ahead, which is great when you have a crew of guests. Half of the dressing is used as the marinade for the chicken, but if you have leftover cooked chicken you can sub that in instead.

Click here for the recipe. 
This pasta salad is like summer in a bowl.

Click here for the recipe. 
This dish turns lunch into a luncheon. A slightly creamy, herb dressing envelopes everything and is brimming with flavor.

Click here for the recipe. 
When I first made this, it came from leftovers, which is yet ANOTHER wonderful attribute of pasta saladsthey are perfect vehicles to re-purpose leftovers. There are lots of ways to use leftover shredded chicken, and this is a fine one.

Click here for the recipe.
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