Sweet & Tangy Pasta Salad

by Suzanne on April 15, 2013

in Soup & Salad

Sweet & tangy pasta salad |Suzanne @you-made-that.comPasta salad is a dish that seems easy but in my opinion it’s tough to get the flavors just right. Sometimes the pasta soaks up all the sauce and the salad is dry and flavorless. Maybe you have had pasta salad that was dripping in sauce, not very appetizing to me. I found a recipe that was lightened up but I fattened it again, I couldn’t help it I didn’t have the low fat ingredients. I don’t make pasta salad or pasta that often so I felt like I could splurge, plus I was taking it somewhere else. The salad was a hit and one of my friends told me the next day she was craving the pasta salad I made and wanted the recipe. You know you nailed a recipe when friends want the recipe, I felt so accomplished since pasta salad seems to be my achilles heal. I like that this pasta salad is sweet, tangy, and crunchy, it satisfies your palette for texture and flavor in one dish. BBQ season is coming and this pasta salad would be the perfect accompaniment for any grilling party. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did, happy eating.


Sweet & Tangy Pasta Salad

1  (12 oz) box farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
1 lb. fresh broccoli
1 cup mayonnaise
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup white balsamic vinegar (can use red wine vinegar)
2 tsp. salt
1 lb. cups seedless red grapes
12 oz. cooked bacon slices, crumbled
1 cup toasted chopped pecans

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan for about 6 minutes until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.
Step 2: Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse, then set aside to cool.
Step 3: Cut broccoli florets from stems and separate into small pieces using a paring knife.
Step 4: In a small bowl or in a blender, whisk together mayo, sugar, vinegar and salt.
Step 5: Toss together broccoli, pasta and grapes, then stir in sauce. Cover and chill for up to 3 hours.
Step 6: Stir in bacon and toasted pecans just before serving.
Note: I only used 2/3 of the sauce in my pasta salad.

brocsaaldI thought I would share a few photos that I meant to share a while ago when I was at my parents with the kids. We are animal lovers in this family so I just thought these were too cute not to share.

Dollycole and hissyhissy4hissygirl

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1 The Café Sucre Farine April 15, 2013 at 3:11 pm

Those photos of your son and the beautiful cats are precious! Your pasta salad reminds me of the broccoli salad that used to be so popular years ago at potlucks. The flavor was simply addicting and I have a feeling your salad would be the same!

2 Patty April 15, 2013 at 3:38 pm

We are finally entering into the season for grilling and delicious pasta salads!-thanks for your delicious looking pasta salad recipe-you know it’s a winner when friends ask you for the recipe 😉

3 Suzanne April 16, 2013 at 7:18 pm

Thanks Patty 🙂

4 Laura (Tutti Dolci) April 15, 2013 at 3:39 pm

I love sweet and tangy salads, this looks one looks like a crowd-pleaser. Those cats are too cute!

5 Suzanne April 16, 2013 at 7:17 pm

Thanks Laura.

6 Carol | a cup of mascarpone April 15, 2013 at 3:55 pm

Your pasta salad looks delicious, Suzanne! I’m always looking for a great pasta salad recipe, and this definitely will be one to try! Adorable cat photos!

7 Suzanne April 16, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Thank you Carol 🙂

8 Valerie April 15, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Adorable cat family! (I want the one in the first photo especially – what a face!!) 😀
This un-lightened pasta salad looks delish. I’m a mayo girl through and through!

9 Suzanne April 16, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Thanks Val, the cats are adorable and your right Dolly the one in the first photo is just that a doll but oh a diva too. My mom spoils them.

10 Lisa {AuthenticSuburbanGourmet} April 15, 2013 at 10:08 pm

I am more of a doggie person, but your cats are simply adorable and beautiful photos! This salad recipe sounds very tasty and I am sure that not much was left over. 🙂

11 Suzanne April 16, 2013 at 7:16 pm

Lisa, I’m more of a dog person too but my mom’s cats are pretty adorable.

12 Nami | Just One Cookbook April 15, 2013 at 10:17 pm

I love pasta salad! I cannot cut down on carbs as I enjoy eating them, so when it’s used for “salad”, I feel like I got an extra chance to eat carbs. 🙂 Sounds really good. I love the tangy flavor. Your cats are beautiful (and great photos!). xo

13 Suzanne April 16, 2013 at 7:13 pm

thank you Nami, your right it is an extra chance to eat carbs. Thanks those are my mom’s cats and she loves them.

14 Maureen | Orgasmic Chef April 16, 2013 at 6:05 am

I can’t tell if I like the salad or the boy and the cats more. It’s a toss-up I tell ya.

I’m with you on something I’m really looking forward to, especially if it’s a memory dish. Those have to be made exactly as we remember it. 🙂

15 Suzanne April 16, 2013 at 7:10 pm

LOL, your right me too Maureen.

16 Tessa April 16, 2013 at 7:37 am

Lovely pasta salad recipe! At first glance I thought you added olives and quickly found that they were grapes. I’m going to try that idea next time… Also the photos of the cats and boy are absolutely adorable :).

17 Suzanne April 16, 2013 at 7:10 pm

I see where it might look like olives at first glance too. Thanks my son loves cats.

18 Lora @cakeduchess April 16, 2013 at 8:32 am

Super fun pasta idea, Suzanne. I am always looking for new ways to make pasta! Those cats are gorgeous and you have to frame those shots!

19 Suzanne April 16, 2013 at 7:09 pm

Thanks Lora, my mom’s cats are so cute but diva’s for sure.

20 Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts April 16, 2013 at 9:54 pm

Love the kitty pictures – I miss my parents cat!
The pasta salad sounds perfect. I love making it in the summer!

21 CCU April 17, 2013 at 3:44 am

Awww your cat is sooo cute my friend 😀
And I love the look of your delicious pasta salad, perfect!

Choc Chip Uru

22 Juliana April 17, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Suzanne, beautiful pasta…like the grapes is it…perfect for the warm weather…
Enjoy the rest of your week 🙂

23 Jean (Lemons & Anchovies) April 18, 2013 at 1:41 pm

I don’t know why I don’t make pasta salads more often–I always love them when I do. I like the tangy touch of the white balsamic here and love the cute pictures!

24 Erin @ Texanerin Baking April 19, 2013 at 12:56 pm

I’m definitely a dog person but I love those cat pictures. 🙂

And I’ll keep this in mind for BBQs and picnics. People are getting sick of my steam of constant sweets. 😉

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