Trust Us — Your Favorite Summer Fruit Belongs In Pasta Salad

When fresh produce like juicy watermelon, succulent peaches and plums, and vibrant blueberries come into season, there are a plethora of easy ways to dress up these delicious summer fruits. But have you tried tossing slices of nectarines or plump grapes in with pasta salad and dressing? It might sound counterintuitive at first, since pasta salad is a popular cookout dish that is typically associated with savory eating. But trust us when we say that making pasta salad with seasonal summer fruit is a refreshing game-changer.

When you add fruity goodness to the dish, it imparts a pleasant sweetness, juiciness, and crunch that perfectly complements crisp chopped vegetables and savory notes from other ingredients like kalamata olives or bites of mozzarella cheese. Fresh fruit also brightens and lightens the carb-rich meal(especially if it's one made with creamy dressings), which makes for a perfectly cooling bite on scorching hot days. 

To incorporate summer fruit into your next pasta salad, take inspiration from your favorite sweet salad pairings. Think: a peach and arugula salad with mint and goat cheese. Then, just add the pasta right in for a next-level, satisfying twist. 

Get creative with flavorful fruit and pasta combos

When fresh summertime fruit comes into season, take it as your cue to get creative with your farmers market haul. To craft a fruity pasta salad from your seasonal produce bounty, it helps to look towards other savory-sweet recipes like those made with spinach, watermelon, and feta. Then, just toss those components with a generous helping of bowtie pasta, or other fun noodles like bucatini, plus some fresh herbs and lemony dressing.

It's also fun to take a page from other refreshing fruit-forward side dishes and appetizers, such as melon and prosciutto balls or a caprese salad. To replicate, dice cantaloupe into small cubes or slice up peaches before tossing them into an Italian-inspired pasta salad, and dress it with strawberry balsamic vinaigrette or another bright, acidic sauce to accentuate and balance the fruit's sweetness. Top the dish with slivered almonds or toasted pine nuts for some extra crunch, too.

If you're a fruit salad fan, you can also make a creamy pasta-fruit salad remix by mixing short cut pasta shapes like ditalini in with sliced grapes, pineapple pieces, and any other seasonal fruit of choice. Then, whisk up a simple and light yogurt sauce by combining dairy with citrus and a bit of honey. Once combined with pasta and fruit, you'll have a sweet side dish that is perfectly balanced with al dente bites.