What to Bring to a BBQ at the Park

Do you need an idea for what to bring to a BBQ at the park?  We have you covered!  This pasta salad is perfect to take to any BBQ or picnic.  What makes this a great dish to take to an outdoor event is the fact that first it’s a pasta salad, and two, no mayo.  Any dish that contains most mayonnaise requires refrigeration after a couple of hours because it contains eggs. If it’s a really hot day, the time is even less.  Although this point is often debated, we tend to err on the side of caution. To make this recipe even better, you should make this ahead by a day or two for best flavor, which also means you can walk out the door without the rush of preparing food before hand.  

Sweet & Sour Pasta Salad


16 oz. pasta (any shape except long like spaghetti)

1 cucumber sliced, then quartered

2 bell peppers diced (green, yellow, or orange)

1 small container cherry tomatoes halved

½ Finely diced purple onion or green onions (optional)


½ cup of a neutral oil (walnut is my preferred neutral oil, vegetable or canola works too)

½ cup apple cider vinegar

½ cup sugar

½ tsp. Onion powder (if you like the flavor of onion but prefer not to add them)

½ tsp. Garlic powder

Black or white pepper to taste


Cook pasta according to the package, but cook just beyond al dente.  Drain and cool pasta, add diced vegetables. Pour oil and vinegar mixture over pasta.  Stir well. Let sit for 12-24 hours before serving. Occasionally stir while pasta salad is marinating together.

Allow yourself to get creative with this recipe.  Double or even triple it for a large crowd.  Change out different veggies, use a fun pasta shape and color, etc.  If refrigeration is not an issue, add some cheese like feta or parmesan, or add some diced ham and pepperoni to make it a complete cool summer meal.

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Brian Canada

Brian Canada

Founder and creator of Big Grillin. Since early adulthood, Brian has enjoyed grilling and smoking a variety of foods. Brian’s mission is to share his grilling knowledge and help others enjoy grilling as much as he does.

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