This Vegan Pasta Salad is loaded with pasta shells, chickpeas, kalamata olives, and veggies all tossed in tangy homemade red wine vinaigrette. It’s fresh, easy to make, and healthy!
This vegan pasta salad is so simple and made up of the freshest ingredients!
- Pasta – cooked al dente according to package directions. You can use any small pasta shape you like. I used medium shells.
- Chickpeas – adds a nutty, earthy flavor that pairs deliciously with the brighter flavors from the veggies.
- Red Onion, Red Pepper, Green Pepper, and Cucumber – a fresh, flavorful, and colorful blend of veggies.
- Kalamata Olives – add a distinctive bright, salty flavor to the pasta salad.
- Cilantro and Basil – gives the pasta salad another layer of earthy freshness.
- Red Wine Vinaigrette – you’ll need two batches to fully cover the pasta salad.
How to make
Pasta salad is one of my favorite side dishes because you literally just throw everything in a bowl, mix it up, and let it sit in the fridge until you’re ready to eat it!
- Place cooked pasta, chickpeas, onion, peppers, cucumber, olives, cilantro, and basil into a large bowl then stir to combined.
- Toss with desired amount of vinaigrette then cover and chill in the fridge until cold before serving.
What pasta to use
I use medium shells but really any small pasta shape will work. Try fusilli, rotini, penne, bow ties, elbows, etc.
You can also use whole grain or gluten-free pasta if necessary!
Do you rinse the pasta?
Yes! Rinsing the pasta with cold water before you incorporate it into the salad stops the noodles from continuing to cook. This is important since you want them to be al dente!
It also helps bring the temperature down which is great since pasta salad is served cold anyway.
This vegan pasta salad is so good as is but you can absolutely customize it to fit your tastes!
- Add other veggies. Try broccoli, shredded carrots, grape tomatoes, etc. Make sure you cut them all pretty small so they incorporate well into the rest of the pasta salad.
- Make it meaty. Toss in some diced ham bacon, or shredded chicken.
- Add cheese. A sprinkle of feta cheese would be delicious if your pasta salad doesn’t have to be vegan. You can also use vegan feta if preferred.
- Add raisins. Mix in a handful of golden raisins for sweet flavor and chewy texture.
What to serve with vegan pasta salad
This vegan pasta salad is the perfect Summer side dish next to other delicious Summery dishes!
Can vegan pasta salad be made ahead of time?
Heck yes! In fact, it’s actually better made ahead of time since the dressing has time to really soak in to the veggies. This makes them more tender and more flavorful!
I recommend making the pasta salad the day before you’re going to serve it and letting it sit in the fridge for up to 24 hours!
how to store
Leftover vegan pasta salad will last in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
I don’t recommend freezing it because the texture will be greatly affected.
Vegan Pasta Salad
Equipment for this recipe
- 1 (16 oz) box pasta cooked al denté according to package directions (I used medium shells)
- 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas drained
- 1 small red onion finely diced
- 1 red pepper diced
- 1 green pepper diced
- 1/2 cucumber diced
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives drained and chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- 1/4 cup basil chopped
- 2 batches red wine vinaigrette made according to recipe directions
- Place pasta, chickpeas, onion, peppers, cucumber, olives, cilantro, and basil into a large bowl.
- Stir to combine.
- Toss with desired amount of vinaigrette (I used the full 2 batches).
- Cover and chill in the fridge until cold.
- Taste and re-season, if necessary, then serve and enjoy!
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*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.