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MARINATED Veggie Pasta Salad! | RecipeTin Eats

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How do you make a vegetarian pasta salad so fabulous that even this avowed carnivore can’t get enough? MARINATE the vegetables! This great fatty pasta salad recipe is remarkable – it’s juicy, it’s loaded with flavor and it looks as amazing as it tastes! Great summer food that lasts for days.

Close up of amazing vegetarian pasta salad

Vegetarian pasta salad

Who would have thought that those random veggies you left in the back of your fridge could be turned into something as amazing as this vegetarian pasta salad??

Forget limp, bland vegetables sitting sadly among tasteless, soggy pasta. THIS cold pasta salad is the opposite of that. It’s vibrant, it’s full of flavor, it’s JUICY, and even those who hate green will laugh at a week’s worth of veggies in one sitting!

Marinating vegetables for just 30 minutes makes all the difference in this pasta salad!

Vegetarian pasta salad recipe in a large white bowl, ready to serve

How to do this summer vegetable pasta salad

Cook the vegetables (barbecue or oven) -> marinade in the vinaigrette -> mix the pasta.

Yeah. That’s it.

(OK, I may have skipped a few steps like chopping/oiling/salting and peppering the vegetables, but you get the gist!)

How to Make This Amazing Vegetarian Pasta Salad

Pro tip – how to keep your pasta salad JUICY (without using tons of oil)

Pasta salads keep well for days and days, but pasta tends to suck up all the dressing and vegetable juices. So to keep this nice and juicy whether you serve it 2, 3 or even 4 days later, the trick is to shake the dressing with a little pasta cooking water to make more dressing without using large amounts of oil.

That’s what happens: The pasta cooking water contains starch from the pasta. The starch emulsifies with the oil in the dressing and thickens the pasta cooking water, so that’s the consistency of the dressing. You have more dressing (with the same amount of flavor) so you can reserve some to make the pasta salad nice and juicy when you serve it the next day….and the day after!

Vegetables for pasta salad

The beauty of this vegetarian pasta salad recipe is that there are no rules. You can literally put any roasting/grilling veggies in all of this – and it’s going to be amazing.

Oh wait. It was a big statement that sounded really good, but I realized it was a little off. I think the potato might be a little odd. While the notion of carbs over carbs hasn’t escaped me over the years (potato pizza, anyone??), I don’t think it will work here.

But this is the only exception! πŸ˜‚

Here is what I use.

Vegetables for vegetarian pasta salad

Now I admit that these weren’t just dregs from my fridge – I specifically wanted to use the same vegetables I used in the Marinated BBQ vegetables so i can use the same clips in the video to show you can either Roast OR BBQ the vegetables. πŸ˜‡

But here’s a photo of another time I made this vegetarian pasta salad using other veggies (I’m spying cauliflower and broccoli) and also a mix of leftover pasta I had.

Overhead shot of a cold pasta salad made with roasted vegetables

Marinade-Seasoning for vegetables (dual duty!)

And here is the marinade/dressing I use for this pasta salad recipe. You’ll get what you pay for with this marinade:

  1. When you toss hot vegetables into a dressing, they absorb the flavor, which makes the vegetables even tastier;

  2. As the vegetables marinate, they sweat and create flavorful juices that make this pasta salad extra juicy and flavorful; and

  3. Hold back some of the dressing to add a fresh splash of flavor at the end.

Ingredients for the vegetable marinade
Drizzle Lemon Garlic Pasta Dressing over Veggie Pasta Salad

I do a LOT!

I make this vegetarian pasta salad A LOT. This, with Frittata in the ovenis one of my favorite ways to use up leftover vegetables at the end of the week because it can be made with any roasted vegetable, and it lasts for days and days so you can make it now when your vegetables are at the end of their life, but eat it later.

Some other Leftover Veg favorites include: Vegetarian lasagna (double the vegetables and skip the ricotta layer), Vegetable and cheese pasta and that Pan-roasted vegetables and seasoned rice.

Serve a cold pasta salad

How to serve it

Serve this vegetarian pasta salad as:

  • a side dish for anything (well, maybe anything non-Asian!)

  • a meal in itself

  • working lunch!

