Colorful Pasta Salad

'Ria Murphy


30 years ago someone brought this pasta salad to a potluck, and I actually liked it! (I was not a pasta salad fan) After 20 years of changing and tweaking it - it has become a staple of our household and a real crowd pleaser at potlucks. I am regularly TOLD to bring this to family gatherings when all else get to choose what they are bringing. LOL Fortunately it's cheap, easy and fast to make!

★★★★★ 1 vote
15 Min
10 Min
Stove Top


1 can(s)
black olives
1 pkg
imitation crab flakes (substituting ham chunks works here, but i like the crab flake better)
1 pkg
tri color noodles (i prefer spirals, but bowties, and kids shapes work great too!)
1 pkg
mexican blend shredded cheese
1 jar(s)
miracle whip salad dressing
1 small
jar sweet gherkins with 1/2 the juice
1 1/2 tsp
turmeric, ground
1 1/2 tsp
eggs, hard boiled
1 pkg
bacon bits
1 c
peas, frozen
1 c
salad shrimp (if ya feel like splurging)

How to Make Colorful Pasta Salad


  • 1I have made this with the bare minimum of ingredients, and with all the ingredients and varying amounts in between, it always still tasted good! I've even made it with plain macaroni noodles, I just prefer the tricolored noodles because they make the salad prettier.
  • 2Boil noodles for 7 minutes, drain and cool in large bowl.
  • 3Add all ingredients (minus noodles, miracle whip and shredded cheese) to a food processor and chop to a very fine texture (this can be done by hand too but takes longer)- no chunk larger than 1/2 cm (think baby food textures).
  • 4Add all processed ingredients to the bowl with the noodles and mix well.
  • 5Using a wooden spoon, one spoonful at a time add and stir in Miracle Whip until you like the texture of the salad, (some like it drier, some like it "goopier").
  • 6Once you have all mixed together, slowly fold in handfuls of shredded cheese - to taste - and finally top the finished salad with a little more of the grated cheese.
  • 7It should be noted:
    (1) if this salad sits overnight in the refrigerator, it tastes even better, but needs a little more miracle whip (or a small amount of milk)added to it the next day as it dries a bit from noodle absorption.
    (2) Due to the vinegar in the pickle juice, this should not be stored more than a day in a non coated metal pan.

Printable Recipe Card

About Colorful Pasta Salad

Course/Dish: Pasta Salads
Main Ingredient: Pasta
Regional Style: American
Other Tag: Quick & Easy