Easy Vegan Summer Pasta Salad

With a homemade vinaigrette and crisp veggies, this easy cold pasta salad is perfect for summer. Serve with plant-based burgers or on its own.

Kirsten Nunez, MS

By Kirsten Nunez, MS

4 Ratings

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Pasta salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, and olives in a glass bowl.
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

During the warmer months, you can’t go wrong with a satisfying bowl of cold summer pasta salad. It’s the perfect partner for a wide range of meals, from plant-based hot dogs with carrots to lettuce wraps. Plus, you don’t need to turn on the oven to make this simple dish—which is always a win during the summer.

This is one of our favorite vegan pasta salads and it’s so very easy to make. This particular recipe features a homemade vinaigrette, allowing you to control the ingredients and flavors. It’s the best way to ensure your pasta salad is vegan, healthy, and delicious!

Red Wine Vinaigrette

Start by preparing the homemade vinaigrette. It’s a light, simple dressing that works well with a variety of dishes. But if you don’t have time for a homemade dressing, you can also substitute a ready-made Italian dressing.

To make the red wine vinaigrette, you’ll need:

  • olive oil
  • red wine vinegar
  • Dijon mustard
  • maple syrup
  • minced garlic
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • dried oregano

Don’t have red wine veingar on hand? Use baslamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or white vinegar instead.

Combine all the ingredients and whisk well. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors develop.

Whisking vinaigrette dressing in a glass bowl.
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

Pasta Salad

Meanwhile, prepare the pasta salad. You will need:

  • pasta (gluten-free, if necessary)
  • cucumber
  • red onion
  • olives
  • cherry tomatoes (or grape tomatoes)
  • fresh parsley

For this recipe, we used a gluten-free quinoa fusilli by Nature’s Earthly Choice.

Feel free to customize your pasta salad depending on what you have on hand. Crunchy, fresh veggies (like carrots, radishes, and bell-peppers) are excellent options. You can also toss in some fresh greens.

Dice (or slice) the vegetables into small, bite-sized pieces.

Photo: Kirsten Nunez

Cook the pasta according to the package’s directions. Drain, then let cool completely.

Photo: Kirsten Nunez

Roughly chop the fresh parsley.

Photo: Kirsten Nunez

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients.

Photo: Kirsten Nunez

Mix until thoroughly combined. Taste and adjust the vinaigrette as necessary. Drizzle over the pasta and toss.

Another option is to serve the dressing in a separate container so guests can add as much (or as little) as they’d like.

If you aren’t serving the pasta salad quite yet, hold off on adding the vinaigrette. Cover the bowl with an air-tight bowl cover (or store it in a covered container) and place in the refrigerator. Pasta salad is best when served chilled, anyway, so this is usually the best approach.

Photo: Kirsten Nunez

When you’re ready to serve the pasta salad, garnish with fresh parsley and dig in.

We hope you enjoy this simple, easy vegan summer pasta salad recipe!

Vegan Summer Pasta Salad

Made with homemade vinaigrette and crisp veggies, this easy cold pasta salad is perfect for summer. Serve with plant-based burgers or on its own.
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4 Ratings
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Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pasta salad
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 398kcal
Author: Kirsten Nunez, MS


Pasta Salad



  • Whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  • Cook the pasta according to the package's directions. Let cool. Roughly chop the fresh parsley. Toss the pasta, parsley, and diced vegetables together.
  • Before serving, drizzle vinaigrette onto the pasta and toss. Garnish with fresh parsley.


Calories: 398kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 587mg | Potassium: 416mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1011IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @CleanGreenSimple or tag #CleanGreenSimple!
Kirsten Nunez, MS

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