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tri-color pasta salad
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Tricolor Pasta Salad with Olives and Hard Pepperoni

Tri-color pasta salad with hard pepperoni and olives was a family favorite. Vibrant and flavorful, it’s perfect for summer gatherings. 

This easy-to-make recipe combines the delightful textures of tricolor pasta, the briny notes of olives, and the savory kick of hard pepperoni. Whether you’re hosting a picnic, potluck, or simply craving a delightful meal, this tricolor pasta salad is sure to satisfy a hungry crowd. 

Ingredients and Serving Size

This tricolor pasta salad recipe is designed to serve approximately 8 people as a side dish. If you’re planning for a larger gathering, you can easily adjust the quantities accordingly.

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces (340g) tricolor rotini pasta
  • 1 cup black olives (pitted and sliced)
  • 1 cup green olives (pitted and sliced)
  • 8 ounces (225g) hard pepperoni, sliced or cubed
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)

For the Dressing

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook the Pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the tricolor rotini pasta and cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Make sure not to overcook the pasta. Once cooked, drain the pasta and rinse it under cold water to stop the cooking process. Allow it to cool completely.
  2. Prepare the Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the extra-virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, dried oregano, dried basil, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Whisk until the dressing is well combined and the flavors meld.
  3. Combine the Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooled tricolor rotini pasta, sliced black olives, sliced green olives, hard pepperoni, halved cherry tomatoes, finely chopped red onion, and crumbled feta cheese.
  4. Add the Dressing: Pour the prepared dressing over the pasta and ingredients in the mixing bowl. Gently toss everything together to ensure that the dressing is evenly distributed and coats the pasta and ingredients.
  5. Chill and Garnish: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate the tricolor pasta salad for at least an hour before serving. Chilling allows the flavors to meld and the salad to develop its delicious taste. Just before serving, sprinkle chopped fresh parsley over the top for a burst of color and added freshness.

Serving Suggestions

This tricolor pasta salad makes an excellent side dish for barbecues, picnics, potlucks, and other gatherings. Pair it with grilled meats or burgers, or even serve it alongside a variety of other salads for a complete and satisfying meal.