An easy Vegan Pasta Salad with olives, cherry tomatoes, and red onions all tossed in a Red Wine Vinaigrette for a quick and simple 20-minute meal.
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If you haven’t already noticed, I’ve been dishing out the summer recipes recently. First, there were these BBQ Jackfruit Sliders. Then I shared my recipe for my Hawaiian Teriyaki Tofu Skewers followed immediately by this Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream.
I mean, we could just about have a proper summer potluck here.
But what’s a summer potluck without a good old fashion pasta salad? Creamy, zesty, and crunchy, this is the ultimate summer comfort food.
This is my go-to vegan pasta salad and I think you’re gonna love it.
Recommended Ingredients & Equipment
As you can imagine, this recipe is super simple to make. It just requires preparing your vegetables, making your salad dressing, and cooking your noodles. Now that’s easy!
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Pasta – For this pasta salad, I use rotini noodles, but really any type of vegan pasta noodle will do.
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Black Olives
- Red Onions
- Vegan Mozzarella – I recommend Miyoko’s Mozzarella Cheese. Miyoko’s products are among the best plant-based cheese I have ever had. Not only is the taste and texture superior to most other vegan cheese on the market, but the products are also made with whole, plant-based foods. You can find their cheeses at natural grocery stores, online, and at Whole Foods. If you have another vegan mozzarella cheese you like, please use it. Or, you can omit the cheese altogether if you are truly not a fan of plant-based cheeses.
- Fresh Parsley
- Red Wine Vinaigrette – An easy combination of red wine vinegar, olive oil, maple syrup, salt, and pepper.
Check out the full list of my recommended kitchen tools and gadgets.
How to Make Vegan Pasta Salad
Step One – Cook the Pasta
To cook the pasta, bring a large pot of water to boil. Once boiling, stir in the pasta with a pinch of salt. Let it boil for about 12 minutes (this will vary slightly depending on the type of pasta you use). Once the pasta is sticky and al dente, quickly strain it through a colander.
Step Two – Make the Dressing
Place all the ingredients in a small blender and blend until the salad dressing is completely smooth. Set aside.
Pro Tip: It is best to toss the pasta in the vinaigrette as soon as the noodles are strained and rinsed in cold water. The oil in the dressing prevents the pasta from clumping together as it cools.
Step Three – Prep the Veggies
Next prepare all your vegetables. Half the tomatoes and olives, chop the onions, mince the parsley, and cube the vegan cheese.
Toss everything together and place in the refrigerator until chilled all the way through, at least 1 hour.
Serving and Storing
Let the salad chill in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours before serving. This allows the salad to chill all the way through while letting the flavors of the vinaigrette absorb into the noodles.
Store leftover salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Tips and Tricks
- Strain the noodles when they are al dente. That means they still have a subtle bite to them. If the noodles are too soft, they will fall apart when mixed with the vegetables and salad dressing.
- It is best to toss the pasta in the vinaigrette as soon as the noodles are strained and rinsed in cold water. The oil in the dressing prevents the pasta from clumping together as it cools. Once the dressing is mixed into the pasta, you can take your time when adding the remaining ingredients.
- This salad is wildly versatile. Feel free to swap herbs and veggies as you please.
More Pasta Salad Recipes
- Vegan Pesto Pasta with Summer Squash
- Classic Macaroni Salad
- Cucumber Lemon Orzo Salad
- Vegan Caprese Pasta Salad
Vegan Pasta Salad
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions.
- In a small blender, combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, maple syrup, and salt and pepper. Blend until the olive oil is well incorporated and set aside.
- When pasta is al dente, strain the pasta through a colander and rinse with cold water until the pasta has cooled.
- Transfer to a salad bowl and immediately toss pasta with red wine vinaigrette to avoid pasta from clumping together. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.