I'll admit that the rainbow food scene seemed a bit jaded to me—people could add food coloring to their water and start selling it as "artisanal rainbow water." At that point, I'd rather take my business to Starbucks and enjoy their line of rainbow drinks instead.

However, this rainbow pasta salad is fun and easy to make. We're also taking the tricolor rotini pasta and bumping it up a couple notches into a delicious pasta arugula salad. Sounds good, right? Let's begin.

Rainbow Pasta Arugula Salad

  • Prep Time:15 mins
  • Cook Time:10 mins
  • Total Time:25 mins
  • Servings:4
  • Medium


  • 6 cups rotini pasta
  • food coloring
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes halved
  • 3/4 cup bell peppers sliced
  • 1/2 cup olives
  • 1/2 cup artichoke hearts
  • 1 cup lemon agave vinaigrette dressing
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
spinach, salad, vegetable, arugula
Photo by Austin Lai
  • Step 1

    Cook pasta al dente with package instructions.
    #SpoonTip: Add some salt to the water and let's not argue about cooking pasta—you do you.

    GIF by Austin Lai
  • Step 2

    When pasta is finished, drain immediately and rinse in cold water to stop cooking.

    GIF by Austin Lai
  • Step 3

    Combine two tablespoons of water with 20 drops of food coloring in ziploc bags. Check out this awesome four-way grid effect—isn't it amazing?

    GIF by Austin Lai
  • Step 4

    Transfer a cup of pasta per bag of food coloring and gently shake the pasta until the color is combined. Let bags sit for 3-5 mins for the color to set.

    GIF by Austin Lai
  • Step 5

    Strain pasta and rinse with cold water to remove any extra food coloring. Set aside to prep your salad ingredients next.

    GIF by Austin Lai
  • Step 6

    Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss. I recommend using Organic Girl's Lemon Agave Vinaigrette Dressing that I got from Whole Foods—it's absolutely fantastic.

    GIF by Austin Lai
  • Step 7

    Garnish with extra arugula, mozzarella cheese, and pine nuts. Enjoy!

    GIF by Austin Lai