This easy Vegan Italian-style Pasta Salad combines curly pasta, crunchy vegetables, and fresh herbs. Then it is tossed in a zesty oil-free Italian-inspired dressing. Great make-ahead dish for lunches, picnics, potlucks, etc.
This easy vegan Italian-style Pasta Salad is a tasty, satisfying dish filled with flavor.
Tender curly pasta is combined with crunchy vegetables and fresh herbs. Then it is tossed in a flavorful, zesty, oil-free Italian-inspired dressing.
Plus it only takes 30 minutes to prepare.
It is a great light lunch, or also works well as a side dish for gatherings, BBQs, potlucks, etc.
Ingredients for Vegan Pasta Salad
For this recipe you will need:
- Fusilli pasta: Also known as rotini pasta. Or substitute another shape like penne, farfalle, etc. I use a gluten-free brown rice & quinoa blend.
- Grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
- Cucumber: I use English/hothouse cucumbers because they are more flavorful. However seedless garden cucumbers work too.
- Red onion
- Olives: I use Kalamata olives but black olives would be great too.
- Fresh parsley
- Red wine vinegar
- Fresh lemon juice
- Nutritional yeast: This adds a slightly cheesy, savory flavor to the dressing.
- Garlic cloves
- Dijon mustard
- Italian seasoning: Or other herbs of choice.
This is a great recipe to customize based on the flavors and tastes you enjoy. A few suggestions include:
Vegetables: Add other veggies such as artichokes, green bell pepper, broccoli, roasted red pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, etc.
Herbs: Change up the taste with dried oregano, basil, etc.
Vegan cheese: Add more flavor with Miyoko's mozzarella cheese or vegan parmesan cheese.
Serving + Storing
I have found there is a bit of a "sweet spot" in the serving time. We enjoy it best a few hours after chilling but within a day.
Otherwise our gluten-free pasta starts to dry out as the dressing absorbs.
However, you could simply store the dressing and salad separately in the fridge. Then toss together as needed right before serving.
For more inspiration, also browse all oil-free recipes.
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 parmesan, vegan mozzarella cubes
For the Italian-style dressing:
- 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon, or less)
- 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 (slightly firm, not mushy). Drain and rinse with cold water when finished.
- Meanwhile, prepare veggies: Quarter/halve tomatoes, dice cucumber, 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.
- Add cooked pasta to bowl with veggies. Then add dressing 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.)
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
If you are enjoying this oil-free vegan pasta salad recipe, also check out: