We made Mediterranean roasted vegetables the other night. It was such a hit, this roasted vegetable pasta salad was created the next week! With a simple dressing it’s packed with flavor and simple to prepare.
Vegetable pasta salad roasted so you get a bit of crisp on the outside of your produce and al dente noodles is the best meal. Keep it vegetarian or add some diced chicken in there for more protein. It’s great warm or cold with some dressing on top too. (affiliate links present)
Vegetable Pasta Salad
Now you can make roasted zucchini and squash in the oven if you prefer that method. Below we will explain how to do the same thing in your air fryer because I just love that crispy texture. I first made this when I had a bunch of stuff in the fridge that really needed to be cooked. You know how I hate wasting food y’all.
Figured I could create a version of my Mediterranean pasta salad but with cooked veggies inside. I mean, it might work out great….and it did! After it came out so well I tinkered with how it could be done. Above are directions if you want to bake the first step, below we air fried it and think that is our favorite.
Vegetarian Pasta Salad
Like I said, you could totally add meat to this if you wanted. I would suggest following our air fryer chicken and vegetables for that first step. Left out it is really good too and serves as a better side dish that way. I use what is on sale typically, but cooks at the same rate. Meaning firmer would need to be cooked together.
Zucchini, squash and bell peppers are the heart of this one. They are all in the medium category I would say as far as firmness but air fry or bake very similarly so I’d recommend that grouping. If you like cooked diced eggs in your mix, make our egg loaf in the oven which makes the whole process really easy.
- 12 oz pasta penne, you will cook the pasta separately in a large pot
- 1 pkg cherry tomatoes cut in half
- A zucchini cubed
- Yellow squash cubed
- Red onion diced or sliced is a nice add in
- Any color of bell pepper you like, cubed with seeds removed
- Olive oil
- Just a bit of Italian seasoning
- Salt and pepper
Feel free to add some shredded parmesan and/or feta to the top of your roasted veggie pasta salad at the end. That is what we do.
Cold Pasta Salad Dressing
- Parsley chopped
- Olive oil
- Some lemon juice or fresh is always best
- Pinch of salt to taste
You could use a bottle of Italian dressing instead if you didn’t want to make your own with these items. It is nice though because you can add a bit of heat with red pepper flakes if you like, add more salt, more tangy with lemon or lime juice etc….
Warm Vegetable Pasta Salad
Like I said this pasta salad recipe is great served with all of the ingredients still warm. If you wanted it more marinated and cold I would make a double batch of the dressing. Follow these instructions, allow to cool on the counter, then cover with plastic wrap and cool in the fridge for 1-2 hours. Then toss with the 2nd helping of dressing since the other will have soaked in.
- Bring a pot of cold water with some salt in it to a rolling boil and cook noodles until tender but slightly al dente.
- Dice all vegetables and 2 tbsp olive oil and either add them into an air fryer to roast at 400 degrees F for about 10 minutes tossing halfway through cook time.
- OR roast at the same temperature on a sheet pan for closer to 15 min or until softened
- option is in a pan on your stovetop until softened and browned a bit on the outsides.
- Drain pasta and toss with roasted vegetables.
- You could add some diced pieces of Mediterranean chicken thighs for meat.
In a bowl whisk together the dressing and pour that on top. Gently toss to coat together so everything has a bit on every piece. Then serve with feta or parmesan cheese on top. You might want a bit more dressing if you add another zucchini or meat to the bowl. You can jump to recipe and get going now!
How long does veggie pasta salad last in the fridge?
Take note that the longer it sits the weirder the texture will become. 24 hours later is ideal to enjoy it again but it will be okay for up to 3 days. The best way to liven this up again to enjoy it is to add a bit more of the same dressing ingredients, or use bottled, then toss to coat. As it sits this will suck up all the liquids and dry out.
If you add just a few Tbsp of Italian or olive oil and vinegar and stir that together you will not only add moisture but a bunch more flavor too. It is great next day served alongside a sandwich or something for sure. If you want a totally different texture you can crisp it up by throwing it back into the air fryer at 380 F for 3 minutes shaking every min.
You’ll kinda’ get pasta chips out of the noodles and the squash will lose that strange stickiness that you’ll get on the outsides as it sits in the bowl. I wouldn’t freeze this, it won’t save well that way at all. Noodles and rice to me are a one and done, only good if eaten the next day kind of food. That is just me but I am a texture gal so there’s that. 😉
Want to see a few of my favorite things that I am totally obsessed with?? Take a peek and see how many you might already have…twinsies!
Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad
- Bring a pot of water with some salt in it to a rolling boil and cook noodles until tender but slightly al dente.
- Dice all vegetables and 2 tbsp olive oil and either add them into an air fryer to roast at 400 degrees F for about 10 minutes tossing halfway through cook time. OR roast in a pan on your stovetop until softened and browned a bit on the outsides.
- Drain pasta and toss with roasted vegetables. In a bowl whisk together dressing and pour on top. Gently toss together to coat everything and then serve with feta or parmesan cheese on top.