Veggie Pasta Salad with Zesty Italian Dressing

Veggie Pasta Salad with Zesty Italian Dressing

Nothing brings a summer party together as much as a good old pasta salad. And now that the weather’s finally warming up, I wanted to share my family’s all-time favorite.

The beauty of this salad lies in its simplicity and adaptability. All you need are veggies, a box of pasta, and a bunch of shelf-stable staples. Don’t like olives? Leave ’em out! Hate broccoli? Add snap peas! Although I’ve written the recipe the way I like it, feel free to improvise to suit your own taste.

I use a fairly generous amount of oil in this dressing. If you prefer to use less, I would suggest swapping some of the oil for low-sodium vegetable juice. You will still have some thickness and lots of flavor, but with much less fat. If you cannot find low-sodium olives or salt-free chickpeas, you can use the “regular” canned kind, but rinse them VERY thoroughly to eliminate as much sodium as possible. If you’ve never seeded a cucumber, here’s how. First peel the cuke, then slice in half lengthwise. Take a spoon and carefully scrape down the centers until you’ve removed all seeds, then dice. Easy! And speaking of easy, the fastest way to prepare the squash and zucchini is to similarly halve each lengthwise, then halve again. Line up the 4 quarters and slice. Tah-dah!

This recipe makes a LOT of salad; perfect for any potluck, BBQ, or picnic party. Throughout the summer I typically make this once a week, then store in a jumbo container in the fridge, and we eat it for days. It keeps really well, is sooo easy and SO GOOD. Really hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Yields 12 servings

SODIUM CONTENT: 20 mg per serving

Nutrition Facts: Veggie Pasta Salad with Zesty Italian Dressing


1 lb. dry rotini (or similar pasta)
1 medium red onion, diced
2 c. grape tomatoes, halved if desired
1 15-oz. can no-salt-added chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/3 c. low-sodium olives, sliced
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 medium sweet bell pepper, diced
3 c. chopped fresh broccoli
1 small/medium yellow squash, diced
1 small/medium zucchini, diced

4 T. olive oil
4 T. canola oil
4 T. distilled white vinegar
4 T. apple cider vinegar
4 T. water
1 t. onion powder
1 t. garlic powder
1 1/2 t. sugar
1 1/2 t. dried oregano
1 t. dried parsley
1 t. no-salt-added all-purpose seasoning
1/4 t. dried basil
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/8 t. dried thyme


Cook the pasta according to directions, omitting salt. Drain and set aside.

Prepare all the veggies and place in an extra large mixing bowl. Add pasta. Set aside.

Measure all of the dressing ingredients into a small mixing bowl and whisk well to combine. Pour dressing over the salad and toss well to coat.

Serve salad immediately or cover and refrigerate until serving.

Veggie Pasta Salad with Zesty Italian Dressing

Print Friendly and PDF

This entry was posted in Meatless Monday, Salads and Dressings, Vegan or Vegan Adaptable, Vegetarian and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Veggie Pasta Salad with Zesty Italian Dressing

  1. SHIRLEY DAVIS says:

    I look forward to this newsletter. Since I have been on a low sodium diet, I have been a faithful follower. Can’t wait to put this salad together. My thanks, Shirley

  2. Diane says:

    Hi Christy – thanks for sharing, this recipe looks delicious! I have always loved pasta salad but being diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease put a halt to my normal pasta salad- I don’t even want to know how much sodium is probably in it! This is a great alternative that I look forward to eating many times this spring and summer!

  3. Sandy says:

    Hey Christy! Thanks for posting this recipe, I made it for our Easter family get together and EVERYONE loved it! You’re right it does make a lot, but it is sooo good.

  4. Cindy Foster says:

    would love all low sodium/no sodium recipes. Salt is my enemy!

  5. Caitlin says:

    I am thrilled to pieces that I stumbled upon this site today!! I’ve been vegetarian (and preparing everything I eat myself) for almost nine months now… also low-sodium and organic/non-GMO whenever possible. I can’t wait to hit the next farmer’s market & load up to make some this stuff! This salad looks amazing, by the way… I’m nearly drooling.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *