Perfect Pasta Salad (No really!!)

No really it is!! Like, I didn’t know pasta salad could taste this good. Like, where has this been my whole life? Like, I could eat a whole pound of this stuff.

Like seriously, the best pasta salad ever.

Please pardon the valley girl exclamations, I know it’s not very becoming – in person or in print – it’s just, those were the thoughts that shot through my head when I took my first bite.

Perfect Pasta Salad (No really!!)

I wish I could take credit for this pasta flawlessness, but I can’t. It comes from the Junior League of Kansas City cookbook, Beyond Parsley, ever heard of it? I used to always overlook it at my Mom’s house; it’s been on the shelves since I was a kid, so obviously my initial notion was to think of it as a bit antiquated. I mean, how good could recipes from twenty years ago be?

Lesson learned.

Do not ever underestimate the power of a tried and true cookbook.

Perfect Pasta Salad (No really!!)

I first tried, no wait, inhaled this very pasta salad about a year ago at a shower my Mom’s three best friends graciously hosted for me, and haven’t been able to stop making (or eating) it since. Keep in mind, at that moment in time, I was in the midst of a fit-in-the-dress mantra, so initially when I filled my plate up with goodies, I piled a very conservative portion of pasta onto my plate, thinking I could easily restrain myself. Not a chance. I went back for seconds, then thirds and finally, committed the ultimate party faux paux, I reached into the bowl with my hand to sneak on last bite – such a lady I am.

Disclosure: The majority of guests were gone before the hand reaching incident – well most of them anyways…

It was one of those rare moments where I had absolutely no clue what flavors were making me weak in the knees and wanting more. I mean, I’ve had pasta salads before, hundreds of them actually, but this? This was different.

Perfect Pasta Salad (No really!!)

You know what the secret was/is? You’ll never guess….

Beef bouillon.

Yup, the fake beef flavor from a jar. Not being able to detect it makes sense now, it adds an element of savoriness, an unami essence if you will, that’s near impossible to decipher.

I’ve now brought this pasta salad everywhere from baby showers to going away parties, all with the same consensus – this, is the best pasta salad ever.

So if you’re still looking for some last minute Fourth of July sides to take to your party, look no further – you’ll thank me later..

Perfect Pasta Salad (No really!!)

I’m taking the day off tomorrow to enjoy the holiday, and I hope you do the same! Have a great day and be safe!

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Perfect Pasta Salad (No Really!!)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 1 pound bowtie pasta
  • ¼ cup skim milk
  • 1½ cups light mayo
  • ½ cup light sour cream
  • 1½ tablespoon beef Bouillon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 large red pepper, chopped
  • 1 green red pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  1. Cook past to ardent. Drain and cool off with cold water until chilled. Transfer to bowl and toss with milk.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together, mayo, sour cream, salt and bouillon
  3. Toss pasta with mayo mixture
  4. Toss veggies and vinegar with pasta
  5. Add more milk if necessary and season with salt and pepper.


*Recipe adapted from Beyond Parsley

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