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A bowl with tri color rotini pasta salad inside of it.
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Tri Color Pasta Salad

Tri Color Pasta Salad is full of fresh vegetables, tender rotini pasta, and covered in an easy dressing of ranch + Italian salad dressing! The combination of two salad dressings is the secret. It's the perfect side dish for any gathering, bbq, or dinnertime. 
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword pasta salad recipe, tri color pasta salad
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 329kcal
Author Jessica - Together as Family

Ingredients

Tri Color Pasta Salad

  • 1 box (12 oz) tri color rotini pasta
  • 8 ounces mozzarella pearls
  • 1 can (2.25 oz) sliced black olives roughly chopped
  • 1 cup sliced & halved mini cucumbers
  • 1 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup sliced baby carrots
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli
  • cup finely diced red onion (about ½ of a red onion)
  • 1 yellow pepper chopped small

Dressing

  • ¾ cup Olive Garden Parmesan Ranch salad dressing
  • ¾ cup Olive Garden Italian salad dressing

Instructions

  • Preparation : Chop all the veggies beforehand or while the pasta is cooking. Put the water into a large pot and let it come to a boil while you're preparing veggies. You can then finish them up while the pasta is cooking.
  • Cook pasta according to instructions on the back of the box. Cook to preferred tenderness, al dente or longer for softer pasta.
    * Add about 1 teaspoon kosher salt to the boiling water before you add your pasta in. This helps flavor the pasta. If using regular table salt, use ½ teaspoon.
  • When pasta is done cooking, drain it inside a colander, and run cold water over it for about 30 seconds.
    * Make sure it is drained really well. I normally take a paper towel and blot the pasta to make sure all the extra moisture is off of it.
  • Dump the pasta into a large mixing bowl or large serving bowl. Add the mozzarella pearls, olives, cucumbers, tomato, carrots, broccoli, red onion, and chopped yellow pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Pour the ranch dressing and Italian salad dressing over the pasta and stir well, making sure that all the pasta and vegetables are coated in the dressings.
  • Serve right away OR you can refrigerate it for about 1-2 hours before serving for a colder pasta.
    * Both ways are equally delicious. I like it cold, so I usually refrigerate it for about 2 hours before serving it. Add a little extra dressing, if needed, to moisten back up any leftovers or before serving it cold from the fridge.

Notes

Serving Size : This recipe makes about 10 cups of pasta salad. The nutrition information listed is for 10 servings with each serving being equal to 1 cup. 
Salad Dressings : I have tested this recipe several times (using all kinds of dressing combinations) and the Olive Garden parmesan ranch + Italian salad dressing combo is so good! I highly recommend using those ones in this recipe for best results. Of course, if wanted, any ranch dressing or Italian dressing can be used in place of it. 
Mini Cucumbers : These are preferred because they are not as wet and don't have as many seeds as the regular cucumbers. I slice the mini cucumber in half (lengthwise) and then chop it up into thin slices. This will create the halved slices of cucumber. 
Tips : If you don't like one of the veggies called for, feel free to sub in another one. Try using a different bell pepper instead of yellow. Use a can of chopped black olives (they're chopped really small, which is why I prefer to roughly chop the already sliced olives).
Mozzarella Pearls : These are small balls of mozzarella. Just get the plain ones and not the marinated ones. You can find these in the deli/produce area with the other specialty cheeses. They are common and I've seen them at any grocery store I go to. 

Nutrition

Calories: 329kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 469mg | Potassium: 250mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2018IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 1mg