Tangy Vegetable Pasta Salad

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Tangy Vegetable Pasta Salad made with fresh from the garden or farmers’ market is light and refreshing yet filling any time of the year.

pasta with zucchini, peppers and olives

Tangy Pasta Salad

Pasta salads are the ultimate make-ahead meal. I like to make this for easy lunches and we can eat on it for a few days that way. It will keep nicely in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Many people see pasta salad as a side dish. This version is hearty enough that it is our main dish. Loaded with fresh vegetables and hearty pasta, you really don’t need anything else.

If you just have to have meat with your main dish, add some sliced grilled chicken or even cured meat like dried salami. Both would be delicious additions.

vegetable filled pasta salad in serving bowl with striped towel

Vinaigrette for Pasta Salad

The easy part of this salad is that it kind of makes its own dressing. It is so simple and not at all fussy. Just put the oil and vinegar with the onions and garlic and you are done. It is that simple.

The ingredients for this tangy pasta salad include:

  • mini penne or elbow pasta
  • red onion
  • garlic
  • olive oil
  • red wine vinegar
  • kosher salt 
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • red bell pepper 
  • yellow bell pepper 
  • English cucumber cut
  • canned olives
  • grape tomatoes
  • Italian parsley
white bowl with pasta salad and black and white napkin

Easy Pasta Salad Recipe

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil along with 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain, but do not rinse the pasta.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, place the onions and garlic in a large mixing bowl. Add the olive oil and vinegar to cover the onions. When the pasta has been drained, add it to the mixing bowl and toss well.
  3. Add the bell peppers, olives, tomatoes, and parsley. A vegetable chopper makes quick work of all the vegetables in this salad. Toss everything together to mix well and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Taste the salad and add more salt and pepper, as needed. Serve immediately at room temperature or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Note: Depending on how much you like olives, feel free to use the entire can of olives. Sometimes I use the whole can, sometimes I use half a can and let the kids finish off the rest as a snack.

pasta salad with vinagirette - close up shot

For a few more lighter side dish options, try this corn salad with fresh corn, peppers, and onion in a lime vinaigrette. Or try this spicy cabbage slaw, it’s tangy and a little spicy, it’s great paired with a bbq pork sandwich or burger.

Dill Pickle Potato Salad boasts plenty of tart pickles mixed with a creamy dressing to make this absolutely unforgettable.

pasta with vegetables in white serving bowl

Tangy Vegetable Pasta Salad

Tangy Pasta Salad made with fresh vegetables from the garden or farmers' market is light and refreshing yet filling any time of the year.
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

  • 8 ounces mini penne or elbow pasta
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced and cut into 1-inch pieces about 1/4 cup
  • 4 large cloves garlic minced
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt adjust to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper adjust to taste
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into ½-inch pieces, about 1 cup worth
  • 1 yellow bell pepper cut into ½-inch pieces, about 1 cup worth
  • ½ English cucumber cut into ½-inch pieces, about 1 cup worth
  • cup canned olives, sliced in half about half of a 6-ounce can
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes halved
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil along with 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain, but do not rinse the pasta.
  • While the pasta is cooking, place the onions and garlic in a large mixing bowl. Add the olive oil and vinegar to cover the onions. When the pasta has been drained, add it to the mixing bowl and toss well.
  • Add the bell peppers, olives, tomatoes, and parsley. Toss everything together to mix well and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Taste the salad and add more salt and pepper, as needed. Serve immediately at room temperature or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

Depending on how much you like olives, feel free to use the entire can of olives. Sometimes I use the whole can, sometimes I use half a can and let the kids finish off the rest as a snack.

Nutrition

Calories: 235kcal · Carbohydrates: 26g · Protein: 5g · Fat: 13g · Saturated Fat: 2g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g · Monounsaturated Fat: 9g · Sodium: 472mg · Potassium: 227mg · Fiber: 2g · Sugar: 3g · Vitamin A: 799IU · Vitamin C: 52mg · Calcium: 26mg · Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @bestvegetablerecipes or tag #bestvegetablerecipes!
salad ingredients in bowl

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