This roasted vegetable pasta salad recipe is fun, vegan twist on a summer classic. It’s super easy to make, too. Just roast your favorite veggies and toss them with pasta and homemade, dairy free Italian dressing. This is the perfect salad to make ahead for summer parties. Makes about 2 quarts.
Why I love this pasta salad recipe
I’ve always been a fan of pasta salads in the summer. I am a carb-lover after all. Unfortunately, a lot of them have cheese and Italian dressing that contains milk.
So I decided it was time to finally make my own from scratch. Since a lot of the veggies I wanted to include needed to be cooked or blanched ahead of time (like the broccoli and asparagus), I decided to toss them all in the oven instead.
Even though I did it out of laziness, it was a great choice because roasting the veggies gives them an extra pop of flavor, and makes them taste just a little sweeter.
The best pasta salad dressing
This pasta salad dressing is a super simple version of an Italian vinaigrette. I used a touch of Dijon mustard to help it emulsify, and I seasoned it with dried basil and oregano.
You can easily make a double batch of the dressing if you want to use it on regular salad or to marinate chicken. It should last up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
Don’t feel like making dressing? I recommend this French vinaigrette or the olive oil and vinegar dressing. They’re simple dressings that taste great from the bottle and don’t have milk or cheese in them.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this vegan pasta salad
- Measuring spoons
- Glass measuring cup
- Cutting board
- Chef’s knife
- Cookie sheet
- Large mixing bowl
- Rubber spatula
How to make roasted vegetable pasta salad
Roast the veggies. Place your chopped vegetables on a large cookie sheet. Drizzle or spray with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper. Roast for about 15 – 20 minutes in a 400˚F oven.
You want to err on the side of undercooked. The tomatoes should be slightly burst, but still hold they’re shape. If you over cook the vegetables they will be mushy in your salad, and the texture will not be appetizing.
Cook the pasta. While the vegetables are roasting, cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water. I like to cook them according to the directions for al dente.
Once they’re cooked, drain them in a colander and rinse them with cold water until they’re cool to the touch. Toss them with a drizzle of olive oil prevent them from sticking together.
Mix the dressing. Whisk the ingredients together until the mustard emulsifies with the olive oil. I like to do this right in my glass measuring cup because it’s one less dish to wash.
Toss it all together. After the veggies have cooled, transfer them and the pasta to a large mixing bowl and mix with the dressing until everything is evenly coated.
Store in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
FAQs about pasta salad
Can you make pasta salad ahead of time? Yes. This recipe is perfect for making in advance.I like to roast the veggies and cook the pasta ahead of time, but I think it’s best to only add half of the dressing when you’re prepping it. Then add the rest before serving to keep the salad fresh and flavorful.
How do you keep pasta salad from drying out? You can keep pasta salad from drying out my adding olive oil immediately after rinsing the pasta. You should also reserve a bit of dressing to add before serving because pasta will naturally absorb liquid regardless of how you prep it.
Does pasta salad need to be refrigerated? This recipe doesn’t need to be kept cold like a mayonnaise based salad, but it should be refrigerated until you’re ready to serve, and if there are any leftovers. Since it’s not mayo-based, you have a little more flexibility as far as how long it can sit out while you’re serving it.
How long does pasta salad last in the refrigerator? This salad should last in the fridge for at 5 – 7 days depending on the freshness of the veggies that are used.
Can you freeze pasta salad? You can’t freeze all pasta salads, but with a you could freeze this one since it has a vinaigrette dressing. But, I would recommend eating this fresh for best flavor.
Tips for making the best pasta salad
- Be sure to rinse the cooked pasta with cold water after draining it to keep it from cooking past al dente.
- Reserve a bit of the salad dressing to add just before serving if you’re making this ahead of time.
- You can swap out the pasta if you want, but choose one with texture because that helps the dressing stick to it.
- Liberally salt the water when you’re cooking your pasta to make sure it doesn’t end up bland.
- For the best flavor, don’t make your pasta salad more than a day in advance.
What main dish goes with pasta salad?
More pasta recipes:
More vegan sides:
- Mediterranean chickpea salad
- Dairy free mashed potatoes
- Farro salad
- Roasted broccoli
- Refried black beans
Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad | This easy, vegan pasta salad recipe is fun twist on a summer classic with roasted vegetables and pasta tossed with Italian dressing and served cold. #pasta #salad #vegan
For the pasta salad
- 1 16-ounce package radiatore pasta (or other texture pasta)
- 1 small bunch asparagus, trimmed and chopped
- 1 small head broccoli, florets only, chopped
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1 yellow squash, chopped
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
For the pasta salad dressing:
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400˚F. Place vegetables on a cookie sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season liberally with coarse salt & black pepper. Roast for 15 minutes or until veggies have started to brown and tomatoes are soft. Remove from oven and all vegetables to cool before adding to salad.
- Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente in a large pot of boiling, salted water. Once pasta has cooked, drain and rinse with cold water. Toss with remaining olive oil until coated.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk dressing ingredients until combined.
- Toss cooled vegetables and cooked pasta with salad dressing until evenly coated. Adjust seasoning with salt & pepper, to taste.
Cook the pasta and roast the veggies at the same time to cut down on cooking time.
Keywords: dairy free, vegan, easy, summer, vegetarian
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