This vegan antipasto pasta salad is made with rotini pasta dressed in a tangy balsamic vinaigrette and tossed with artichoke hearts, marinated mushrooms, roasted red peppers, olives and herbs.
Pasta salad isn’t something I usually get really excited about, which is why this blog is probably lacking a bit in the pasta salad department. Well guess what? This pasta salad got me really excited! It was so good I ate it for dinner, and that was totally not my intention when I made it.
I was at a barbecue recently where they served an antipasto-is type of salad. I was really bummed out because among all the delicious things I love about antipasto, like olives, peppers, artichoke hearts, and all that good stuff, were pieces of meat and cheese. So I got it in my head to make an antipasto salad with just the vegan stuff that I love. And I decided to make it a pasta salad, because pasta is another thing I love and it happens to go really well with all the other antipasto stuff.
One thing that’s great about an antipasto pasta salad is that you don’t have to do a whole lot of chopping or cooking. The main ingredients are already prepared for you, if you want them to be. I planned on making my own marinated mushrooms but got lazy. Feel free to make yours if you’d like.
I did go for some radicchio for crunch, and homemade balsamic dressing. The dressing kind of makes the salad, so don’t cheat and use bottled! Fortunately, salad dressing takes all of ten seconds to throw together, so no biggie.
Result: best pasta salad ever! Take it to your next summer gathering. I promise, nobody will miss the meat or cheese!
Antipasto Pasta Salad
- 8 ounces dried rotini pasta
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 cup marinated mushrooms
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives
- 1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts
- 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced radicchio
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain the pasta into a colander and rinse with cold water. Return the pasta to the pot.
While the pasta cooks, place the oil, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper into a small bowl or shaker. Whisk or shake until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
Pour the dressing over the pasta, and add the remaining ingredients. Toss until everything is mixed and coated with dressing. Taste test and add more salt and pepper if needed.