A simple vegan pasta salad recipe to use all your gorgeous summer produce. This salad has hearty chunks of roasted vegetables, perfectly cooked pasta, corn tossed in a super flavorful Italian style dressing.
A quick, easy enough recipe that you can whip up in 20 minutes flat. Perfect for weeknight dinner. Just use gluten free pasta if you want to make this recipe gluten free.
Quick & Easy Vegan Pasta Salad With Roasted Vegetables!
I love pasta salad, a well made one I mean. Over the years I have tried it in many restaurants as well as recipes but they lacked something or the other.
The vegetables were either too bland or the dressing did not hit the spot. In restaurants mostly the pasta was saggy or dry.
So instead of hunting around for that perfect pasta salad, I took it on me to develop one. Sometimes it is the only way 🙂
I am so happy to report that I have hit that perfect recipe for vegan pasta salad 🙂 The recipe shared here is a wonderful one that both vegans as well as meat lovers will love. Seriously no one will miss meat or cheese in this salad.
The recipe can’t be simpler. You just need to roast some chunks of vegetables boil that pasta and mix dressing ingredients.
The best part is you can do all these steps simultaneously and get the dish ready on table in 20-25 minutes.
Use up all those bits and bobs of vegetables from the depth of your refrigerator and whip up this super quick dinner that will please everyone.
Whenever fresh zucchini and cherry tomatoes are in season, I make pasta salad many times as we love this so much.
Unlike the ones from few restaurants this vegan pasta salad recipe is juicy, not dry at all, crisp and fresh but uses less oil. I have listed few tips to make this recipe perfectly through out the post. Please read them before making the recipe.
This salad with pasta is a great light meal in itself or as side dish with a good bread!
This Pasta Salad Is
Vegan and can be easily made into gluten free
So delicious, flavorful and simple
Tossed in flavorful Italian style dressing
made with creamy dressing but less oil.
Full of hearty chunks of roasted vegetables
Juicy and not dry at all
Are you tempted enough to try this out, spare twenty minutes and get dinner on table like a pro 🙂
What Goes In Pasta Salad?
Use any and all of favorite salad vegetables here.
You can throw in all those bits and bobs of vegetables lying around or use that gorgeous summer produce in this salad and let them shine. Either ways this salad will taste so good.
This time around I have used the following ingredients
Pasta– I used organic durum wheat farfalle or bow tie pasta. I love to use this pasta as it makes the dish very pretty 🙂 You can also use fusili or penne or shell. You can use pastas suitable for special diets such as gluten free pasta, quinoa pasta or whole wheat pasta.
Vegetables for pasta salad- All those delicious salad vegetables go well in vegan pasta salad. I have used zucchini, green, red and yellow bell peppers, carrots, corn, onions and cherry tomatoes here.
You can also add broccoli, squash, eggplant, asparagus in this recipe.
I have pan roasted the vegetables here. You can BBQ the vegetables or even grill them. This salad tastes good both warm and cold.
While I love to eat this salad warm, you can also refrigerate the salad and serve as cold pasta salad.
Herbs– Fresh and dried herbs add a lot of flavor to this recipe. You can add chopped parsley, basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano etc. Start small, taste and add as you prefer.
If you don’t have fresh herbs, dried herbs are as good and tasty. Feel free to add your favorite herbs or even seasoning mixes.
Dressing or marinade for vegetables– I can’t state enough on how flavorful, creamy this pasta salad dressing is. It is right blend of all delicious ingredients.
This dressing is flavor packed with balanced mix of spice, sweetness, tang, creaminess and herbs. This pasta salad dressing is made of
- extra virgin olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- Dried Italian herbs
- dijon mustard
- chili flakes.
You can make the dressing ahead, store and use as required.
Recipes Variations & Add-ons
Cheese- This is a vegan pasta salad recipe but you can easily a sprinkle of parmesan cheese or feta cheese or even grilled paneer and make vegetarian pasta salad.
To make this salad more rich and creamy you can also add a tablespoon of vegan mayonnaise or sour cream to the dressing.
Protein- To make this pasta salad more hearty and satiating you can a handful of boiled or roasted chickpeas. You can also add sauteed mushrooms or tofu in this recipe.
How To Roast Vegetables For This Recipe
There are many ways you can prepare vegetables for this recipe. If making a large batch you can throw the diced vegetables in oven and roast until crispy.
Since I made a small batch I roasted the vegetables on stove top in a cast iron pan. If using a cast iron pan make sure it is big enough to hold all your vegetables else roast in batches.
If you are roasting in oven, different vegetables have different roasting time, so start with 10 minutes and keep an eye.
