Mediterranean Pasta Salad is all prettied up with a fun twist to a classic Bowtie Pasta Salad. There are extra veggies, spices and crunchy walnuts. A real crowd pleaser and all in under 30 minutes.
This is an irresistible cold pasta recipe inspired by classic Italian ingredients. Well, let's add some extra delicious ingredients and make it super healthy while playing with textures.
You are going to love it!
Table of Contents
A Healthy Easy Pasta Dish
I like having a few cold pasta recipes that I can rely on that are healthy and also easy to make. Well, this is one of those salads and this recipe is perfect for picnics, lunches, or outdoor barbecues
It goes without saying that a bowtie pasta salad would work great for all of those occasions but sometimes you want to offer a big spread on a buffet or dinner table.
That's when it's really nice to have a couple of kinds of salads, like one leafy green salad and one with pasta–something for everyone.
I also love to make a great big batch because this pasta salad is wonderful as leftovers. It's hard to believe but it tastes just as good, if not better, the next day.
I know because I've been eating this Mediterranean style pasta salad for a couple of days now. I'm so glad!
It takes only 30 minutes to pull together. So I always make a big batch, then place it in the fridge and let the dressing do the rest. It is just a perfect make-ahead dish.
Yes, for company too and holidays!
The dressing ingredients blend perfectly, and it is so simple to make. The flavors are built on a homemade vinaigrette that gets better each extra day you let it meld– if it lasts that long. It is just about tossing in a few key ingredients:
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Vegan Parmesan cheese
The balsamic vinegar really makes it special. I use my homemade vegan parmesan cheese too because it has extra good seasonings that really pushes flavors over the top.
It's going to taste like your favorite Italian dressing, but believe it or not, better. It's made fresh and you probably already have most of these ingredients in your pantry and fridge.
The dressing ingredients meld perfectly and blend the salad all together. And while the salad further marinates in the fridge, the noodles become more tender and soak up the rich Italian flavors of this dressing.
Also, a nice slice of the Best Homemade Vegan Bread would be great on the side. You could even use it to dunk into some of the dressing.
Quick Pro Tip
- Don’t overcook the pasta. You want the noodles to be slightly firm (al dente) when cooked. They will become more tender in the fridge.
Healthy Bonus Ingredients
Don’t you love the beautiful earthy look of this Mediterranean pasta salad? And it all comes with the compliments of a few tossed veggies, herbs, and walnuts.
The mushrooms are not only nutritious but they will also absorb the dressing. All the Mediterranean flavors that go so well with the tenderness of starchy pasta.
I had to add some fresh baby spinach, and not just to add some extra greens. They are soft, tender, and add another texture to the salad.
Last but not least, the chopped walnuts. Don’t forget the nuts! They are the finisher. The smooth and tender texture of the pasta salad just goes well with their earthy flavors and delicious crunchiness.
This Mediterranean Pasta Salad will fit in your menu perfectly whether it is for making ahead quick lunch meals or entertaining. It will keep about 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator so you can truly plan ahead.
It's filled with tons of flavor that everyone is going to love!!!
Here are some other great Pasta Salads you might want to try as well!
Your favorites straight from the deli and tossed together make this satisfying
Panzanella Pasta Salad is a classic made into a salad. It's got so much texture!
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I sure hope you get to make this soon!
If you'd like to leave a star rating along with a comment, it would really be appreciated.
And if you take a photo of your beautiful salad I would love to see it. Follow me over on Instagram and tag me on your photo @vegan_in_the_freezer. You could even use my hashtag #VeganInTheFreezer.
Mediterranean Pasta Salad
- 16 ounces bowtie pasta, some of the boxes are 12 ounces now but that works fine too with all the same measurements
- 1 pound mushrooms
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 cup walnuts
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons vegan parmesan cheese
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Cook the bowtie pasta according to your package directions. Drain when done and set aside to cool.
- Clean your mushrooms by wiping them clean with a damp cloth. You should not clean mushrooms by soaking them in water because mushrooms soak up liquid like a sponge. You don't want watery mushrooms.
- If any of the mushrooms are large you can cut them in half or in quarters or slices. Or mix it up.
- In a small bowl mix the lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, vegan parmesan cheese (recipe), salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl add the cooked and cooled pasta, mushrooms, baby spinach, walnuts, and dressing. Toss gently to incorporate the dressing throughout.
- Cover and put in the fridge so that it can meld. Anywhere from a couple of hours to 4 days.
- Ready to serve and it is great at room temperature too.