Vegan Pasta Salad Recipe — Best Italian Inspired!

This Best Easy Italian Vegan Pasta Salad Recipe is full of healthy ingredients! This vegetarian pasta salad is full of flavor and yet so simple to make. It’s a perfect vegan side dish. Cold pasta recipes make for easy vegetarian meals! Serve this classic pasta cold or heated with vegan parmesan. Make this pasta recipe with Italian salad dressing or balsamic vinegar.

A bowl of pasta salad featuring black olives and broccoli sits in front of another bowl.

Pasta salad recipes are great all-year side dishes! However, I love serving salad recipes in the summer months when you want to keep recipes quick and easy.

This Italian pasta salad recipe uses gluten-free pasta to make this vegetarian pasta salad recipe perfect for just about anyone. Besides, there are so many great gluten-free pastas these days.

I recommend a rotini because it has lots of places to capture the classic pasta salad dressing that serves as a marinade for this salad.

How to Make Easy Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing

You’ll need these Ingredients to make this easy pasta salad recipe:

  • rotini pasta uncooked*
  • fresh broccoli, cut into tiny florets
  • cauliflower, cut into tiny florets
  • green onion, chopped
  • sliced black olives
  • your favorite dairy-free Italian Vinaigrette or Dressing*

*Use gluten-free pasta & dressing to make this a Celiac-friendly meal.

Follow these directions:

Cook pasta according to package directions. In the meantime prepare broccoli and cauliflower florets, and chop the green onions and black olives.

When the pasta is done, pour it into a strainer over the sink. Rinse the pasta for just a second or two in cold water. Then place the pasta, broccoli/cauliflower florets and chopped green onions in a large bowl.

Stir the ingredients together to allow the broccoli and cauliflower to soften a little bit from the heat of the pasta. Let that sit for about 10 minutes or so until the pasta has cooled.

A hand holds a measuring cup pouring dressing over pasta salad.

Add the black olives and Italian dressing, stir until everything is combined. Allow it to sit in the fridge for 30- minutes to an hour. acquainted and then enjoy!

Expert Tips

Use these expert tips to make this pasta salad perfect every time!

  • Do not overcook the pasta. Al dente is perfect for pasta salad.
  • I use fresh broccoli and cauliflower florets, but you can use frozen
  • Use gluten-free pasta to make this a gluten-free pasta salad
  • Add a tablespoon of balsamic vinaigrette for added flavor
  • The best pasta for pasta salad has surface area and crinkles to trap the dressing. I like using rotini, but other shapes like penne work too.
  • For a creamy pasta salad, mix the Italian dressing with a tablespoon or two of vegan mayo before combining with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Pasta salad will last 5 – 7 days if covered and stored in the refrigerator.
  • Add even more flavor with some vegan pesto
  • To transform this to a dinner recipe, add some vegan Italian sausage slices or some vegetarian pepperoni
  • Looking for pasta salad ideas? Consider adding any of the these: small cubes of vegan mozzarella cheese, vegan parmesan sprinkles, cherry tomatoes, chopped red bell peppers, edamame beans, and more!

How many calories in pasta salad?

Assuming six servings of rotini pasta salad per batch, each serving contains an estimate of 117 calories per serving.

To transform this into a low-carb pasta salad, use low-carb noodles (such as Explore Foods Noodles) and use a sugar free Italian dressing.

Can you heat up cold pasta salad?

You can put vegan pasta salads in the fridge for an hour or so and serve them cold. Or you can add some steamed broccoli with vegan parmesan sprinkled on top and serve it warm. It’s a tasty dish either way.

Love Vegan Italian Pasta Recipes?

Be sure and give these delicious vegan Italian pasta dishes a spin:

Looking down on a bowl full of pasta salad, showing rotini noodles, broccoli, cauliflower, and black olives.

I hope you love this recipe as we do! Have you tried it? Be sure and leave a comment and a rating of this recipe below and then take a quick photo and share it with me using #namelymarly on Instagram. I love seeing your creations!

Looking down on a bowl full of pasta salad, showing rotini noodles, broccoli, cauliflower, and black olives.

Easy Pasta Salad

Easy Pasta Salad mades a perfect side dish. Serve it as a summer salad or any time of the year!
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Vegan Pasta Salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 117kcal
Author: Marly


  • 2 cups multi-colored rotini pasta uncooked (see note)
  • 1 cup fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 cup fresh cauliflower florets
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/4 cup dairy-free Italian dressing (see note)


  • Bring 3 cups of water to a boil, add pasta, and boil for 8 minutes.
  • In the meantime prepare the broccoli and cauliflower florets, and chop/slice onions and black olives. Place these in a serving/storing dish.
  • When the pasta is done, pour it into a strainer over the sink to remove water.
  • Rinse the pasta for a second or two. Pour hot pasta over broccoli/cauliflower florets and chopped onions. Stir the ingredients together and cover to allow the heat from the pasta to steam the broccoli, cauliflower, and onions. Let that sit for about 10 minutes or so until the pasta has cooled.
  • Add the black olives and Italian dressing, stir until everything is well coated. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour before serving.


*Use gluten-free pasta & dressing to make this a gluten-free pasta dish.
I recommend using fresh broccoli and cauliflower, but you can use frozen.
Rotini pasta is perfect for pasta salad because it traps the dressing in the folds.
Use a low-carb pasta and a no-sugar added Italian vinaigrette to make this into a low carb side dish.
Nutrition Facts
Easy Pasta Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 117 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Sodium 196mg8%
Potassium 160mg5%
Carbohydrates 18g6%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 115IU2%
Vitamin C 22mg27%
Calcium 18mg2%
Iron 0.4mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.


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6 Responses to Vegan Pasta Salad Recipe — Best Italian Inspired!

    • Ahh, thanks, Kiran! I was surprised after not hearing their music for several years, I could still recite most of the lyrics. Well, except for that one line in Stayin’ Alive…”It’s ok, you may look the other way. We can try to understand or…”

      What the heck are they saying there? I just make stuff up and sing along! I’m sure it sounds really goofy because my family looks at me like I fell of an asteroid captured by the earth’s orbit.

  1. Just found you blog. Love it!

    Very pretty wedding pictures and your pasta salad looks great and easy… Right down my alley!

  2. Oh what a lovely wedding so solemnly elegant. Thank you for posting the cute salad pictures. It’s simple yet very elegant in doiley, very luscious, healthy and full of inspiration. Lucky nephew he’s got a wonderful Aunt.


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