Nothing tastes better than roasted vegetables until I add them to a cold pasta salad. I love roasted vegetables, and I love pasta even more. But when its hot outside and the temperature is over 100 degrees, roasted pasta salad is just what summer ordered. So, let’s turn roasted vegetables into a cold, savory, roasted vegetable pasta salad with a creamy oil-free balsamic dressing.
When I went to the farmer’s market this week, I struggled to not buy everything in sight. Summertime vegetables are just too tempting, and everything looked so fresh and vibrant that I started changing my menu plan as I walked the aisles. Sometimes, even though I make a list, I change it up based on what produce is available. Today was one of those days.
Once I saw the Brussel sprouts, mushrooms, thin asparagus (my favorite), cauliflower, carrots, onions, and broccoli, I decided to make roasted vegetable pasta salad.
A HOW-TO GUIDE TO ROASTING VEGETABLES PERFECTLY EVERY TIME
In order to roast vegetables perfectly every time, you first need to group vegetables together, then cook them at the correct temperature and time.
In order to roast vegetables, always preheat the oven to 425 degrees first. Another tip is to cut vegetables in similar sizes, so they cook evenly. For that reason, I chose the vegetables for my roasted vegetable salad that cook at the same temperature for the same amount of time and divided them into two separate pans.
One of my favorite “go-to” cheat sheets for roasting vegetables is from My Frugal Home, a great resource for printables for your kitchen. I have this chart laminated in my kitchen for a quick reference. Or, you can always ask Alexa!
Roasted vegetable pasta salad, not only tastes delicious, it is a nutrient-dense mega bowl. So, if you are trying to add more vegetables and greens into your diet, dive into the roasted vegetable pasta salad. As an entree salad, roasted vegetable salad is filling and delicious.
WHAT DOES NUTRIENT DENSITY MEAN?
Dr. Furhman, for instance, created the ANDI (Aggregate Nutrient Density Index) to show how popular foods rate in terms of micronutrient density per calorie. For instance, the more nutrient-dense food you eat, the more you will be satisfied with fewer calories. In other words, you will get fuller faster and eat more.
Let’s look at the nutrient-dense foods and how they score on ANDI for the roasted vegetable pasta salad:
- Brussel Sprouts 490
- Carrots 458
- Cauliflower 315
- Broccoli 340
- Red Bell Peppers 265
- Asparagus 205
- Mushrooms 238
- Onions 109
WHAT VEGETABLES ARE IN ROASTED VEGETABLE PASTA SALAD?
Although you can choose your favorite vegetables for roasting, I have my all-time favorites. Because I chose vegetables with different roasting times, I used two baking sheets and grouped the vegetables with their common roasting times.
VEGETABLES WITH A 20 MINUTE ROASTING TIME
- Brussel Sprouts
VEGETABLES WITH A 15 MINUTE ROASTING TIME
- Red Bell Peppers
CHOOSING A PASTA FOR ROASTED VEGETABLE PASTA SALAD
Even though any type of pasta works well for roasted vegetable pasta salad, I chose one of my favorite types of noodles, Wacky Mac Veggie Spirals made with tomato, beet, and spinach. Not only are these veggie spiral noodles colorful, but they also cook in a mere 8 minutes. Since we are making a cold pasta salad, once the noodles are cooked, they need to be rinsed in cold water to stop the cooking process.
And, these noodles can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until ready to mix the roasted vegetable salad together.
CREAMY BALSAMIC DRESSING + ROASTED VEGETABLE PASTA SALAD
As many of you know, I LOVE dressings and sauces, and roasted vegetable pasta salad is no exception. For this particular recipe, I chose a creamy balsamic vinegar dressing recipe.
Once the noodles and vegetables are cooked and cooled, its time to make a fabulous oil-free salad dressing.
WHAT IS IN CREAMY BALSAMIC DRESSING?
- Raw cashews
- Balsamic vinegar
- Apple cider vinegar
- Dijon mustard
- Maple syrup
- Lemon juice
One suggestion, however, is to soak the raw cashews overnight unless you have a quality high-speed blender. If you have a great blender, you can skip this step. Instead, just combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Then, place the dressing in the refrigerator until you plan to dress and toss the salad.
POSSIBLE ADD-ON PROTEINS FOR ROASTED VEGETABLE PASTA SALAD
Additionally, I suggest adding some type of protein. My family, though, likes a little additional love on top, so I made some tempeh steak on the grill and added it to the pasta salad.
OTHER POSSIBLE ADD-ONS
LOOKING FOR COLD PASTA SALAD RECIPES FOR SUMMER?
- Cajun Pasta Salad
- Healthy Greek Pasta Salad
- Spinach Pasta Salad
- Kale Asian Pasta Salad
- Vegan Pasta Salad
- Vegan Macaroni Salad
- Vegan Kale Pasta Caesar Salad