Pasta salad is music to our ears, and this delicious and healthy Mediterranean Pasta Salad is a flavor-packed twist on everything a great pasta salad should be. Tender pasta, zesty red onions, sweet tomatoes, roasted red peppers, hearty chickpeas, briny artichoke hearts, and tangy Kalamata olives all mixed with a mouth-watering Mediterranean dressing is a perfect feast for picnics, work lunches, or potlucks. This easy to make, tasty pasta salad is loaded with wholesome deliciousness.
Whole Food Plant Based, vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, no highly processed ingredients, and gluten free.
- 1 ¼ cup diced English cumbers, unpeeled
- ½ cup red onions, diced
- 1 cup tomatoes, seeded and diced *
- ½ cup roasted red peppers, chopped
- 1 – [ 15.5 oz. can ] chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 – [ 14 oz. can ] brined artichoke hearts, chopped (optional)
- ½ cup Kalamata olives, chopped (optional)
- 8 oz. GF penne pasta, cooked * (or pasta of choice)
- ¼ cup unsweetened plain plant yogurt
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon tahini
- 6 sundried tomato halves *
- 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
- 2 teaspoons tamari *
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons dried minced onions
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano (+/-)
- ½ teaspoon dried basil (+/-)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt (+/-) *
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper (+/-)
- Make the pasta according to package direction, then drain and rinse thoroughly in cold water to cool the pasta. Rinse in cold water until all the pasta is cooled, shake off the excess water, then let the cooled pasta sit in a colander to drain until ready to use. Set aside.
- Place the sundried tomato halves in a small bowl and cover with boiling water for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, drain off the water, then mince finely. Set aside.
- Make the salad dressing by adding all the Dressing Ingredients (including the finely minced sundried tomatoes) into a bowl and whisking until well combined. Set aside. (The dressing will appear thick, that is fine.)
- Place the cooked, rinsed, and cooled pasta, and all the remaining salad ingredients into a large bowl and then add in the salad dressing, tossing gently as you go until everything is coated in the dressing. Taste test for flavor, ramp up any spices as needed until you reach the desired flavor.
- Serve immediately at room temperature. Refrigerate any leftovers. If salad has been refrigerated, then remove the salad from the fridge approximately 30 minutes prior to serving to allow the flavors to wake up.
*Tips: Thoroughly rinse the cooked pasta in cold water until the pasta is cold, then shake off any excess water and allow to drain for a few minutes, then shake the pasta again before adding to the bowl. Any lingering water that hangs onto the pasta will water down your dressing. The same goes for draining and rinsing the chickpeas, thoroughly rinse them, but also shake off as much excess water as you can.
*Dressing Amount: If you are a saucy pasta salad lover, we recommend doubling the recipe or make one and a half of the recipe, keeping some extra dressing on the size for drizzling on top or for after refrigeration.
*Chopped Tomatoes: We used small Campari tomatoes (cocktail tomatoes), removed the seeds, and then diced.
*Sundried Tomatoes: We used Mediterranean Organic Sundried Roman Tomatoes. Be sure to select oil free sundried tomatoes. They are typically dried like dates.
*Tamari: We used San J Tamari Soy Sauce, Gluten Free, Reduced Sodium. You can substitute the tamari with reduced sodium soy sauce, Braggs Liquid Aminos, or Braggs Coconut Liquid Aminos.
*Gluten Free Pasta: If using a gluten free pasta, then you know the issues with refrigerating gluten free pasta. Some GF pastas really tighten up in the refrigerator making for a very unpleasant eating experience when served cold. We absolutely loved this pasta salad right after making it at room temperature. It was crazy delicious. If you do have to refrigerate it before serving or refrigerate any left-overs, we suggest removing it from the fridge about 30 minutes to an hour before serving. We have found Tinkyada Gluten Free Pasta and Bionaturae Organic Gluten Free Pasta work well in refrigerated GF pasta salads.
*Penne Pasta: We used Tinkyada Pasta Joy Brown Rice Pasta Penne.
*Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
*Storage: Refrigerate, use within 5 days.
*Nutritional Information: Does not include optional ingredients: artichokes and olives.