Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

colorful party pasta salad

(2 ratings)
Blue Ribbon Recipe by
Megan Todd
Warren, OH

This recipe is a family favorite that is requested for every bonfire, birthday party, holiday get-together, or occasion! Recently, we went to our niece's birthday party empty-handed (meaning no pasta salad, but lots of gifts) and were asked over and over again where the pasta salad was. In my defense, I offered to make something and was told not to. I more than made up for it this past weekend for my kids' birthday celebration and our season-opening bonfire. Feel free to add your family's favorite vegetables. It brings lots of color to any summer event!

Blue Ribbon Recipe

Wow, this is a pasta salad recipe! There are a lot of fresh veggies, herbs, cheese, and pepperoni. If that isn't enough, the homemade dressing is amazing and truly the star. You won't use all the dressing, but save it for other green salads. Chilling in the fridge a few hours creates flavor magic, allowing everything to really sing together. This recipe makes a ton and would be great for a cookout, large gathering, or potluck. It could even be a meal on a hot day.

— The Test Kitchen @kitchencrew
(2 ratings)
yield 12 serving(s)
prep time 23 Hr 55 Min
cook time 10 Min
method Stove Top

Ingredients For colorful party pasta salad

  • 2 clove
  • 1
    bay leaf
  • 1 sprig
    fresh rosemary
  • 2 c
    extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 c
    red wine vinegar
  • 2 clove
    garlic, minced
  • 3/4 tsp
    chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/2 tsp
    celery salt
  • 1/2 tsp
    onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp
    dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp
    dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp
    coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp
    freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp
    dried oregano
  • 1 lb
    tri-colored fusilli pasta
  • olive oil
  • 1 lg
    red onion, diced
  • 1 lg
    cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 md
    green pepper, diced
  • 1 md
    red pepper, diced
  • 1 md
    yellow pepper, diced
  • 1 bunch
    broccoli florets, chopped
  • 1 can
    black olives, drained and sliced (3.8 oz)
  • 4 md
    Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 8 oz
    mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • 8 oz
    sharp cheddar cheese, cubed
  • 8 oz
    pepperoni, sliced 1/4 inch thick, then diced
  • 1 sprig
    rosemary, chopped
  • chopped fresh oregano, to taste
  • grated Romano cheese, for serving

How To Make colorful party pasta salad

  • Salad dressing in a glass jar.
    To make the dressing, add the whole garlic, bay leaf, and rosemary sprig to a large glass jar or bottle with a lid. Add the olive oil and red wine vinegar. Add the minced garlic and all remaining seasonings. Place the lid on the jar and shake gently to mix well. Taste the dressing and adjust the seasonings to your taste. Refrigerate any unused dressing. It's best if it can be allowed to sit 24 hours before use. This allows the garlic and rosemary to infuse into the oil and vinegar. Shake well before using.
  • Cooked pasta in a colander.
    Prepare the pasta according to the package directions. Drain, cool, and drizzle with a small amount of extra virgin olive oil. Set aside.
  • Pasta in a bowl with chopped onion, cucumber, and bell peppers.
    Add the pasta to a large bowl. Mix in the onion, cucumber, and bell peppers. Mix well.
  • Add the chopped broccoli, tomatoes, and black olives.
    Mix in the broccoli, black olives, and tomatoes.
  • Add the pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, and cheddar cheese.
    Mix in the cheeses and pepperoni. Add the fresh rosemary and oregano to taste.
  • Add the Italian dressing.
    Pour on some dressing and stir well. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours before serving. Best if made the day before.
  • Add Romano cheese before serving.
    Before serving, stir well. Add freshly grated Romano cheese.