How to Make Quick and Easy Vegan Pasta Salad

Once you learn how to make vegan pasta salad, you'll be throwing together this simple, fresh, flavorful dish all summer.

As temperatures start to rise, we’re adding more quick and easy dishes to our menu. In particular, this vegan pasta salad is bursting with bold flavors thanks to juicy tomatoes, briny olives, crunchy bell pepper and more fresh vegetables. Even if you’re not vegan, you’ll be coming back for seconds!

Learn how to make vegan pasta salad for meal-prepped lunches throughout the week, picnics or any warm weather celebration.

New to a plant-based lifestyle? Try this seven-day vegan meal plan.

How to Make Vegan Pasta Salad

This pasta salad recipe from Taste of Home reader Melissa Marsh is delicious, with a zippy balsamic vinegar dressing. I made some small changes to make the recipe vegan.

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 16 ounces uncooked spiral pasta
  • 8 ounces cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 6 ounces sliced black olives
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped
  • 1 small bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh basil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions

Step 1: Cook the pasta

Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain, rinse with water and let cool.

Step 2: Combine the vegetables

how to make vegan pasta salad Quick Easy Vegan Pasta SaladJenna Urben for Taste of Home

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, olives, zucchini, bell pepper, red onion and green onion.

Step 3: Make the dressing

To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, basil, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl and set aside.

Step 4: Mix the salad

Stir your cooked pasta into the vegetable mixture, then pour the dressing over everything and toss to coat.

Step 5: Cover and refrigerate

Once the pasta salad is combined, taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

how to make vegan pasta salad How To Make Quick And Easy Vegan Pasta Salad 1Jenna Urben for Taste of Home

Vegan Pasta Salad Variations

This vegan pasta salad is super versatile, so feel free to make it your own. For additional flavor, I love adding a shake or two of nutritional yeast on top of my serving.

You can use any diced vegetables in this recipe, such as:

  • Artichoke hearts
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Chickpeas
  • Cucumber

Can I make this recipe gluten-free?

Yes! This pasta salad recipe can easily be altered to fit many dietary restrictions. If you’re gluten-free, simply use your favorite gluten-free pasta.

Tips for Making Vegan Pasta Salad

Is it OK to make vegan pasta salad the day before?

Healthy pasta salad recipes are perfect for meal prep. Making them ahead of time gives all the flavors a chance to come together. If you decide to add lettuce to your pasta salad, wait until you’re ready to serve to stir it in.

Should you rinse pasta when making vegan pasta salad?

Yes! Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process.

How long should vegan pasta salad sit before serving?

For best results, refrigerate pasta salad for at least 2 hours before serving.

What else should I serve with vegan pasta salad?

You can serve a pasta salad as the main dish or as a side. Try it paired with a veggie burger or buffalo tofu wrap or add it to a buffet alongside vegan macaroni salad.

Looking for more tips and ideas? Check out our guide to making pasta salad!

Up next: Mastering these vegan pasta sauce recipes.

Popular Videos

Jenna Urben
Jenna is a food blogger focused on sharing allergy-friendly recipes. Her favorite ingredients include sweet potatoes, chickpeas and squash.