Rainbow Pasta Salad Recipe

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Rainbow pasta salads are usually made with pasta shapes like shells or rotini.

They can be served as an appetizer or main course, but they’re also great for parties.

What’s in a rainbow pasta salad?

There’s nothing wrong with using packaged salad dressings when you want to make a quick meal, but if you want something that tastes homemade, try making your own dressing instead.

When it comes to pasta salads, there are many different variations on the theme.

Some people prefer their pasta salad creamy while others like their pasta salad crunchy.

Some people like their pasta salad spicy while others don’t care about spice at all.

The beauty of this recipe is that you can customize it according to your taste preferences.

You could swap out the pasta (if you have leftover pasta) for another shape or color, or add some extra vegetables like tomatoes or cucumbers.

You could even substitute the mayo for plain Greek yogurt for a thinner consistency, or use lemon juice instead of vinegar for a tangier flavor.

The sky really is the limit with this dish!

The following is a basic recipe for a rainbow pasta salad.

If you want to learn how to make a vegan version, check out our guide to vegan pasta salads here.

Rainbow Pasta Salad Recipe 1

What you need

  • 1 package (16 ounces) tricolor spiral pasta
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 1 can (15-1/4 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 jar (6-1/2 ounces) marinated artichoke hearts, drained and halved
  • 1 bottle (8 ounces) Italian salad dressing
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

How do you make a rainbow pasta salad?

You can use any kind of pasta you want in this dish, but I recommend using something that’s colorful to set off the rainbow colors.

You’ll need about 2 cups of cooked pasta per person.

The first step is to cook the pasta.

To save time, you can prep all your ingredients before beginning cooking.

For example, you could chop up your vegetables ahead of time and put them in the fridge while the pasta cooks.

Then when it’s done, you just toss everything together.

Once you’ve got your pasta cooked, it’s time to prepare the dressing.

The base of this sauce is a mixture of sour cream, mayonnaise, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, and chili powder.

Start by mixing all these ingredients together until they form a smooth paste.

Next, add a dash of salt and pepper to taste.

Once you have the desired flavor level, add in the remaining ingredients, including the red bell peppers, green onions, and black olives.

Finally, stir in the shredded cheese and serve immediately.

This dish keeps well if you keep it refrigerated, so you don’t even need to worry about making too much.

Just plan on serving it within the next few hours.

If you’d prefer not to make your own dressing, there are plenty of ready-made sauces available at the grocery store.

You can find one that has all of the flavors listed above, plus additional spices that will give the dish more flavor.

What’s the best way to serve a rainbow pasta salad?

You can choose from many different types of pasta shapes when making a rainbow pasta salad.

Some popular choices include:

Shells

Rotini

Penne

Fusilli

Farfalle

The options are endless, so there’s no right or wrong way to make a rainbow pasta salad.

You can add any ingredients that sound good to you.

Just remember to keep it simple!

What are some other dishes that go well with rainbow pasta salad?

If you love pasta, then it’s no surprise that you’ll enjoy a rainbow pasta salad.

Rainbow pasta salads can be served as a starter or as an entree, depending on how much time you have and what else is in your meal plan.

If you want something different, try spaghetti squash with rainbow pasta salad instead!

How long does a rainbow pasta salad last in the fridge?

If you’ve never had rainbow pasta salad before, it might seem like a strange choice at first glance.

Rainbow pasta salads tend to be more colorful than other pastas, so why would you want to eat them?

There are several reasons that people love this dish.

First, it’s quick and easy to prepare.

You don’t need to cook any whole wheat noodles or rice, which saves you time and money.

It’s also delicious and filling, since it contains lots of vegetables, protein, and healthy fats.

Plus, it’s not just pasta salad — it’s actually a meal!

The beauty of this dish is that it doesn’t require much prep work.

The only thing you have to do is chop up your ingredients, toss them together, and refrigerate.

That’s it!

But how long will rainbow pasta salad last in the fridge?

Here’s what we found out.

Rainbow Pasta Salad

Can you freeze rainbow pasta salad?

You can definitely freeze most foods, even if it’s not raw food.

The best way to ensure your dinner is safe to eat after freezing is to make sure that all of the ingredients are frozen before you put them into the dish.

If you’re using raw meat, poultry, or fish, you should use them within two weeks of purchase.

You can also freeze prepared sauces and marinades, as long as you don’t add any additional ingredients.

And while you can’t freeze uncooked meats, you can keep cooked meats in the fridge up to one week.

While you can certainly freeze rainbow pasta salad, it will probably need to be thawed first.

Once it has been defrosted, you can either reheat it on the stovetop or microwave it.

You can also bake it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) for about 20 minutes.

What are some creative ways to garnish a rainbow pasta salad?

The key to successful pasta salads is in the garnishes.

A few of my favorites include crumbled bacon, diced hard boiled eggs, chopped olives, sliced scallions, and shredded cheese.

But there are plenty more things you can add, too.

To create a really special dish, you can add any of these ideas to your favorite pasta salad recipe:

Crispy chicken tenders

Fresh herbs

Shredded carrots

Chopped sun-dried tomatoes

Sliced cucumbers

Crumbled feta cheese

Chopped red onion

Tiny cubes of avocado

Diced jalapeños

Grated Parmesan cheese

Lemon zest

Chili powder

Olive oil

Worcestershire sauce

Pepperoncini peppers

Mixed nuts

Bacon bits

Pineapple chunks

Croutons

How to Make a Rainbow Pasta Salad

This pasta salad recipe uses a creamy Italian vinaigrette that includes garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and Worcestershire sauce.

