20-Minute Rainbow Veggie Pasta Salad - Real Food Whole Life

20-Minute Rainbow Veggie Pasta Salad

March 16, 2017 (Updated on August 12, 2021)

Bright, colorful, and super tasty, 20-Minute Rainbow Veggie Pasta Salad is just the thing for picnics, potlucks, or as a side any night of the week.

This is one of those recipes that comes together so simply, yet is full of big flavor and gorgeous color.

I love a good pasta salad, but find that they are often bland and lacking flavor. And, unfortunately, many are bathed in processed dressing and sadly missing any trace of veggie.

This one, though? This one is the exact opposite.

Packed with crunchy veggies and a tangy, flavorful homemade dressing, this pasta salad comes together easily and stands out on any buffet or potluck due to it’s gorgeous color.

Plus it’s dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, and full of tons of veggies.

Also, it tastes really good, which is the most important part, right?

I hope you’ll make this one soon. Now, let’s make some 20-Minute Rainbow Veggie Pasta Salad!


RECIPE & KID-FRIENDLY ADAPTATIONS


1 | Use any combination of raw, crunchy veggies you like and have on hand.

2 | Skip the chickpeas if you want a more straightforward pasta salad, add a sprinkle of feta for an extra salty bite.


THIS RECIPE IS . . .


Naturally Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free, Vegetarian, and Plant-Based


5 from 1 vote

20-Minute Rainbow Veggie Pasta Salad

Yield 8 -10 sides

Bright, colorful, and super tasty, 20-Minute Rainbow Veggie Pasta Salad is just the thing for picnics, potlucks, or as a side any night of the week.

Ingredients

For the Pasta

  • 8- oz gluten-free penne pasta or any shape you like
  • ½ cup thinly sliced purple cabbage
  • ½ cup chopped carrot
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup chopped bell pepper
  • cup sliced black olives
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup chopped green onion white and green parts

For the Dressing

  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar or substitute fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt plus more for salting the pasta water
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta, a generous pinch of salt, and stir to separate the pasta. Cook according to package directions until just cooked through, being careful not to overcook, stirring occasionally. Drain, rinse, and add to a large bowl.
  • Meanwhile, make the dressing by whisking together the vinegar or lemon juice, oil, maple syrup, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl until well combined.
  • Pour the dressing over the warm pasta, tossing to coat. It’s okay if some dressing is left in the bottom of the bowl, the pasta will absorb it as it sits.
  • Add the veggies, olives, and green onion, tossing to combine. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired.
  • Serve immediately, or refrigerate, covered, for up to 1-3 days. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.*

Notes

*If making ahead, you may need to add a splash more vinegar, olive oil, and extra pinch of salt before serving to freshen the flavors. You may also want to add the purple cabbage at the time of serving (not before), as it has the tendency to stain the pasta.
Use any combination of raw, crunchy veggies you like and have on hand.
Skip the chickpeas if you want a more straightforward pasta salad, add a sprinkle of feta for an extra salty bite.
Nutrition disclaimer
did you make this recipe?Mention @realfoodwholelife or tag #realfoodwholelife!

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5 comments to " 20-Minute Rainbow Veggie Pasta Salad "

  • Katie

    Hi Robyn! This looks so yummy! I’m excited to make it. Quick question: how many chickpeas am I supposed to use? Thanks!
    -Katie

    • Robyn Downs

      Katie, thanks for the catch! I’ve updated the recipe with the amount and will change the printable shortly. Hope you enjoy this one!

  • This looks so delicious. I love how colorful it is too!

  • Jodi

    5 stars
    This salad was wonderful! Very colorful and filling. I subbed quinoa for pasta and lemon juice instead of maple syrup. It was so good. Light but satisfying for dinner. Will definitely make again.

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If you love this recipe it would mean SO MUCH if you gave it a star rating and left a comment. Your feedback helps me create more recipes you'll love, and helps others find my recipes online. Thanks so much for your feedback! —Robyn

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