This Easy Vegan Pasta Salad comes together so quickly. It’s perfect when you need a healthy and tasty dish to bring to a cookout, BBQ, or potluck. It can be made ahead of time for a fast and delicious gluten-free dinner or lunch.
Summer is the time for relaxing, hanging out with family & friends, and outdoor eating. One of my favorite things to bring to potlucks, barbecues, potlucks, and cookouts are pasta salads. My Vegan Ranch Pasta Salad and Healthy Ramen Noodle Salad are two of my most popular recipes.
Pasta salads are great to bring to get-togethers for a few reasons:
- To make sure you have something to eat (some events don’t always have much in the way of plant-based food)
- Pasta salads can be easy or made ahead of time so you’re not rushing the day of the event
- You can control what you put in the pasta salad so you know you have something healthy to eat
Today I’m sharing another easy vegan pasta salad with you that I think you’ll also love.
Easy Vegan Pasta Salad
This easy vegan pasta salad is simple and delicious.
This dish came together really out of necessity. I had a BBQ one day last summer and I put off making the food I was bringing until last minute. I realized too late that I didn’t have all the ingredients I needed for the meal I was going to make so I had to think quickly.
Quick needed to be the name of my game that day so I used what was on hand. I luckily had spinach, chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and kalamata olives (some of my staples- all which paired very nicely).
I made sure this vegan pasta salad was easy to put together becasue I was in a rush. It took me about 15-20 minutes in total from start to finish (including cooking the pasta).
And guess what? Everyone enjoyed it!
I love that this pasta salad can be made ahead of time too. This way you don’t have to be running around the day of the get-together freaking out that whatever you’re bringing is going to take 2 hours to make (like I did).
Healthy Pasta Salad
I feel like some pasta salads add too much oil and have too little substance besides pasta. This recipe only uses a few tablespoons of oil for the whole dish.
However, since I’m not using a highly processed vegetable oil feel free to add a little more if you want because extra virgin olive oil is heart healthy. Check out my Fats: the good, the bad, and the in-between post for more info on healthy fats!
I included chickpeas for an extra kick of protein. Chickpeas also contain fiber, iron, vitamin B6, and important electrolytes like magnesium and potassium.
The olives and sun-dried tomatoes add flavor as well as some healthy fat, vitamin C, and beta-carotene.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do and have a wonderful holiday weekend!
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Easy Vegan Pasta Salad
This Easy Vegan Pasta Salad comes together so quickly. It's perfect when you need a healthy and tasty dish to bring to a cookout, BBQ, or potluck. It can be made ahead of time for a fast and delicious gluten-free dinner or lunch.
- 8 oz gluten free pasta (or regular pasta if not gluten-free)
- 2.5 cups spinach (feel free to add more!)
- 2-3 TB vegetable broth
- 15 oz can chickpeas
- 10 - 12 sun-dried tomatoes soaked in hot water for 5 mins if too hard
- .25 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1/3 cup kalamata or black olives chopped
- 1 Tsp garlic powder
- 1 Tsp onion powder
- 3 TB olive oil (more if needed - evoo is heart healthy!)
- 1 lemon juiced
Cook pasta to package directions.
While pasta is cooking, add a few tablespoons of veggie broth or water to large pan/skillet . Add the spinach and cook until just wilted.
Put sun-dried tomatoes and basil in food processor and pulse till chopped. You don't want to do it too much to make it into a paste, you just want it chopped.
Drain and rinse chickpeas and put in large bowl along with the cooked spinach, olives, and sun-dried tomato/basil mixture.
When pasta is done rinse with cold water and add to the bowl along with the rest of the ingredients.
Season with salt and pepper.
The salad will keep in the fridge for 3-5 days.
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Mary Ellen Valverde MS, CNS, LDN is a licensed nutritionist and Certified Nutrition Specialist helping clients regain their energy, confidence and health through a plant-based diet. She received her master’s degree in nutrition from the University of Bridgeport and completed her nutrition residency at the functional medicine clinic of Dr. Kara Fitzgerald.