10 Mistakes To Avoid When Making Pasta Salad (With Fixes)

A tasty pasta salad is a summertime staple. But there are lots of ways to mess up this favorite side dish! Learn how to make the perfect pasta salad with a few easy tips that will set you up for pasta salad success every time.

No matter what cold pasta salad recipe you choose, with these tips you will be making a delicious pasta salad that’s a mainstay for all the back-yard BBQs, pot-lucks, and picnics.

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a bowl of macaroni pasta salad

So what gives? You’re at a potluck, summer BBQ, or friend’s house, and a pasta salad looks delish. You load up your plate, take a bite, and have a dry, chewy, sour mouthful of cold pasta. Been there, done that!

Pasta salad can be great, or it can be gross! If the pasta isn’t cooked with the whole idea that it’s for a cold salad, for-geta-bout-it! And yes, there are lots of ways to screw up a pasta salad recipe!

Why Do Cold Pasta Salad Recipes Dry Out? (Retrogradation Of Starches)

You sample your make-ahead, delicious cold pasta salad, and it’s perfecto! But when you serve it (even same-day pasta salad recipes), it’s rubbery, chewy, and just not good. You apologize, and everyone protests it’s the bomb because a BBQ isn’t Twitter, and you can’t hide your comments behind a 6” screen, right?

So, what is the deal with cold pasta salads? It’s all in the starches and a really big word; retrogradation. (more…)

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