This simple veggie pasta salad comes together in no time flat, with a short list of ingredients and easy, fast prep. The very light vinaigrette doesn’t weigh down the pasta and veggies, nor does it get soggy when it’s stored in the fridge. This is a great, simple side dish to grilled meats, and it can be gluten free depending on what kind of pasta is used.
Okay, first things first. Look at my adorable grand boys!
This is what a beautiful spring day in Mississippi looks like.
Correction. This is what a beautiful spring day in Mississippi looks like before the littlest one falls out of a tree.
It looks completely different after that happens, just in case you were wondering.
[It was a very low hanging limb he was on and he fell in a bed of leaves, but still traumatic for us all.]
[Obviously, the whole shoot went downhill after that.]
[It was my husband’s idea to set him on the limb with his older brother. FYI.]
[He is perfectly fine by the way, plus he got a brand new toy on the way home.]
Alright. Let’s talk about this pasta salad.
I’ve been buying big bags of rainbow peppers from Sam’s and Costco (depending on where I am) and I use them in everything.
There are 6 peppers in each bag, two each of red, yellow, and orange. I wash one of each color, then dry them well, then clean out the ribs and seeds, and cut into strips. I put them in a glass storage container lined with a paper towel to keep the moisture away so they last as long as possible. The other three stay in the drawer until I am ready to cut those up. Once you cut into them, it shortens their life and they will get mushy, but I usually get a good 5 or 6 days out of the cut ones. If it looks like I can’t get to the others before they go bad, I do the same thing, but spread them on a baking sheet and freeze them.
I love that they are always ready to dip in hummus or ranch dressing, or that I can easily chop them further for breakfast dishes or salads. But this time I made a pretty pasta salad. The vinaigrette is very light, because I wanted the crisp veggies to shine through. It’s a great way to get some raw vegetables into your system without eating another traditional salad.
- Use whatever kind of pasta you want. I found some gluten-free corkscrew pasta that was made from lentils and chickpeas and it was really good.
- The vinaigrette is very light and there’s not a lot of it, so it doesn’t weigh down the salad or make it soggy. The veggies stay crisp.
- This salad is extremely versatile. Use what you have on hand!
- Another thing I have been buying from Sam’s/Costco are the huge bags of raw broccoli florets. It was super easy to make the small florets I used in this salad by taking my knife and cutting away more of the stem on an already trimmed floret.
- You could add some cooked chicken and this would be a great lunch meal to make at the beginning of the week.
- 12 ounces corkscrew pasta (use regular or gluten free, whichever you prefer), cooked to al dente, drained and cooled
- ½ cup each chopped red, yellow, and orange bell peppers
- ½ cup chopped red onion
- 2 cups small, bite-size broccoli florets
- ⅓ cup avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 pressed garlic clove
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- Place the pasta and the rest of the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
- Place all the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Secure lid and shake vigorously until well mixed. Immediately drizzle over the pasta salad and toss to coat. Taste and add salt if needed. 5-6 servings.