Broccoli Pasta Salad is the perfect dish for a summer barbecue or a potluck dinner at any time of the year!
Tender pasta, crisp fresh broccoli, red onion, cranberries, and smoky bacon are all tossed together with a rich creamy dressing to create a delightful and fresh salad everyone loves! Sweet, zesty and full of flavor, this broccoli pasta salad will be one of the first things gone from your potluck table!
Broccoli Pasta Salad is a perfect potluck dish as it can be made ahead of time for fast, last minute meal or even as a quick lunch. I do love a heaping plate of pasta with my fave homemade pasta sauce! However, in the hotter months of summer, I more often lean towards a chilled pasta salad!
This Broccoli Pasta Salad makes a fantastic, hearty side dish alongside Easy Grilled Chicken Breast or perfect Pork Tenderloin! While I often serve it as a side dish, it’s definitely hearty enough to serve as a main course too! Pasta, veggies and a little bit of bacon in every bite makes this easy pasta salad a favorite!
How do you make a cold Pasta salad?
Making a cold pasta salad could not be more simple:
- Cook the pasta until al dente.
- Chop the vegetables and add-ins.
- Whisk together the dressing ingredients.
- Combine and mix! Refrigerate until ready to serve. Easy peasy!!
What vegetables can you add to a pasta salad?
Obviously this Broccoli pasta salad is loaded with… you guessed it, broccoli! I sometimes sub out cauliflower or add in shredded carrots, finely chopped zucchini or red bell peppers. Experiment with your favorite vegetables based on what you have on hand or what’s growing in your garden!
Can you make pasta salad ahead of time?
Yes! In fact it is actually better if it’s made ahead of time to allow the ingredients to blend together! This makes it the perfect dish to bring to a pot luck or to have ready for a quick weeknight meal.
How long will Pasta Salad Last in the refrigerator?
A pasta salad should last for about 5 days in the refrigerator. You will need to watch that vegetables, do not become too soggy but in this case, the broccoli should hold up perfectly. The flavors will actually intensify after a few hours or even a day, so it is a good idea to make your pasta salad ahead of time.
Broccoli Pasta Salad
- 4 cups broccoli cut into small pieces
- 8 oz rotini pasta or short pasta
- 1/3 cup red onion diced
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 8 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
- 1/2 cup feta cheese optional
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- salt & pepper
- Whisk dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and run under cold water.
- Add remaining ingredients to a larger bowl.
- Pour the prepared dressing over and mix well.
- Refrigerate for one hour before serving.
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