Red, White and Blue Pasta Salad made with pasta, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, tomatoes & your favorite Italian dressing! Fun & festive patriotic salad perfect for 4th of July!
Made with cooked pasta, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and Italian dressing, this pasta salad recipe is full of delicious flavors. Bring this pasta side dish to your next patriotic gathering and it is sure to be a huge hit! This zesty Italian pasta salad is light and refreshing, it makes a perfect side dish at any event.
Patriotic Pasta Salad
There is never a wrong time for a chilled pasta salad, but we often see them on food tables when the weather heats up. This means holidays in the warmer months, like Memorial Day, the Fourth of July or Labor Day, are a perfect reason to make this easy dish. You can serve this red, white and blue pasta salad recipe right next to the grilled hot dogs and burgers. It makes for a beautiful and festive addition to any holiday table.
Why we think you will enjoy this pasta dish!
- It is fun! Nothing says festive and fun like a little color added to your plate. You have never seen a tri-color pasta salad quite like this before. Give it a try today and see how much everyone enjoys it.
- Easy to make. If you can boil pasta and mix a few things together then you have the skills needed to make this simple dish. Grab the kids and have them help out or make it yourself and surprise them with the finished results later.
- It tastes delicious. While the vibrant colors are super fun, this Italian pasta salad is really delicious and packed full of great flavors that you are going to love.
Red White Blue Pasta Salad Ingredients
Pasta: You will need 1 16-ounce box of rotini pasta that has been cooked and rinsed under cold water. Use the plain colored pasta so that our colors are more vibrant.
Food coloring: To give our pasta a patriotic touch, you will need about 3-4 drops each of red and blue food coloring.
Water: Adding 2 tablespoons of water (divided) into the pasta will help the food coloring to coat the noodles well.
Oil: You will want to use 1 tablespoon of olive oil or vegetable oil for the salad to help keep the pasta from sticking.
Cherry tomatoes: For a burst of red color and freshness add in 1 pint of cherry tomatoes that have been sliced in half,
Mozzarella cheese: You will need 1 cup of cubed mozzarella cheese, or you can use mozzarella pearls instead.
Pepperoni: Take some pepperoni and slice it into quarters. You will need ¾ cups of it so that there is plenty mixed throughout this amazing salad.
Black olives: For added flavor, stir in ½ cup of chopped black olives. This is equal to a 3-ounce can of chopped olives, if you prefer diced olives those will work too.
Italian dressing: Use a 16-ounce sized bottle of your favorite Italian dressing to give this pasta salad an incredible zesty taste.
How to make Red, White and Blue Pasta Salad
Prepare the noodles according to the package directions.
After the noodles have been cooked and rinsed, separate the pasta into 3 ziplocked bags with equal-sized portions of pasta (this is about 3 cups of noodles in each bowl).
Then, add 3-4 drops of red food coloring and 1 tablespoon of water to one of the bags and seal is shut tightly.
Do the same with the other bag, but use blue food coloring instead. Adding in 3-4 drops of blue food coloring and 1 tablespoon of water.
Next, gently knead both of the bags to mix and coat the pasta well until it looks uniform in each color. If needed, add in 1 more drop of coloring and 1 tablespoon of water to either bag until the desired hue is achieved. Be careful to not add too much coloring or else the pasta will take on too much of the food coloring taste.
Let the pasta sit in each color for about 5 minutes, letting the color really sink in.
After they have been colored, rinse and drain them well before placing each colored pasta into separate bowls.
Then, rinse the plain noodles and drain them well. Put them in a large serving bowl and stir in the olive oil, this will help prevent the food coloring from sticking to the white/plain pasta.
Now, pour the red and blue pasta into the large bowl with the plain pasta, stir to combine.
Wash and cut the cherry tomatoes in half, pour those into the large bowl of pasta.
Depending on the mozzarella cheese you are using, dice into small cubes or drain the pearls, add the cheese to the pasta bowl.
Next, slice the pepperoni into quarter pieces until you have 3/4 cup and then add it to the pasta mixture.
After that, drain the can of olives and pour into the pasta bowl.
Lastly, pour in the entire 16-ounce bottle of Italian salad dressing and mix well until all ingredients are fully combined.
Continue to cover the bowl of pasta and place it into the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour before serving.
Serve and enjoy!
