Tri Color Rotini Pasta Salad – A must for every party.
Hands down before any picnic or party we host or attend, this Tri Color Rotini Pasta Salad is my favorite thing to make. In fact, Matt just requests it randomly for the two of us to enjoy for a couple days as a side dish.
I attended a girls day event in college (back in 2005) and someone had made something similar. I analyzed everything and made sure to stop at the store on my way home. That following weekend, I experimented and in over a decade, have barely made a change. The only addition to this dish is the black olives at the request of Matt circa 2013.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?
- Tri Color Rotini Pasta- You can use whatever pasta you prefer, I like the tri color because it looks good. No other reason.
- Cherry Tomatoes– What’s pasta salad without tomatoes? You can dice larger ones if you prefer, but this is just how I’ve always made it.
- Cucumber– The cucumber adds a pop of color and a nice crunch.
- Hard Salami– So this is always fun to purchase. At home in Pennsylvania, I guess it’s more popular to just purchase the block of hard salami. The deli never questioned us. Here, we have to explain each time, that we are going to cube it and do not want it sliced. A few times a manager had to get involved, to our amusement.
- Sliced Turkey Pepperoni– Use regular pepperoni if you like, I prefer turkey pepperoni though.
- Pepper Jack Cheese– The pepper jack adds a bit of spice, if you don’t like spice or Pepper Jack Cheese in general, then just a different kind or double the other kind of cheese you are using.
- Colby or Cheddar Cheese– I like to mix the spicier cheese with some calmer cheese, use whatever hard cheese you like.
- McCormick Salad Supreme– My favorite seasoning. I discovered it when I started making this exact dish. It just adds that finishing touch both looks and taste wise. I also use Salad Supreme to add some flavor to my Macaroni Salad.
- Black Olives– Matt’s request to add. I don’t mind them, they add a nice pop of color.
- Italian or Zesty Italian Dressing– The salad dressing is the binding agent, I guess? It’s just necessary and I love Italian dressing.
Really, you can choose whatever pasta, veggies, meat, or cheese you prefer, but this combination is pretty spectacular.
Cook your pasta according to the package directions. While that cooks, drains, and cools, chop your veggies, meat, and cheese. You can add them to your serving dish a while, along with the olives.
Once your pasta is cool, add it to the dish along with one bottle of dressing and stir. Then, top with the Salad Supreme and cover. Place the pasta salad in the fridge for at least one hour prior to serving, you can also make the night before.
Keep the other bottle of salad dressing nearby when serving, add as much as you want to the main dish right before serving or keep aside for everyone to add as much as they want to their plate or bowl.
Tri Color Rotini Pasta Salad Recipe
Tri Color Rotini Pasta Salad
- 1 lb Tri Color Rotini Pasta uncooked
- 1 package Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 Cucumber sliced and quartered
- ½ lb Hard Salami cubed
- ¼ package Turkey Pepperoni halved
- ½ lb Pepper Jack Cheese cubed
- ½ lb Colby or Cheddar Cheese cubed
- McCormick Salad Supreme to taste
- 1 can Diced Black Olives 2.25oz can or to taste
- 2 bottles Italian or Zesty Italian Dressing or use mix packets to make 2
- Cook pasta according to directions, drain and set aside to cool.
- While pasta is boiling, chop vegetables, meat, and cheese into bite size pieces and add to large dish along with olives.
- Add cooled pasta to container, one bottle of Italian dressing and stir.
- Top with Salad Supreme and refrigerate for at least 1 hour prior to serving, for easy prep, make the night before.
- Keep the other bottle of salad dressing nearby when serving, add as much as you want to the main dish right before serving or keep aside for everyone to add as much as they want to their plate or bowl.
Make It Vegan
Just like many other dishes, a few switches will make this a vegan pasta salad. There are vegan/veggie pepperoni brands, as well as the obvious vegan cheese. Omit the salami and add some more veggies of your liking! Get creative! Should we try a vegan version of this pasta salad? Let us know!
Trying this recipe? Be sure to tag us on social media!