Kitchn Love Letters

The Store-Bought Dip I Use to Make Pasta Salad All Summer Long

published Jul 3, 2023
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penne pasta salad in a square bowl
Credit: Elizabeth Briskin

If you ask me, no true summer cookout is complete without a vat of creamy chilled pasta salad served straight from a mixing bowl. It’s a simple, cheap, and make-ahead-friendly dish that pleases every age — so I say, the more the better. 

My refrigerator staple for making a satisfying pasta salad that keeps the people coming back for seconds happens to be a one-ingredient plant-based dip from Target. Good Foods Plant-Based Tzatziki-Style Dip is a refrigerator powerhouse I keep on hand all summer for everyday eats and the occasional entertaining emergency. 

Credit: Elizabeth Briskin

What’s So Great About Good Foods Plant-Based Tzatziki-Style Dip?

This dip happens to be plant-based, but as a proud dairy-lover, that isn’t the biggest draw for me. Rather, I love the tzatziki’s light, herby flavor. It has notes of dill and basil and surprisingly tastes freshly made, rather than store-bought. 

The first time I tried it, I was intrigued to read that the dip is made with a cauliflower base (it has little to no cruciferous flavor). The cauliflower might be what gives the dip its super-light and fluffy texture, though. You can easily drizzle the sauce over a composed bowl or mix it into cooked pasta or steamed, cooled potatoes for a chilled summery salad. The dip is thin enough so it doesn’t require extra elbow grease when mixing, which can otherwise damage tender noodles and soft spuds. 

The fact that you can serve this sauce to a crowd with pretty much any dietary restriction (aside from nut allergies) is just a bonus because omnivores happily devour it. 

What’s the Best Way to Use Good Foods Plant-Based Tzatziki-Style Dip?

Naturally, you can pop open the lid and serve this tzatziki with warm pita, chips, or crunchy crudité. But I love to use the dip as an ingredient to enhance summer recipes. My favorite is a Greek-inspired pasta salad. 

To make the salad, I’ll cook and chill a box of short-cut pasta (rigatoni, penne, or bowties all work well), then I toss the noodles with several heaping scoops of Tzatziki-Style Dip. You could stop there, but I often beef up the salad with chopped veggies. I’ll use bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, red onion, or whatever is in the fridge or looks good at the farmers market. 

Sometimes I’ll add an extra salty punch with olives, capers, sun-dried tomatoes, or marinated artichoke hearts. You could easily add cheese (feta or mozzarella are equally great) or chopped sausage or ham, as well. However you put it together, this salad is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser with minimal effort, so what’s not to love?

Buy: Good Foods Tzatziki-Style Dip, $6.29 for 8 ounces at Target

What store-bought dips are you buying on repeat this summer? Tell us in the comments below.