Pasta Salad with Roasted Vegetables is the ideal side dish for a cookout or picnic.
Why this recipe works
I love a pasta salad with veggies, don’t you? So tasty. Plus, it’s an easy way to get your family to eat their vegetables!
This easy to make side salad is also terrific for potlucks or when tailgate season rolls around.
Best of all, it only takes 30 minutes to put together, making it the ideal side salad to bring to potlucks!
How to make a roasted veggie pasta salad
How to roast the veggies
I find that sauté vegetables on high heat in a frying pan on the stovetop until they’re tender but still a bit crispy is the easiest way to roast veggies.
You can use a grill pan to get that nice roast flavor if you wish. But I find using a good non-stick pan works just as well.
Just keep an eye on the vegetables so you get some char for flavor but don’t burn them to a crisp!
Another roasting method is placing the chopped vegetables on a large cookie sheet. Drizzle the veg with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper. Roast for about 15 – 20 minutes in a 400˚F oven.
Both methods work great if you don’t have access to a grill
How to cook the pasta
Al dente is the best so the pasta is not under cooked, but isn’t mushy either.
This is especially important if you’re using gluten free pasta, which can be tricky to cook. (Nothing worse than mushy gluten free pasta!)
Make sure to liberally salt your your pasta water. Doing this will enhance the flavor of your roasted veggie pasta salad.
How to make the dressing
Just mix up the ingredients and toss it all together with the pasta and veggies!
But if you don’t have the ingredients on hand or want to save some time, use a bottled vinaigrette or an olive oil and vinegar dressing from the store.
How to make a gluten free pasta salad
While you can make this roasted vegetable pasta salad with whole wheat or regular pasta, I decided to try it with gluten free pasta.
What I like about this pasta salad with roasted vegetables is that gluten free pasta can be a little dry and boring.
It’s so tasty that even your non-GF family members and friends won’t know this pasta salad is made with gluten free pasta!
I wanted the pasta to soak up all that tasty dressing and make a super side dish for weeknight dinner or a party potluck that the whole family can enjoy.
More tips for making the best pasta salad
Time savers: Use precut vegetables from the produce section of your grocery store. Sure it’s a bit more expensive. But if you’re pressed for time when planning a party, well, it may be worth it!
Vegetable substitutions: Use other vegetables in this roasted veggie pasta salad such as broccoli florets, summer squash, asparagus, and sliced mushrooms.
Keep the pieces of vegetables bite sized for easy eating.
Dressing substitutions: If you’re short on time, use a store bought vinaigrette or oil and vinegar dressing.
Pasta: If you’re not gluten free, use other kinds of pasta like whole wheat. You can also use other varieties like Cavatappi or radiatore. You want a large, textured pasta that will hold the dressing.
How much in advance can I this dish?
Don’t make it more than a day. You don’t want the pasta getting too soggy from the dressing.
What to serve with this easy side dish
Serve this easy to make side dish with Smoked Beer Can Chicken at your next barbecue.
For the pasta salad
- 1 12-ounce box gluten free rotini pasta, cooked, drained, and cooled
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 5 cups assorted fresh vegetables (zucchini, red, orange, and yellow peppers) sliced
- 1/3 cup sliced Kalamata olives
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
For the pasta salad dressing
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Cook pasta al dente according to package directions in a large pot of boiling, salted water. Once the pasta has cooked, drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over high heat. Add vegetables (excluding olives and cherry tomatoes) to the pan. Sauté for 5-10 minutes until vegetables start to brown and slightly tender. Remove pan from heat and set vegetables aside to cool.
- Whisk together mayonnaise with olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl until creamy.
- Add grilled vegetables, pasta, olives, cherry tomatoes, and chopped basil to the bowl. Stir to coat pasta and vegetables.
- Refrigerate until pasta salad is chilled through. Serve with dinner or at a potluck barbecue or picnic.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 209Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 190mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g
Nutritional information is automatically calculated per the ingredients list. Serving size may not be accurate. Please double-check with your preferred nutritional app for the most accurate information.
Originally published on May 7, 2017. Updated with new pictures and information.