What do you get when you cross traditional pasta salad with traditional broccoli salad? A unique and refreshing Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad that’s soon to become one of your very favorite recipes! While searching baby shower menus on Pinterest a few weeks ago, I came across the delicious recipe below from the September 2011 issue of Southern Living magazine and knew it was the perfect side dish to make for a baby shower I was co-hosting.
Consisting of bowtie pasta, fresh broccoli, red seedless grapes, crispy bacon, toasted pecans, and a sweet and tangy dressing, this Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad received tons of compliments at the shower (many guests asked for the recipe!) and paired perfectly with the chicken salad on fresh baked croissants, turkey and vegetable pinwheels, fruit salad, various dips, and petit fours we were serving.
It was super easy to make because I was able to do a lot of the prep work the night before the shower (boil the pasta, toast and chop the pecans, dice the red onion, etc.), and simply mix everything together a few hours before walking out the door the next morning. My sweet husband even helped me out in the kitchen by doing the “Genius Dad” grape cutting trick – it didn’t turn out quite as well as the YouTube video we watched, but, that’s a whole other blog post!
While this Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad is the perfect side dish for a baby shower or ladies luncheon, it’s also a universal crowd pleaser that’s ideal for when you’re feeding a large number of guests (simply double or triple the recipe for neighborhood BBQ’s, potlucks, etc.). Hearty enough that men will love it and a great way to get your kids to eat their broccoli, this unique and delicious twist on traditional broccoli salad/pasta salad is sure to be a huge hit at your next gathering! Enjoy!
Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad
Makes 6 to 8 servings
1 cup chopped pecans
½ (16-oz.) package farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
1 pound fresh broccoli
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup diced red onion
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
8 cooked bacon slices, crumbled
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant; stirring halfway through.
Prepare pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, cut broccoli florets from stems, and separate florets into small pieces using tip of a paring knife. Peel away tough outer layer of stems and finely chop stems.
Whisk together mayonnaise and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; add broccoli, hot cooked pasta, and grapes, stir to coat. Cover and chill 3 hours. Stir bacon and pecans into salad just before serving.