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Quick & Easy Vegan Pasta Salad

Vegan Pasta Salad is an easy recipe to whip up using a handful of ingredients tossed with a simple vinaigrette. It’s customizable, can be made ahead of time, and of course – we think it’s absolutely delicious!

top down view of a serving of easy vegan pasta in a bowl with fork and red and white checked napkin.

This cold pasta salad recipe will be a welcome addition to your meal rotation during the summer months when temperatures rise and you want a quick and healthy meal without any fuss.

Full of freshness and simple to make, this is my go-to easy pasta salad recipe for potlucks and gatherings. It beats store-bought every time!

Why We Love This Recipe!

  • Quick and healthy! This vegan pasta salad is a simple side or main dish made with mostly fresh ingredients and contains no preservatives. It only takes 15 minutes to throw together, but I do recommend chilling in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving to give the flavors a chance to come together.
  • Easy to customize. Change up the veggies as noted below. You can make it even simpler by using a store-bought dressing, but homemade IS the way to go. You may even like to try this homemade Flax & Evo Balsamic Vinaigrette!
  • Can be made in advance. This chilled pasta salad can be made ahead of time and is perfect for potlucks, picnics, and BBQs. And it’s great for weekly meal prep too!
top down view of large mixing bowl with individual ingredients for vegan pasta salad added.
Vegan Pasta Salad ingredients include: pasta, chickpeas, olives, bell pepper, red onion, tomatoes, parsley, olive oil, vinegar, oregano, garlic powder, lemon, salt + pepper.

Ingredient Notes

In this recipe, cooked pasta is tossed with fresh veggies and a delicious homemade vinaigrette, creating a tasty pasta salad everyone will love!

Here is everything you will need:

  • Pasta – Any type of small pasta will work. We recommend using any of these commonly found pasta: rotini, penne, bow ties, or elbow. Feel free to play around with other types of small pasta.
  • Chickpeas – For added protein and texture, these neutral-flavored little beans are a healthy addition to this pasta salad. If you’re not a fan of chickpeas, feel free to omit them.
  • Vegetables – We love a mix of olives, green bell pepper, red onion, and cherry tomatoes. It’s a nice combination of fresh veggies, adding taste, texture, and color!
  • Dressing – The pasta salad vinaigrette is naturally vegan, using everyday, simple ingredients that will add wonderful flavor to the finished recipe. It’s a mix of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, oregano, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, lemon, salt and pepper.
side angle view of ingredients for vegan pasta salad added to a large mixing bowl and dressing being poured overtop.

How To Make Vegan Pasta Salad

Making pasta salad is easy as 1 – 2 – 3…

  1. Start by cooking the pasta, following the package direction for al dent. Drain and rinse the pasta under cool running water.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, mix the dressing and prep the veggies and chickpeas.
  3. To assemble the pasta salad, add the pasta, and colorful veggies to a large serving bowl (or the pot the pasta was cooked in), pour the dressing over top and mix well to coat.

And that’s it, now you are ready to enjoy!

Serve at room temperature or chilled. For added flavor, try topping with a sprinkle of Almond Parmesan before serving!

top down view of freshly mixed easy vegan pasta salad in a large serving bowl.

Commonly Asked Questions

Can I use a different type of pasta for this cold pasta salad?

Yes, you can use any short-style pasta you have on hand, such as fusilli, rotini, penne, shells, bow ties, and elbow pasta are all great and would work well in this recipe. Whole grain pasta is a healthy choice, and use gluten-free pasta for diet restrictions.

Can I use different veggies?

Yes, feel free to add or swap the veggies to taste. It’s a great way to use up whatever veggies you have in your fridge. I’ve kept it simple, using bell pepper, red onion, cherry tomatoes, and olives. Other diced veggies that work well are:

  • zucchini
  • cucumber
  • pepperoncini
  • green onions
  • broccoli
  • carrots

Can pasta salad be made in advance?

Yes, this pasta salad can be made ahead of time and tastes even better after it’s been refrigerated. You just may want to add a little extra dressing. The pasta will soak it up. This is why I love to have extra lemons on hand to squeeze over top, adding a nice lemony flavor. If taking it to get-togethers, I would suggest making it no more than 24 hours in advance for the best quality.

Storage Tips

How Long Is Pasta Salad Good For? This cold pasta salad will last in the refrigerator for up to 5 – 6 days if kept tightly sealed in an airtight container. It’s always best to toss the salad before serving.

Meal prep: Meal prep is a breeze with this very forgiving and storable pasta salad. I was able to fill 5 (3-cup) containers with this recipe.

easy vegan pasta salad with lemon slice in individual storage containers for meal prep.

More Pasta Salads You’ll Love!

If you try this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.


Quick + Easy Vegan Pasta Salad

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 12 reviews

The perfect quick and easy pasta salad made from scratch is loaded with veggies, hearty pasta and finished off with a tangy dressing! This is a classic, go-to summer side or main dish that’s 100% vegan.

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 – 6 1x
  • Category: Pasta, Entree, Side
  • Cuisine: Vegan


Units Scale
  • 16 oz. pasta (rotini, penne, bow ties, elbow)
  • 1 can (15oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (6oz) sliced black olives, drained
  • 1 bell pepper (any color), diced
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 8 oz. grape or cherry tomatoes (about 1 1/2 cups), sliced in half
  • 1/2 large cucumber, sliced and quartered (optional)
  • 1/41/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped


  • 34 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (white or red wine vinegar is great too)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (Italian seasoning or Herbs de Provence is ok too)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • generous pinch red pepper flakes
  • generous pinch mineral salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • juice of 1 lemon, optional


Pasta: Cook pasta according to package instructions to al dente. Drain and rinse until cold water.

Assemble: Pour pasta into a bowl, add tomatoes, bell pepper, olives, red onion and parsley. Pour the dressing over top and gently toss to coat.

Serve: Serve at room temperature or keep in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.

Add a sprinkle of almond parmesan for added flavor!

Serves 4 – 6

Store: Keep leftovers in an airtight container for up to 6 days. Give a good toss before serving. Add more vinegar, oil and/or lemon as needed for moisture.


For convenience, use 1/4 – 1/3 cup of your favorite Italian dressing. You may also like to try this Flax & Evo Balsamic Vinaigrette for variation.

Feel free to add or subtract any of the pasta salad ingredients.

Veggie swap – use diced zucchini, cucumber, carrots, broccoli, or green onions.

The chickpeas can be optional, but do add a nice amount of protein, rounding out the nutritional profile and making this a good main dish.

Make ahead: Can be made 1 – 2 days in advance. The pasta may soak up most of the moisture, so you may want to make extra dressing for serving. Or make the components ahead and toss together when ready to serve.

*{Nutrition information includes chickpeas and 3 tablespoons olive oil.}

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  1. Lisa Harris says:

    So delicious and it makes more like 4 servings. It was a little too acidic for me so I added a little salt to the dressing and a little sweet vinegar (mango vinegar from specialty shop). I guess I could have added honey or sugar to cut the acidity. My husband loved this vegetable pasta. I am making it for a meatless potluck meal we are going to.

  2. Delicious vegan pasta salad! It’s a classic and staple around our house.

  3. Excellent! Thank you ❤️

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