I have turned one of the best summer salads into the absolute best summer pasta salad! This Creamy Broccoli Pasta Salad is total perfection, you will be making it all summer long! Creamy Broccoli Pasta Salad is made from gemelli pasta, broccoli florets, red onion, cheddar cheese, crumbled bacon, and dried cherries!
A few years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to broccoli salad. I don’t know how I lived my entire life without every tasting it but I was hooked immediately. I still make it all the time but, now, I also make a Creamy Broccoli Pasta Salad to change things up a bit.
This Creamy Broccoli Pasta Salad has all the best things about broccoli salad plus delicious al dente pasta. I also substituted dried cherries for the typical cranberries just to change things up a little bit more (oh and it was what I happened to have in the pantry).
Ingredients for Creamy Broccoli Pasta Salad:
1 box gemelli pasta, cooked al dente
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
1 red onion, diced
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup cubed cheddar cheese
1 cup dried cherries
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Let’s Make It:
1. In a small bowl, whisk together Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, sugar, honey and red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine pasta, broccoli, red onion, bacon, cheese, and cherries. Add dressing and stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
I really like the little bit of tang the Greek yogurt adds to the dressing. You can either switch out some of the yogurt for more mayonnaise or add in more sugar if you want it to be less tangy.
Sometimes, I toss my broccoli into the pasta water for 1-2 minutes and then put it in an ice bath to blanch it. I think it gives it a beautiful green color and softens it just a touch for a better flavor. That step is totally optional though.
You can easily make all of the components for this pasta salad a day ahead and mix them on the day you plan to eat. It makes great leftovers too (if there is any left after you serve it…it is THAT good that it usually disappears).
What you’ll need for this recipe:
- Mixing Bowls
Creamy Broccoli Pasta Salad
- 1 box gemelli pasta, cooked al dente
- 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
- 1 red onion, diced
- 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1 cup cubed cheddar cheese
- 1 cup dried cherries
- 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a small bowl, whisk together Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, sugar, honey and red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine pasta, broccoli, red onion, bacon, cheese, and cherries. Add dressing and stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- You can change ratio of yogurt to mayonnaise to make the dressing more or less tangy.
- If desired, blanc the broccoli for 2 minutes and then transfer to an ice bath for 5 minutes. This step is completely optional.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 205Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 275mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 2gSugar: 13gProtein: 8g
Nutritional values are estimates only.
What is your favorite summer picnic salad? Are you a big fan of the traditional broccoli salad?
This looks fantastic! I absolutely love broccoli and put in dishes whenever possible! I’ll be giving this a try soon 🙂