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 it's hot outside and 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 not to 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 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
To roast vegetables perfectly every time, you first need to group vegetables, then cook them at the correct temperature and time.
To roast vegetables, always preheat the oven to 425 degrees first. Another tip is to cut vegetables in similar sizes to cook evenly. For that reason, I chose the vegetables for my roasted vegetable salad that were cooked at the same temperature for the same amount of time and divided into two separate pans.
One of my favorite "go-to" cheat sheets for roasting vegetables is from My Frugal Home, an excellent 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, but it is also 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?
For instance, Dr. Furhman created the ANDI (Aggregate Nutrient Density Index) to show how popular foods rate in terms of micronutrient density per calorie. So, for example, 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 them with their standard 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 pasta type works well for roasted vegetable pasta salad, I chose one of my favorite noodles, Wacky Mac Veggie Spirals, made with tomato, beet, and spinach. These veggie spiral noodles are 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 with the roasted vegetable salad.
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, it's time to make a fabulous oil-free salad dressing.
WHAT IS IN CREAMY BALSAMIC DRESSING?
- Raw cashews (or substitute white beans or silken tofu for a nut-free version)
- Balsamic vinegar
- Apple cider vinegar
- Dijon mustard
- Maple syrup
- Lemon juice
However, one suggestion 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, 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 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
- Macaroni Salad
- Kale Pasta Caesar Salad
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