The Mayo Swap That Will Give Pasta Salad A Fresh, Herbal Upgrade

A picnic or potluck doesn't seem complete until there's a big, colorful bowl of pasta salad on the table. With frequent appearance, unfortunately, comes an inevitable repetition that makes it less appealing. When this happens, it's nothing a quick dressing swap won't fix. It's time to turn to green goddess dressing for a refreshing pasta salad twist that still feels familiar.

Since mayonnaise is still at the core of a green goddess recipe or store-bought version, rest assured that this sauce still holds the smooth, velvety texture that defines a classic pasta salad. The flavors, however, are in for a change. While mayonnaise sets a creamy, tangy base for this dressing, the beautiful array of herbs brings it to life. On first taste, you'll be greeted by the fresh, fragrant tone of parsley, cilantro, basil, tarragon, and chives. If you use leafy greens like spinach or kale, there may also be earthy hints, as well. Then, lingering in the aftertaste is a zesty brightness brought by lemon juice.

With layers upon layers of flavors mixed so seamlessly, there's no doubt about the wonder this sauce will bring to your pasta salad. It coats every morsel in its light yet captivating tone, striking the perfect balance between subtle and flavorful needed in a side dish.

Brand new ways to enjoy a pasta salad

Although the main ingredients are all relatively simple, green goddess dressing is pretty adjustable. Feel free to experiment to come up with a version that perfectly fits your preference. A few slices of avocado may not seem like much, but they will amp up the sauce's smooth texture like little else. Other texture-enhancing ingredients include sour cream and Greek yogurt. For a hint of nuttiness, any type of tahini is an excellent addition, or simply throw in a handful of your preferred chopped nuts.

The beauty of this dressing switch is it comes with the same flexibility as the original mayo one. All the usual pasta salad possibilities — pasta, veggies, legumes, nuts, and cheese — will taste just as marvelous (or arguably even better) when coated in green goddess dressing. If that's not enough and you feel like tossing in extra protein for a more filling portion, a chicken pasta salad with a herby green twist is a fantastic idea.

Moving beyond the realm of regular pasta salad, consider leaning into the dressing's green theme. For the veggie component, in addition to common pasta salad ingredients such as lettuce and cucumbers, why not add asparagus, fennel, celery, arugula, kale, spinach, or broccoli? The legumes, of course, may include edamame, green peas, and snap peas, which all add vibrant green color and fresh flavor. Don't forget to sprinkle in chopped herbs, too, preferably the ones you used to make the dressing, to tie everything together.