When to Serve Patriotic Pasta Salad
This tasty salad is great any time of the year and you can easily omit the food coloring to make it a simple and plain Italian pasta salad recipe if desired. That said, with the food coloring added, this dish makes a perfect side dish to any patriotic holiday feast. Serving this patriotic pasta salad at a Memorial Day BBQ, or 4th of July celebration would be so perfect! Oh and do not forget Labor Day near the end of the summer season, any reason to celebrate and serve this festive dish is great!
Red, White and Blue Pasta Salad
- 16 oz Rotini pasta cooked and rinsed
- 3-4 drops each red & blue liquid food coloring
- 2 tablespoons water divided
- 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half (about 10 ounces)
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, cubed small (or mozzarella pearls)
- ¾ cup pepperoni, quartered
- ½ cup black olives, chopped equal to 3 ounce can
- 1 bottle (16-ounce) Italian dressing
Color the noodles
- Prepare the noodles according to the package directions. After the noodles have been cooked and rinsed, separate the pasta into 3 ziplocked bags with equal-sized portions of pasta (this is about 3 cups of noodles in each bowl).
- Then, add 3-4 drops of red food coloring and 1 tablespoon of water to one of the bags and seal is shut tightly.
- Do the same with the other bag but use blue food coloring instead. Adding in3-4 drops of blue food coloring and 1 tablespoon of water.
- Next, gently knead both bags to mix and coat the pasta well until it looks uniform in each color. If needed, add in 1 more drop of coloring and 1tablespoon of water to either bag until the desired hue is achieved. Be careful to not add too much coloring or else the pasta will take on too much of the food coloring taste.
- Let the pasta sit in each color for about 5 minutes, letting the color really sink in. Then, rinse and drain pasta. Drizzle the olive oil over the plain white pasta. (This helps prevent the color from leeching to the white pasta.)
Make the Pasta Salad
- Now, pour the red and blue pasta into the large bowl with the plain pasta, stir to combine.
- Wash and cut the cherry tomatoes in half, pour those into the large bowl of pasta.
- Depending on the mozzarella cheese you are using, dice into small cubes or drain the pearls, add the cheese to the pasta bowl.
- Next, slice the pepperoni into quarter pieces until you have 3/4 cup and then add it to the pasta mixture.
- After that, drain the can of olives and pour into the pasta bowl.
- Lastly, pour in the entire 16-ounce bottle of Italian salad dressing and mix well until all ingredients are fully combined. Cover salad & chill until ready to serve. Enjoy!
How should I store the left over pasta salad?
You can keep this pasta salad well covered and stored in the fridge for up to 3 or 4 days. Just make sure to mix it up again before serving. If needed, stir in a little more Italian dressing to help rehydrate the noodles because they can absorb the liquid and dry out as it ages.
What are some other fun variations for this pasta salad?
Changing up the food coloring can really make this dish a holiday or party-specific dish to fit any occasion. For example, you can color the noodles differently for other holidays: Christmas – red and green, Easter – pink and blue, Valentine’s Day – red and pink, etc. Have fun with it and make it festive to pretty much any occasion!
What are substitutions that I can make?
You do not have to use rotini pasta, if desired you can use any noodle you have on hand, but I think that bow tie noodles would be great here. If you want you can use a different cheese like cheddar (white or yellow) would be really tasty. You can even use small star cookie cutters to shape the cheese into fun shapes. Salami can also be used instead of pepperoni or in addition too, depending on what you like.
Check out these other great Patriotic recipes
- BEST MEMORIAL DAY BBQ RECIPES
- STRAWBERRY TRES LECHES CAKE
- TRIPLE BERRY TRIFLE
- MINI PAVLOVA RECIPE
- PATRIOTIC RED, WHITE & BLUE ITALIAN CREAM SODAS
- 4TH OF JULY DESSERTS
- 4TH OF JULY CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES
- RED, WHITE & BLUE SWIRL CUPCAKES
- SWIRLED RED, WHITE & BLUE COOKIE BARS
- PATRIOTIC LAYERED JELLO SALAD
- PATRIOTIC JELLO SUGAR COOKIES
- 4TH OF JULY COOKIES
- PATRIOTIC CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIE BARS
- PATRIOTIC RED VELVET TRIFLE
You’re going to love serving up this red white and blue pasta salad recipe for any patriotic themed get-together. Made with just a few simple ingredients this pasta salad comes together easily and quickly while remaining packed full of flavor.