Promise me that pimento cheese pasta salad is about to make your weekly menu!
Because this one is GOOD.
It’s no secret – I love a somewhat “different” pasta salad. I never gravitate towards the traditional pasta salad or macaroni salad that you may find at cookouts or summer BBQs. Eddie actually LOVES both, so occasionally, I’ll make one at home for him. But it’s just not something that floats my boat, and I assume it started with my lack of pasta love as a child.
That, and super creamy pasta salads that swim in sauce are not appealing to me in the hot hot summertime.
Love both so much that I could eat a bowl as a meal! Side dishes be gone.
Or! This super easy caprese one. You can find that full recipe on IGTV that I made with Max at the spur of the moment a few weeks ago.
However. To be a total hypocrite, I kind of wanted to create a… simpler…? Yes, let’s go with simpler. A simpler pasta salad. Something that was really all about one flavor and the pasta.
And that’s how pimento cheese pasta salad was born!
At first, I was like… hmmm, can I just make my regular pimento cheese and stir it into pasta? But that sounded horrific, with the cream cheese and such, so I made a creamy dressing with both mayo and yogurt and a bunch of spices, add the diced pimentos and shredded cheddar in with the pasta and tossed the entire thing up.
Oh and garnished it with baby arugula microgreens. They are so cute! So flavorful. And a really fun touch for basically every recipe this summer so get ready to see them all.the.time.
It’s funny I should say that because I also garnished the bowl with the prettiest chive blossoms that popped up in my herb garden this year. My chives came back and with them, these beautiful chive blossoms. I adore the color and have had a great time adding them to salads and on other plates so far this season.
Since Eddie does love a pasta salad, I was drawn to the pimento cheese flavor for him too. He flips over pimento cheese and I knew he would think it was the best side dish ever.
Mission definitely accomplished.
And! There aren’t a lot of other add-ins in this salad, so it complements other dishes very well. It’s great to take to a party and it’s actually good if you happen to have leftovers too. This one is a bit lighter on the dressing and, dare I say it, drier. But not dry in a bad way! It’s just not soaked in dressing while also swimming in it.
Makes me so summer happy.
Pimento Cheese Pasta Salad
Yield: 4 people
This pimento cheese pasta salad is the perfect summer side dish! All the flavor of pimento cheese and all the comforts of pasta salad, in one bowl!
- 8 ounces macaroni noodles, cooked
- 2/3 cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup plain greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish
- 1 tablespoon dill pickle juice
- 1 tablespoon pimento juice from the jar
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 (8 ounce) jar pimentos, drained and diced (reserve 1 tablespoon!
- 8 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, freshly grated
- Fresh chive blossoms, for garnish
- Arugula microgreens, for garnish
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the directions.
While the pasta is cooking, mix up the dressing. Whisk together the mayo, yogurt, mustard, chives, pickle juice, pimento juice, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper and smoked paprika until creamy.
Once the pasta is finished cooking, you can run it quickly under cool water to cool it down. I like to wait until the pasta is cool to the touch to continue.
Pour the dressing over the pasta and toss it well. Stir in the pimentos and white cheddar. Toss everything together well. I like to let this sit in the fridge and really come together for 20 minutes or so before serving,
Garnish with the extra chives, the blossoms and microgreens if you wish. Serve immediately!