My Tri Color Pasta Salad Recipe is a perfect side dish or full meal that is full of vegetables and bright flavors! Follow our easy recipe for a perfect dish.
I’m a sucker for any kind of pasta salad, that’s why my pesto pasta salad (video) is my next favorite to this pasta salad!
Tri Color Pasta Salad Recipe
A good pasta salad is a must for summer months. Especially when you are grilling things like chicken kabobs and pork shashlik on the barbecue. This Pasta Salad is one of my favorites because it is both simple and full of flavor. A ready-made salad dressing gives it robust flavor without making you slave in the kitchen for any longer. Keeping all of these ingredients on hand means I can whip this up in minutes for any meal. If you love simple cold salads like this one, you will definitely enjoy our couscous arugula salad.
Heres what you’ll need to make this recipe
VEGETABLES: We love the crunchiness of the red onion, bell peppers, and juicy cherry tomatoes. We also add raw mushrooms and sliced black olives for extra pops of flavor. But you can honestly add any vegetables you like.
PASTA: We love to use tri-color rotini but any bite-sized pasta like elbow macaroni, farfalle, or penne will work too.
How to make Tri Color Pasta Salad
Here is a quick breakdown of how to make it. For the complete list of ingredients and directions, find the printable option at the end of this blog post.
- Prepare the vegetables: you will need to slice up the mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, onion, and pepper. I recommend using small tomatoes instead of the large ones or they might get mushy.
- Prepare your pasta: I just make mine according to package directions or al dente.
- Mix all ingredients together: Here is where you toss everything into a large bowl and mix in the dressing. Chill before serving.
Add-ins and substitutions
If you prefer to use other vegetables, you are more than welcome to! You can even give it a Greek spin and add feta cheese, or give it more crunch with broccoli, or a nice kick from banana peppers.
Storing and shelflife
This salad tastes best the same day after its been chilled. But you can keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days. After the pasta starts to become mushy. Just make sure to cover the bowl with plastic wrap tightly.
Can I freeze it?
I don’t recommend freezing this pasta salad since its meant to be served fresh. But you can definitely make it ahead of time by chopping up the veggies prior to cooking the pasta and mixing in the dressing.
What to serve it with
Most cold pasta salads are served in the summer as a refreshing side dish. That is why we love to serve it with grilled barbecue wings, cedar plank salmon, grilled chicken kabobs, or even with a grilled Caprese sandwich.
More Yummy Pasta Dishes
I love the Tri Color Pasta Salad for lunch, or as a side dish. However, sometimes I want something a bit richer. So, the recipes I listed below are some great pasta dishes you too might like for a more complete meal option to satisfy your cravings.
- Blackened Chicken Alfredo
- Creamy Chicken Mushrooms Pasta
- Spaghetti with Zucchini
- Potato Gnocchi Recipe with Parmesan Sauce
Tri Color Pasta Salad
- 1 12 oz package tri-color rotini
- 2/3 cup red bell pepper chopped
- 1/2 cup red onion chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in halves
- 1 cup mushrooms sliced
- 1 cup black olives sliced
- 2 2/3 cup Italian dressing
- Cook the pasta according to the package making sure to salt the water well. Once the pasta is cooked, pour it into a colander and rinse the pasta with cold water to stop it from cooking any anymore. After all the water is strained, place the pasta into a large bowl.
- Chop the bell pepper and red onion, then slice the tomatoes, and mushrooms.
- Add the vegetables to the pasta and mix just to combine
- Pour the Italian dressing over the pasta and stir well. It might seem like a lot of dressing at first, but the pasta will absorb a lot of it.
- serve chilled.
This recipe was originally posted March 19, 2015, we’ve tweaked it a bit since then.