Stuck in a pasta and potato salad rut? Always making the same mayo based side? In celebration of National Picnic Day on April 23rd, let’s take a look at some different side salads you can make to step up your next outing.
1. Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
First up, authentic Hawaiian Macaroni Salad, courtesy of Master Cook. An interesting blend of items this salad, this is likely a side your guests have never experienced. Throw ingredients below into a bowl, mix and serve cold.
- 2 cups whole milk divided
- 2 cups mayonnaise Divided
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup yellow onion grated
- 1/2 cup carrot peeled and shredded
- 1/2 cup celery finely chopped
- 2 cups ham chopped
- 1-20 ounce can pineapple chunks drained
- 1/4 cup green onions sliced
2. Bloody Mary Pasta Salad
Hosting a Sunday Brunch picnic? Why not wow your friends with a Bloody Mary Pasta Salad from My Food and Family. Chock full of delicious ingredients, this salad is a sure fire hit.
- 2/3 cup tomato vinaigrette dressing
- 1/3 cup cocktail sauce
- 3 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon horseradish
- 1 1/2 teaspoons hot sauce
- 12 oz. macaroni pasta, cooked and drained
- 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup celery, thinly sliced
- 1 cup cooked bacon, crumbled
- 1 cup green bell pepper, cut into squares
- 1 cup red bell pepper, cut into squares
- 1/2 cup red onion, sliced
- 1/2 cup green pimento-stuffed olives, chopped
- 8 oz. fresh mozzarella, cubed
- In a medium bowl, whisk together tomato vinaigrette dressing, cocktail sauce, worcestershire sauce, horseradish and hot sauce.
- In a large bowl, add cooked macaroni, tomatoes, celery, bacon, bell peppers, red onion, olives and mozzarella.
- Pour dressing over salad, then toss together before serving.
3. Mexican Pasta Salad
The unique ingredients in this salad are guaranteed to please your taste buds and with just 187 calories per serving, it’s also a healthy alternative to the standard.
- 10 ounces bowtie pasta
- ½ cup Greek yogurt, preferably fat free
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 jalapeno, minced, or to taste (optional)
- 1 cup frozen (or fresh) corn, thawed
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup finely diced red onion
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- Whisk yogurt and mayonnaise in a large bowl. Add lime juice, honey, cumin, salt, chili powder and smoked paprika and whisk to combine.
- Add the pasta and stir to combine. Add black beans, jalapeno, corn, tomatoes, cilantro and red onion. Stir to combine. Serve immediately or chill.
- 1 lb dry shell pasta
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon McCormick’s Salad Supreme seasoning
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese
- 2 cups sliced dill pickles
- ½ cup dill pickle juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill weed
- Boil pasta; drain, rinse and place in large bowl.
- In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise, sour cream, dill weed, Dijon mustard, Salad Supreme, pepper, and pickle juice. Toss with pasta.
- Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours before serving.
5. Bacon Blue Cheese Potato Salad
Sure to become one of your favorite potato salad recipes, this Bacon Blue Cheese Potato Salad from Highlands Ranch Foodie. Why not take a step out of your comfort zone and make this creamy and tart.
- 10-12 new potatoes cooked
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 Tablespoons milk or mayonnaise
- 1/4 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- salt and pepper
- 2 Tablespoons parsley chopped
- 3 green onions sliced
- 1/3 cup toasted almonds
- 3 eggs hard cooked and chopped
- 4 oz blue cheese
- 4 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
- This is one of those toss in and mix it up recipes. Just don’t toss it all together too long before you serve it or the almonds might get a bit soft. Change the measurements around to suit yourself. Use a different kind of nuts or cheese or salami instead of bacon. Really, it’s that forgiving a recipe!
6. French Potato Salad
We can always count on Martha Stewart to mix things up. This French Potato Salad recipe is close enough to the original that it won’t scare those who don’t like to try new things and it will please the adventurous. It’s subtle taste will please everyone at the table.
- Place potatoes in a large pot; cover with cold water by 1 inch and season generously with salt. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Run under cold water to cool slightly, then drain.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together oil, mustard, vinegar, shallot, parsley, and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Add potatoes and onion and toss to combine. Serve at room temperature. To store, refrigerate, up to overnight.
7. Cauliflower “Potato” Salad
If you’re looking for a healthy alternative to your standard salad sides, this is for you. Replace your potatoes with cauliflower for a carb free version.
- a head of cauliflower
- 6 hard-boiled eggs-chopped
- 3 stalks of celery-chopped
- 1 small onion-chopped
- 1 cup frozen peas-thawed
- 6 oz pkg bacon–cooked and crumbled
- 1 cup mayo (I use 1/2 cup greek yogurt 1/2 cup mayo)
- 1 tab mustard
- salt & pepper to taste
- Boil the cauliflower until fork tender (about 10 min)–do NOT cook longer than fork tender. (you could also steam the cauliflower for great results!)
- Mix ingredients together.
- Put in fridge for at least 3 hours.
- This tastes much better after sitting in the fridge for a day or more!