How To Cook Pasta For Salad?
For this pasta salad recipe you want pasta to be cooked al dente, that is cooked with slightest ever bite.
You don’t want over cooked or even thoroughly cooked soft pasta as it will become further soft and saggy when tossed in dressing.
To cook pasta for salad you can follow the package instructions but cook for 1 or 2 minutes lesser than the time mentioned in the package.
Also add few drops of oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the water. This elevates the flavor and also makes the pasta super shiny and non sticky.
How To Keep Pasta Salad Juicy?
Most of the times our pasta salad turns out dry especially if you refrigerate it. Pasta soak up all the dressing and oil and the whole salad turns out sad and dry. This is a common complaint with pasta salads with less oil.
To avoid this we are resorting to an age old tip used in making pasta recipes. Yes pasta cooked water is your answer to juicy pasta salad. Just like how we add a splash of pasta cooked water in other pasta recipes, we do the same here but add it in dressing.
Add 2-3 tablespoons of pasta cooked water along with dressing ingredients and mix very well until it turns creamy. This will keep your salad juicy and prevent it from drying.
The pasta cooked water has all the starch and it helps you to emulsify the dressing without adding a lot of oil.
You can tell how creamy and juicy this dish is from the photo of vegan pasta salad below right 🙂
A Pasta Salad That Keeps So Well For Days
This is a great recipe for meal prep or cooking for a crowd. If you are hosting a party or get together this vegetarian pasta salad will be a god addition.
You can prepare this a day ahead and refrigerate. Flavors blend so well and you know how delicious cold pasta salads are. However if you want to serve it room temperature, just thaw for few minutes and you are all set.
The leftovers also store up very well. This salad keeps well easily for 4-5 days in refrigerator. To add a fresh tough, just add few drops of olive oil and sprinkle of dried herbs before serving.
I love to serve this vegan pasta salad as light summer lunch or dinner. This also goes a wonderful side dish
pack in lunch box
with a drink
this will great dish to bring for a family potluck
How To Make Pasta Salad
Let’s begin with dicing vegetables. Rinse and dice the veggies as you prefer.
Here I have used 1 small green zucchini, 1 small carrot, around 1.5 cups cubed colored bell peppers, 1 small red onion and 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved.
Heat a large cast iron skillet or pan with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Spread the oil well.
Place the chopped vegetables as single layer and set the heat to medium. Roast the vegetables in medium heat for 6-7 minutes or until they char to your preference.
Cherry tomatoes will roast faster and you can remove them to a plate as they roast.
While the vegetables are roasting, cook pasta according to package instructions.
Drain the cooked pasta and rinse under cold water. Reserve 2 tablespoons of pasta cooked water for dressing.
Combine all the ingredients mentioned under dressing in a small bowl. Add pasta cooked water.
Whisk well until everything is combined.
Vegan Pasta salad
Place the roasted vegetables in a large bowl.
Add cooked pasta.
Pour the prepared dressing and toss well.
You can serve this immedietly or chill for few hours and serve pasta salad cold.
I hope you will try this vegan pasta salad recipe and enjoy as much as we did. P
Easy Vegan Pasta Salad
1 CUP = 250 ml
For cooking pasta
- 3/4 cup dried pasta 100 grams, 4oz
- water for cooking pasta
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- few drops of oil
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 small zucchini diced
- 1 small carrot diced
- 1 medium green bell pepper cubed
- 1 medium red bell pepper cubed
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper
- 1 small red onion cubed
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/2 cup boiled corn kernels
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons dried herbs basil, oregano, parsely etc
- 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon maple or sugar
- 2 tablespoons pasta cooked water
- salt to taste
- Let's begin with dicing vegetables. Rinse and dice the veggies as you prefer. Here I have used 1 small green zucchini, 1 small carrot, around 1.5 cups cubed colored bell peppers, 1 small red onion and 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved.
- Heat a large cast iron skillet or pan with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Spread the oil well. Place the chopped vegetables as single layer and set the heat to medium.
- Roast the vegetables in medium heat for 6-7 minutes or until they char to your preference.
- While the vegetables are roasting, cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain the cooked pasta and rinse under cold water. Reserve 2 tablespoons of pasta cooked water for dressing.
- Combine all the ingredients mentioned under dressing in a small bowl. Add pasta cooked water.
- Whisk well until everything is combined.
Vegan Pasta salad
- Place the roasted vegetables in a large bowl.
- Add cooked pasta. Pour the prepared dressing and toss well. You can serve this immedietly or chill for few hours and serve pasta salad cold.