Lemony Red Pepper and Asparagus Pasta Salad <br> Photography by Joe Kim Credits: Lemony Red Pepper and Asparagus Pasta Salad <br> Photography by Joe Kim
Planning a picnic or family barbecue anytime soon? Give yourself one less thing to worry about and go for one of our easy pasta salad recipes. It's sure to be a hit!
Pasta salads are great to make ahead, and are absolute tops for large groups. They also take the cake for being an extremely versatile dish – with a host of added ingredients, toppings and dressings, simple pasta salads can go from humble side to star entrée in no time.
We asked Test Kitchen food specialist Amanda Barnier to share some top tips for preparing pasta salads, and why they're a crowd favourite. Here's what she had to share:
Pasta salads: the perfect make-ahead dish
"Pasta salads can easily be prepped in advance and can feed a crowd with little effort," Amanda says. "It can be made in advance and cooled immediately after cooking."
One important tip to remember, she adds, is to "add dressing the day it's being served, because it will quickly absorb the dressing."
Pasta salad favourites
"I like using cheese filled tortellini for a hearty salad. Soba and rice noodles are great with Asian dressings, whole grain and coloured pastas," Amanda says.
How to store pasta salads
"Keep salads well wrapped and refrigerated," she says. "Salad has the same storage life as its ingredients. Seafood is best eaten within 2 days, and chicken (within) 2 to 3 days. If traveling, be sure to store pasta salads in coolers packed with lots of ice."
"Proteins should not be within 4 C and 60 C for longer than a four hour period," she adds.
The long and short of it: best pasta shapes
"Short shapes are best with vinaigrettes and creamy dressings, and chunky ingredients such as chopped vegetables and beans," Amanda says.
"Long pasta shapes are better used with thinly sliced vegetables, proteins, herbs, spices and vinaigrettes."
Tips for making pasta salad
"If making a pasta salad in advance, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process and drain well," she advises. "Add dressing just prior to serving. Pasta quickly absorbs liquids; if the dressing is added too soon, the pasta will absorb it."
So whether you prefer chunky pasta salads with a cool, creamy dressing perfect for summer picnics, or entrée-worthy pasta salads with long rice noodles and a tangy vinaigrette, you're sure to find a new favourite with from our collection.
Easy pasta salad recipes:
Lemony Red Pepper and Asparagus Pasta Salad
A bright vinaigrette makes this pasta salad the ultimate dish to serve at any summer party.
Photography by Joe Kim
Mediterranean Orzo Salad
This salad highlights many fresh flavours of the Mediterranean and is at its best when made with good-quality olive oil.
Photography by Jeff Coulson
The Best Macaroni Salad
This is a great keeper salad and perfect for a picnic or BBQ. Just make sure you pack it with plenty of ice packs to keep it nice and cold, both during transportation and at the table.
Photography by Annabelle Waugh
Chicken, Broccoli and Bocconcini Pasta Salad
Make this pasta salad for the whole family—the kids will love the mild dressing and round bocconcini cheese, while the adults will appreciate it as a light alternative to a sandwich.
Photography by Jeff Coulson
More great pasta salad recipes:
Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad
This salad is simple to assemble for a quick family meal.
Warm Spinach and Ham Pasta Salad
Dressed with Dijon mustard and white wine vinegar, this penne pasta salad is a winner topped with goat cheese and cherry tomatoes.
Winter Vegetable Pasta Salad
Cook everything together in one pot for this easy warm salad.
Pea, Pepper and Pasta Salad
This make-ahead salad is perfect for toting to a potluck barbecue or picnic. Toss the salad with the dressing right before serving so the peas stay bright green.
Summer Pasta Salad
Serve this light summery salad with crispy, homemade Parmesan Breadsticks.
Mediterranean Fusilli Salad
Fresh basil, hearty beans, piquant sun-dried tomatoes and al dente pasta make the perfect summer salad.
Warm Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Salad
The dressing lends a taste of summer any time of year. The red peppers provide vitamins A and C and potassium. Quick and easy to make, this salad is perfect to take to a last-minute potluck or picnic.
Grilled Sausage, Pepper and Bocconcini Pasta Salad
This delicious pasta salad is made with tasty Italian sausage and lots of colourful peppers.
Bow-Tie Pasta Salad
This easy, colourful salad has the sunny fresh tastes of Greece.
Tuna Pasta Salad
Using tuna packed in both oil and broth means you'll need less oil in the dressing.
