This Lil Piglet

Rainbow Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing

Ham Garden Vegetable Rainbow Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing //

Despite a mini hiatus, I’m finally back into the swing of things here on the blog and ready to share one of our family favourite summer recipes, Rainbow Pasta Salad. Soon, this will be your go-to for backyard barbecues, camping or just for a hot summer day where you don’t want to heat up the house.

Garden Vegetable Rainbow Pasta Salad with Ham and Italian Dressing //

Rainbow Pasta Salad – Flavour Packed

This was one of my dads favourite salads; there wouldn’t be many summer days where Rainbow Pasta Salad couldn’t be found in the fridge at the cabin and for good reason. This salad is jam packed with delicious crisp garden vegetables, rotini and leftover cooked ham for a perfect side dish or cold lunch.

It’s best to leave refrigerated for a day or two before serving, allowing the Italian dressing to marinate into the pasta and veggies which makes it a perfect make ahead salad for camping, summer barbecues on the deck or just for a weekday quick lunch. The salt of the ham is a perfect addition to Rainbow Pasta Salad, complimenting the tang of the Italian dressing.

Ham and Garden Vegetable Rainbow Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing //

This Rainbow Pasta Salad recipe makes enough for 8-10, depending if you are eating as a side or a main dish and keeps in the fridge for up to a week. It’s best in the first 5 days to keep the crispness of the cucumbers. Cubed cheddar cheese can also be added to this recipe but I would add as you dish out the salad to avoid soggy cheese.


If you like this summer salad recipe, let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Please check out my other recipes and I’d love if you’d pin it for later on Pinterest or follow along for other great recipes on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Try these other summer recipes:

Rainbow Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Side
Serves: 8
  • 4 cups rotini pasta (uncooked)
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • ¼ red onion
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 2 cups cooked ham, cut into cubes
  • Dressing...
  • ¾ cup Olive Oil
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp parsely
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  1. In a large pot, cook pasta by roiling boil for 6 minutes (until cooked but still firm); remove from heat, drain and fill with cold water until pasta is cold. Drain completely and pour pasta into a large bowl.
  2. Wash all vegetables, cut cucumber into ¼" slices then quarter for larger pieces/half for smaller. Remove stem, seeds and devein red pepper, cutting into bite size chunks. Slice red onion thinly. Place all into the bowl with the pasta and fold over until mixed.
  3. Dressing: Whisk all ingredients together and pour over pasta salad mix, folding pasta over into itself until thoroughly mixed through. Cover and place in the fridge for a minimum of a 3 hours, preferably overnight, before serving.
  4. Keep refrigerated up to a week.
Precook a ham for another meal cutting leftover ham into cube chunks (2 cups each recipe) and freeze until you are making the Rainbow Pasta Salad. Thaw ham in the bag in cool water or the fridge overnight (do not use microwave), beforehand. You can also do this to use in a Perogy Casserole (located on the blog) for a quick 30 minute weekday comfort food style meal.


One comment on “Rainbow Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing”

  1. This looks delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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