Tri Color Pasta Salad

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4th of JulyDinnerEasyEatsItalianLunchMeatlessNo-BakeNoodlesParty FoodPastapicnicpotlucksavorySide DishSummer

Tri Color Pasta Salad is filled with noodles, fresh veggies, and Parmesan cheese. It’s tossed in a creamy Caesar dressing and basil pesto for one flavor-packed dish. You will want to add this to your summer spread!

Tri Color Pasta Salad is filled with noodles, fresh veggies, and Parmesan cheese. It’s tossed in a creamy Caesar dressing and basil pesto for one flavor-packed dish.

Cooking is one of my love languages, so I always put my soul into every recipe. This Tri Color Pasta Salad is no exception. It is my favorite summer side dish that is filled with so much flavor. You will find it at most of our backyard barbecues a long with all of our other favorites!

WHAT IS TRI COLOR PASTA SALAD?

Colorful rotini pasta is the base for the dish. No need to buy three separate bags of pasta. You’ll be able to get all the color that you need from one box of store bought Tri-Color rotini pasta. This trio is mixed with diced red onions, tomatoes, black olives and parmesan cheese. It’s then tossed together with a creamy Caesar dressing. It is so full of flavor and color!

INGREDIENTS FOR TRI COLOR PASTA SALAD

  • 1 box (12 ounces) Tri -Color Rotini pasta
  • 2/3 cup creamy Caesar dressing
  • 4 Tablespoons basil pesto
  • 3 Roma tomatoes diced
  • 1 small can sliced black olives, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup red onion finely diced
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 5 basil leaves, cut into strips
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

HOW DO I MAKE THIS SALAD?

There is a lot of delicious things going on in this salad, but I promise it is quite easy to assemble. First begin by boiling your pasta to a perfect al dente (more on that later). Once your pasta is finished cooking, drain the water, and add in your creamy Caesar dressing while still warm. Toss together all the remaining ingredients into a large bowl with the noodles. Cover and place in the fridge to chill. Once your pasta salad is cooled it is ready to serve!

Tri Color Pasta Salad is filled with noodles, fresh veggies, and Parmesan cheese. It’s tossed in a creamy Caesar dressing and basil pesto for one flavor-packed dish.

HOW DO I COOK THE PASTA TO AL DENTE?

The words ‘al dente’ may sound intimidating, but I promise you that it is not! Al dente translates to “to the tooth.” This means that there should be a little bite to the noodle when you eat the pasta. For those of us who need another way of hearing it, this means to not overcook your pasta! Salt your water as it begins to boil and before you add the pasta. Let it boil for a couple of minutes and then take out one noodle to test. If the noodle is mostly cooked through with a little bite in the center, then it is done!

CAN I MAKE TRI COLOR PASTA SALAD AHEAD OF TIME?

This is such a great recipe to prepare then let sit in the fridge before serving. All the flavors start to meld together and, honestly, it gets better over time. If you are preparing for the next day, I suggest adding a little bit creamier Caesar dressing to toss into the salad right before serving. This will ensure that the creamy texture of the salad holds up. Nobody likes a dry pasta salad.

HOW LONG DOES IT STAY GOOD FOR?

Keep it covered and refrigerated and you’ll be able to enjoy servings of this fabulous side for up to 5 days! I would be surprised if it lasted that long, because I guarantee you’ll be snacking on it constantly as it sits in your fridge. 

WHERE SHOULD I SERVE TRI COLOR PASTA SALAD?

Tri Color Pasta Salad is the perfect thing to make for that Saturday afternoon picnic you’ve been planning. Load up the basket with some plates and utensils and all you need is a shady tree. If you have family BBQ coming up this is a great side to serve that most everyone will love.

Tri Color Pasta Salad is filled with noodles, fresh veggies, and Parmesan cheese. It’s tossed in a creamy Caesar dressing and basil pesto for one flavor-packed dish.

ENJOY THIS RECIPE? HERE ARE A FEW MORE OF MY FAVORITE PICNIC RECIPES!

Club Croissants – Perfect sandwiches with bacon, turkey, ham, tomato, and lettuce on a buttery flakey croissant.

BLT Pasta Salad – Tender bowtie pasta with bacon, romaine lettuce, and cherry tomatoes in a creamy ranch dressing.

Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad – Tender penne noodles with chicken breast, tomatoes, and spinach in a creamy pesto sauce.

Summer Fruit Salad – Fresh fruit that is tossed together with a sweet dressing. This is a light and flavorful side dish.

Tri Color Pasta Salad

Prep Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours
Servings 6 to 8
Author Life in the Lofthouse

Ingredients

  • 1 box (12 ounces) tri-color Rotini pasta
  • 2/3 cup creamy Caesar dressing
  • 4 Tablespoons basil pesto
  • 3 Roma tomatoes diced
  • 1 small can sliced black olives drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup red onion finely diced
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated
  • 5 basil leaves cut into strips
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta in a large pot of water until al dente. Drain water and place cooked pasta in a large bowl.
  • Toss the warm noodles with the creamy Caesar dressing. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss to combine.
  • Cover bowl and refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.

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Tri Color Pasta Salad is filled with noodles, fresh veggies, and Parmesan cheese. It’s tossed in a creamy Caesar dressing and basil pesto for one flavor-packed dish.


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3 thoughts on “Tri Color Pasta Salad

  1. I’m actually eating the tri-colored pasta while posting this comment. I love pasta salad! It’s always the first thing I gravitate to at parties and bbq’s. What I love about this pasta salad is how unique the flavor is. It doesn’t have that heavy vinegar taste you get from a lot of other pasta salads and I love the pesto with the Caesar dressing. If I had one bit of criticism, it would be that the onion is a little strong. However, I’ve always been sensitive to onion so that might be a personal preference. Overall I love this dish!

  2. This is a go-to recipe for me and have been using it for a while so I decided finally to say thank you!! I use cheese tortellinis as the pasta and I always get raving reviews. You rock!

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