Summer Picnic Pasta Salad

Crumbled bacon

Crumbled bacon

Pasta Salad


Pasta salad Mise-en-place

Pasta salad mise-en-place


This pasta salad makes the best summer side dish, and the best part of it, you can prepare it ahead of time. This salad goes well with grilled New York strips or skirt steaks. In this recipe I am using the elbow pasta shape, but fusilli or bow ties are great alternatives. Put on your apron and let’s get cooking!

This recipe yields a large bowl of pasta salad, but the recipe can be divided in half to feed fewer people. 

Serves: 10 – 15 as a side dish

Level of difficulty: Easy to medium

Prepping time from start to finish: 1 hour

Chilling time: 3-4 hours in the fridge


  • 1.5 lb. pasta, elbow shape, cooked al dente
  • 1/2 lb. of bacon, crumbled
  • 4 boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, diced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise*
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsps. Mrs. Dash, Italian Medley, no sodium
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil 


1) Bring pasta water to a boil. Add a handful of salt. Cook pasta al dente as per package’s direction.

2) Drain pasta well and pour it into a large mixing bowl.

3) Add all the ingredients and mix well.

4) Cover and chill in the fridge for a at least 3-4 hours. The colder the salad, the tastier it will be, and this will allow the flavors to infuse nicely.

Upon serving, remove from the fridge and drizzle more olive oil to moisten the salad.

* If you don’t like mayonnaise, substitute it with more olive oil, and add some red wine vinegar. It will be similar to a vinaigrette dressing. Taste and adjust the spices as needed.

Wine pairing suggestion: Pink Flamingo Rose made with 100% Grenache produced by Vranken Pommery. 

This refreshing wine boasts a summery salmon color, and offers aromas and flavors of berries, strawberries, peach and apricot.

I hope you will make this delicious pasta salad to bring to your next picnic. Please let me know how it turned out!

Happy Cooking & Sipping!

Gina Martino Zarcadoolas, aka Foodiewinelover
Culinary Personality, Food & Wine Blogger
Author of the cookbook: Cuisines, Corkscrews & Cultures:
Level-2 Certified world-renowned – “WSET: Wine, Spirit, Education, Trust”
Level-2 Certified Sommelier & Italian Wine Scholar Student (Prep course and Unit 1 completed)
Winner of 2019 Italian Wines “Salice Salentino USA Bloggers” Award, held in Puglia, Italy
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  1. LD Juarez says:

    I love how recipes bring back such cherished memories. My Momma used to make this, and it was always such a treat. I loved it warm, right as she made it. And also later when it was chilled. Delicious. You’ve inspired me to see if I can make a low oxalate version of this. I miss it! YUM!!!! Great job as always, my friend!

  2. Pingback: New York Strip Steaks Grilled To Perfection | Foodie WineLover

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