When I'm having weekend guests, I make this salad the day before they arrive. The flavors blend wonderfully when it is chilled overnight, and it keeps well for several days. It's also a great dish to take along to a picnic or potluck.
-Jill Evely, Wilmore, Kentucky
I help teach a healthy lifestyles program and often share this recipe. Instead of mandarin oranges you can add fresh chopped oranges...or replace the peas with diced cucumber or green pepper.
-Debbie Anderson of Hillsdale, Michigan
I first saw this recipe in our Omaha, Nebraska paper a few years ago," relates Joanna Lonnecker. "It's ideal for family get-togethers of all kinds. Hearty enough to serve during winter, this salad always brings back memories of summer picnics!"
"My family comes from a very hop part of Italy, so chilled pasta salads are always a big hit," notes Rosemary Morgan, Pacifica, California. "To top off this light meal, I suggest taking a walk after dinner with your loved ones." Pepperoncini gives the dish zip, and olive oil dressing add Mediterranean flavor.
It only takes minutes to cook the tricolor pasta, but to really beat the clock, chop the vegetables ahead of time. I sometimes give the salad southwestern flair by adding black beans, frozen corn and salsa. The I top it off with a tomato-based dressing that I've spiced up with taco seasoning.—Helen Turner, Upland, Indiana
This chilled pasta salad is pleasing to the eye and the palate. Susan Branch likes to serve it when sweet corn, tomatoes and zucchini are in season around her Kalamazoo, Michigan home. Her make-ahead favorite is lightly dressed with tarragon vinegar, olive oil and dill week.
Here's an easy summer salad for potlucks, ladies luncheons and picnics. Tricolor spiral pasta and broccoli florets are coated with a mild dressing and bits of bacon. Margie Shaw of Americus, Georgia sent the recipe.