Tricolor Pasta Salad is the perfect side dish for your next cookout or potluck. Made in under 30 minutes, this refreshing salad is packed with fresh vegetables, tangy Italian dressing and other delicious flavors!
This Summer Pasta Salad Recipe comes in handy for those last minute pool day invites, cookouts and tailgating parties. With a few simple ingredients, like the pasta and dressing, you can toss in whatever you have on hand!
Pasta salad would be delicious with a pulled pork sandwich, roasted chicken or oven roasted ribs.
Make it a Meal!
How to Make Tricolor Pasta Salad
Start with noodles and build from there! The great thing about this recipe is you can add or substitute any of the ingredients.
I’ve even heard people call this “everything but the kitchen sink” pasta salad… because you can add anything according to your taste!
Here are a few basic ingredients for summer pasta salad:
- Spiral Noodles
- Italian Dressing
- Cherry tomatoes
- Banana Peppers
- Green Onions
- Feta Cheese
- Grilled Veggies
What noodles are best for pasta salad?
I have always used the multi-colored rotini (spiral shaped noodles) in my pasta salad, but any hearty pasta will do. Avoid spaghetti or long/large noodles as they will be more difficult to serve and eat.
The best noodles for making pasta salad:
- Multi-colored Rotini (spiral shape)
- Farfalle (bowtie shape)
- Tortellini (for a fun flavor addition)
Can you make pasta salad the night before?
Yes! In fact, it’s good to allow the salad to “marinate” a little before serving. All of the flavors will combine and mix with all of the other ingredients.
Since veggies absorb liquids, don’t add as much dressing the night before. Wait until you are ready to serve, then add to taste.
- Spiral Noodles*
- Black or Kalamata Olives, drained
- Italian Dressing, 1 bottle
- Cherry Tomatoes, whole
- Banana Pepper Rings, drained
- Green Onions, chopped
- Feta Cheese, crumbled, any flavor
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 teaspoons of Oregano, dried
- Grilled Veggies (sliced zucchini, squash, eggplant, onion)
- Varieties of olives
- Purple Onion, chopped
- Pepperoni Slices
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and let cool.*
To a large mixing bowl, add pasta, olives, whole cherry tomatoes, banana pepper rings, chopped green onion, feta cheese, seasonings and any other preferred ingredients.
Gently to evenly distribute ingredients throughout the salad.
Add approximately 1/4 of the bottle of Italian dressing and stir until ingredients are well-coated.
Taste for flavor. Continue adding dressing as desired.
Place in the fridge for 15 minutes prior to serving to allow flavors to distribute.
Transfer to serving bowl or serve right from the mixing bowl and enjoy!
*Spiral Noodles: I always use the multi-colored rotini noodles as they add a beautiful color, and the shape allows the dressing and flavors to get into each nook and cranny. BUT, you can use any hearty noodle you prefer.
*Cool noodles faster by rinsing with cool tap water.
Nutrition InformationYield 10 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 49Total Fat 2gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 3mgSodium 87mgCarbohydrates 7gFiber 1gSugar 2gProtein 2g