This easy and delicious fresh vegetable pasta salad is a lighter and healthier option and is packed full of fresh vegetables and whole wheat rotini pasta drizzled with italian seasoning and garlic infused olive oil.
Normally, pasta for me normally ends up being an overindulgent meal, but this pasta salad is much lighter and more nutritious. I love this pasta salad because it’s a perfect alternative when I just REALLY want pasta, but I’m still trying to keep it healthy. This vegetable pasta salad is particularly perfect for taking lunch to work. If you need inspiration for a veggie meal that doesn’t include pasta, try this Grilled Vegetable Sandwich with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus.
What can I put in my pasta salad?
Anything you like! That’s the best part. You can use as many or as little vegetables as you like for your pasta salad. I chose to use:
- yellow squash
- orange bell pepper
- grape tomatoes
- purple onion
One thing to keep in mind when you decide to cook your vegetables is the order in which to cook them.
For example, broccoli takes much longer than the tomatoes, so those need to be added to the hot oil much sooner. I added the bell peppers and onions first because I wanted them to be cooked soft. If you like yours crunchy or even raw, add them last! The possibilities with a vegetable pasta salad such as this is very flexible.
What kind of dressing can I use?
I wanted to keep this pasta salad light in taste and ingredients. So I just infused some olive oil with italian seasoning and garlic. Heat it on a lower temperature and let those flavors marinate into the olive oil so that when you pour it over your pasta salad, those flavors will mix throughout the vegetables and the pasta.
Is this vegetable pasta salad vegan?
This vegetable pasta salad in the way that I prepared it was not vegan because I decided to add feta cheese. You can leave off the cheese and it will then be a vegan pasta salad recipe.
What kind of pasta should I use?
Again, you can use whatever you like. I recommend using whole wheat rotini. The taste of whole wheat pasta is great, and bonus, it’s healthier than white pasta.
I think the rotini pasta works great for this pasta salad because I find that the spiral pasta really hangs onto the dressing well.
That’s really pretty much it for this one! Super easy, nutritious, and delicious! Versatile and flexible, this pasta salad is a tasty light meal, perfect for the springtime!
Looking for a heartier and more indulgent pasta dish? Try this Shrimp and Scallop Pasta in White Wine Cream Sauce or this Cajun Chicken Pasta.
Fresh Vegetable Pasta Salad
- 8 ounces whole wheat rotini pasta
- 1 cup broccoli
- 1/2 chopped zucchini about 1 cup
- 1/2 chopped yellow squash about 1 cup
- 1/2 orange bell pepper chopped
- 1/4 cup red onion diced
- 1/2 cup grape tomatos halved
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp italian seasoning
- 3-4 garlic cloves minced
- Boil water. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, do not rinse.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of Add bell peppers and onions. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Add broccoli, squash, and zucchini. When those begin to soften, add tomatoes.
- Remove from pan. Heat the remaining three tablespoons of olive oil with the italian seasoning and garlic over med-low heat. After about 3 minutes, add cooked pasta and toss. Return vegetables to the pan and toss.
- Serve. Top with feta cheese if desired.