Hot weather means you don’t want to spend your days sweating in the kitchen.  As I wandered around various potlucks during yesterday’s 4th of July celebrations, I realized that I should have made this very recipe for that occasion!  Since there’s no dairy in it, you don’t have to worry about it spoiling in the sun.

Feel free to mix and match your family’s favorite vegetables!

Summer Pasta Salad (vegan)
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Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings
 
Perfect for picnics, potlucks or for an easy meal anytime. Vegan, dairy free.
Ingredients
  • 1 (12oz) box rotini pasta
  • ¾ (12oz) bottle Italian dressing
  • ½ (6oz) can olives, drained and sliced
  • 1 handful cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • ¾ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 cup fresh broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse and place into a large bowl.
  2. Cover pasta with half of the Italian dressing while the pasta is still warm. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, toast the pinenuts in a DRY pan over medium heat, tossing until lightly browned. (This step is worth it as the flavor is amazing!)
  4. Toss olives, tomatoes, pinenuts and broccoli in with the pasta and drizzle with remaining Italian dressing. Serve immediately or let it sit, covered in the fridge until you're ready. The longer it sits, the better it tastes! Can be eaten warm or chilled.

If you haven’t tried toasted pine nuts yet, it’s a must.  Trader Joe’s has the most affordable ones I’ve found.  Buy them raw and toast them in a dry pan.

Some alternatives for your Summer Pasta Salad:

  • Lentil pasta in place of traditional pasta
  • Roasted chickpeas in place of toasted pine nuts
  • Fresh basil or parsley to add freshness
  • Cucumbers in place of broccoli florets

To further help your meatless journey, be sure to grab your free Vegan Starter Guide here, as well as this Vegan Q & A Guide.  Or try the 14-Day Makeover Meals Challenge-it has two weeks worth of meatless meals already planned out for you.  And yes, it’s 100% free!

 

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