This easy Vegan Italian Pasta Salad combines curly pasta, crunchy veggies, and fresh herbs… all tossed in a zesty oil-free Italian dressing. Great make-ahead dish for lunches, picnics, potlucks, etc.
This easy vegan Italian Pasta Salad is a tasty, satisfying dish on a warm summer day. Fun curly pasta mingles with crunchy veggies and fresh herbs. Then it’s all tossed with a flavorful, zesty, oil-free Italian dressing. (Plus it only takes 30 minutes to prepare.) It’s a great light lunch, or also works well as a side dish for gatherings, BBQs, potlucks, etc.
Serving the Vegan Pasta Salad
I’ve found there’s a bit of a “sweet spot” in the serving time: we enjoy it best a few hours after chilling but within a day. Otherwise the pasta starts to dry out a bit as the dressing absorbs. However, you could simply store the dressing and salad separately in the fridge and toss together as needed. Be sure to check out the optional additions below for flavor variation ideas. It’s another fun recipe to customize and play around with! (We love adding Miyoko’s mozzarella or vegan nut parmesan.)
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Vegan Italian Pasta Salad
- 8 oz. fusilli pasta (gluten-free if desired)
- 8 oz. grape/cherry tomatoes
- 1 cucumber
- 1/3 cup red onion (thinly sliced)
- 1/3 cup olives (I use kalamata)
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley (more as desired)
- Artichoke hearts, green bell pepper, roasted red pepper, capers, pepperoncini, sun-dried tomato, vegan nut parmesan, vegan mozzarella cubes (I love Miyoko's)
For the Oil-Free Italian Dressing:
- 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 1-2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 tsp. dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- Cook pasta according to package instructions, leaving al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water when finished.
- Meanwhile, prepare veggies: dice cucumber, quarter/halve tomatoes, and thinly slice red onion. Place in a large mixing bowl.
- Slice olives and roughly chop parsley (large stems removed). Place in bowl.
- Make the dressing: in a separate small bowl, add all dressing ingredients and whisk well to combine. (Or place ingredients in a jar with tightly sealed lid and shake well to combine/emulsify.)
- Add cooked pasta to bowl. Pour dressing over the top and toss well to combine.
- Can serve immediately, but best served chilled after 1-2 hours. (Be sure to gently stir again before serving as some dressing may settle at the bottom.)