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26 Pasta Sides That Aren’t Pasta Salad

Fluffy couscous, creamy orzo, and saucy spaghetti are all worthy pasta side dishes for your dinner table.

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Creamy Roasted Garlic Spinach Orzo Exps176131 Sd143204c12 04 3bc Rms 9

Creamy Roasted Garlic & Spinach Orzo

This side dish brings instant comfort. I first made it without spinach so my husband and daughter would like it. The next time, I added spinach for the extra health benefits. They still devoured it, so in my book that's a win-win. —Dawn Moore, Warren, Pennsylvania
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Festive Fall Tortellini Toss

Fall is my favorite season and I love the foods of autumn, such as mushrooms, squash, apples and walnuts. I combined these all with pasta to make a delicious side dish perfect for sharing at a potluck; the recipe can easily be doubled and can be served either warm or at room temperature. —Roxanne Chan, Albany, California
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Creamy Skillet Noodles with Peas

I’ve made this creamy noodle side for years. Since kids and adults go for it, I keep the ingredients on hand at all times. —Anita Groff, Perkiomenville, Pennsylvania
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Roasted Veggie Orzo Exps Dsbz17 42299 D01 13 2b 4

Roasted Veggie Orzo

“My sister inspired this recipe. I added a few more spices, but the concept is hers. It's easy to vary, is a great way to add veggies to your diet and the olive oil is heart healthy.”Jackie Termont - Richmond, Virginia
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Rigatoni Chard Toss Exps75825 Sd2847494c02 14 3bc Rms 4

Rigatoni Chard Toss

I had to get my firefighter husband to eat more fruits and veggies to lower his cholesterol and triglycerides. Fresh chard and tomatoes add a lot of fiber and vitamins to our diets, but we love this recipe for the flavor. While he would never admit to eating "health food" around the firehouse, this dish is one of many that made his trips to the doctor much more pleasant! —Carolyn Kumpe, El Dorado, California
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Pesto Pasta & Potatoes

Although this healthy pasta dish is pretty simple to begin with, it's made even easier because you can throw the green beans and pasta into one big pot to cook. —Laura Flowers, Moscow, Idaho
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Broccoli-Pasta Side Dish

I love to fix new recipes for my husband, Robert, and our children. With garlic and cheese, this broccoli pasta is a tasty way to get kids to eat their veggies. —Judi Lacourse, Mesa, Arizona
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Orzo with Peppers & Spinach

Sweet bell peppers are a good source of vitamin C, which helps the body fight infection and absorb folate and iron. And what bright flavor and color! —Tammi Kettenbach, Jerseyville, Illinois
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Mom's Macaroni and Cheese

The wonderful homemade goodness of this creamy Velveeta mac and cheese makes it a staple side dish in my mother's kitchen and in mine as well. It has tender noodles and a crowd-pleasing golden crumb topping. —Maria Costello, Monroe, North Carolina
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Noodle Rice Pilaf

By adding a few fine egg noodles to a rice pilaf, you can have a deliciously different side dish. Terrific with fish, this dish also goes well with meat or poultry. —Kathy Schrecengost Oswego, New York
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Baked Fontina Orzo

The pasta orzo makes a nice alternative to rice. If you like, use 1/2 cup blanched, diced asparagus for the roasted peppers.—Gilda Lester, Millsboro, Delaware
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Parmesan Snap Pea Pasta Exps Fttmz18 192175 B11 17 4b 6

Parmesan Snap Pea Pasta

My family loves pasta! This simple dish is always a hit, especially during the spring when sugar snap peas are the sweetest. To keep us from getting in a rut, I change up the flavors. —Crystal Jo Bruns, Iliff, Colorado
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Tortellini Bake

One year I had so much summer squash, I was desperate for different ways to prepare it. That's when I came up with this recipe. Serve it as a side dish or on its own as a light meal. —Donald Roberts, Amherst, New Hampshire
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Vermicelli Rice Pilaf Exps47593 Thca143053c02 26 1bc Rms 3

Vermicelli Rice Pilaf

At the holidays, I use butter and white rice in this recipe, just like my mom and generations of Armenian women did. But most days I saute the vermicelli in olive oil and substitute brown rice for white. —Jean Ecos, Hartland, Wisconsin
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Summer Orzo

Summer Orzo

I’m always looking for fun ways to use the fresh veggies that come in my Community Supported Agriculture box, and this salad is one of my favorite creations. I like to improvise with whatever I have on hand, feel free to do the same here! —Shayna Marmar, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Orzo Timbales with Fontina Cheese

Take mac and cheese to a new level using orzo pasta and fontina. With a pop of color from sweet red peppers, these timbales bake in ramekins for perfect individual servings.—Gilda Lester, Millsboro, Delaware
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Cheddar Spirals

Our kids always loved this cheesy pasta and would sample a spoonful right from the slow cooker when they walked by. Adding cocktail sausages, sliced Polish sausage or cubed ham makes it a hearty dinner. —Heidi Ferkovich, Park Falls, Wisconsin
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Herbed Noodles with Edamame

Serve this side dish and you'll give your meal flavor and color! All the fresh herbs make it feel extra-special. —Marie Rizzio, Interlochen, MI
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Dijon Veggies with Couscous

Coated in a tangy Dijon sauce, these tasty veggies and fluffy couscous make for a delightful side. —Juliana Dumitru, Fairview Park, Ohio
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German Noodle Bake

This is a recipe I serve each year for my holiday open house because everyone looks for it. Store-bought noodles can be substituted, but I prefer homemade noodles...and so does everyone else. —Kathleen Meineke, Cologne, New Jersey
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Pasta with Asparagus

Many terrific recipes change hands at my ladies' bridge group's monthly get-togethers. That's where I discovered this zippy, tempting dish. The garlic, asparagus, Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes create an irresistible taste combination. —Jean Fisher, Redlands, California
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Asian Spaghetti Exps31210 Sd2401784d10 19 1bc Rms 2

Asian Spaghetti

We love this recipe with its bright, crisp-tender snow peas and carrots, but you could easily substitute any veggies you have on hand. —Anne Smithson, Cary, North Carolina
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Lemon Parmesan Orzo Exps54888 Sd143204d12 10 3bc Rms 5

Lemon Parmesan Orzo

A splash of lemon and a shower of chopped parsley make this orzo one of my family's most-requested sides. It's fantastic with chicken, pork and fish. —Leslie Palmer, Swampscott, Massachusetts
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Lemon Couscous With Broccoli Exps Lsbz18 86546 C01 19 2b 6

Lemon Couscous with Broccoli

I combined two recipes to create this side with broccoli and pasta. The splash of lemon adds nice flavor. Instead of toasted almonds, you could also sprinkle servings with grated Parmesan cheese. —Beth Dauenhauer, Pueblo, Colorado
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Noodle Pudding

Whenever I bring this creamy dish to gatherings, it always prompts recipe requests. The surprising sweetness comes from apricot nectar, and everyone enjoys the golden buttery topping. —Eileen Meyers, Scott Township, Pennsylvania
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Lemon Mushroom Orzo

Lemon Mushroom Orzo

Sometimes I serve this side dish chilled and other times we enjoy it hot. It has a pleasant tinge of lemon and a nice crunch from pecans. —Shelly Nelson, Akeley, Minnesota

Grace Mannon
Grace is a full-time mom with a Master's degree in Food Science. She loves to experiment in the kitchen and writes about her hits (and misses) on her blog, A Southern Grace.
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