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This is the best vegan pasta salad because it is healthy, simple, and so easy to make! In addition, it’s gluten-free, customizable, and perfect for meal-prep or weeknight dinners!
This salad is perfect to enjoy by itself, as a side dish or bring to a potluck because it’s a crowd-pleaser! Light and refreshing for summers but full of flavors.
Since I love eating a big bowl of healthy and hearty salads like my quinoa tabbouleh, white bean salad or Mediterranean quinoa salad, this pasta salad is right up my alley. You can also bring this dish to BBQ’s and pair it with vegan potato salad.
The best part is that this cold pasta salad can be made ahead of time so it’s great for weekly meal prep. The easy and light dressing makes this dish healthy and also quick.
Before we jump into the recipe, let’s talk about how you can customize it and learn some tips.
How to make Vegan Pasta Salad
To keep this salad gluten-free, I use gluten-free pasta but you can sub for regular if you like. Also, any kind of pasta works such as elbow, rotini, bow-ties, or penne.
Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)
Adding garbanzo beans to this salad makes it very filling and also adds protein. But you can use white beans such as navy or cannellini instead.
Roasted Red Peppers (Sub for Bell Peppers)
Roasted red peppers give this vegan pasta salad so much flavor and also add a great texture. But you can sub for chopped bell peppers for more of a crunch if you prefer.
Tomatoes have that juicy flavor and a fresh taste but you can sub for sun-dried tomatoes. You can also use any kind you like such as roma, grape, or heirloom.
Kalamata Olives and Artichoke hearts
I love olives because they are salty and delicious. You can find affordable olives at Costco and also use green olives if you prefer.
I also added some artichoke hearts from a jar for more texture and flavor. But you can omit it if you like.
For salads, I always prefer to use red onions because I find they hold up well and taste great. You can also use white and yellow onions or try adding green onions (scallions).
Fresh parsley gives this salad a very unique taste but you can sub for cilantro. You can also add fresh basil if you want.
Pasta Salad Dressing
My go-to salad dressing for this vegan salad is a combination of olive oil, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, red wine vinegar, brown mustard, salt, and red pepper flakes. But you can play around and with the flavors and always adjust to taste.
How to make it
This recipe is very easy to make so it will become your go-to lunch or dinner!
- First, you will need to cook the pasta according to package directions.
- While it is cooking, you can chop up all the veggies into small pieces.
- And then make the dressing by mixing the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
- Now, you can add the pasta and all the veggies into a large mixing bowl.
- Last, add the dressing to the bowl and mix well. That’s it!
Tips & Variations
- You can make it creamy by adding avocado also use no oil. But keep in mind, it won’t last as long in the fridge if it has avocado in it.
- Try adding vegan feta cheese for a Mediterranean Pasta Salad.
- Garbanzo beans add protein but change it up and use white beans such as navy or cannellini.
- Change up the veggies and add zucchini, carrots, broccoli or cucumbers.
- Always adjust to taste, add more salt if needed!
Do you eat Vegan Pasta Salad warm or cold?
You can really choose if you want to eat this salad warm or cold but I suggest resting it in the fridge for 15 minutes and eating it cold. The flavors will marinate and will taste better. You don’t want to warm up the salad because there are fresh veggies. But if you want to add the pasta while it’s warm, you will have a warmer salad.
What kind of pasta do you use for cold pasta salad?
You can use any short style pasta, such as fusilli, rotini, penne, bow ties, and elbow. You can also whole grain pasta or use gluten-free if you prefer.
How long does it last in the fridge?
You can store this salad covered, in the fridge for up to 5 days. But make sure to toss the salad before eating it.
This healthy recipe comes together so fast and it is very easy and versatile. It is also:
- Vegan & Gluten-free
- Simple & Filling
- Flavorful & Healthy
- Perfect for meal prep or weeknight dinners
- Also so delicious!
MORE plant-based pasta recipes to try
- MEATBALLS RECIPE (GLUTEN-FREE & EASY)
- LENTIL BOLOGNESE (VEGAN & GLUTEN-FREE)
- MAC AND CHEESE RECIPE (EASY & GLUTEN-FREE)
- VEGAN LEMON PASTA
- MUSHROOM PASTA
- ONE POT PASTA
- BAKED ZITI
So, did you make this? I’d love for you to leave a comment and rate the recipe. You can also share your photo of the recipe on Pinterest and tag me on Instagram using @avocadocentric or #avocadocentric! xo, SelinPrint
This is the best vegan pasta salad because it is healthy, simple, and easy to make! It’s gluten-free, customizable, and perfect for meal-prep or weeknight dinners!
- 1 box (12 oz) pasta (gluten-free if preferred)
- 1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans (rinsed and drained)
- 1 cup roasted red peppers (chopped-sub for bell peppers)
- 1 and 1/2 grape tomatoes (sliced in half)
- 1/2 red onion (chopped)
- 1/2 cup black olives (chopped)
- 1/4 cup canned artichoke hearts (chopped)
- 1/4 cup loosely packed parsley (chopped-sub for cilantro)
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar (sub for apple cider vinegar)
- 1 tbs brown or dijon mustard
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning (sub for dried basil or oregano)
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and rinse until cold water.
- While pasta is cooking, chop the vegetables. In a small bowl, make the dressing by adding olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, mustard, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt and mix well.
- In a large bowl, add the cooked pasta, garbanzo beans, and chopped vegetables. Pour over the dressing and mix well.
- Serve at room temperature or keep in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
Make it creamy by adding avocado also use no oil. But it won’t last as long in the fridge if it has avocado in it.
Add vegan feta cheese for a Mediterranean Pasta Salad.
Use white beans such as navy or cannellini instead of garbanzo beans.
Add zucchini, carrots, broccoli or cucumbers.
Always adjust to taste, add more salt if needed!
- Serving Size: 6
- Calories: 393
- Sugar: 6.1g
- Sodium: 557.1mg
- Fat: 12.7g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 58.7g
- Fiber: 6.6g
- Protein: 11.6g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: vegan pasta salad, pasta salad, cold pasta salad