This is my go-to pasta salad recipe for a crowd! It's great for showers, picnics, parties, you name it! My mother-in-law taught me to make it. It is easy and very versatile. Today I made it for an event, and I decided to keep track of the measurements so that it could be shared with others who may need a large crowd pasta salad recipe. Hope you enjoy! Better when refrigerated overnight.


Recipe Summary

15 mins
30 mins
1 hr
15 mins
70 servings


Original recipe yields 70 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil; cook rotini at a boil until tender yet firm to the bite, about 8 minutes.

  • While pasta is boiling, steam broccoli, one bag at a time, in a microwave per directions on the package, 4 to 6 minutes.

  • Rinse cooked pasta in a colander until completely cool. Return to the pot. Add broccoli, tomatoes, salad dressing, Cheddar cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Mix well. Refrigerate until chilled, 30 minutes to 1 hour. Serve cold.

Cook's Notes:

You can use any semi-hard cheese for this; you can either cube or crumble it.

You may prefer to cut any remaining stems off of the broccoli florets.

Variations: Add canned chicken, season with hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce, for an easy, complete light meal. Use half salt and half seasoned salt for more flavor. For prettier presentation, use as many colors as possible. Try Colby Jack cheese or other vegetables of your choosing. Use light dressing or half garden rotini/half whole wheat rotini for healthier options.

Nutrition Facts

141 calories; protein 4.7g; carbohydrates 17.2g; fat 6.1g; cholesterol 6.8mg; sodium 353.9mg. Full Nutrition