A healthier, vegan Italian Pasta Salad prepared with a sweet and tangy, homemade balsamic vinaigrette. A “must have” for any summertime picnic or gathering. It’s 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 did’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:
That’s it… you’re done!
Italian Pasta Salad
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 along side a BBQ back bean burger for a filling dinner. Better yet, just grab a fork and dig in for a late night snack!
10 minPrep Time
20 minCook Time
30 minTotal Time
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
7 Tablespoons organic balsamic vinegar
6 Tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 Tablespoons coconut sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons pink salt, or to taste
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 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.
- 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.
- To emulsify the oil and vinegar, add all ingredients to a mason jar (or lidded jar/cup) and shake vigerously 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 3/4 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 an 30 min to an hour before serving.
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