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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

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.}

Keywords: vegan pasta salad, pasta salad

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  1. Great recipe that was easy to make.

  2. Delicious I love the taste of all the ingredients. Will definitely make again!

  3. This salad is sooo good and easy to make!

  4. Beth Helmers says:

    Love this! I only had half the pasta but I didn’t halve the rest of the recipe. I’m on a no-added salt or oil diet, so I used a whopping tablespoonful of almond butter in the dressing instead, and the olives gave me enough salt taste. I also used the entire bunch of parsley I had purchased(because too often it goes bad before I’m ready to use the rest). Thanks for such a versatile and delicious recipe!

  5. I have made this recipe a few time to take to potlucks and family get together. I love it because it’s so easy to make ahead, it’s always a hit, and it’s something that I know I can eat at a potluck and not feel like I’m missing out. I usually make it a day in advance and make extra dressing to add to it the day of serving. Thank you so much for this recipe!

  6. I made this recipe with glutenfree pasta. It was so fresh and delicious.
    I will definitely make it again.

  7. Can I make this today and use it for tomorrow? Or what do you recommend?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yes, this is a great pasta salad for making ahead!

  8. Rosemary Rowe says:

    I absolutely love this! It was so tasty – the vinaigrette made it for me… I cheated and added gherkins and chickpeas, plus a tsp of nutritional yeast and some chia seeds!
    Your blog has made me very popular with my vegan adult kids, lol!

  9. This was so good!! So much flavor. Where are your bowls from? So cute!

    1. The one in the first photo :)

    2. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Thanks for sharing, Emma! The bowl was gifted to me a few years ago. I love it so much! It’s made by Colleen Hennessey, you can find her pottery shop online. Happy everything :)

  10. How much parsley do you use? The ingredient list doesn’t specify. Thank you in advance! We can’t wait to try this recipe :)

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Use 1/4 – 1/2 cup parsley, use whatever amount you prefer. I love parsley and would use 1/2 cup rough chopped. If you finely chop it, maybe 1/4 cup is good. Thank you so much for pointing that out, I can’t believe I forgot it. I’ve updated the recipe to show the amount. Enjoy, it’s so delicious!

      1. Thank you for your prompt response! I was planning on making it last night so I’m glad you got back to me. This was delicious!!! I’ve been having a really hard time finding recipes that my picky children will eat. I’m happy to say, this recipe was a success for my whole household! Thank you so much for creating delicious, vegan dishes and sharing your recipes. This will now be apart of our lunch rotation and added to my children’s very short list of meals they like :)
        P.S. I’ve been making your banana chocolate chip muffins for years and they are AMAZING!

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