Homemade pasta salad is one of my go-to recipes for summer lunches and this Rainbow Pasta Salad is a delicious way to enjoy a rainbow of vegetables, along with all of their vitamins and minerals!
I first shared this Summer Pasta Salad on my friend’s site, Amanda’s Cookin’.
Rainbow Pasta Salad Recipe
I’m always encouraging my kids to “eat their rainbows” and try to encourage my daughter at the grocery store to help pick different colors of veggies, because those different colors all represent different health benefits.
This healthy pasta salad recipe is a gorgeous way to incorporate all of the colors of the rainbow into a healthful recipe the whole family will love. It’s a great light summer lunch and works perfectly for meal prepping lunch boxes.
I used fresh veggies to provide a delicious crunch to contrast the soft pasta, but you can definitely cook up the veggies before assembling your salad, if you prefer. I also kept the seasoning pretty basic, with salt, pepper and fresh basil, to allow the flavors of the veggies to really shine – but feel free to throw in some Greek seasoning or Italian seasoning for even more flavor!
In addition to making this pasta salad super colorful, all of those veggies offer so many health benefits:
Tomatoes are a great source of the anti-oxidant lycopene which reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer, and is a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate and vitamin K.
Sweet bell peppers are a great source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and are anti-inflammatory.
Pineapple is great for eye health and bone strength.
Cucumber packs lots of vitamin K, antioxidants, and helps lower blood sugar.
Red Onion is anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and helps control blood sugar.
Olive oil is a great source of healthy fats (omega-6, omega-3 and oleic acid) and lots of antioxidants.
Basil is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and contains anti-oxidants.
Of course, the pasta part of this recipe doesn’t add a ton of health benefits but if you use a whole grain pasta it adds fibre and complex carbs, which your body needs. Leave out the pasta and just make this a veggie salad, if desired.
Check out our quick recipe video for how to make this Rainbow Pasta Salad, and then don’t forget to scroll down to grab your free printable recipe:
Rainbow Pasta Salad Ingredients
- 1 lb pasta, cooked and cooled*
- 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
- 1 orange sweet bell pepper, chopped
- 1/4 cup crushed pineapple
- 3/4 cup cucumber, chopped
- 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
- Small handful basil, chopped
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil, or to taste
- Salt and pepper, to taste
*Note: we used half a box of regular fusili noodles, and half a box of whole grain penne.
Tip: swap out the salt and pepper for Greek or Italian seasoning blends.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful:
- Cutting board
- Sharp kitchen knife
- Measuring cups
- Large serving bowl
- Wooden spoon
How to Make Rainbow Pasta Salad
Cook the pasta to el dente, according to package directions. Rinse and allow to cool as you prepare your vegetables.
Combine the chopped vegetables and pasta in a large serving bowl.
Pour over the oil and stir to coat, then season to taste with salt, pepper, and chopped fresh basil.
Taste and adjust before serving.
The flavor gets even better after keeping the salad in the fridge overnight.
Grab your free printable for our rainbow vegetable salad recipe:
This colorful and delicious Rainbow Pasta Salad is a fun addition to your summer menu line-up, or a great addition to a summer BBQ.