This Tricolor Pasta Salad Recipe is not only easy & vibrant, but it is also a delicious Summer treat. I make it by tossing cooked pasta, tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, onions, and radish with homemade Tahini Dressing.
This salad is a perfect food for any picnic or outdoor fun. It is colorful and takes only 20 minutes from start to finish. It is filled with all the colorful ingredients & tastes incredible every single time.
Apart from being the salad so flavorful, it is also so vibrant & colorful. Just like this Pasta Salad, Thai Noodle Salad is also my favorite. Also, this Orzo Pasta Salad is quite popular at my home. And who doesn't like a good & simple Pesto Pasta? Sometimes I also love to have Indian Chickpea Salad, as it is bursting with flavors.
The post contains Helpful Tips & Tricks to make a Tricolor Pasta Salad Recipe. But if you're in a hurry, you can also click "Jump to Recipe' under the Heading to go directly to the Recipe Card or click Recipe Card from the Table of Contents below.
WHAT IS TRICOLOR PASTA SALAD?
Tricolor Pasta Salad is nothing but 3 or more colored pasta. The cooked pasta is then combined with veggies and the Dressing of your choice. You can serve it hot or cold as a main dish or as a side.
You don't need to make it by using different colors of pasta. But instead, you can use colorful rotini pasta. Or you can use Trader Joe's Trofie Colore that I have used in the recipe. The box has 3-4 colored pasta, and I love its flavor.
You can use the pasta with your choice of veggies like onion, olives, bell peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, spinach, or arugula. Then, you can flavor it with Italian Dressing, Caesar Dressing, or Greek Dressing.
They taste good hot or cold. You can serve it as a main dish on Summer picnics or BBQs or as a side with some protein or grilled veggies.
WHY YOU'LL LIKE THIS RECIPE
- Gets Ready in No Time: This Tricolor Pasta Salad recipe is a winner as it gets ready in under 20 minutes.
- Easy: It is easy and can be made with basic ingredients like onion, cucumber, tomatoes, greens, and the Dressing of your choice.
- Colorful: It is bright and vibrant and always a popular Summer recipe. More the veggie in the salad, the salad will turn more delicious.
- Party Food: Can be made into party food by serving at picnics or BBQs.
- PASTA: I have used Tricolor Rotini Pasta for this recipe. They are spiral-shaped and go great in any recipe. This pasta salad also goes great with Farfalle Pasta, Rotini Pasta, or Cellentani Pasta.
- VEGGIES: Summer Salad is incomplete without the sweetness of cherry tomatoes and cucumbers. Also, toss some red onions, arugula, radish, bell pepper, or any other veggies of your choosing.
- OLIVES: Choose a can of olives or head to the olive bar in your grocery store. Get pitted olives like Kalamata Olives for the recipe.
- ADD-ONS: You can add cilantro, parsley, red chili flakes, etc., for the garnish and extra flavoring.
- DRESSING: You can make a dressing of your own or make a store-bought dressing. Tastes better with some lemony Greek Salad dressing or Talian Dressing. I have used Tahini Dressing that I have made with Tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, maple syrup, minced garlic, sesame seeds,
- See the recipe card for quantities.
How to Cook Pasta
BOIL THE PASTA: Add pasta to the instant pot and cover them with water. Pressure cook for 4-5 minutes or as per packet instructions. (Note: Pressure Cook Timer depends on the pasta. Check the instruction on the pasta bag. Divide the cooking time by half (½) and -1. That is, Cook Time for pasta is 12. Divided by ½= 6. Then -1= 6-1=5).
Or you also boil the pasta on the stovetop. Then, add pasta to boiling water. And cook for 8-9 minutes or as per instructions.
Once the pasta is boiled, strain the water. You can use a strainer to drain out the water from the pasta.
Make the Dressing by whisking Tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, maple syrup/honey, minced garlic, toasted sesame seeds, and salt & pepper until smooth and lump-free.
Let the Dressing sit for 10-15 minutes to combine all the flavors appropriately.
Transfer pasta to a salad bowl. Add onion, tomatoes, bell pepper, radish, and cucumbers.
Toss the Dressing with pasta and veggies until all the ingredients are combined correctly.
Finally, adjust the flavors and serve.
- Make sure that pasta is well cooked and al dente.
- You can soak the cooked pasta in cold water to make a cold pasta salad.
- Cut the veggies into the same size.
- Add a lot of colorful and crunchy veggies to make this salad irresistible.
- You can rub some olive oil or sesame oil to avoid sticking.
- Let the Dressing sit for 10-15 minutes. That way, the flavors will blend more appropriately.
You can store this Tricolor Pasta Salad in the refrigerator for 3-5 days in an airtight container.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Usually, when you make pasta, it is recommended not to rinse the pasta. But when making a cold pasta salad, rinse the pasta with icy cold water. The cooking process will stop when you rinse the pasta with cold water.
You can add any veggies of your choice. Onion, bell peppers, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, etc., works great in any salad. You can also add spinach or arugula. Roasted asparagus, olives, and feta cheese are good salad options.
Yes, you can definitely make the pasta salad the night before. But first, make the salad and store it in the refrigerator. That way, the flavors will combine more appropriately.
OTHER SALAD RECIPES
- THAI NOODLE SALAD WITH PEANUT SAUCE
- INDIAN CHICKPEA SALAD
- ORZO PASTA SALAD
- BEETS SALAD
- QUINOA SALAD
- SUMMER ROLLS
📖 RECIPE CARD
TRICOLOR PASTA SALAD RECIPE
How to cook Pasta:
- Instant Pot: Add pasta to the instant pot and cover them with water. Pressure cook for 4-5 minutes or as per packet instructions. When the timer beeps, Quick Release the pressure by turning the vent to the venting position. (Note: Pressure Cook Timer depends on the pasta. Check the instruction on the pasta bag. Divide the cooking time by half (½) and -1. That is, Cook Time for pasta is 12. Divided by ½= 6. Then -1= 6-1=5).Stove-Top: Add 1 cup of Pasta in boiling water. And boil for 8-9 minutes or as per instructions.
- Strain the leftover water and transfer the pasta to a salad bowl. (Note: You can also add pasta to the cold icy water. This will stop the cooking process and will not stick).
- Make the dressing by whisking Tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, maple syrup/honey, minced garlic, toasted sesame seeds, and salt & pepper until smooth and lump-free.
- Transfer pasta to a salad bowl. Add onion, tomatoes, bell pepper, radish, and cucumbers.
- Toss the dressing with pasta and veggies until all the ingredients are combined correctly.
- Adjust the flavors and serve immediately.
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