This vegan pasta salad is made with rotini pasta dressed in a tangy balsamic vinaigrette and tossed with artichoke hearts, marinated mushrooms, roasted red peppers, olives and herbs!
I was at a barbecue recently where they served an antipasto salad. I was really bummed out because among all the delicious things I love about antipasto, like olives, peppers, artichoke hearts, were pieces of meat and cheese. So I couldn’t try it.
But I got inspired! All those delicious vegan ingredients would be great in a vegan salad — or better yet, a vegan pasta salad.
Let’s face it: pasta salads can be a little boring. Creating a vegan pasta salad in particular requires some special, super flavorful ingredients.
I decided I’d found exactly what I needed to create a vegan pasta salad that everyone (not just vegans) would love!
What You’ll Need
- Dried pasta. I used rotini, but any smallish pasta shape should work just fine. Try penne, elbow macaroni, or orzo!
- Olive oil.
- Balsamic vinegar. Quality matters here. Use a good balsamic that has a thick, syrupy consistency to prevent your dressing from turning out too tart.
- Red wine vinegar.
- Salt & pepper.
- Marinated mushrooms. Look for these in jars near the other marinated veggies (like artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers) at your store. If your supermarket has an olive bar you might find them there as well.
- Kalamata olives. Have another favorite variety of olive? Feel free to substitute it!
- Marinated artichoke hearts. Preferably use quartered ones, though halves work too.
- Roasted red peppers.
- Radicchio. You can substitute red cabbage if your store doesn’t carry this.
- Fresh parsley.
- Fresh basil.
How to Make Vegan Pasta Salad
The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll down if you’d prefer to skip right to the recipe!
- Cook your pasta according to the package directions, then drain it and toss it with a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking.
- Mix up your dressing: whisk olive oil, both vinegars, minced garlic, salt, and pepper together in a small cup or bowl.
- Transfer your cooked pasta to a large bowl and add all of your veggies and herbs: mushrooms, artichoke hearts, olives, roasted red peppers, parsley and basil.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss it well to distribute the ingredients.
- You can serve your pasta salad right away, or cover it up and chill it in the fridge for later.
- Tip: chilling your pasta salad for at least a few hours will give the flavors a chance to meld.
Shelf Life & Storage
Vegan pasta salad should keep in a sealed container in the fridge for about 3 or 4 days. The exact time it keeps will depend on how fresh your herbs are when you make it!
Frequently Asked Questions
Most dried pasta is vegan! There are a few exceptions like egg noodles and some protein added pastas. Always check the ingredients to be safe.
Yup! Just use your favorite gluten-free pasta.
Sure! It’s intended to be served cool, but would be delicious hot as well — you could even make a main dish of it!
More Cool Vegan Side Salads
- Creamy Cucumber Dill Salad
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- Creamy Vegan Macaroni Salad
- Vegan Greek Orzo Salad
- Dijon & Herb Potato Salad
The Best Vegan Pasta Salad
- 8 ounces dried rotini pasta
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¾ cup marinated mushrooms
- ½ cup Kalamata olives
- ½ cup marinated artichoke hearts, quartered
- ½ cup roasted red peppers, chopped
- ½ cup thinly sliced radicchio
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook it according to the package directions.
- Drain the pasta into a colander and transfer it to a large bowl. Toss it with a dash of olive oil to prevent sticking.
- While the pasta cooks, place the oil, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper into a small bowl or shaker. Whisk or shake until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
- Pour the dressing over the pasta, and add the remaining ingredients. Toss until everything is mixed and coated with dressing.
- Taste-test your pasta salad and season it with more salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately or cover tightly and chill for later.