Vegan Italian Pasta Salad is prepared with a sweet and tangy, homemade balsamic vinaigrette. It's a "must-have” for any summertime picnic or gathering. This recipe is quick, easy to make and ready in under 30 minutes! Plus, swapping out the noodles instantly makes this gluten-free!
The past few days have been HOT!
So, today I went in search of a quick, cool down meal that didn't require a lot of effort. Seeing as I had a few ripe avocados, I decided on avocado sandwiches for my family. But, I also wanted a side to go with them to make the meal a bit more filling.
That’s when I remembered my Italian Pasta Salad recipe. It's a cold pasta so I knew it would pair perfectly on this hot summer day. I dug up the recipe and miraculously had all the ingredients on hand ...it's like it was meant to be!
This Italian Pasta Salad came together in 4 easy steps:
- Cook the pasta
- Chop the veggies
- Mix the dressing
- Toss everything together
That's it... you’re done!
This recipe makes a large, party-sized portion that’s great for summer gatherings. However, it can easily be halved if you are looking for a family-sized serving. Personally, I like to make the whole batch because I can enjoy it throughout the week.
It's great paired with your favorite sandwich for a quick, cool lunch. Or enjoy it alongside a BBQ back bean burger for a filling dinner. Better yet, just grab a fork and dig in for a late-night snack!
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For the Pasta
- 16 oz. package of organic fusilli pasta (for GF option use gluten-free pasta)
- 1 can black olives, drained and sliced
- 1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 yellow bell peppers, chopped
- 3-4 celery ribs, chopped
- 3 carrots, coined then cut in half
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- Fresh Italian parsley for garnish, chopped
For the Dressing
- 7 Tablespoons organic balsamic vinegar
- 6 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 ½ Tablespoons coconut sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons pink salt, or to taste
- Cashew parmesan
- Fresh ground pepper, to taste
For the pasta
- Cook pasta to al dente, per directions on the package. Then drain and rinse with cool water to keep the pasta from further cooking.
- While the pasta cooks prep the veggies and dressing.
For the veggies
- Slice the carrots into coins, then cut each coin in half.
- Slice the olives.
- Cut the bell pepper into strips. Then cut bite-sized pieces from the strips.
- Chop the celery into bite-sized pieces
- Finely chop the onion.
- Set the veggies aside and prep the dressing.
For the Dressing
- To emulsify the oil and vinegar, add all ingredients to a mason jar (or lidded jar/cup) and shake vigorously for about 30 seconds. Alternatively, you can use a blender or mixer, but I found mixing it by hand doesn't fully incorporate the oil and vinegar.
- Add the cooked pasta to a large bowl. Pour ¾ of the dressing over the pasta and toss to coat evenly.
- Now, toss in the veggies.
- Pour in the remaining dressing and toss one last time.
- Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
- Chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes to an hour before serving.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 servings Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 197Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 428mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 5g
**Nutritional info is provided as an estimate based on the ingredients I used and for convenience and as a courtesy only.**