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It’s the summer of pasta salad

This is not your grandma's macaroni salad — no offense to her, of course.

This is the summer of pasta salad — and not the monochromatic, mayo-slicked, celery-studded macaroni you may have grown up with, but rather, the bright, colorful, refreshing kind with seasonal ingredients, unconventional pasta shapes and tangy homemade dressing.

Pasta salad's new look can be seen all over TikTok, as reported by Vox, where the hashtag #pastasaladsummer has over 32 million views, and all the videos under it show vibrant, eye-catching dishes — which are most definitely not your grandma's pasta salad.

Olives, mini mozzarella balls (aka bocconcini), pepperoncini, salami, pepperoni, cucumbers, fresh basil, and plenty of olive oil and vinegar are all common ingredients, taking inspiration from Italian antipasti. See: Dan Pelosi's (@grossypelosi's), Katie Zukhovich's (@babytamago's) and Marissa Mullen's (@thatcheeseplate's) popular versions.

Food influencer Carolina Gelen's creamy, dreamy, Italian-inspired take on pasta salad incorporates garlic confit and burrata.

“I am a pasta salad hater but you may have just changed that with this recipe,” one person commented on her TikTok.

But people aren’t feeling limited to certain ingredients (other than pasta, of course) and are experimenting with many different flavor profiles.

TikToker @sailor_bailey's version is loaded with dill pickles, bacon and cheddar cheese, while @foodsofjane's is inspired by Mexican elote, and @britscooking incorporates all the components of a chicken Caesar salad — croutons included! — into hers.

Clearly, the pasta-bilities are endless. With that in mind, we've rounded up our most creative pasta salad recipes so you can head into your next summer party, picnic or potluck armed with something that will palpably perk up the spread, rather than weigh it down.

Starting us off strong with the aforementioned antipasti vibes, Anthony Contrino's pasta salad packs a punch with its pepperoncini-pecorino vinaigrette. It's the perfect antidote to a hot summer day.

Herby Grilled Chicken Pasta Salad

Katie Lee Biegel's make-ahead pasta salad uses cavatelli — which resemble mini hot dog buns (so summery!) — as well as grilled chicken, fresh herbs, tomato, cucumber, plenty of briny feta cheese, lemon and red wine vinegar for brightness, and garlicky breadcrumbs for crunch.

Greek Pasta Salad

This Greek-inspired pasta salad from Kevin Curry uses orzo, so we recommend you eat it with a spoon so you get a little bit of everything — chopped cucumbers, red onion, bell peppers, olives, cherry tomatoes and feta — in each bite.

Pasta salad goes green in Becca Jacobs' bright and briny recipe. While the creamy, basil-flecked dressing may be the star of the show, fresh produce such as peas and corn kernels plays a strong supporting role with tons of flavor and texture. Plus, the orecchiette (meaning “little ears”) do a great job trapping in the dressing and vegetables for a perfect bite, every time.

No heat required for this couscous salad from Alejandra Ramos, which makes it ideal for a scorching hot summer day. Couscous, which is a type of very tiny semolina pasta, just needs to be rehydrated before serving. Combine it with a few staple pantry ingredients, then let it soak in the dressing for a couple hours (or even overnight, if you’d like to prep it in advance), then serve it chilled or at room temp.

Ginger-Miso Pasta Salad

No mayo alert! This Japanese-inspired pasta salad from Valerie Bertinelli is packed with edamame, carrots and bell peppers, and its dressing is made with miso, ginger, soy and sesame. It tastes better as it sits, which definitely sets it apart from too-creamy pasta salads of yore.

Another mayo-free option, this recipe from Kayla Hoang uses store-bought pesto, garlic, lemon zest, vinegar and the oil from a jar of sundried tomatoes to create a punchy dressing. It's biggest selling point is that its base is tortellini, making for a cheesy, substantial bite with every forkful.

This pasta — er, noodle — salad has bright citrus flavors, smoky and spicy notes from the chiles and loads of freshness from an assortment of vegetables. The best part about this recipe, other than the fact that its flavor improves as it sits in the fridge, is that you can customize it, adding whatever vegetables or pasta you have on hand.

Another recipe that sits really well is Antoni Porowski's summery almond-basil pesto pasta salad, which is ideal for making ahead. While his uses zucchini as the veg, feel free to swap that with anything else seasonal you have lurking in the fridge.

Giada's Fregola Pasta Salad with Citrus

Fregola is such a wonderful little pasta shape — one that Giada De Laurentiis feels is underrated in the United States. Visually similar to pearl couscous, it hails from Sardinia, Italy, and when it's toasted, it takes on a great depth of flavor other pastas just can't. In this recipe, its nuttiness is complemented beautifully by the fresh citrus.

Another submission to the mayo-free category is this recipe from Kayla Hoang, which is inspired by eggplant caponata — a sweet and sour version of ratatouille that comes from Sicily. The salad is punchy, deeply savory, herbaceous, nutty and the perfect make-ahead dish for summer.