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.
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
⅓ 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
- 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.*
*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.