An easy veggie pasta salad recipe flavored with a delicious balsamic dressing that uses minimum oil! 20 minutes and a few simple ingredients are all you need to enjoy this great summer salad. Minimum effort, mega taste!
This vegetarian pasta salad recipe is made with whole-grain pasta, fresh feta cheese crumbs, sweet juicy cherry tomatoes, “instant-pickled” onions, olives, walnuts, herbs and a saucy balsamic vinaigrette.
The dressing is where the magic happens. The balsamic vinaigrette is so full of flavor with very few ingredients that you won’t believe you’re eating a healthy vegetarian salad with whole-grains, veggies, olives and nuts. More importantly, this salad is not drenched in oil like most pasta salads. And you won’t need the sugar that most dressings use.
what ingredients can I use for the veggie pasta salad
Carrots, bell peppers (capsicum), cucumber, any salad vegetables lying in your fridge can be used. No walnuts? use almonds. No parsley? Use any fresh herb. No garlic? use garlic powder.
See? You’ll love this pasta salad for being so versatile and forgiving.
A note about Onions: Slice the red onions and submerge in a bowl of water with 1 tablespoon vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt for a minimum of 10 minutes to soften and take the bite out of the raw onions. Tastes even better if you can soak for 30 minutes.
what pasta can I use for the veggie pasta salad recipe?
I’ve used whole grain rotini here (with a handful of tricolor rotini for a pop of color). The sauce clings on to the crevices that hold the sauce well and don’t dry out easily.
what do you need for a balsamic vinaigrette recipe?
(full printable recipe at the end of the post)
balsamic vinegar – for the characteristic flavor boost
extra virgin olive oil – same quantity as the vinegar
dried Italian mixed herbs – can be substituted with oregano, basil and optional chili flakes
garlic – can be substituted with garlic powder
salt and pepper – Himalayan pink salt.
tips to make the best veggie pasta salad
- Using Himalayan pink salt gives an edge to the balsamic vinaigrette in terms of taste.
- Soaking the red onion slices with vinegar and salt gives a kind of instant pickled effect.
- There’s already a lot of flavors so you won’t really need sugar in this balsamic dressing recipe.
- Whole-grain pasta is so satisfying that you can have this pasta salad as a vegetarian main meal. Think mid-week meatless meals or work-from-home quick lunch. So HEALTHY, so TASTY!
If this pasta salad is a winner, you may also like the pasta salad with mint yogurt dressing.
Have you tried the creamy pasta with chickpeas and spinach?
I would love to hear how this pasta salad turned out for you. Please share your comments below: