Easy Rotini Pasta Salad

Easy Rotini Pasta Salad with broccoli, colorful peppers, zesty Italian dressing and Parmesan cheese. Make it ahead; the flavor gets even better as it sits!

This Easy Rotini Pasta Salad is the ideal summer side dish.

It’s perfect for parties, picnics, barbecues, and days at the beach.  It is easy to make, appeals to children and adults alike, and travels well.

A portrait photo of Easy Rotini Pasta Salad in a clear bowl. The pasta is coloful with red and yellow bell peppers, green broccoli, and red onion.

This Easy Pasta Salad recipe was developed by my friend Stephanie.  It is probably her most-requested dish at potlucks. Everyone loves it, especially the kids!

It is customizable depending on what veggies or noodles you have on hand.  The combination below, however, is a winning one.  Give it a try before you switch it up!  Some of my other favorite additions include cucumbers, tomatoes, black olives, and carrots.

A square photo of a clear glass bowl twith the prepared ingredients for Easy Rotini Pasta Salad: red onion, pred bell pepper, broccoli, rotini pasta, and yellow bell peppers.

Since this Pasta Salad has no mayonnaise, you don’t have to worry (as much) about spoilage while you enjoy a beautiful day.  The variety of vegetables also add color, crunch, and nutrition.

Stephanie’s original recipe (listed below) uses Wishbone Zesty Italian dressing. If you prefer to make your own, my Red Wine Vinaigrette is delicious on this salad!

The recipe doubles easily, so make a lot!  It makes great leftovers.

A portrait photo of Easy Rotini Pasta Salad in a clear bowl, being served with two silver spoons. The pasta is coloful with red and yellow bell peppers, green broccoli, and red onion.

Save this Easy Rotini Pasta Salad to your “Main Dishes” Pinterest board!

And let’s be friends on Pinterest! I’m always pinning tasty recipes!

 

A square photo of Easy Rotini Pasta Salad in a clear bowl, being served with two silver spoons. The pasta is coloful with red and yellow bell peppers, green broccoli, and red onion.
4.34 from 3 votes
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Easy Rotini Pasta Salad

Easy Rotini Pasta Salad with broccoli, colorful peppers, zesty Italian dressing and Parmesan cheese. Make it ahead; the flavor gets even better as it sits!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 244 kcal

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces Rotini or other small pasta
  • 2 cups bite-sized broccoli florets (from 1 head broccoli)
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper chopped
  • 1/2 red onion peeled and cut into strips
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 ounces prepared Italian salad dressing or homemade Red Wine Vinaigrette

Instructions

  1. Bring 4 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil. Add pasta and 1 minute pasta al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain well, rinse with cold water, and drain again.
  2. Meanwhile, combine broccoli florets, bell peppers, and onion in a large bowl. Stir in cold pasta. Add Parmesan cheese and salad dressing and toss until uniformly combined.
  3. Place in a serving bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Chill at least 2 hours before serving.
  4. Stir carefully before serving. Add more salad dressing as needed to keep the pasta from drying out.

Easy Rotini Pasta Salad with broccoli, colorful peppers, zesty Italian dressing and Parmesan cheese. Make it ahead; the flavor gets even better as it sits!

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5 comments

  1. Delicious pasta.

  2. Really nice pasta salad especially on a day like today when it’s super hot. I followed it exactly as you suggested. It worked out perfectly since I had all the ingredients on hand but I can see this could be made with a Mediterranean twist with olives, feta, or bucatini, etc. I always add fresh herbs if I have them, so parsley and/or basil. Thanks for sharing. 

  3. This was a good recipe, however, I feel like the broccoli should be cooked beforehand.

    • A quick blanch or something, huh? Good idea. I think you’re right! I’ve never done that, but it would definitely get rid of the bitterness of the broccoli.

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