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Funeral Pasta Salad

Every now and then, a great potluck recipe comes around, and it’s so great that even crowds at a funeral will love it. That’s exactly what this delicious, easy, and simple salad is. Full of bell pepper, red onion, cherry tomatoes, and olives, this Funeral Pasta Salad is a classic. It’s a large crowd-pleaser that serves so many people.

Funeral Pasta Salad is a crowd-pleaser that serves a crowd.

A great pasta salad recipe is always great to have in your back pocket. They come in handy when you need a budget-friendly side dish that everyone will love. They’re a summer essential, perfect for so many events, and come together in minutes.

While this side dish was nicknamed Funeral Pasta Salad because it’s a great large potluck item, it’s also great for so many other occasions. I make it for BBQs, graduations, bridal showers, baby showers, or even just to eat off of for a week of lunches. It’s such a versatile dish!

Looking for even more great pasta salad recipes? My Rotisserie Chicken Pasta Salad is filling enough as a main meal, along with Taco Pasta Salad. If you’re a fan of rotini-shaped pasta, Tomato Bacon Pasta is a delicious side dish, too.

Tips For Making Funeral Pasta Salad

Anyone can make this pasta salad recipe! It’s so simple, and there aren’t any crazy steps to follow. The only kitchen tools you’ll need are a large mixing bowl and a pasta pot to boil your pasta. Serve the salad cold. If you want to take the salad to an event, consider serving it in a chilled bowl– it’s a special type of bowl that includes ice to keep everything cool.

Funeral Pasta Salad Recipe
Funeral Pasta Salad makes a TON, and it’s a classic side dish.

When To Make This Salad

It’s not just for funerals! Even though that’s how the salad earned its nickname, it’s great for any big event. Bring it to potlucks, BBQs, bridal showers, or baby showers. It’s just a great big-serving side dish. All together, the pasta salad makes about 14-16 servings. So expect a big portion! Double the recipe if you want to serve an even bigger crowd.

Does Funeral Pasta Salad Need To Be Refrigerated?

The salad tastes better served cold and refrigerated. However, there is no need to keep the salad cold if you do not have the means to. I like using a chilled bowl, but you can certainly use a plain serving bowl. There’s no mayonnaise in the dish, so there’s no reason to keep it chilled. I let it sit out while serving and then store the leftovers.

How To Store Leftover Salad

Once your salad is made and served, store leftovers in an airtight food storage container. Keep the leftovers in the refrigerator. For the best freshness, enjoy the salad within 4-5 days of making it. The salad dressing can be absorbed into the pasta, so add more if desired. I do not recommend freezing the pasta salad. There’s too much condensation from the freezing process, and the pasta doesn’t thaw well.

Recipe Substitutions

Feel free to use any shape of pasta that you want. Bowties work well, too. I love the tri-color pasta because it makes the salad so bright. Another substitution to try is adding mayonnaise. It gives the salad a creamy texture. Just be sure to keep the salad refrigerated for food safety purposes if you add mayonnaise.

Funeral Pasta Salad Ingredients:

  • Tri-Color Rotini Pasta
  • Red Onion
  • Yellow Bell Pepper
  • Orange Bell Pepper
  • Grape Tomatoes
  • Sliced Black Olives
  • Italian Dressing (Store-bought is fine & what I use. Or make Homemade Italian Dressing)
  • Optional: Shredded Parmesan Cheese For Serving
Funeral Pasta Salad Ingredients
I love all of the bright ingredient colors in Funeral Pasta Salad!

Step-By-Step Directions To Make Funeral Pasta Salad

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Place pasta into a large mixing bowl. Add red onion, peppers, tomatoes and olives.

Adding the chopped vegetables into the pasta.

Next, add the dressing and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight for flavors to marinate. 

Adding the Italian dressing into the pasta.

When ready to serve, mix well to redistribute dressing. Top with shredded Parmesan if desired. 

Adding Parmesan to the top of the Funeral Pasta Salad.
Yield: 14-16 Servings

Funeral Pasta Salad

Funeral Pasta Salad Recipe

Call it whatever you want, but Funeral Pasta Salad is a classic! It's a perfect large-portion pasta salad that's great for picnics, graduations, bridal showers or baby showers. It's got great Italian flavors!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes


  • 1 box, 12 oz, tri-colored rotini pasta
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup sliced olives
  • 1 cup Italian dressing
  • shredded Parmesan cheese, optional for serving


    1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Place pasta into a large mixing bowl.
    2. Add red onion, peppers, tomates, olives and dressing and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight for flavors to marinate.
    3. When ready to serve, mix well to redistribute dressing. Top with shredded Parmesan if desired.


  • Keep leftovers refrigerated. For the best freshness, enjoy the salad within 5-6 days of making it.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 90Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 214mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 2g

**Nutrition is calculated by a third party. Actual values may vary.

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