The Perfect Pasta Salad

BY : PUBLISHED : June 29th, 2020 UPDATED: August 17th, 2021

Pasta salad has a special place in our hearts. It not only evokes memories of simple and delicious childhood family lunches or sunny summer picnics, but it’s also a universal favorite dish to share with others. Who hasn’t prepped a quick pasta salad the day before a family barbecue or a fun get together for friends? This recipe is fresh and perfect for a fantastic al fresco lunch.

Don’t Throw Away Your Veggies!

We all get to the point when we have some sad looking vegetables just waiting to be discarded. And we are always encouraging you to find ways to make use of them in soups or stews, but this pasta salad would be a perfect choice too.

For this recipe, you’ll need pasta (any short shape you prefer is fine), cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, red onion, green bell pepper, parsley, black olives, garbanzo beans, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. You could easily use up any about-to-go-bad cucumbers, peppers, parsley, or onion. A great tip we can share with you is to place your limp veggies (like carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, herbs, or others) in a bowl with water and ice. If you leave them there for a few minutes, they will get crispier and fresher. Give it a try!

As always, we recommend using up all your produce before buying more. Get ready to get very creative!

Better Overnight

Some dishes get better with time. This perfect pasta salad is one of them. If you have the chance to prepare this salad the night before and leave it inside your refrigerator overnight, please do! It allows for the flavors and juices to combine even better and takes the flavor to a whole new level. You could do this with or without the dressing depending on how you like the texture. Enjoy!

Recommended equipment:

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

The Perfect Pasta Salad

Toni Okamoto
This might be the easiest but most delcious pasta salad recipe ever! The perfect dish for your next picnic or lunch al fresco!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Side
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 638 kcal
METHOD Stovetop
DIET Vegan


  • 16 ounces of pasta
  • 1 cup of sliced and halved cucumbers
  • 1 cup of halved cherry tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup of diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup of diced green bell pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons of minced curly parsley
  • 2.25 ounces of sliced black olives, drained
  • 15 ounces of garbanzo beans
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/8-1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste


  • In a medium pot over medium-high heat, cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
  • While the pasta cooks, combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and mix them together.
  • Add the cooked pasta and thoroughly combine. Allow to cool in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.


Calories: 638kcalCarbohydrates: 108gProtein: 21gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gSodium: 561mgPotassium: 658mgFiber: 11gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1123IUVitamin C: 44mgCalcium: 95mgIron: 4mg
Keyword cold pasta salad, pasta salad, vegan pasta, vegan pasta salad, veggie pasta salad
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedonaBudget! 🙂

The Perfect Pasta Salad | Plant-Based on a Budget | #pasta #salad #vegan #picnic #summer #plantbasedonabudget

About Toni Okamoto

"They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
'Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways...
we got to start taking better care of ourselves " - Dead Prez

View all posts by Toni Okamoto