Salmon Pasta Salad
Start with melon wedges to whet your appetite for this quick and light dinner.
Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad
Grilled market-fresh veggies meet marinated olives and artichokes in this healthy dish made with whole wheat rotini. So chock full with taste and texture, carnivores won't complain about this vegetarian dish.
Party Parmesan Pasta Salad
Try this hearty salad studded with salami, olives, tiny tomatoes, roasted pepper and fresh basil.
Smoked Salmon Pasta Salad
This easy tasty pasta salad is loaded with calcium. Omit the banana peppers if your child is not a fan of hot food.
Deli Pasta Salad
Add 1-1/4 cups (300 mL) extra pasta to the pot at dinner the night before to have enough for this lunchtime salad the next day.
Sirloin Steak with Green Bean Pasta Salad
Sirloin steaks paired with green beans and tomatoes make this salad a hearty entrée.
Looking for more great recipes? Try our best potato salad recipes.
<p>Raina + Wilson</p>
Coats with faux fur. Coats with brushed wool. Coats with quilting. Texture is one of the biggest trends in outerwear—and we've identified the iterations for you here.
Photography by Raina + Wilson / Shot on location at Horseshoe Canyon and Willow Creek Coulee, Drumheller, Alta.
Stay warm while looking cool in this season's most functional coat trend: the parka. A trip of pink faux fur gives this classic cold-weather staple an unexpected twist.
Nod to the glamour of Studio 54 (minus all the pageantry of sequins and lamé) with an elegant faux-fur jacket. We adore this one, with its multitones and patchwork chevron pattern; the directional design is slimming and gives this throwback style a modern update.
Want to add some texture to your winter topper—without adding bulk? Opt for a more tactile mohair style. The material has the perfect amount of fuzz, but it won't make you look like a teddy bear.
Sosken coat, $495, simons.ca. Tan top, $25, dynamiteclothing.com. Faux-leather leggings, $130, ilovetylermadison.com. Kam Dhillon glasses, clearly.ca. Gloves, rudsak.com. Michael Michael Kors backpack, michaelkors.ca.
Combat frigid temperatures—and grey days—with a statement coat. From boiled wool to full-on raised tweed, the blending of tactile textures is the hottest trend in coats.
If kooky colours cloud your sartorial judgement, stick with a black-and-white palette. A jumbo buffalo check in a king-sized moto shape is edgy but luxurious—especially with the addition of a dramatic tuft of faux fur at the collar.
Coat, $349, johnandjenncollection.com. Tank top, $25, dynamiteclothing.com. Faux-leather leggings, $130, ilovetylermadison.com. Gloves, echodesign.com. Michael Michael Kors crossbody bag, michaelkors.ca. Knee-high leather boots, roots.com.
Take a cue from the stylish set sauntering around Whistler, B.C., and Mont-Tremblant, Que., and layer your outerwear. The go-to après-ski look gives new life to your transitional pieces, and when they're properly stacked, the silhouette is more sleek and less super sized.
The next time you decide to invest in a wear-forever coat, skip basic black and cozy up to rick navy instead. This luxurious robe-style coat with elaborate ribbed sleeves is the perfect protector for both special occasions and everyday jaunts.
Beyond Thanksgiving dessert and carving jack-o’-lanterns, this autumn gourd has a host of health benefits. Here are five ways pumpkins can improve your diet, sleep and skin, plus five easy and nutritious pumpkin recipes.
1. Healthy eyes
Pumpkin is a rich source of beta-carotene—it’s what gives it that rich, vibrant colour. Packed with potent antioxidants, it helps protect your vision from degeneration. Bonus: You’ll also see stronger nails and healthier hair.
2. Glowing skin
Pumpkins are rich in a host of skin-healthy vitamins: the properties from antioxidant-rich vitamin A (retinol) act as a shield for your skin, protecting you from the damaging affects of free radicals; vitamin C helps promote collagen production and renew the skin for a glowing face; and vitamin E improves skin tone.
3. Energy boost
The daily recommended iron intake for women is higher than for men, and as women age or become pregnant, the necessary dose increases. Pumpkins are full of iron, an immunity-boosting mineral that can help ward of illness and fatigue and keep your energy high.
4. Better diet
High in fibre (7 grams per one cup of canned pumpkin) and low in calories (26 calories for 100g), pumpkins can help you stay full longer and keep your digestion on track. The Heart & Stroke association recommends 21 to 38 grams of fibre a day, however most people don’t quite reach half that amount.
