Vegan Pasta Salad Recipe: Easy, Quick, And Healthy

By Alexandra Caspero on July 3, 2022
A simple mayo-free pasta salad recipe.
Serves 6-8

If you are looking for a vegan pasta salad recipe, here is a fast and easy recipe idea that is perfect for family gatherings, birthdays, and holidays.

Just in time for summer, here is an easy and simple pasta salad recipe. If you like vinaigrette based pasta salads, then you’ll love this quick recipe. All you need is pasta, a handful of vegetables and fresh herbs and a simple dressing.

If you are looking for a healthy side dish for summer, this one is it.

Close Up of Vegan Pasta Salad Recipe

We eat a lot of pasta in my house, obviously. I’ve got well over 70 pasta recipes on my website and if you come to my house for dinner, there’s a good chance that I’ll make you my simple fresh tomato sauce recipe in the summer or pasta fagioli in the winter.

As the lone vegetarian at most social gatherings, I always like to bring a side dish (or two) that I know I will eat– that’s become even more important when we head to events with the kids. This vegan pasta salad is a hit with everyone, plant-based or not, and the perfect side dish for any picnic or BBQ.

Vegan Pasta Salad

Ingredients for Vegan Pasta Salad

Here’s what you’ll need for this quick & easy pasta salad:

  • Pasta of choice. I usually use rotini, elbows, farfalle (bowties) or penne but any short noodle will work.
  • Veggies like red onion, bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, black olives
  • Fresh herbs like parsley and basil
  • Dressing ingredients: red wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic and a pinch of sugar or maple syrup for sweetness.
Ingredients for Pasta Salad

Substitution Notes

This recipe is as customizable as it is easy. You can sub in any type of vegetable that you like for this cold pasta salad recipe. Peeled, seeded and thinly sliced cucumber half-moons, canned artichoke hearts or beans like chickpeas or white beans would also work in this recipe.

I like red wine vinegar in this dressing, but champagne white vinegar is also fantastic if you can find it. Apple Cider Vinegar will also work as will another acid, like lemon juice.

For a gluten-free pasta salad, simply sub in gluten-free pasta. For an extra protein boost, a chickpea or bean based pasta will also work.

Two Bowls of Cold Pasta with Veggies

How to Make this Vegan Pasta Salad

  1. Make the pasta

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente according to package directions. Drain and rinse. The rinsing is important for cold pasta salads so the noodles don’t stick to each other after cooking.

  2. Slice the Onion

    Thinly slice the red onion, or finely chop it. I often toss the red onion in a bit of red wine vinegar while I make the rest of the ingredients to take some of the bite out of raw onions. You don’t have to do this step if you don’t have time. The red onion will mellow as it sits in the pasta.

  3. Prep the rest of the veggies

    Chop the bell pepper, halve the grape tomatoes and slice the black olives. Chop the parsley and tear the basil leaves.

  4. Make the dressing

    Whisk together the red wine vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil along with a minced garlic clove and a pinch of sugar, salt and pepper.

  5. Combine

    Toss everything together in a large bowl, season to taste as needed and enjoy!

Vegan Pasta Salad Recipe

You are going to love this vegan pasta salad recipe. It’s so incredibly quick and easy to throw together and always a crowd pleaser.

More Vegan BBQ Side Dishes:

Recipe for Vegan Pasta Salad

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking! 

Print
pasta salad recipe

Vegan Pasta Salad

  • Author: Alexandra Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 68 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner, pasta, healthy, side dish
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: American, Italian Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

If you are looking for a vegan pasta salad recipe, here is a fast and easy recipe idea that is perfect for family gatherings, birthdays, and holidays.


  • Author: Alexandra Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 68 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner, pasta, healthy, side dish
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: American, Italian Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan
  • Author: Alexandra Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 68 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner, pasta, healthy, side dish
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: American, Italian Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pasta of choice
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, divided
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or maple syrup
  • salt/pepper

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente according to package directions. Drain, rinse and set aside to cool.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, toss the thinly sliced onion with 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar.
  3. Chop the vegetables and make the dressing: whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar and olive oil along with the sugar, garlic clove and generous pinch salt and pepper (will depend on your pasta water that you salted, but I usually do ~1/2 teaspoon each).
  4. Drain any excess liquid off the onions, then toss with the cooked pasta, vegetables, herbs and dressing. Toss well to combine, season to taste, and enjoy.

did you make this?

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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    1. Carol
      July 11, 2022 AT 6:12 am

      Just made this for 4th of July bbq. Delicious!