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No Oil Italian Pasta Salad, vegan salad, vegan Italian pasta, dressing, salad, plant based salad, plant based, vegan, vegetarian, whole food plant based, gluten free, recipe, wfpb, healthy, healthy vegan, oil free, no refined sugar, no oil, refined sugar free, dairy free, dinner party, entertaining, dinner, lunch, salad, side, no oil dressing, no oil salad, easy recipe, appetizer, summer, fall, winter, spring, holiday, 4th of July, Labor Day, Memorial Day, picnic, Summer salad, summer recipe

No Oil Italian Pasta Salad

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  • Author: Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 Servings 1x
  • Category: Salads, Sides
  • Cuisine: Italian


Hanging on to the summer feels with this vibrant, tangy, and *get in my belly* deliciousness No Oil Italian Pasta Salad. This fun, classic picnic dish is reinvented with a healthy twist and packed with nutritious veggies, gluten free tri-colored pasta, and lively dressing. This No Oil Italian Pasta Salad is fast, easy, and an awesome plant based dish that everyone will want seconds. It’s light, refreshing, and perfect for family gatherings or just when you need some summer sunshine vibes.  Whole Food Plant Based, vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, no highly processed ingredients, and gluten free.


  • 12 oz. spiral tri-colored pasta *
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 4 cups broccoli, chopped into small pieces, blanched for 30 seconds
  • 15 yellow grape tomatoes, cut in half (or red grape/cherry tomatoes)
  • 3 to 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cubed
  • 1 cup daikon radish, grated (optional)
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed 

Salad Dressing Ingredients:

  • 5 to 10 Tablespoons white wine vinegar (Please See Notes)*
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 4 Tablespoons water
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 6 Tablespoons tahini
  • 4 teaspoons white miso *
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons dried minced onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (+/-)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (+/-) *
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Blanche the small broccoli pieces in boiling water for 30 seconds, then remove the blanched broccoli from the boiling water and plunge it in cold water to stop the cooking process. Allow to drain in a colander until ready to use.
  2. Cook the pasta until el dente, then place the cooked pasta in a colander and then rinse the cooked pasta with cold water to stop the cooking process. Continue rinsing the pasta in a colander until the pasta is cold, then set aside to drain in a colander until ready to use.  (You can use the same water that you blanched the broccoli in, to cook the pasta in, if you wish. I used two separate pots, but you can totally use the same pot with the same boiling water).
  3. Prepare the dressing by combining all the dressing ingredients into a bowl and whisk well to combine. Set aside until ready to use.  (Please see notes on vinegar amounts).
  4. Place all the prepared veggies and blanched broccoli into a large bowl, then add the cooked pasta. Stir to combine.
  5. Slowly add about 3/4ths of the dressing and gently toss. Then slowly drizzle in a little more dressing until the pasta to dressing ratio has been achieved. We used it all.  Some folks like their pasta well coated while others prefer a light coating where the veggie really shine through. (see recipe notes)
  6. Let the salad sit for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to marry with the pasta, then test for seasonings (we sprinkled a little more sea salt and pepper, and a shake of Italian seasoning), add more seasonings based upon personal preference.


*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.

*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.

*Tri-Colored Fusilli/Spirals: We used Tinkyada Pasta Joy Brown Rice Pasta Vegetable Spirals. 

*White Wine Vinegar: We find that vinegar brands vary based on flavor and tartness. Please adjust the amount of white wine vinegar used in this recipe based on your brand of vinegar. Taste the white wine vinegar, if your white wine vinegar has a strong acidity/tartness, use less to start with (5 Tablespoons vs 10 Tablespoons), and adjust the amount accordingly.  We used a very mellow brand of white wine vinegar. If you are not sure how strong your white wine vinegar is, please start with a smaller amount, and add more if needed.  We suggest reading the white wine vinegar labels as some clearly indicate that they are more mellow than others.  We enjoyed a mellow white wine vinegar in this recipe.

*Salad Dressing:  This pasta salad is really beautiful and tastes bests if you dress it 5 minutes before serving it.  Taste test dressing before adding to the pasta by taking a very tiny amount of pasta and veggies in a small bowl, then add a tiny amount of the dressing, toss it and taste it to get an idea of what it would taste like, and adjust the dressing as needed.

*Miso:  We used Miso Master Organic Mellow White Premium Lite Miso, Certified Gluten Free.  Miso really lends itself to balancing flavors when you don’t use oil. You can also substitute with chickpea miso for a soy free version.

*Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.

*Serving:  8 to 10 (This recipe can easily be halved to serve 4 to 5 servings).

*Storage: Refrigerate and use within 3 days.