Balsamic Veggie Pasta Salad

 

I’m such a sucker for a good pasta salad. But it has to be a certain kind of pasta salad— and I’m definitely not talking about that mayonnaise-y kind. Fresh herbs, crunchy veggies, and perfectly cooked pasta smothered in delicious olive oil and spices. Yeah, that’s my kind of pasta salad.

And that’s exactly what I’ve whipped up for you today.

 

Balsamic Veggie Pasta Salad // pumpkin & peanut butter

 

I think pasta salads are best made with a few simple ingredients. Nothing extravagant or too time consuming. Simple, light, and tasty.

The beauty of this recipe is that the whole thing can be whipped up in a mere 20 minutes, AND you probably have most of the ingredients already in your house. Whole wheat pasta mixed with crunchy veggies, creamy avocado, fresh basil, and a sweet and savory balsamic vinaigrette— sign me up! The flavors meld together beautifully and only get better over time (if there are even leftovers to begin with).

 

Balsamic Veggie Pasta Salad // pumpkin & peanut butter

Balsamic Veggie Pasta Salad // pumpkin & peanut butter

 

This salad makes a great picnic or BBQ side dish, especially because it can be made the night before and refrigerated until the guests arrive. I used whole wheat pasta for mine because I like that nuttier taste, but feel free to use normal white pasta or even gluten free pasta. I have tried this with brown rice pasta before and found it’s best to eat it right away. For some reason, the brown rice pasta doesn’t refrigerate very well and starts to get kind of hard. If you find any other gluten free pastas that work well, let me know in the comments!

 

Balsamic Veggie Pasta Salad // pumpkin & peanut butter

Balsamic Veggie Pasta Salad

Serves 4
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 25 minutes
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish, Salad, Side Dish

Ingredients

  • 8 oz whole wheat fusilli (or pasta of choice)
  • 10 stalks of asparagus, cut into 2
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 large avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon agave
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped

Note

Feel free to make this gluten free by using brown rice or quinoa pasta. I suggest you make and eat it that day if using these pastas, as they tend to get hard overnight.

Directions

Step 1
Begin by boiling a large pot of water with a pinch of salt. Add in the pasta and cook according to package.
Step 2
In the meantime, fill a second small pot with water and steam the asparagus for 5 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside. You can chop the tomatoes, basil, and avocado while this is steaming.
Step 3
When the pasta is cooked, drain it and place it in a large bowl. Top it with the veggies, then lightly toss to mix the pasta and veggies together.
Step 4
Prepare the dressing by whisking the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and agave together in a bowl. Pour the dressing over the pasta and veggies, then toss to coat everything! Add a bit more salt and pepper if you'd like.

pumpkinandpb

Hi, I’m Liz and this is my food blog where I share my love of healthy foods and whole ingredients. You will find mostly vegetarian dishes, plenty of sweets, and lots of love from this little kitchen in Durham, North Carolina!

9 Comments

    • Thanks Chelsea! It’s such a simple and delicious pasta salad— and of course the basil seriously MAKES the dish!

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