You could use a store bought bottle instead of making your own, but I prefer to do it myself so I know what’s going into it.

Plus, homemade always tastes better!

First, prepare the pasta according to the package directions.

Drain and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the Italian vinaigrette ingredients until smooth.

Add the drained pasta and toss well to coat.

Cover and chill for at least one hour before serving.

What are some tips for making a perfect rainbow pasta salad?

There’s nothing better than a piping hot bowl of pasta that’s tossed in your favorite homemade dressing.

But if you’ve got leftovers from the night before, what should you do with them?

Here are some of our favorite tips on how to store leftover carne guisada (or any other kind of meat) so it lasts longer until you have another meal.

You’ll want to try these out when you get home from work at the end of the day.

Don’t eat it all at once

When you first open the container, there will probably be a lot of food inside.

If you think you might still be hungry later, don’t just dump everything into one giant bowl — you’ll only end up eating half of it!

Instead, portion it out into individual containers so you won’t feel overwhelmed by too much food after one sitting.

Freeze it right away

If you know you’re not going to finish the entire container of carne guisada within a few hours, put it in the freezer right away.

This way, the food will keep its texture intact and stay cold for longer without getting soggy.

Keep it refrigerated

To extend the life of the carne guisada, refrigerate it immediately after putting it in the fridge.

The colder the food, the longer it stays good.

So if you plan on having the carne guisada for dinner, put it in the fridge early in the afternoon so it has plenty of time to cool down before dinner.

Don’t use plastic wrap

Plastic wrap is useful for keeping food warm, but it doesn’t help preserve the flavor or texture of the food.

In fact, it can actually change the taste of the dish because it can trap off flavors and odors.

Make sure it’s well sealed

After you put the food in the refrigerator, make sure the lid is tightly closed.

Don’t forget to label the container with the date and the contents so you remember what’s inside.

How do you know when a rainbow pasta salad is done?

A rainbow pasta salad is a colorful dish that includes various pastas of different colors.

It’s not always easy to determine how long it takes to cook each type of pasta so I recommend checking the package directions on your particular brand of pasta.

The pasta should be al dente (tender but firm).

If you overcook it, the pasta will become mushy and lose its texture.

So pay attention!

Once you have cooked all of the pasta, drain it in a colander and add it to a bowl with the rest of the ingredients.

Next, combine the drained pasta with the other ingredients and mix well.

Taste the mixture for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

Add more salt if needed and serve immediately.

For a creamy sauce, you can use a jarred red pepper pesto or a homemade white balsamic vinaigrette.

You can also add some crumbled feta cheese or goat cheese to the salad before serving.

For a more traditional pasta salad, toss together the pasta, veggies, and dressing first before adding the cheeses.

Then transfer everything to a large serving bowl and top with additional parmesan cheese.

If you’d prefer to skip the steps of making a creamy sauce or dressing, you can simply toss everything together in a bowl and then sprinkle with extra parmesan cheese before serving.

Another option is to make a quick tomato basil dressing by combining mayonnaise, ketchup, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, and Italian seasonings.

Serve over the pasta salad and garnish with fresh basil leaves.

There are many ways to make a rainbow pasta salad, but it’s important to remember that cooking times vary depending on the size and shape of your pasta.

So take note of those cooking instructions on the back of the box and follow them closely.

What are some common mistakes people make when making rainbow

When it comes to cooking rainbow pasta salads, there are several things that you need to know.

First of all, rainbow pasta salads should always have a creamy dressing on them.

Rainbow pasta salads aren’t just for kids anymore.

The flavors are so much better than those from any jarred dressing.

The second mistake people often make when cooking rainbow pasta salads is not using enough sauce.

This means that your dish will end up looking dry, even though it may taste good.

You want to use at least 1/4 cup of sauce per serving.

Lastly, if you want to get creative with your pasta salad, you should try adding other ingredients.

For example, you could add in sliced bell peppers, tomatoes, olives, artichokes, cucumbers, or feta cheese.

Rainbow Pasta Salad

Rainbow Pasta Salad Recipe

Rainbow pasta salads are usually made with pasta shapes like shells or rotini. They can be served as an appetizer or main course, but they’re also great for parties.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 379 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 package pasta 16 ounces tricolor spiral
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 1 can kernel corn 15-1/4 ounces whole , drained
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

Instructions
 

  • The first step is to cook the pasta.
  • To save time, you can prep all your ingredients before beginning cooking.
  • For example, you could chop up your vegetables ahead of time and put them in the fridge while the pasta cooks.
  • Then when it’s done, you just toss everything together.
  • Once you’ve got your pasta cooked, it’s time to prepare the dressing.
  • The base of this sauce is a mixture of sour cream, mayonnaise, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, and chili powder.
  • Start by mixing all these ingredients together until they form a smooth paste.
  • Next, add a dash of salt and pepper to taste.
  • Once you have the desired flavor level, add in the remaining ingredients, including the red bell peppers, green onions, and black olives.
  • Finally, stir in the shredded cheese and serve immediately.
  • This dish keeps well if you keep it refrigerated, so you don’t even need to worry about making too much.
  • Just plan on serving it within the next few hours.

Nutrition

Calories: 379kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 8gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 13gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 396mgPotassium: 815mgFiber: 7gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 7176IUVitamin C: 127mgCalcium: 146mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Rainbow Pasta Salad Recipe
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