This tasty Arugula Pasta Salad recipe features roasted tomatoes & shallots and a zesty oil-free Italian dressing. It's so easy to prepare and full of robust, satisfying flavors. (Vegan and oil-free with gluten-free option.)
This arugula pasta salad combines peppery arugula, roasted veggies, and a zesty Italian dressing. It's lovely and so flavorful!
Roasting vegetables brings out wonderful new flavors. After just 20 minutes in the oven, tomatoes become shriveled and blistered with a robust and concentrated tangy-sweet flavor. The roasted shallots also become much sweeter and deliciously tender with their mild onion taste.
However it's an easy recipe to customize based on the flavors and veggies you enjoy! See the notes below for a variety of ideas to get you started.
Ingredients for Arugula Pasta Salad
For this recipe you will toss together in a large bowl:
- Pasta: Be sure to use gluten-free pasta if desired. I use "Field Day" brand organic brown rice & quinoa fusilli, but simply use your own favorite noodles. Penne could work too, but I prefer fusilli spirals so the dressing catches in all the tiny crevices.
- Grape tomatoes: You'll need one pint tomatoes for this recipe. If they're small to medium, I roast them whole. But if they're fairly large you can cut them in half. You can also substitute cherry tomatoes instead if needed.
- Shallot: These look like small onions, but the taste is smoother and less pungent. We'll use 3 medium/large shallots for this recipe, which is about 6 ounces. They become deliciously tender and surprisingly sweet after roasting.
- Fresh arugula: This has a wonderful peppery flavor. I use tender organic baby arugula. Typically the peak season for arugula is early spring and fall. This is when you can generally find it highest in nutrients and lowest in cost.
- Italian dressing: We'll use my homemade oil-free Vegan Italian Dressing. It's rich in flavor and easy to whip up in a small blender. You can include the optional hummus for a creamy version, or omit hummus for a thinner, more traditional version. (Or simply pour on your own favorite Italian-style dressing.)
Fresh herbs: Stir in fresh basil, parsley, chives, dill, or anything else that sounds good.
Vegetables: Change it up with other veggies like sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion, green onions, cucumber, artichoke hearts, roasted red pepper, diced green bell pepper, etc.
Other flavors: Sprinkle in capers, Kalamata olives, vegan feta cheese crumbles, Vegan Parmesan Cheese, salt and black pepper, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, pine nuts, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, minced garlic clove, etc.
Serve this salad as a side dish or even a light main dish. The recipe yields about 6 cups so it can stretch to 5-6 smaller side servings, or about 3 larger servings. It's great for picnics, potlucks, summer gatherings, a light lunch, or simply enjoyment at home.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It keeps for about 3 days.
For more inspiration, also browse all vegan pasta recipes.
Arugula Pasta Salad (Vegan)
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- 3 shallots (about 6 oz.)
- 8 oz. fusilli pasta (gluten-free if desired)
- 3 oz. fresh baby arugula
- 1 batch Vegan Italian Dressing*
Other additions (optional):
- Kalamata olives, capers, fresh herbs, vegan feta cheese, roasted red pepper, artichoke hearts, etc.
- Roast veggies: Preheat oven to 400℉ (204℃). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Halve the tomatoes if they are large, otherwise roast them whole. Slice shallot (peel and ends removed). Spread veggies on lined baking sheet. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until tomatoes are shriveled and blistered.
- Cook pasta: Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package instructions, leaving al dente (slightly firm, not mushy).
- Make dressing: While pasta is cooking, make the dressing. (Include the optional hummus for a creamy version, or omit hummus for a thinner, more traditional version.)
- Assemble salad: Roughly chop arugula. Place in a large bowl. When pasta is cooked, drain well and immediately add to bowl. Toss with arugula to slightly wilt. Add roasted tomatoes, shallots, and dressing. (Use as much dressing as desired.) Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm immediately or chilled.
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
Sodium: This is omitted as I cannot provide an accurate number. I encourage you to calculate your own to provide a much more precise reading based on the exact ingredients, brands, and amounts you're using.
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