4.56 from 34 votes

Tri Color Pasta Salad Recipe

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Tri Color Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing is an incredibly fresh homemade cold pasta salad that makes every bite count. What I love about curly rotini pastas are the ability to get the noodles in a tri color.

The green and orange make a beautiful rainbow salad so it can look as appetizing on the table as it tastes!

You never know if your fork will grab onto the soft mozzarella cheeses or the crunchy and sweet red peppers or maybe even the crisp bite of broccoli- every bite a surprise and every bite the BEST.

fresh homemade curly pasta with fresh broccoli, vegetables and cheeses in a bowl and ready to serve

Why you will love this Italian Pasta Salad

When you make pasta salads, they are certainly tons of choices for the pasta noodle. I have an affinity for the mini macaronis and the baby shells myself, but these rotini pastas are a nice thick noodle that can fill up just about anyone.

Even better when served cold! While you can serve this one immediately it tastes even better when left in the fridge for up to 4 hours or even overnight.

I personally am not a big “left over” gal, but I think 3 days is pretty solid on this salad.

Alright, this one is def not in the no carb keto family, but when you account for the amount of fresh veggies in it, its still an amazing alternative to cookies.

If you really want to curb the carbs, make sure you try this super fresh and low carb whole 30 alternative, 

Italian dressing is super light and really helps enhance and make this pasta salad shine. It does not hide the vegetable and pasta flavors.

I always pick my favorites when it comes to making fresh Vegetable salads, but you can change this one up to your own homemade recipe by slicing and dicing your best veggies as well. You can also choose to add cooked meats like pepperoni and vary the cheeses.

Ingredients

  • Rotini Pasta
  • Italian Dressing 
  • Italian Seasonings Packet
  • black olives
  • diced red peppers
  • Mozzarella Pearls
  • broccoli
  • red onion
  • cucumber

RELATED RECIPES: Mediterranean Shrimp Salad,  Shrimp Pesto Pasta Salad, Tuna Pasta Salad, Cold Macaroni Pasta Salad, Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad, BLT Pasta Salad, Mandarin Chicken Pasta Salad, Pepperoni Italian Pasta Salad, Broccoli Salad, Green Bean Salad

How to make Tri-Color Pasta Salad

  1. First cook your rotini pasta al dente. You can cook according to the box but it takes typically 7 minutes or so. Drain and set pasta aside.
  2. Chop all your veggies to bite sized pieces. Make sure you peel the cucumber before slicing down as well. Cut off any long broccoli stems and cut broccoli heads down if too large. You want to make sure that when you take a bite of the salad, everything can fit nicely on a fork in one bite.
  3. Drain your black olives.
  4. Dump all your ingredients on top of the tri color pasta.
  5. Now sprinkle your Italian Dressing packet over the top.
  6. Dump the entire Italian Dressing bottle into the pasta and vegetable mixture.
  7. Mix super well, making sure to saturate all the noodles and vegetables top to bottom.
  8. Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
Tri Color Curly pasta on a fork with red peppers, black olives and mini cheese ready to eat

Expert Notes

  • Do not overcook your pasta – You can cook your pasta via the instructions on the box but do not overcook. Since you are adding Italian salad dressing and Italian Seasonings, your noodle is already going to get saturated. If you over cook your pasta, it might be too soft to really enjoy. 
  • Do not substitute your Mozzarella Pearls with Mozzarella Block Cheese – cheese matters! Make sure you use fresh mozzarella diced down or pre-sized Mozzarella Pearls. If you slice blocked cheese the density is totally different and it detracts from the taste and texture. I always say that cheese is one thing that is worth the splurge
  • Black Olives or Green Olives – these are totally different types of olive tastes, but I do love an olive in a salad so I would not wimp out on adding them unless you hate them. Personally I prefer a black olive nutty taste versus the sharp taste of a green olive. You can also lower the 12 oz. can to a 6 oz. can if you prefer. 
  • If you really wanted to, you can use the regular Rotini pastas, but I love the way the colored ones look myself.
  • Add Cooked Shrimp for a totally delicious protein!
4.56 from 34 votes

Tri Color Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing


Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
This tri color pasta salad made with colorful rotini is the perfect cold pasta salad to serve at your next party. Full of crunchy and fresh veggies like broccoli, sweet red peppers, soft cheese and olives, the Italian dressings and seasonings pull this amazing and filling salad together. Delightful and delicious!

Ingredients
 

  • 1 box tri color Curly Rotini Pasta cooked and cooled
  • 1 bottle 15 oz Italian Dressing
  • Italian Seasonings Packet
  • 12 oz black olives can, drained
  • 1/2 cup red peppers diced
  • 8 oz Mozzarella Pearls
  • 1 small head of broccoli chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion diced
  • 1/2-1 cup cucumber peeled and chopped

Instructions

  • First cook your rotini pasta al dente. You can cook according to the box but it takes typically 7 minutes or so. Drain and set pasta aside.
  • Chop all your veggies to bite sized pieces. Make sure you peel the cucumber before slicing down as well. Cut off any long broccoli stems and cut broccoli heads down if too large. You want to make sure that when you take a bite of the salad, everything can fit nicely on a fork in one bite.
  • Drain your black olives.
  • Dump all your ingredients on top of the tri color pasta.
  • Now sprinkle your Italian Dressing packet over the top.
  • Dump the entire Italian Dressing bottle into the pasta and vegetable mixture.
  • Mix super well, making sure to saturate all the noodles and vegetables top to bottom.
  • Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

Video

Notes

PROTEIN : Originally when I created this salad, my intentions were to add a sauteed shrimp. Unfortunately I used all the shrimp in my other recipes that day so I simply ran out. Feel free however, to add proteins like cooked up shrimp or pepperoni
CHANGE UP VEGETABLES: Consider adding bites of cauliflower, green onion, chunks of red tomatoes or even shredded carrots. This salad is super adaptable.
SERVING: This pasta salad is super filling so I put the serving size as half a cup. If you can eat more I am impressed.
PARTY FOOD: My recipe makes a WHOLE LOTTA SALAD. You probably figured that out when you saw a box of pasta…there are 10 cups, so you will def have enough.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/2 cup | Calories: 121kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 411mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g

Nutritional Disclaimer: The nutritional data provided here is auto-calculated and intended for your convenience only. As it’s generated via automation, its accuracy may be compromised. For precise nutritional insight, please compute the values utilizing the actual ingredients in your recipe through your chosen nutrition calculator or application.

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4.56 from 34 votes

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One Comment

  1. This is delicious perfect for a summer picnic thank you for sharing your recipe it is the best

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