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Pasta Bar Party

Pasta Bar Party: This buffet is perfect for a party, set up different pastas, sauces, and toppings and let your guests make-their-own!

Pasta Bar Ideas

Last week my oldest daughter had a birthday, and we’re planning a party with friends in a couple of weeks. But we couldn’t let the special day go by without marking the occasion, so we had a special family party and celebrated with a Make Your Own Pasta Bar. This is such a fun way to serve a lot of people. And everyone loved choosing all their own perfect combinations, especially the picky eaters.  I hope you enjoy all our pasta bar ideas.

how to make your own pasta bar

My daughter’s favorite food is pasta, so that’s why we choose a pasta bar for this celebration. It wasn’t too hard to put together and was a real crowd pleaser.

Pasta Bar ideas

The Pasta Bar

It was so much fun to put together the pasta bar and I’m really excited to share it with you. It’s so perfect for entertaining, since it’s an easy way for everyone can find something they love, and all you have to do is set it up and let them help themselves, so you get a chance to enjoy your own party too.

Pasta Bar set up in a home

I set it all up in the dining room. We did a combination of pastas, sauces, and toppings and everyone helped themselves.

Pastas:

We offered three different pastas -fettuccine, cheese tortellini, and rotini.

  • fettuccine
  • cheese tortellini
  • rotini

Our trio of pasta options were a hit. I wanted to include pasta of different shapes. You might also include gluten-free pasta, or zucchini noodles. I cooked the pasta right before serving. To help prevent it from sticking, you might stir in a little olive oil, or butter before serving. Don’t underestimate how many large pots you will need to make this, and remember it takes a while to bring that much water to the boil, so keep that in mind as you’re working out your timings for serving.

different pastas and sauces and toppings for a pasta buffet

Sauces:

There were three pasta sauces we used; tomato, alfredo, and a blush sauce.

  • tomato sauce
  • Alfredo sauce
  • blush sauce

It’s always nice to have a white sauce, a red sauce, and our third sauce was a combination of both. Pesto is also a great option for your DIY pasta bar.

pasta bar ideas for pasta, sauces, and toppings

Toppings:

Then we made lots of fun toppings. We had a variety of meats including grilled chicken, Italian sausage, and meatballs. There was also sauteed veggies as a vegetable option. We also included some parmesan cheese and hot chilli flakes for those that like a little spice.

  • grilled chicken
  • Italian sausage
  • meatballs
  • veggies (mushrooms, peppers, onions)
  • Parmesan cheese
  • hot chilli flakes

The chicken and sausage were grilled on the bbq, and then chopped into bite sized pieces for serving. The meatballs were cooked from frozen in the oven, as per the package directions.

We sauteed our veggies in a large frying pan before serving. Prep all your veggies ahead of time, and cook until almost done. Just before serving finish off the cooking over a low heat. You could also grill the vegetables and chop into bite sized pieces before serving. Serve grilled veggies on large platter with rows of each kind so that everyone can pick their own vegetable options.

Our guests loved all the different options, and tried all kinds of different combos. It was perfect even for fussy eaters. I would definitely do it again, as it was a huge hit.

how to set up a pasta bar for a party

Keep It Simple

There were a lot of different components to the pasta bar, but they were all really simple to put together. I used store bought sauces, and meatballs to cut down the prep time. I cooked the veggies ahead of time and just re-heated them. Before serving my husband grilled the sausage and chicken on the bbq, I cooked the pasta, and heated up the sauces. 

Allergy, Vegan, Dairy-free, Gluten-Free Friendly

One of the great benefits of offering guests a buffet is that it’s very friendly for all. If you know you have a guest with a dietary restriction be sure to include some options that work for them, like gluten free pasta, or zucchini noodles, veggie options, and non-dairy sauces. This is such a great option also to make all your guests feel included, and like you’re all eating the same menu.

Serving Ideas

To serve our pasta bar I bought some matching simple white bowls of various sizes as serving dishes. We had guests serve themselves at the buffet we created. We were a relatively small party, so we didn’t have any issues keeping the food warm. If you had a larger group, you might consider using a slow cooker to serve some of the sauces, or food trays with warmers underneath.

Side Dishes:

Along with this we made a caesar salad, and cooked some mozzarella sticks. So it was pretty easy to put together. A green salad would be a great choice too. We also served some rolls. These options were all at the table and passed around.

  • caesar salad
  • mozzarella sticks
  • garlic bread
  • fresh bread rolls
  • butter
  • breadsticks
  • black olives

Italian themed party tablescape and centre piece

The Table

I wanted the table to continue the Italian theme, so we went for a rustic Italian feel.

Italian party centre piece of herbs planted in tomato tin cans

I used some tomato tins as herb planters and had fresh basil, thyme, and Italian parsley as the centrepiece.

Italian party tablescape with breadsticks and olives, and rolls


We added some bread sticks, olives, and fresh tomatoes to the table for snacking.

pasta party table settings with individual rolls on each plate

Each guest had their own roll, wrapped in parchment paper, waiting for them.

Italian party pasta party tablescape

Drinks:

I set us some Italian inspired drinks in the kitchen for our guests.

  • lemon San Pellegrino
  • orange San Pellegrino
  • San Pellegrino sparkling water
  • wine

drinks for an Italian pasta themed dinner party


This was such a fun get-together, I highly recommend it to you for a party.

Pasta bar ideas for an Italian themed party

With a Make Your Own Pasta Bar and all these great pasta bar ideas, life really is a party!

Want more inspiration?  Check out our Make Your Own Pizza Party:

You’ll love our Fondue Party, check it our here.

You might also like our Grown Up Lemonade Stand -check it out here.

5 Comments

  1. Hi Kimiko,
    You can just add a little oil to your noodles after they’re cooked to help them to keep from sticking. Hope this helps.
    Dannyelle

  2. I am planning to do a pasta bar for Christmas Eve. I would like to cook my pasta (three different kinds) the day before. Any suggests on how to warm up the pasta on the day and how to keep it warm? Thanks

  3. Hi Gina, I know in restaurants they sometimes pre-cook pasta until almost done, but not quite and then re-heat and finishing last bit of cooking in boiling water. Not sure if this would work. Hope your get together went well.
    Best,
    Dannyelle

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