Putting together a build your own pasta bar can be as simple or as fancy as you want it to be. Mix and match pasta, sauce, and toppings to build the perfect bowl of pasta!
This Italian pasta post is sponsored by Walmart.
When it comes to universally beloved foods, I think pasta has to be near the top of the list. It’s kid-friendly, adult-friendly, and totally versatile! You can customize it endlessly with variations on pasta shapes, sauces, and toppings, and it’s easy to please even the pickiest of eaters.
One of my favorite dinners to serve when we have company over is this fantastic Italian pasta bar. It’s an easy and convenient way to serve a delicious meal that everyone will love!
Of course, to build a fantastic pasta bar, you have to start with the best ingredients, so I was excited to use the Sam’s Choice Italia line, exclusive to Walmart stores. Sam’s Choice Italia is a line of pasta, sauces, meal kits, and fixings. They’re high quality and delicious, with unique flavors like truffle risotto, and family favorites like trenette pasta with alfredo sauce. They’re also very affordable, and make dinner preparation easier for busy families!
Italian Pasta Bar Ideas
Setting up the pasta bar was easy and fun! I found everything I needed to set a beautiful table at my local Walmart store. I love the cute pasta bowls and serving dishes, and they were all very reasonably priced. The drink dispenser is so fun, too!
To create some depth, I raised up some of the bowls using ramekins and small serving bowls. It made for a nice layered look and a prettier presentation. I brought in a little greenery with some hydrangeas and a fresh basil plant and added fresh lemons, tomatoes, and basil leaves for a pop of color. The bright colors of the sauces and toppings make the table look so fun and festive!
I also added this adorable printable to show everyone how to build their pasta bowl. How cute is that? I’ll add the link to download it below, as well as the food labels, so you can use them for your own Italian pasta bar. Just for fun, we added the Italian translations below the English words on the food labels. They’re the perfect touch!
To set up your pasta bar, you’ll need three main components: pasta, sauce, and toppings!
Having a variety of pasta shapes makes things more fun and interesting! We used Sam’s Choice Italia rigatoni, penne, and spaghetti, and cooked them according to the package directions. To prevent the pasta from sticking, I drizzled it with a little olive oil just after cooking and tossed it lightly to distribute the oil. I love that Sam’s Choice Italia pasta is hand-crafted in Italy and directly imported to the United States. The authentic bronze cut pasta helps the sauce stick better. It tastes great too!
To top our pasta, we used two of our favorite sauces: classic basil pesto, and tomato basil pasta sauce. I warmed them in a saucepan on the stove, then poured them into my serving dishes. The tomato basil pasta sauce is a family favorite! It’s made with 100% Italian olive oil, and fresh Italian cherry tomatoes. I love that there are big chunks of tomato in the sauce, and it tastes so fresh and delicious. We also love to top our pasta with alfredo sauce, meat sauce, or cheese sauce. There are so many different and delicious combinations!
Pasta Bar Toppings
I wanted to keep things simple, so I just set out grated parmesan cheese, chopped fresh tomatoes, and chopped fresh basil. The sky’s the limit, though! Some of our other favorite toppings are chopped olives, meatballs, sausage, grilled chicken, and steamed vegetables. You can make it as complicated or simple as you like!
Again, I kept things simple with ice water with lemon. Adding cute striped paper straws made it extra fun! If you want the drinks to be a little fancier, you could serve sparkling water, lemonade, punch, or even Italian sodas. (<<<Cute printables available on that link!)
Putting it all together
Once you have your Italian pasta bar set up, the possibilities are endless! It’s so fun to let everyone assemble their bowl of pasta to their own unique taste. My kids absolutely loved the rigatoni with tomato basil pasta sauce, and a sprinkle of parmesan and fresh basil. My favorite combination is the spaghetti with basil pesto, with parmesan and fresh tomatoes. Yum!
This Italian pasta bar is an easy and fun way to entertain guests, or even just to make family dinner extra special. You can customize it to fit any budget or special dietary needs, and it’s great for picky eaters, too. With a variety of pasta, sauces, and toppings, everyone can build their bowl to their heart’s content. With a green salad and crusty bread on the side, it’s a hearty meal that’s sure to leave a smile on everyone’s face!
Ready to Download Your Own Pasta Printables?
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To save our Pasta Party Ideas to your recipe box, feel free to print the instructions below –
Pasta Suggestions -
- Angel Hair
Sauce Suggestions -
Topping Suggestions -
- grated parmesan cheese
- chopped fresh tomatoes
- chopped fresh basil
- grilled chicken
- steamed vegetables
- Crushed red pepper
- Lay out all your ingredients + bowls for each dinner guest.
- Let guests pick their own pasta.
- Top with desired sauce and toppings.
- Eat and enjoy!
Get ready to host a fun and delicious dinner party at home with this easy Italian pasta bar!