I make this recipe no less than 10 times a year. It’s always a hit at friend gatherings. It’s a must at Memorial Day. I never have leftovers when I bring it to work potlucks, and it’s perfect to have ready in the fridge anytime you think people might stop by. Plus, you can prepare it the night before, never worry about keeping it hot, and you can adapt the recipe to make as much as you like. When you have to feed a large number of people, try this pasta salad instead of your go-to lasagne. I made a huge bowl of this for my friends after they had their baby and they appreciated someone finally brought them something lighter and healthier!

You can add anything to the mix from shredded mozzarella to sunflower seeds or blueberries. I like tossing in mandarin orange slices for a touch of sweetness and crushed croutons for some crunch, but you can add anything you like!

Tri-colored rotini and crab pasta salad
Meghan Rodgers

Mediterranean triColored rotini crab pasta salad


  • 12 oz. box tricolored rotini pasta
  • 10.5 oz. cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3.8 oz. can sliced black olives
  • 5-7 oz. jar pimento-stuffed green olives
  • 8 oz. package imitation crab, pulled into shreds
  • 1 cup light Italian dressing + more
  • 1 cup shredded carrot sticks
  • Fresh grated parmesan cheese


  1. Boil water and prepare pasta as directed on back of box. When tender, drain and set aside to cool at least 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes, black and green olives, and carrots to pasta and toss.
  3. Add crab and Italian dressing and toss until ingredients are well distributed.
  4. Add more Italian dressing, fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
  5. Serve cold or room temperature.

*Salad stays good for 3-4 days in fridge. Add more Italian dressing as needed.

Also see, Citrusy, cilantro pasta salad.

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Meghan is a full-time writer exploring the fun facts behind food. She lives a healthy lifestyle but lives for breakfast, dessert and anything with marinara. She’s thrown away just as many meals as she’s proud of.