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Build Your Own Pasta Picnic

This build your own pasta picnic idea from our friends at GoodCook is a fantastic way to please different palates! Keep dinner easy for parties or on the go. You can change up the ingredients you offer to include whatever favorites your family prefers!

GoodCook offers the following tips for different combinations:

  • Use your favorite pasta shapes- Cavatappi, fusilli, bowtie, macaroni, etc.!
  • Add cubes of your favorite cheese- cheddar, pepper jack, swiss, or Colby.
  • Add vibrant color from yellow or orange bell peppers for the wow factor.
  • Make it Italian with black olives, diced green peppers, mozzarella cubes, pepperoni slices, and parmesan.
  • Make it Greek with kalamata olives, red onions, crumbled feta, and Greek dressing.
  • Make it Southwest with grilled corn, black beans, cherry tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, and chipotle ranch dressing.
  • Store pasta salad in the fridge for up to 5 days.


Serves 4-6

  • 3 cups cooked rotini pasta
  • 3 cups cooked penne pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chicken sausage, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups diced grilled chicken
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 3/4 cup bacon bits
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • Italian dressing
  • Caesar dressing
  • Ranch dressing


  1. Place each item in a separate airtight food storage container. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.
  2. Once ready to serve, lay out all ingredients and invite guests to build their pasta salads by adding any favorite toppings together in a bowl and mixing with the dressing of their choice.