I love a good potluck, but often struggle with what to bring. It’s hard to find that balance between healthy, easy and crowd-pleasing (for both parents and kids). And there’s nothing more disappointing than bringing a big dish to the party, only to bring home the same big dish minus a mere one or two servings.
However, the one dish that always seems to be a crowd-pleaser is pasta salad. Kids love pasta, and parents love finding something on the table that their kids will like.
A good pasta salad doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, this garlic butter pasta salad is likely the simplest pasta salad you will ever make! It’s a frugal meal and requires ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. Plus, it’s delicious! Time and time again, I’ve watched people come back for seconds and thirds of this pasta, and I rarely leave a party with much more than a noodle left!
The key to this pasta salad is to slowly melt the butter with the garlic. This infuses the butter with garlic, and the result is a delicious pasta with a rich, buttery garlicky flavor in every bite.
Miniature-sized noodles with holes work best in this recipe, like small shells or macaroni. The holes become hiding places for the garlic butter and make the dish even more tasty!
Garlic Butter Pasta Salad
8 ounces small whole grain pasta (or gluten-free pasta)
2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more if needed
1/2 head garlic (about 9 cloves), peeled and minced
4 Tbsp butter
salt & pepper
Italian seasoning (optional)
freshly shredded Parmesan (optional)
- Cook pasta according to the package directions. Rinse well with cool water, and place in a large bowl. Add olive oil, and mix well. Set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add minced garlic, and cook on low until fragrant, taking care not to let garlic burn. When garlic is a light golden brown, remove from heat.
- Add melted garlic butter to the pasta and toss well. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and/or Italian seasoning if you’re using them. Taste pasta, and season with salt and pepper as desired. Mix well, and serve at room temperature, or slightly warm.
Cheers to an easy and frugal potluck dish everyone will love!
Tiffany at Don’t Waste the Crumbs