Pasta Salad

This pasta salad recipe was given to me by a dear friend many years ago, and I’ve been making it ever since! It’s great for barbecues.

This easy pasta salad recipe comes together quickly with convenient ingredients and colorful vegetables.


How to Make Pasta Salad

You’ll find a detailed ingredient list and step-by-step instructions in the recipe below, but let’s go over the basics:

Pasta Salad Ingredients

Wondering what goes in pasta salad? These are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Pasta: This colorful, top-rated pasta salad starts with one pound of tri-colored spiral pasta.
  • Dressing: Use a bottle of store-bought Italian-style dressing or, if you want to go the extra mile, make your own at home.
  • Seasoning mix: Salad seasoning mix lends tons of savory flavor.
  • Vegetables: You’ll need cherry tomatoes, three bell peppers (green, yellow, and red), and a can of black olives.

How to Make Homemade Pasta Salad

Here’s a brief overview of what you can expect when you make pasta salad at home:

  1. Cook and drain the pasta.
  2. Whisk the dressing with the seasoning mix.
  3. Combine the pasta with the vegetables, then toss in the seasoned dressing.


What Goes With Pasta Salad

This pasta salad recipe will be right at home among other potluck and picnic favorites. In need of some more inspiration? Explore our collection of 15 Best Potluck Side Dishes Are So Good Everyone Will Be Begging You for the Recipes. Here are a few of the crowd-pleasing recipes you’ll find:

  • Classic Macaroni Salad
  • Authentic German Potato Salad
  • Perfect Summer Fruit Salad


Can You Make Pasta Salad Ahead of Time? 

Yes, pasta salad makes a great make-ahead dish! Since the flavors need time to meld in the refrigerator, it might actually be better to make it a day or two in advance.


How Long Is Pasta Salad Good For In the Fridge?

Store this pasta salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.


Can You Freeze Pasta Salad? 

The texture of the cooked pasta may change during the freezing and thawing process. However, you can freeze this pasta salad for up to three months if you have leftovers.


Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

“Adding the seasoning packet really kicks up the flavor,” according to Jean. “I also add chopped broccoli which I steam for just a few seconds to enhance the color.”

“I made this for 18 servings for a potluck at work and everyone loved it,” says Laura Leal. “I followed the recipe and simply added some broccoli. It was easy to make.”

“This is a delicious salad,” raves tracyo. “I have made it several times and usually follow the recipe. I have added small mozzarella balls and my family loves it even more!”

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


  • 1 pound tri-colored spiral pasta
  • 1 (16 ounce) bottle Italian-style salad dressing
  • 6 tablespoons salad seasoning mix
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 (2.25 ounce) can black olives, chopped


  1. Gather all ingredients.

  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 10 to 12 minutes; rinse under cold water and drain.

  3. Whisk Italian dressing and salad spice mix together until smooth. Combine pasta, tomatoes, bell peppers, and olives in a salad bowl.

  4. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat.

  5. Refrigerate salad, 8 hours to overnight.

  6. Enjoy!

    Nutrition Facts
    Servings Per Recipe 6
    Calories 400
    % Daily Value *
    Total Fat 25g32%
    Saturated Fat 4g22%
    Cholesterol 3mg1%
    Sodium 1904mg83%
    Total Carbohydrate 39g14%
    Dietary Fiber 4g13%
    Total Sugars 8g
    Protein 8g
    Vitamin C 79mg397%
    Calcium 54mg4%
    Iron 3mg14%
    Potassium 298mg6%

    Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

    Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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