Betty Crocker’s pasta salad is a classic dish I often enjoy for its simplicity. But let’s face it: the same recipes can get pretty dull after a while. So, if you want to give that old-favorite pasta salad some zing, I’m here to help! I’ve got several solid suggestions for transforming the familiar dish into something new and exciting. So, what to add to Betty Crocker Pasta Salad to make it better?
You can add pretty much everything you want to your favorite Betty Crocker Pasta Salad — from chicken or beef to various vegetables, different dressings, and herbs, or just use your favorite type of noodles instead of pasta.
From adding fresh veggies and herbs to swapping out the type of pasta used, these tweaks will surely take your pasta salad from bland to outstanding! Put on your aprons — it’s time to start cooking.
When preparing Betty Crocker’s Pasta Salad, I love adding protein. Doing so helps to make the dish more “dish”-like — it takes it from being a side dish to the main attraction.
I like to start with chicken or beef. You can use rotisserie chicken or beef strips or cook it yourself if you have the time. For an excellent presentation, serve the meat in thin slices and fan them out onto the top of your salad.
If you’re looking for a vegan option that doesn’t sacrifice flavor and texture, I would definitely add cubed tofu or tempeh. Both are protein-packed and will help transform your otherwise ordinary pasta salad into something extraordinary!
One of the most important things when making a pasta salad is getting the crunchy veggie factor just right. Luckily, Betty Crocker’s pasta salad already comes with an array of delicious vegetables, but adding some crunchy ones will definitely take it to the next level.
My top go-tos are corn, black olives, and tomatoes. Not only are they colorful and pleasing to look at, but they also add a nice crunch that helps balance out the softer textures in the dish. I also like to dice them up, making them easier to eat with a fork or spoon.
You can also get creative and add some other crunchy veggies like radishes and carrots for even more flavor and nutrition. Just be sure not to go overboard — my secret trick is finding the right balance between the soft ingredients (like pasta and cheese) and the crunchy ones.
Various Dressings & Herbs
There are a few easy ways to add dressing to Betty Crocker’s pasta salad. Here’s where I like to get creative and have some fun.
- Sub out part of the mayonnaise with an equal amount of Greek yogurt. The yogurt adds a tangy flavor and boosts protein content. Mix it into the salad until you achieve a smooth consistency.
- Adding herbs is an easy way to take any dish from “just okay” to “wow!” I like to add fresh minced parsley, dill, and chives for more texture and flavor.
- If you need more tartness, add some fresh lemon juice for a hint of acidity. Be sure to use only a little, as it can overpower the dish.
- Add 1 teaspoon of prepared mustard into the pasta salad dressing for an umami kick — this creates a lovely earthy flavor that pairs perfectly with herbs like basil and oregano.
- Finally, I like to throw in a bit of honey to balance out any bitterness or sharpness in the dressing — it imparts a subtle sweetness that rounds all of those intense flavors nicely without cloying or overwhelming your taste buds.
Different Types of Noodles
If you want to spruce up Betty Crocker’s pasta salad, thinking outside the box with noodles can completely transform it. With Betty Crocker pasta salads, you usually get a classic macaroni shape, but why not think outside the box and add some other kinds of noodles?
- Egg noodles add a pleasant chewiness that makes it feel like you’re eating something extra special. The mild flavor of egg noodles allows the other ingredients to shine. So, all those yummy additions stand out even more, like crunchy bacon bits or creamy feta cheese.
- The popularity of Asian-style dishes has led people to experiment with rice noodles — these thin and transparent noodles soak up dressings and sauces quickly, creating a delicious combination with every bite. Rice noodles are especially perfect for those who like to serve their pasta salads chilled and enjoy the cooling sensation in their mouth when they bite into one.
- Ramen noodles have become increasingly popular due to their versatility — they’re great for soup and salad! And thanks to their curly shape, they catch all the dressing, making for an unbelievably creamy salad experience. Plus, don’t forget about all the exciting flavors you can get with ramen. So many possibilities can transform your dish from boring to super unique!
Betty Crocker Noodle Peanut Salad
- 1 pack Betty Crocker Suddenly Pasta Salad (use any type; I used the Classic one)
- 3 packs Ramen Noodles
- ¾ cup Roasted Peanuts (120 grams)
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 3 tbsp Water
- 2 Bell Peppers
- 1 Carrot
- Cook the noodles according to the directions on the package.
- While the noodles are cooking, mix the Betty Crocker seasoning mix with olive oil and water, put it into a bowl, and set it aside.
- Chop the carrot, bell peppers, and peanuts and put them into the same bowl.
- When the noodles are done, drain them, put them into the bowl, and mix it all together. Enjoy!