5. Improved sleep and mood
Don’t toss the seeds. Raw pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds) are rich in tryptophan (yes, the same snooze-inducing amino acid that kicks in post-turkey dinner) and can help you get more Zs. This compound also supports serotonin, which not only helps you sleep better, but boosts your mood, too.
Whether you use the whole pumpkin, the pulp or the seeds, here are five must-try recipes, ranging from savoury to sweet.
Thai Pumpkin Coconut Soup
This silky soup is a mix of traditional sweet and sour Thai flavours and has only 159 calories per serving. It’s guaranteed to be your go-to winter warm-up soup.
Pumpkin Spice Muffins
A muffin is a great grab-and-go treat. Skip the maple cream cheese spread to keep the calorie count (250 calories) low.
Arugula and Pepita Pesto
Add this pesto to salad, soups or over meat. Keeps in the freezer for up to six months.
Almond Pepita Butter
This fragrant nut butter with a mix of almond and pepita is a super-satisfying topper.
Pumpkin Pie Granola
A mix of pepitas, pecans, flaxseeds, puffed rice cereal and a medley of aromatic spices, such as cinnamon, ginger and cloves gives this granola loads of flavour.
Photography by Carlyle Routh
We asked six of the biggest names in the nail world to dish on the must-have mani of the season. Here’s what they had to day about hot hues, cool effects and what’s inspiring them now.
Among the fashion industry and celebrity elite, Tom Bachik is one of North America’s most sought-after “man”-icurists. The southern California native spent his early years skateboarding and competing on the BMX circuit, but that all changed when his wife got pregnant and he needed to find a job that would provide for this growing family—fast. A hairstylist cousin suggested he get his manicure licence, so he did, thinking it would be a short-term solution. Then, Bachik realized he was good. Twenty years later, he’s an industry icon, repping L’Oreal as the company’s global nail designer and spokesperson, and regularly working with such stars as Jennifer Lopez, Anne Hathaway and Blake Lively.
This season, Bachik is feeling vampy, opulent tones. “Think ‘90s fashion, where dark, rich tones were no longer considered goth,” he says. “We’re going back to that kind of regal colour family.” Bachik notes that it’s not just that lacquers are darker but also that colours are more saturated, so they look deep and lush. When it comes to nail art, he’s inspired by bold stripes, geometric shapes and texture. “I think dry brushing is a cool look,” he says. “It gives you that textured, layered effect, like a tweed jacket.”
Pro tip: “To get the dry brushing effect, wipe off the excess polish; I use a piece of paper to wipe each side of the brush. The key is putting a small amount of pressure on the tipoff the brush, almost holding the brush straight up and down. All the little tips of the hairs on the brush are depositing colour, so you’re almost getting a splash of colour going across.”
Tom’s colour crushes
L’Oreal Paris Le Vernis a L’Huille by Colour Riche in Bleu Royal and Greige Amoureux, $10 each, lorealparis.com.
Checkerboard prints, geometric motifs and kaleidoscope shapes are some of Madeline Poole’s kooky—yet very cool—signature manicures. The New York resident and Sally Hansen global colour ambassador is one of the most talented and recognized nail artists in the industry: Her work has been spotted in magazines, at Fashion Weeks and on the digits of celebrities.
This fall, Poole feels nostalgic for the classics, such as rich navy, energetic orange and a whole spectrum of greys, from heather to charcoal. But her top tip is Sally Hanson Colour Therapy in Unwine’d: “It’s deep enough to feel burgundy while still reading like a rich red,” she says.
The look she created here melds two trends: semicircles and a futuristic French manicure. “Both of these trends also look great on their own—and the semicircle at the tip is quite easy to recreate at home.”
Madeline’s colour crushes
Sally Hansen Color Therapy in Steely Serene and Unwine’d, $13 each, shoppersdrugmart.ca.
Prim, not proper
She lives, breathes and dreams nail polish, which explains why Leeanne Colley is one of Canada’s top manicurists. Her work has graced the hands of some of the world’s hottest celebrities and supermodels at Fashion Weeks in New York and Toronto, and her talent has been featured in countless magazines.
In her home base of Toronto, Colley is best known for her to-die-for nail-art skills and her award-winning salon, a manicure hot spot for editors, influencers and loyal clients.
Her “it” mani for the season was inspired by a dress from the Alexander McQueen Fall 2016 show. “I often follow what’s happening on the runways for inspiration,” says Colley. “Both fashion and beauty inspire each other.”
Leeanne’s colour crushes