Easy Vegan Pasta Salad

Easy Vegan Pasta Salad

This Easy Vegan Pasta Salad recipe takes just 30 minutes to make, is loaded with fresh vegetables, olives, and artichokes, and is tossed with the best Italian-inspired, 5-minute homemade pasta salad dressing! Perfect for BBQs, picnics, or potlucks, this will be your new go-to recipe this summer!!
My Notes:
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Meal Type: Pasta, Salad
Special: 30 Minutes or Less, Kid-Friendly, Nut-Free, Oil-Free, Seasonal (Hot Weather), Soy-Free
Tool: Stove
Ingredient: Artichokes, bell pepper, Cucumber, Pasta, Tomatoes
Showcase: What's Trending
Servings: 8
Ingredients
For the Pasta Salad:
  • 14.5 oz/ 410g short pasta such as rigatoni, penne, or bowties (gluten-free if preferred)
  • 1 6 fl oz/ 170ml jar marinated artichokes drained and roughly chopped (3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 English cucumber chopped (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes halved (2 cups)
  • 1 bell pepper (any color) chopped
  • 1/2 cup(s) pitted kalamata olives
  • 1/4 red onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup(s) parsley roughly chopped
For the Italian Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup(s) olive oil (see notes for oil-free)
  • 3 tablespoon(s) lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon(s) Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon(s) maple syrup or agave
  • 2 clove(s) garlic minced or pressed
  • 1 teaspoon(s) Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) crushed red pepper flakes (optional for spice)
Instructions
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions. Once cooked, drain the pasta and rinse it well with cold water to cool it down.
  • In the meantime prep the vegetables and prepare the dressing.
    To make the dressing: in a small bowl or measuring glass, combine all the dressing ingredients: olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, maple syrup or agave, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes (if using). Whisk well to mix.
  • In a large bowl, combine the cooled and drained pasta with the chopped vegetables, artichokes, olives, and parsley. Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and toss everything together until well combined. Serve the pasta salad fresh or within a few hours for the best flavor.
  • Make-ahead tip: If preparing the pasta salad ahead of time, note that the dressing can be absorbed by the pasta. While day-old pasta salad is still wonderful, for the best texture and flavor, I prefer storing the dressing separately and tossing it with the pasta and vegetables up to 2 hours before serving.
    Storage Tips: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If the pasta absorbs too much dressing, simply add a little more lemon juice and olive oil before serving to refresh the flavors.
Notes
Vegetable substitutions: Feel free to play around with the vegetables and use what you have on hand. Lightly steamed and cooled broccoli, thinly sliced zucchini, shredded carrots, fresh spinach, fresh basil, thinly sliced radishes, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, chickpeas, or black beans would all be nice options. You can also top the salad with toasted pine nuts, slivered almonds, vegan feta, or vegan parmesan.
Oil-free: For an oil-free version, you can omit the olive oil in the dressing and replace it with vegetable broth. To make the dressing a bit richer, you could reduce the vegetable broth to 3 tablespoons and add 1 tablespoon of tahini or cashew butter. Alternatively, you can replace the oil with ΒΌ cup of plain vegan yogurt (such as almond or soy), and add a splash of vegetable broth if needed to thin the dressing.
Nutrition
Serving: 1 serving (recipe makes 8 servings) | Calories: 129kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 373mg | Potassium: 245mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1374IU | Vitamin C: 37mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg
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