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Pasta Bar is a great meal to prepare for a large family gathering or a weeknight dinner. It is a fun way to serve a variety of pasta and sauces.

Rotini pasta with tomato sauce on top and bowls of noodles and other toppings
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DIY Pasta Bar:

We love hosting family and friends for the big game and this DIY Pasta Bar is a great meal to prepare. Making a pasta station allows everyone to choose their favorite pasta and toppings.

There are a variety of pasta, sauces and toppings you can include in your pasta bar. We also like to add a selection of garlic bread and a big green salad. Letting everyone choose their pasta plate makes for a crowd pleasing meal.

Bowls of pasta, sauces and toppings for a pasta bar

What do you Serve at a Pasta Bar?

A pasta bar can include many different things. Make sure to have a variety of these options to please everyone.

  • Variety of Pasta Shapes and Gluten Free Options
  • Pasta Sauces
  • Toppings
  • Garlic Bread
  • Salad – Garden Salad and Caesar Salad
Platter of noodles

Ingredients: 

Pasta Ingredients:

  • Spaghetti (cooked to al dente) 
  • Rigatoni Pasta (cooked to al dente) 
  • Rotini (cooked to al dente) 
  • Cavatappi (cooked to al dente)  
Bowls of alfredo sauce, marinara sauce, and a pesto sauce

Sauce Ingredients:

  • Marinara Sauce (store bought or homemade) 
  • Alfredo Sauce (store bought or homemade) 
  • Pesto Sauce (store bought or homemade) 
Bowls of pepperoni, parmesan cheese, spinach, tomatoes, chicken

Topping Ingredients:

  • Chicken (diced and cooked) 
  • Pepperoni (diced) 
  • Tomatoes (diced) 
  • Parmesan Cheese (grated) 
  • Fresh Parmesan Cheese (shredded)
  • Fresh Basil (chopped) 

How to Prepare a Pasta Bar: 

  • Step 1 – Prepare all the pastas based on the package instructions to al dente and toss gently with a small amount of olive oil to keep them from sticking together. 
  • Step 2 – Place each type of pasta in a large serving bowl. 
  • Step 3 – Heat each of the sauces based on your preference and pour in separate serving bowls as well. 
  • Step 4 – Then place the chicken, pepperoni and all the other toppings in individual serving bowls. 
  • Step 5 – Place a serving spoon in each bowl and spread them out on a table for easy access. 
  • Step 6 – Then the pasta bar is ready for everyone to create their own favorite pasta dishes and enjoy.
Bowls of pasta, sauces and toppings for a pasta bar

Pasta Bar Ideas:

There are many ways to make a Pasta Party fun and festive.

  • Pasta Bowls – We like to create dimension on the pasta bar by using different types of bowls.
  • Add Color – We like to create pintable’s to label the pasta, sauces and toppings. This way there is no confusion what everything is. Add some greenery and pops of color to make the pasta bar fun.

How do you Keep Pasta Bar Fresh?

To make sure your pasta bar stays fresh throughout the party, drain and rinse the pasta thoroughly. Toss the pasta with olive oil which prevents the pasta from sticking.

Continually stir the pasta throughout the party which helps to keep the pasta fresh.

Rotini Noodles with sauce on the top of a plate

What Sauces to Serve on a Pasta Bar?

Hosting a pasta bar party is fun way to gathering friends and family together. Having different sauces helps to create a pasta bar that everyone will love. These are some of our favorites.

You can easily heat your sauces on the stove top or keep them warm in a slow cooker.

Topping Ideas:

You can easily add in your favorite toppings to make this pasta bar your own.  

  • Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Meatballs
  • Sausage
  • Grilled Chicken
  • Fresh Basil
  • Vegetables
Rotini Noodles with sauce on the top of a plate

Tips for The Best Pasta Bar:

  • Cooking Pasta – Cook pasta according to the package and al dente. Since you are cooking a variety of pasta, cooking times may change. Once cooked, rinse and drain pasta. Then toss with extra virgin olive oil to prevent from sticking.
  • Pasta Variations – Make sure you serve a variety of pasta. We like to include different shapes and gluten free pasta options. Mix and match pasta to please your guest.
  • Sauces Variations – There are many great options when preparing your sauces. We always have a meat sauce and alfredo sauce option. But I also like to serve a pesto sauce.
  • Make Ahead – You can easily prepare this pasta bar ahead of time. Prepare your sauces and toppings then refrigerate. Then on the day of the party, reheat and serve.

Variations:

  • Gluten Free Pasta – There are many gluten free options now at the stores. They will be marked and a great option to serve on your pasta bar.
  • Low Carb Pasta – Depending on the crowd, I like to make spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles.
  • Sauces – Make sure to have an option of just a garlic butter sauce.
Rotini Noodles with sauce on the top of a plate

How to Store Leftovers:

Store you leftover pasta, sauces, and topping in separate containers. Then store in the refrigerator for an easy meal to serve again. Make sure to serve within about 4 days.

Print Recipe for Pasta Bar:

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Pasta Bar

5 from 3 votes
Pasta Bar is a great meal to prepare for a large family gathering or a weeknight dinner. It is a fun way to serve a variety of pasta and sauces.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 12
Cuisine American
Course Appetizer
Calories 929

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces Spaghetti cooked to al dente
  • 16 ounces Rigatoni Pasta cooked to al dente
  • 16 ounce Rotini cooked to al dente
  • 16 ounces Cavatappi cooked to al dente
  • 24 ounces Marinara Sauce store bought or homemade
  • 24 ounces Alfredo Sauce store bought or homemade
  • 8 ounces Pesto Sauce store bought or homemade
  • 2 cups Chicken diced and cooked
  • 6 ounces Pepperoni diced
  • 2 Tomatoes diced
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese grated
  • 1 cup Fresh Parmesan Cheese shredded
  • Fresh Basil chopped

Instructions

  • Prepare all the pastas based on the package instructions to al dente and toss gently with a small amount of olive oil to keep them from sticking together.
  • Place each type of pasta in a large serving bowl.
  • Heat each of the sauces based on your preference and pour in separate serving bowls as well.
  • Then place the chicken, pepperoni and all the other toppings in individual serving bowls.
  • Place a serving spoon in each bowl and spread them out on a table for easy access.
  • Then the pasta bar is ready for everyone to create their own favorite pasta dishes and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

You can easily add in your favorite toppings to make this pasta bar your own. 

Nutrition Facts

Calories 929kcal, Carbohydrates 122g, Protein 39g, Fat 30g, Saturated Fat 12g, Polyunsaturated Fat 4g, Monounsaturated Fat 7g, Trans Fat 0.2g, Cholesterol 84mg, Sodium 1734mg, Potassium 750mg, Fiber 6g, Sugar 9g, Vitamin A 931IU, Vitamin C 7mg, Calcium 277mg, Iron 3mg

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More easy Party food ideas:

Pasta Bar is a great meal to prepare for a family gathering or a weeknight dinner. It is a fun way to serve a variety of pasta and sauces. We love hosting family and friends for the big game and this DIY Pasta Bar is a great meal to prepare. Making a pasta station allows everyone to choose their favorite pasta and toppings. #eatingonadime #buildyourownpastabar #pastabar

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Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families!

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