The best pasta salad ever. That’s quite a bold statement to make, isn’t it?

With bacon and toasted pecans, Greek yogurt and red wine vinegar, this pasta salad has just the right balance of flavors.  So easy and so good!  #recipe #pasta

(photo updated 5/25/2013)

But let me give you the reasons why I love this pasta salad:

1. Since I don’t like mayonnaise, I substituted Chobani plain Greek yogurt instead. It was the bomb!  I scarfed this stuff down like it was my last meal.

2.  This salad has the perfect amount of crunch from the broccoli and grapes.

3.  Oh, and from the toasted pecans. I could eat toasted pecans all day.

4.  It’s slightly tangy from the red wine vinegar, yet with just the right amount of sweetness.

5.  Plus, it has bacon in it. Wait…should that be #1?

I look forward to grilling season all year long.  There is pretty much nothing I like more than foods right off the charcoal grill.  I know gas grills are more convenient, but you just can’t beat that charcoal flavor.  Or the smell.  I sort of rub my face against the Tall Boy’s shirt after he comes inside from grilling, take a big whiff, and fall into a charcoal induced coma.  Seriously, if there was a charcoal scented cologne, I’d buy that for him in an instant.

Does that make me weird?

 

The Best Pasta Salad Ever {Really}
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 8 ounces small pasta
  • 1 pound fresh broccoli
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used Chobani 2%), or mayonnaise
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup diced red onion
  • ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
  • 8 cooked bacon slices, crumbled
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare your pasta according to package directions.
  3. While your pasta is cooking, cut broccoli into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Whisk together Greek yogurt and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; add broccoli, hot cooked pasta, and grapes, and stir to coat. Cover and chill 3 hours. Stir bacon and pecans into salad just before serving.

XO, Ashley