Make Ahead

How To Make the Best Pasta Salad Without Mayo — Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

I have to admit an unpopular opinion: I am just not into mayonnaise-based summer salads. When it is hot out, I want to eat light and refreshing salads, not thick and creamy ones. So when I say this is the best pasta salad ever, it's with that opinion in mind. But a mayo-free pasta salad can still come with a degree of creaminess. In this case it's by way of an olive oil-rich vinaigrette and a sprinkling of flavorful soft cheese.

Start by choosing the right pasta for the job, making an oil-based dressing, and adding some personal flair with a number of optional add-ins. Learn how to make your new favorite pasta salad right here, right now.

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Recipe: Strawberry Blondies — Easy Dessert Recipes

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Put just about any baked treat in front of me and I am happy, but there's something extra special about these seasonal blondies. The base is a classic blondie that's been seriously upgraded with the help of brown butter and a slew of chopped white chocolate. Fresh strawberry halves dot the surface — their sweet summer flavor concentrates and caramelizes in the oven, leaving you to bite into juicy, candy-like flavor in between bites of buttery, cookie-like goodness.

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Recipe: Cold Sesame Chicken and Noodle Salad — Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinners

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

I have a radical idea that will shake things up, turns some heads, and wow tastebuds all around at your next cookout: Pass on the pasta salad in favor of this sesame noodle number. It's inspired by the noodle bowls I love for make-ahead lunches and easy dinners, but it goes bigger. Chewy rice noodles are right at home in this cold summer salad for a crowd, bolstered by fresh veggies, tender strips of chicken, and a creamy sesame-ginger dressing that clings to every last bite. It's quick and easy to pull together and totally satisfying without being too heavy.

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Recipe: Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad — Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinners

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

You're going to want to keep this salad firmly planted in your summer meal plan rotation and at the ready for all of your picnics and potlucks. It is what I consider a multi-purpose, do-it-all salad — one that everyone can eat. It gets its bulk from protein-rich pantry staples like quinoa and beans, and picks up freshness, crunch, and color from a medley of veggies before it's tied together with a zippy chile-lime dressing. You can count on it to hold its own as the main course or a side that pairs with all your summer favorites.

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Recipe: Broccoli and Cauliflower “Coleslaw” — Recipes from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Bringing a side dish to cookouts (and really any potluck) always feels a little bit like Thanksgiving dinner for me. I'm itching to go off-script, to prepare something new, exciting, and adventurous, while the rest of the family wants nothing but the classics. This slaw is the compromise where everybody wins. It ditches the standard shredded cabbage for a duo of crunchy chopped florets for a fresh spin. It's an instant hit with this broccoli- and cauliflower-loving crowd! The creamy tang of the lightened-up classic dressing will satisfy even the most ardent coleslaw devotees.

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Recipe: Broccoli and Cauliflower “Coleslaw” — Recipes from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Bringing a side dish to cookouts (and really any potluck) always feels a little bit like Thanksgiving dinner for me. I'm itching to go off-script, to prepare something new, exciting, and adventurous, while the rest of the family wants nothing but the classics. This slaw is the compromise where everybody wins. It ditches the standard shredded cabbage for a duo of crunchy chopped florets for a fresh spin. It's an instant hit with this broccoli- and cauliflower-loving crowd! The creamy tang of the lightened-up classic dressing will satisfy even the most ardent coleslaw devotees.

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