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Contest-Winning Picnic Pasta Salad Recipe
Contest-Winning Picnic Pasta Salad Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Contest-Winning Picnic Pasta Salad Recipe

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4.95 17
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My family's not big on traditional pasta salads made with mayonnaise, so when I served this colorful version that uses Italian dressing, it was a big hit. This crowd-pleaser is loaded with vegetables, beans and tricolor pasta. -Felicia Fiocchi, Vineland, New Jersey
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 25 min.
MAKES:14-16 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 25 min.
MAKES: 14-16 servings


  • 1 package (12 ounces) tricolor spiral pasta
  • 1 package (10 ounces) refrigerated tricolor tortellini
  • 1 jar (7-1/2 ounces) marinated artichoke hearts, undrained
  • 1/2 pound fresh broccoli florets (about 1-3/4 cups)
  • 12 ounces provolone cheese, cubed
  • 12 ounces hard salami, cubed
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cans (2-1/4 ounces each) sliced ripe olives, drained
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 envelopes Italian salad dressing mix


  1. Cook spiral pasta and tortellini according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water. Place in a large bowl; add the artichokes, broccoli, provolone cheese, salami, peppers, beans, olives, onion and garlic.
  2. Prepare salad dressing according to package directions; pour over salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate. Yield: 14-16 servings.
Originally published as Picnic Pasta Salad in Taste of Home June/July 2003, p29

Reviews for Contest-Winning Picnic Pasta Salad(17)

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Reviewed Apr. 23, 2014


Did you see the title of this recipe? "Contest-winning picnic pasta salad"So you see i'm questioning why you bore us with your trivial family preferences. Sit there in your kitchen and try to figure out how to really cook instead of boring all of us with how you "are going to change it for your family". We really don't care until you reinvent it and prove it then publish it as your own, and possibly give this recipe credit for your inspiration. Girl, you sound like my sister who likes nothing that she doesn't cook!For goodness sake try something that someone else makes or just shut up. I for one and most every one else don't like something in a recipe so we delete or substitute...just life in the kitchen...keep cooking but don't be a dork.

Reviewed Apr. 22, 2014

I've made this as a summer picnic/potluck staple for years. I frequently use a bottled Italian cheese salad dressing (such as Bernstein's) instead of the dressing mix. Doing so perks up the provolone. And, instead of cubed hard salami I buy turkey pepperoni to use. It adds color and dimension without high fat. Stack the rounds of pepperoni and cut them in fourths for better distribution in the salad when tossed.

Reviewed Sep. 1, 2013

This recipe is good! I would make a few changes for my family though. I would change the cheese to Dubliner, it is extra sharp and has more flavor than the provolone. I would also blanch the broccoli for 2 or 3 minutes so you get the full nutritional value of it. The cell walls are too tough to break down when eaten raw unless you put it in a green smoothie. I would also use only 1 package of italian dressing and stir some mustard into it. 2 pkgs. is too much dressing and way too much sodium and the mustard gives it a bit of a bite. I would probably use a regular can of olives and slice them myself as we are fond of olives. Might add some queen stuffed green olives sliced too, again we love olives and the green ones have a nice bite to them. I add them to my spagetti sauce too. I never thought of adding salami to pasta salad, it is quite good. I usually use ham or italian canned tuna.

Reviewed Jun. 29, 2013

OMG this is so easy and so good - great for those summer picnics

Reviewed May. 20, 2013

I thought this pasta salad was very flavorful, there are so many components in this salad.

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