Once the hot summer weather has passed, I just want to eat crunchy vegetables and a cold pasta salad. This summer vegetable pasta salad is my favorite dish with a mix of colorful vegetables, a spicy homemade Dressing and many ways to adapt it depending on what I HAVE on hand or what I’m craving that day. In addition, it keeps very well in the refrigerator, which makes it perfect for meal preparation!

PERFECT FOR POTLUCKS

This classic vegetable pasta salad is absolutely perfect for potlucks because it makes a huge amount and goes with everything. Not to mention that it withstands travel well and is still super delicious after sitting on that picnic table for a while. 😉

Vegetable options

I used fresh broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, red onion and persil, and added roasted red peppers for fun. But you can add as many different vegetables to this mixture. Here are some other options:

  • Cauliflower
  • Fresh Peppers
  • Black Olives
  • Asparagus (steamed or grilled)
  • Chopped Spinach
  • Artichokes

DRESSING OPTIONS

The recipe below contains a very simple Spicy dressing, but if you don’t have a well-stocked pantry and want to buy a bottled dressing for this salad, any simple Italian dressing will do. You can also choose something like a Caesar dressing (not creamy) or a Greek dressing.

HOW TO MAKE A SUMMER VEGETABLE PASTA SALAD

First make the dressing. Whisk ½ Cup olive oil, ⅓ Cup red plonk vinegar, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 chopped garlic clove, ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper. Put the bandage aside.

Cook 12oz. bowtie noodles (or other short-form noodles) according to the instructions on the package (cook until tender, drain in a colander). Let the pasta rise quickly to cool, then drain well.

While the pasta is cooking and draining, prepare the rest of the vegetables. Chop two Roma tomatoes, a yellow squash and a zucchini and drain a jar of roasted red peppers and cut them into slices.

Cut a broccoli crown into small bite-sized florets and cut ½ red onion into slices. Roughly chop ½ cup of persil (not shown).

When the pasta has cooled and drained and all the vegetables are chopped, it’s time to prepare the salad. Place everything in the largest bowl or container you have, add a quick whisk to the Dressing, then pour it over the pasta and vegetables.

Stir until everything is really well coated with the dressing. Try it and add salt or pepper if necessary. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat. Be sure to stir it after cooling and just before serving to redistribute the dressing.

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