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Tricolor Pasta Salad

I love to cook and bake, and I want you to know that you can do it, too. If you can read, you can cook!

Tricolor pasta salad side dish

Tricolor pasta salad side dish

Why Pasta Salad Makes a Great Side Dish

With so many different side dish options, why would you choose pasta salad?

  • Enjoy the flexibility: Use whatever ingredients you have and whip up the perfect summertime side dish.
  • Combine several sides in one: With pasta, meats (if you desire), cheese, veggies, and whatever you like, you can make just one side instead of several different ones.
  • Beat the heat: Another plus is that you can avoid heating up your kitchen in the hottest part of the day. If your kitchen is like mine with no air-conditioning or fans, it can get pretty hot in the summer. So cook your meat on the grill outside and make your pasta salad the day ahead, making your summer evening a pleasant experience.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

20 min

10 min

30 min

6 servings


  • 1 box tricolor rotini pasta
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 1 cup black olives, sliced or halved
  • 1 cup pimento stuffed olives
  • 1 cup Genoa salami, cut in cubes
  • 1 cup cooked ham, cut in cubes
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 English cucumber, sliced thick and halved
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the vinaiagrette:

  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook according to directions
  2. Mix vinaigrette ingredients, mix well, and set aside
  3. Place all meat, cheese, seasonings, and veggie ingredients into a large bowl. Mix well.
  4. Drain pasta, rinse in cold water, drain and coat pasta with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix well and add to the other ingredients.
  5. Pour vinaigrette over ingredients, mix well and chill for at least 1 hour before serving. You can prepare this the day before using (and I think it's even more delicious this way).

Please Vote

Want to Make Changes?

As I always say in almost all of my recipes, you can make changes to this recipe and make it your own. That's the beauty of pasta salads. You can switch off the meats and even add cubes of your favorite cheese or switch the veggies and add hot peppers, if you like foods spicier and even switch around the seasonings.

I do it all the time because not every family likes the same ingredients in most recipes. You are the chef, so have fun with it and make it your own. Enjoy!

Photo Guide



Meat cubes

Meat cubes

All the salad ingredients before adding vinaigrette

All the salad ingredients before adding vinaigrette

Salad all ready to be eaten.

Salad all ready to be eaten.

© 2021 Rachel L Alba