Vegan Pasta Salad – Nora Cooks

This vegan pasta salad is perfect for summer potlucks. Pasta and fresh vegetables are tossed in a briny vinaigrette to create an incredible side dish that you’ll make again and again!

Can you even call it a summer barbecue without a big bowl of cold pasta salad? I do not think so! Also bring a sheet of chocolate cake for the perfect dessert to feed a crowd.

Vegan pasta salad is a tasty and welcome side dish alongside your favorite barbecue dishes like veggie burgers, grilled vegetables, and tofu topped with barbecue sauce. Crunchy peppers, red onions, pepperoncini peppers, and pasta are topped with a light, briny Italian dressing that makes the salad truly irresistible.

There are a million reasons why pasta salad is so good, but I especially love how easy the recipe is to prepare and that it can be stored for days. In fact, the flavors improve the longer you store them!

You should definitely bring this to your next meal! It’s a simple recipe that is also:

  • Flexible
  • Quick and easy
  • So fresh
  • Economic
  • And hearty!
wooden bowl on white background with pasta and vegetables not yet mixed for vegan pasta saladwooden bowl on white background with pasta and vegetables not yet mixed for vegan pasta salad

Vegetarian Pasta Salad with Italian Vinaigrette

The secret to this Italian-inspired pasta salad is sweet, mild pepperoncini peppers! You will need it for the salad and dressing.

Mixing pepperoncini brine with herbs, red wine vinegar and a little sugar turns a basic vinaigrette into a fun Italian dressing that you can use on grilled vegetables, green salads and more.

glass jar filled with mixed Italian dressingglass jar filled with mixed Italian dressing

How to Make Vegan Pasta Salad

You will start by cooking the pasta according to the package directions. Drain the water and rinse the pasta in cold water to cool it. Mix it with a little oil in a large bowl and set aside.

Prepare the dressing by whisking the ingredients together in a bowl or jar.

Assemble the pasta salad by tossing the vegetables and seasoning with the pasta. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and let it cool in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Frequently asked questions

  1. Can I add more vegetables? This recipe is so flexible that you can easily omit what you don’t like or add more vegetables like broccoli, carrots, zucchini, green onions, etc.
  2. What else can I add? Customize this plant-based pasta salad with vegan cheddar or mozzarella, white beans or chickpeas, seeds and herbs on top, smoked tofu and more. I used Violife Mature Vegan Cheddar, cut into cubes. Vegan pepperoni would also be good here.
  3. Can it be made gluten-free? Yes. Simply replace the pasta with your favorite gluten-free pasta.
  4. Can I prepare it in advance? Yes! Pasta salad should be chilled in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving, but you can leave it for up to 5 days if you wish.

Store leftovers

Store leftover pasta salad in airtight containers for easy, on-the-go weekday lunches. It will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 5 days, meaning you can enjoy it all week long or as a quick side dish for dinner. Feel free to add more vinaigrette or top it with a little olive oil if the pasta is dry.

close up of rainbow noodles in wooden bowl with lots of vegetablesclose up of rainbow noodles in wooden bowl with lots of vegetables

More salads ready to share

  • Cook the pasta according to package directions, then drain and rinse with cold water. Add the cooked pasta to a large bowl and add a few teaspoons of olive oil so it doesn’t stick together.

  • While the pasta is cooking, chop and slice all the vegetables and optional vegan cheese. Put aside.

  • Whisk all dressing ingredients in a medium bowl until well combined. You can also simply add all the dressing ingredients to a jar with a lid and shake until well combined.

  • To the bowl of pasta, add the vegetables, cheese and vinaigrette. Stir to combine.

  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes if possible before serving. It will stay good for up to 5 days. Just before serving, sprinkle with vegan parmesan, if desired. Appreciate!
  1. Feel free to omit vegetables you don’t like and add what you like like broccoli florets, carrots, diced zucchini, green onions, chickpeas, etc.
  2. For an oil-free dish, simply omit the olive oil and vegan cheese.
  3. Gluten free? Replace gluten-free pasta with regular pasta.

Portion: 1of 10 servings | Calories: 302kilocalories | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 14g | Saturated fat: 2g | Sodium: 335mg | Potassium: 218mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 575UI | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg

Course: Salad, Side dish

Kitchen: American, Italian

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