  • IDEAL for potlucks and gatherings – portable, colorful and of course super delicious

  • serve it at room temperature OR slightly warm

And while he East meatless, you can definitely add a splash of protein by adding some shredded chicken! –Nagi x

Overhead photo of a pasta salad with pickled vegetables

Watch how to do it

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Close-up photo of my favorite vegetable pasta salad

Marinated Vegetarian Pasta Salad

Servings8 – ten

Tap or hover to scale

Video recipe above! How to make the best vegetable pasta salad ever? MARINATE the vegetables. Roast or barbecue all the vegetables you want, then add a marinade to soak up the flavor while they’re hot before tossing them into the pasta. This is one big pasta salad loaded with juicy flavor that lasts for days and days – see PRO TIP for keeping pasta salads juicy!

Instructions

Grilled vegetables:

  • to preheat the oven up to 250Β°C/480Β°F (230Β°F fan) – super high heat replicates charred edges of barbecue.

  • Mix the vegetables in the oil – Place all vegetables other than asparagus in a large bowl. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic, mix.

  • Spreadable vegetables on 2 trays (fill one less than the other). Roast 25 minutes, stirring once.

  • Add the asparagus – Drizzle the asparagus with oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Put in the oven for the last 5 minutes.

  • BBQ options: See Pickled BBQ Vegetables for directions.

Pasta salad:

  • Marinate the vegetables – Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl, pour over half the dressing. Mix then leave to marinate for 30 minutes to 3 hours.

  • Cook the pasta + 2 minutes: In a large jar of salt water, cook pasta according to package directions, but ADD 2 minutes to cooking time (Note 5 for why). Drain and return the pasta to the pot.

  • Add vegetables, including vegetable juices, into the pasta pot. Add the rest of the vinaigrette and the parsley, then toss. Set aside for 15 minutes to cool slightly.

  • To serve! Sprinkle with feta and serve! Can be kept for 4 to 5 days, serve at room temperature.

Ahead PRO TIP (Note 4):

  • DRAW off a cup of pasta cooking water just before draining. Add 3 tablespoons water to reserved dressing (after marinating vegetables), shake well. Use this dressing as above, but reserve 3 tbsp to refresh the pasta salad from day 2 onwards.

  • Refresh the pasta salad: Bring to room temperature or briefly in the microwave (cold = dry pasta) to heat gently. Toss with the reserved vinaigrette then serve.

Recipe Notes:

SERVINGS: For 5 to 6 people as a meal or 8 to 10 as a side dish.
1. Vegetables – feel free to change as you wish, any roasted vegetables will be perfect! Also note, it looks like a huge volume uncooked but it shrinks around 30% when cooked!

  • 25 minutes of roasting – listed vegetables, cauliflower, carrots, corn on the cob (cut grains), parsnips, root vegetables, pumpkin
  • 15 – 20 mins – broccoli, broccolini, fennel, beets (cubes), leeks
  • 5 minutes – asparagus, green beans, peas.
  • No cook – olives, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes and other pickled vegetables/antipasti, tomatoes, cucumbers, leafy greens.

2. Herbs – you want 2 tsp total, just under/double what you have. Or use a mixture of herbs or Italian herbs.
3. Chili flakes – aka red pepper flakes. I use 1 tsp because I love the buzz of heat!
4. PRO TIP for keeping pasta salads juicy when making ahead (as they tend to dry out the next day) – increase the volume of the dressing by shaking it with the pasta cooking water. Starch in water emulsifies with fat in dressing = more dressing volume, same amount of flavor = can reserve dressing = juicier pasta salad.
In addition, cold pasta is drier. Let it come to room temperature or even in the microwave briefly, mixing with the reserved dressing!
5. Cook pasta until extra soft because pasta firms up as it cools. By cooking pasta beyond al dente, it keeps pasta softer even when refrigerated. So much more enjoyable to eat!
6. Storage – Super fresh, even better on day 2! I kept it for 4-5 days and it was still good, I added a squeeze of fresh lemon. Best served at room temperature.
7. Food per serving, assuming 8 servings.

Nutrition Information:

calories: 513callus (26%)Carbohydrates: 71g (24%)Protein: 12g (24%)Fat: 24g (37%)Saturated fat: 5g (31%)Cholesterol: 14mg (5%)Sodium: 631mg (27%)Potassium: 870mg (25%)Fiber: 6g (25%)Sugar: 17g (19%)Vitamin A: 1412UI (28%)Vitamin C: 176mg (213%)Calcium: 130mg (13%)The iron: 2mg (11%)

Originally published July 2019. Editorial tidy January 2022, no change in recipe, I wouldn’t dare!

The life of the bulldozer

Potato peelings. It doesn’t quite have the same reaction with vegetables. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Dozer golden retriever dog licking his lips at the sight of potato wedges

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