Tri Color Pasta Salad


I do not have a blog post for you today. I have a few posts I am working on for later in the month. But nothing for today.

Usually when I have nothing specific in mind I can write about some food news. But that is all so depressing today with more people on food stamps and food prices going out of the stratosphere. I mean 79-cents for 1 lemon!! You have got to be kidding me!!!!!!  But that is what some stores are charging. It is not what I am paying. But I have seen lemons that expensive in some stores.

So since I do not have a post for you, today I have a super great recipe for you instead.

I think everyone has eaten a Tri Color Pasta Salad. They are especially big for picnics and for cook outs. They are usually soaked in bottled salad dressing or mayonnaise.

My version of this classic salad is different. Far different. I use a few ingredients I have never seen in any other tri color pasta salad, like artichoke hearts and tuna fish. The tuna fish adds a bit more protein and thus makes this a dinner salad if you want to use it as such.

The tomatoes I chose today were Heirloom tomatoes. They were a bit expensive. Not as expensive as a 79-cents lemon. If money is an issue just use cherry tomatoes.

The biggest difference in my version of this salad is the salad dressing. I do not use bottled dressings as they have a way of over-powering the taste of the veggies. I use olive oil and fresh lemon juice. I love the cool, clean, and crisp flavor the lemon juice brings to this dish. Sometimes I use a wine vinegar and it is good. But not as great as the lemon juice.

I also use this salad as a time to clean out the fridge.  Usually I use red onion. But I had some green onions in the fridge today and so used those up. They were excellent. So good I fact I am going to use green onions from now on.

This would make a great salad for your Memorial Day festivities this coming weekend, or for the 4th of July too!

Featured Recipe      Tri Color Pasta Salad
This is what you will need for 4-6 people:

1 – 16 ounce box of tri-color pasta

1 box of cherry tomatoes

1 can artichoke hearts in water

1 can tuna fish

Capers, about 3 teaspoons

Celery, about 2 small stalks

Kalamata olives (7-10)

About 3 green onions

Olive oil, about 3-4 tablespoons

½ – 1 small lemon

Optional: Salt and pepper

Here is what you do:

Put up a pot of water to boil. Wash you tomatoes and celery.

Drain the artichokes and tuna fish on paper towels.

Look at how pretty those Heirloom  tomatoes are. I especially chose varied colored cherry tomatoes to go with the tri-color pasta. Remember, a colorful diet is a healthy diet. [ See: Does Food Color Matter? and Eat a Rainbow ]

Cut the tomatoes in half.

Drain the capers.

When the water is boiling add the pasta and cook according to box directions. The box said to cook for 7 minutes. I only did 6 because I want the pasta to be al dente.

Drain the pasta and immediately rinse with cold water to stop the cooking and keep the pasta firm. I use my hands and turn the pasta so all of it gets cold fast. Let the pasta drain.

Cut all of your remaining ingredients, artichokes (into fourths), green onions, celery, Kalamata olives. The garlic I am going to press to make it as small as possible; I cut the lemon in half.

I put the olives, celery, garlic, and green onions in a big bowl and mix together. I find mixing a few things is easier than mixing everything together all at once.

Then I dump in the pasta and mix well.

Then I add the tomatoes and capers and mix again.

Last I put in the tuna fish and the artichokes. I use my hands to mix now so as not to break apart the artichokes with the spatula.

Now I add about 3 generous tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and mix together. I taste the pasta to see if ther is enough seasonings. I added about 2 more tablespoons of lemon juice and a bit of salt and pepper. Then it tasted just right!

I am very careful about adding salt because the olives and capers are very salty. I wait to see if more is needed.

Pine Nuts

The only thing that would have made this salad any better would be the tossing of some Pine Nuts on the finished salad. I usually have Pine Nuts in the fridge, but used the last of them up about a month ago. And if you think lemons are expensive, you should see how much Pine Nuts are right now. Way to expensive for me.

But if you have any, be sure to add them. They give a lovely crunch and flavor.

This makes a boat load of salad.

And with a huge hunk of buttered Vienna bread this salad is an extremely filing main dish salad.

Bon appétit!!!


1 box of tri-color pasta                    $1.24

1 box of cherry tomatoes                 $3.49

1 can artichoke hearts                     $1.99

1 can tuna fish                                $0.99

Capers, about 3 teaspoons               $0.39

Celery, about 2 small stalks              $0.18

Kalamata olives (7-10)                      $0.27

About 3 green onions                        $0.24

Olive oil, about 3-4 tbspns                 $0.48

½ – 1 small lemon                            $0.19

Total cost = $9.46
Cost per person (6) = $1.58
Cost per person (4) = $2.37

Quote of the Day

The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.

William James


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1 comment to Tri Color Pasta Salad

  • A fantastic salad! Hope you’re having a great Labor Day Weekend!

    I did have a private chuckle at your recipe. When I first moved to Australia I did what every American would do – I called it tuna fish. People, including my dear husband, rolled their eyes.

    “What tuna ISN’T a fish, Maureen?”

    “but… it’s tuna fish, every American knows that!”

    “you didn’t answer the question, Maureen.”


    I still call it tuna fish 🙂