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Creamy and flavorful, this Italian pasta salad is vegan, quick and easy to prepare, brimming with chopped vegetables, and bursting with flavor. This pasta is great for a plant-based main meal, works for meal prep, or is perfect to take along as a side dish to a potluck supper. It’s so good, you’ll have everyone asking for more!
Invited to a pot luck? Gonna be the only vegan there? Make this delicious creamy Italian Pasta Salad that is good enough to share! That’s right – Just put it on the table, load up your plate, and chow down.
This is the one; the pasta salad that I make to take to potluck dinners or bbq events. This is the one that has everyone asking for the recipe- even the non-vegan eaters. This Italian pasta salad has become so well known in my circle of friends that I’m getting regular requests – “Hey, can you bring that creamy pasta salad?” Sure thing!
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What You Will Need to Make this Easy Vegan Italian Pasta Salad:
- Bow-tie pasta (or similar small bite-size pasta)
- Fresh vegetables such as diced carrots, bell peppers, grape tomatoes, and shallots/or red onion
- Canned items including kidney beans, sliced black olives, capers, and artichoke hearts
- Bottled/jarred vegan mayonnaise, and Italian salad dressing
- Seasonings and spices like garlic and onion powders, dried chives, and salt and pepper to taste.
It only looks like a lot! Except for a little dicing and slicing, this Italian pasta salad is easy to make. Boil your pasta, chop your veggies, mix your ingredients, and you’re good to go! Make sure to read through the tips and suggestions section so that you will make a Creamy Italian Pasta Salad that will knock the socks off your friends when you take it to your next potluck.
Tips and Suggestions to make the Vegan Italian Pasta Salad Recipe:
- Dice your vegetables very small. Smaller than a dice!
- Pro time-saving tip: Buy carrot sticks from your grocer’s prepped/packaged vegetable section. Line up the already cut carrot sticks, slice length-wise one time and then slice down the carrot stick to get the perfect small diced size.
- Cook your pasta according to package directions. The last minute of cooking, add in the diced carrots and cook along with the pasta. Drain and set aside. This will just soften the carrots enough but they won’t be too mushy.
- The Italian pasta salad recipe calls for bell pepper, any color. For color interest, I like to use a mix of red and yellow, bell peppers.
- If you use two different color peppers, you will be using about 1/2 large pepper of each color. Just tightly wrap and refrigerate the remaining peppers. If you won’t use them right away then you can freeze them. Or use the left-over bell peppers in my Asian Pasta Salad, another tasty side dish to make and take to potlucks!
- The recipe calls for minced shallots, but you can substitute with red onion instead. They are very similar in flavor but shallots are a little sweeter tasting and red onions a little stronger. Make yours according to your family’s taste.
- While this Italian Pasta Salad is great to take to a potluck as a side dish, it also works as the main event for plant-based eaters. The kidney beans add a healthy protein to this filling salad. Add in a handful of baby spinach for a complete meal.
- Not only does this pasta salad made a hearty vegan meal, but it also works great for meal prep too. It will make 8 large servings and will keep in the refrigerator for five days.
- Top with a little fresh ground black pepper and chopped chives.
- Add my Parmasean Cheese with Cashews for an extra Italian flavor. Just make sure that if you serve this cheese to anyone, you disclose that it contains nuts.
Looking for More Vegan Potluck Side Dishes and Desserts?
Asian Pasta Salad
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Easy Vegan Italian Pasta Salad You Can Be Proud to Share
- 12 ounces bow-tie pasta can sub a similar-sized small pasta
- 3/4 cup diced carrots
- 3/4 cup Italian salad dressing I used Wishbone Zesty
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise I used Best Foods Vegan Mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2½ Tablespoons chives dried
- 1 ¼ cup bell peppers any color, diced
- 1/4 cup red onion minced
- 11 ounces grape tomatoes halved
- 2 Tablespoons capers drained
- 3.8 ounce can sliced black olives
- 15.5 ounce can kidney beans drained
- 7 ½ ounce artichoke hearts jarred and marinated - oil free is possible
- salt and pepper to taste
- Boil pasta according to package directions. Add diced carrots and continue for the last two minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together mayonnaise, Italian dressing, onion and garlic powder. Set aside. You will adding the chopped vegetables (except for the carrots) as you prepare them. Add in the pasta and carrots last.
- As you prepare the other ingredients, add to the dressing mixture. Add in the minced onions, diced peppers, drained olives, drained beans, capers, and chopped artichoke hearts. Mix well.
- Add in the cooked pasta and carrots last. Gently fold so that you don't break the pasta.
- Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours until cooled. This will keep for up the five days.
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