Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad

$8.76 recipe / $1.10 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.84 from 31 votes
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As soon as the warm weather of summer rolls around all I want to eat are crunchy vegetables and cold pasta salad. This Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad is my go-to with a medley of colorful vegetables, a tangy homemade vinaigrette, and plenty of ways to customize it based on what I have on hand, or what I’m craving that day. Plus it holds up great in the fridge, so it’s perfect for meal prep!

Originally posted 6-14-2011, updated 5-22-2021.

Overhead view of a bowl full of summer vegetable pasta salad

Perfect for Potlucks

This classic vegetable pasta salad is absolutely perfect for potlucks because it makes a huge batch and it goes with everything. Not to mention it holds up well to travel and is still super delicious after it’s been sitting on that picnic table for a bit. ;)

Vegetable Options

I used fresh broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, red onion, and parsley, plus threw in some roasted red peppers for fun. But you can add so many different vegetables to this mix. Here are a few more options:

  • Cauliflower
  • Fresh bell pepper
  • Black olives
  • Asparagus (steamed or grilled)
  • Chopped spinach
  • Artichokes

Other Add-ins

In addition to swapping out some of the vegetables, you can experiment with adding other ingredients to this salad to either add more flavor or make it into a full meal. Here are a few ideas:

Dressing Options

The recipe below includes a really basic tangy vinaigrette, but if you don’t have a well stocked pantry and want to buy a bottled dressing for this salad, any basic Italian dressing will do well. You could also choose something like a Caesar dressing (not creamy-style) or a Greek vinaigrette.

Close up view of summer vegetable pasta salad
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Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad

4.84 from 31 votes
This light and fresh Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad is perfect for summer BBQs and potlucks, or your weekly meal prep.
Overhead view of a bowl full of summer vegetable pasta salad
Servings 8 1.5 cups each
Prep 20 mins
Cook 15 mins
Total 35 mins

Ingredients

Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup olive oil ($1.28)
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar ($0.53)
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard ($0.10)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano ($0.10)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced ($0.08)
  • 3/4 tsp salt ($0.03)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper ($0.02)

Salad

  • 12 oz. bowtie pasta ($0.79)
  • 2 Roma tomatoes ($0.63)
  • 1 yellow squash ($0.75)
  • 1 zucchini ($0.85)
  • 1 broccoli crown ($1.07)
  • 1/2 red onion ($0.19)
  • 1 12oz. jar roasted red peppers ($1.99)
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley ($0.35)

Instructions 

  • Make the vinaigrette first. Whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon, oregano, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Set the dressing aside.
  • Cook the bowtie pasta according to the package directions (boil 7-10 minutes or until tender), then drain in a colander. Rinse briefly to cool the pasta, then let it drain well.
  • While the pasta is cooking and draining, prepare the vegetables. Chop the tomatoes, squash, zucchini, broccoli, and parsley. Slice the roasted red peppers (drained) and the red onion.
  • Place the pasta and chopped vegetables in the largest bowl you have. Give the vinaigrette a brief whisk, then pour it over the salad. Stir the pasta and vegetables until everything is coated in dressing. Give it a taste and add salt or pepper, if needed. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat.

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Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cupsCalories: 330kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 9gFat: 15gSodium: 856mgFiber: 5g
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close up side view of a bowl of summer vegetable pasta salad

How to Make Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad – Step By Step Photos

homemade vinaigrette in a glass measuring cup

Make the dressing first. Whisk together ½ cup olive oil, ⅓ cup red wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 clove of minced garlic, ¾ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper. Set the dressing aside.

Cooked bowtie pasta in a metal colander

Cook 12oz. bowtie pasta (or other short shaped pasta) according to the package directions (boil until tender, drain in a colander). Give the pasta a quick rise to cool it off, then let it drain well.

Chopped vegetables on a cutting board

While the pasta is cooking and draining, prepare the rest of the vegetables. Chop two Roma tomatoes, one yellow squash, one zucchini, and drain and slice one jar of roasted red peppers.

Chopped broccoli and red onion on a cutting board

Chop one crown of broccoli into small bite-sized florets and slice ½ of a red onion. Roughly chop ½ cup parsley (not pictured).

pasta and vegetables in a large dish, vinaigrette being poured over top

When the pasta is cool and drained and all the vegetables chopped, it’s time to assemble the salad. Place everything in the largest bowl or container you have, give the vinaigrette a quick whisk, then pour it over the pasta and vegetables.

Finished summer vegetable pasta salad in a large casserole dish

Stir until everything is really well coated in dressing. Give it a taste and add salt or pepper if needed. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat. Make sure to give it a stir after refrigerating and just before serving to redistribute the dressing.

Overhead view of summer vegetable pasta salad in a rectangular casserole dish
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  1. I made this earlier in the day, to have for dinner. I added tiny mozzarella balls to it. I found I needed to add a lot of seasoning to it, as it was kind of bland, but that could have been due to the dressing I used {Ken’s Light Italian}. Served with grilled chicken and shrimp. 

  2. i prepared this, and i think this would go well with brown lentils… would add more protein and be very filling. yum.

  3. So good! I used marinated red peppers and they came with 2 cloves of garlic in the jar…chopped them for the dressing and had no waste. I added some mozzarella pearls and served with baked salmon. For leftovers the next day i added a splash of the red pepper juice from the jar and chopped salami.

  4. Totally delish! I made this with fresh red bell pepper, black olives, artichoke hearts, lightly steamed asparagus and fresh mozz squares. I used high protein pasta to add more protein as well. Sooo good in the summer!

  5. Made this as the pasta salad of the week for my teen boys’ school lunches. VERY good flavor and I added chickpeas in for more filling protein. I think it will be a keeper! Hubby liked it too.

  6. Ao delicious! I also was nervous about using zucchini and broccoli uncooked but it was delicious. We added some cheese and basil from our garden. So glad I made double the recipe!

  7. This was actually really yummy! I meal prepped this for my lunches this week and while I used a store bought italian vinaigrette, it still was really delicious. I never ate zucchini or squash raw before, so I was a bit skeptical at first, but it actually turned out so good! 10/10 will definitely be making this again!

    *also side note* I absolutely love this website and the recipes and I’ve been a fan for a few years now. I search through for recipes before every grocery shopping trip and I don’t think there was a recipe on here that I tried and didn’t like. All are so fantastic! :)

  8. SUMMER VEGETABLE PASTA SALAD is my favorite salad. i made this tonight.