How to Make Quick and Easy Vegan Pasta Salad
Once you learn how to make vegan pasta salad, you'll be throwing together this simple, fresh, flavorful dish all summer.
As temperatures start to rise, we’re adding more quick and easy dishes to our menu. In particular, this vegan pasta salad is bursting with bold flavors thanks to juicy tomatoes, briny olives, crunchy bell pepper and more fresh vegetables. Even if you’re not vegan, you’ll be coming back for seconds!
Learn how to make vegan pasta salad for meal-prepped lunches throughout the week, picnics or any warm weather celebration.
New to a plant-based lifestyle? Try this seven-day vegan meal plan.
How to Make Vegan Pasta Salad
This pasta salad recipe from Taste of Home reader Melissa Marsh is delicious, with a zippy balsamic vinegar dressing. I made some small changes to make the recipe vegan.
For the salad:
- 16 ounces uncooked spiral pasta
- 8 ounces cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 6 ounces sliced black olives
- 1 large zucchini, chopped
- 1 small bell pepper, diced
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 1/4 cup sliced green onion
For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh basil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Step 1: Cook the pasta
Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain, rinse with water and let cool.
Step 2: Combine the vegetables
Jenna Urben for Taste of Home
In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, olives, zucchini, bell pepper, red onion and green onion.
Step 3: Make the dressing
To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, basil, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl and set aside.
Step 4: Mix the salad
Stir your cooked pasta into the vegetable mixture, then pour the dressing over everything and toss to coat.
Step 5: Cover and refrigerate
Once the pasta salad is combined, taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
Jenna Urben for Taste of Home
Vegan Pasta Salad Variations
This vegan pasta salad is super versatile, so feel free to make it your own. For additional flavor, I love adding a shake or two of nutritional yeast on top of my serving.
You can use any diced vegetables in this recipe, such as:
- Artichoke hearts
Can I make this recipe gluten-free?
Yes! This pasta salad recipe can easily be altered to fit many dietary restrictions. If you’re gluten-free, simply use your favorite gluten-free pasta.
Tips for Making Vegan Pasta Salad
Is it OK to make vegan pasta salad the day before?
Healthy pasta salad recipes are perfect for meal prep. Making them ahead of time gives all the flavors a chance to come together. If you decide to add lettuce to your pasta salad, wait until you’re ready to serve to stir it in.
Should you rinse pasta when making vegan pasta salad?
Yes! Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process.
How long should vegan pasta salad sit before serving?
For best results, refrigerate pasta salad for at least 2 hours before serving.
What else should I serve with vegan pasta salad?
Looking for more tips and ideas? Check out our guide to making pasta salad!
Up next: Mastering these vegan pasta sauce recipes.