In this article, Apronese want to share with you a vegetable pasta salad recipe. For this recipe, I made my own creamy balsamic vinaigrette, and used an oven grilling technique to make this recipe accessible for those of you who may not have an outdoor grill. Read on to see how to make it.
Store for All Week
It’s possible to make big pasta salads to eat throughout the week and this grilled vegetable pasta salad holds up really well in the fridge.
The flavor of the grilled vegetables deepens and permeates the pasta as it refrigerates, making it even better the next day.
The balsamic vinaigrette might be the most tangy of the dish and it’ll mellow out as it soaks into the pasta.
So, if you prefer a really tangy dressing, add enough dressing to coat everything right away to help keep the salad from drying out. Reserve at least half of the dressing to add just before serving (after refrigerating).
Salting The Pasta Water
There are many benefits of salting the cooking water for pasta. Since pasta is the bulk of the recipe, make sure it has good flavor on its own, and salting the cooking water makes a huge difference. So don’t skip this step!
Vegetable Pasta Salad Recipe
This classic pasta salad features smoky fire licked vegetables and a homemade creamy balsamic vinaigrette.
Prep Time: 20 mins / Cook Time: 30 mins / Total Time: 50 mins
Servings: 8 (1.25 cups each)
- 1 zucchini ($1.05)
- 1 yellow squash ($0.88)
- 1 red bell pepper ($1.79)
- 1/2 red onion ($0.43)
- 1 pint grape tomatoes ($2.49)
- 2 tbsp olive oil ($0.26)
- Pinch salt and pepper ($0.05)
Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 1/3 cup olive oil ($0.69)
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar ($0.33)
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise ($0.17)
- 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard ($0.05)
- 1 clove garlic, minced ($0.08)
- 1/2 tsp dried basil ($0.05)
- 1/2 tsp salt ($0.03)
- Freshly cracked pepper ($0.05)
- 1 lb penne pasta ($1.00)
- 1/4 bunch Italian parsley (flat leaf) ($0.25)
- Wash the zucchini, yellow squash, and red bell pepper. Remove the stems from the zucchini, then cut them into large slices or pieces. Remove the seeds and stem from the bell pepper, then chop it into large pieces. Slice the red onion into thick slices.
- Place the zucchini, yellow squash, red bell pepper, red onion, and grape tomatoes on a large baking sheet and drizzle olive oil over top. Gently toss the vegetables until they are well coated in oil. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper over top. (Grape tomatoes are generally too small to place directly on a grill, so if using a grill just add the tomatoes to the salad fresh.)
- Grill the vegetables over an open flame until they are charred and tender. OR, adjust your oven’s top rack to be about 6 inches below the broiler unit and turn the broiler on to high. Place the baking sheet under the broiler and watch it closely until the vegetable become charred and tender (about 10-15 minutes, depending on your oven and distance from the broiler).
- Allow the vegetables to cool slightly after grilling or broiling. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil to cook the pasta. Once boiling, add the pasta and boil for 7-10 minutes, or just until the pasta is tender. Drain the pasta in a colander and allow it to cool slightly (until it’s no longer steaming).
- While the pasta is cooking and the vegetables are cooling, prepare the creamy balsamic vinaigrette. To a jar or bowl add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mayonnaise, Dijon, garlic, basil, salt, and pepper. Whisk the ingredients together or close the jar and shake until combined.
- Once the vegetables are cool enough to handle, chop them into smaller, 1-inch pieces. Roughly chop the parsley leaves.
- In a large bowl, combine the pasta, chopped vegetables, and parsley. Pour the vinaigrette over top, starting with half and adding more to your liking. Gently stir the pasta and vegetables until everything is coated in dressing. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.
To make this recipe vegan, simply leave out the mayonnaise for a simple, non-creamy balsamic vinaigrette.
If you prefer a less tart dressing, try adding 1/2 tsp sugar or honey to help balance the balsamic vinegar.
Serving: 1 Serving ・ Calories: 377.83 kcal ・ Carbohydrates: 49.5 g ・ Protein: 8.66 g ・ Fat: 16.41 g ・ Sodium: 300.23 mg ・ Fiber: 3.68 g
The nutritional values shown here are only estimates. Please see our nutrition disclaimer.
How to Make Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad – Step-by-step Photos
For my salad, I used one zucchini, one yellow squash, one red bell pepper, 1 pint grape tomatoes and 1/2 of that red onion.
Step 1: Remove the stems from the zucchini, squash, and red bell pepper, and remove the seed pod from the bell pepper.
Step 2: Slice the zucchini, squash, bell pepper, and red onion into thick slices. If you’re grilling the vegetables, you can add the grape tomatoes to the salad fresh (slice them in half).
If you’re using your oven’s broiler, you can broil them with the other vegetables so they burst and get a little charred as well.
Step 3: Place all the vegetables on a baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tbsp of olive oil, and gently toss until the vegetables are well coated in oil. Then add a pinch of salt and pepper.
If you’re using a grill, grill the vegetables over direct flame until they are charred and tender.
If using your oven’s broiler, adjust the rack so that it’s six inches below the broiler unit.
Turn the broiler on, place the baking sheet of vegetables under it, and watch it closely until the vegetables are charred and tender (10-15 minutes, depending on exactly how close they are to the heat).
Let the vegetables cool.
Step 4: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta.
Once boiling, add 1 lb. penne pasta, and continue to boil until the pasta is tender. Drain the pasta in a colander and let it cool.
Meanwhile, make the creamy balsamic vinaigrette. In a jar or bowl, combine 1/3 cup olive oil, 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp mayonnaise, 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 minced clove of garlic, 1/2 tsp dried basil, 1/2 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper.
Whisk the ingredients together or close the jar and shake until combined.
Step 5: Once the vegetables are cool enough to handle, chop them into 1-inch pieces. Roughly chop 1/4 bunch parsley.
Step 6: When the pasta is cooled to the point where it is no longer steaming, place it in a large bowl with the chopped vegetables and parsley.
Add the creamy balsamic vinaigrette and gently stir until everything is coated. Start with half of the dressing and add more as needed.
Step 7: Serve the grilled vegetable pasta salad immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.
The dressing will absorb into the pasta and mellow out, so if you like a tangier dressing, add some of the dressing right away to keep everything from drying out.
And that’s all for the pasta salad recipe that Apronese would like to share with you. Follow us for more amazing cooking formulas.
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