This Mediterranean-style vegan quinoa pasta salad is bursting with color, flavor and nutrients! Perfect for meal prep, cookouts and hot summer days.
Our vegan quinoa pasta salad with lots of Mediterranean add-ins offers an explosion of flavor and color that will keep everyone coming back for more.
free 7-day vegan meal plan
Your next week of eating is planned out with these quick and delicious vegan bowls, meal prepping steps & full grocery list.
This colorful side dish features gluten-free pasta, protein-packed chickpeas, seasonal veggies, olives and creamy garlic yogurt dressing.
It’s a crowd-pleasing, family-friendly and approachable recipe that can easily be customized to your preferences!
Why you’ll love it
You’ll just love the different textures in this healthy pasta salad with quinoa!
It’s even high in protein and fiber and will keep your guests coming back for more.
- Pasta — we like to use macaroni shapes but fusilli, penne or shells also work well.
- Quinoa — these little pseudo-grains add some plant-based protein and texture to your Mediterranean pasta salad!
- Artichoke & olives — briny and salty, these two add-ins offer so much flavor!
- Cucumber, tomatoes & bell pepper — crunchy seasonal veggies taste great in pasta salad.
- Chickpeas — adding lovely texture and plant-based protein!
- Dressing — easy 5-minute recipe consisting mainly of soy yogurt, garlic, tahini and some spices.
This combination of ingredients is really priceless and our quinoa pasta salad is usually one of the first dishes to be gone at any buffet.
In terms of equipment, you’ll need two pots, one small bowl, one big bowl, a chopping board, a knife and measuring equipment to make this recipe!
How to make quinoa pasta salad
Using a medium-sized pot, cook your pasta according to package instructions. Once done, rinse under cold water and set aside.
Cook quinoa in a separate pot according to package instructions. We like to use leftover quinoa for this salad!
Once all of the water has been absorbed, fluff it with a fork and set aside to cool.
Prepare the veggies
Measure, wash and chop the vegetables and other add-ins for the salad. Place them in a large bowl and top with chickpeas, quinoa and pasta.
Make the dressing
Whisk vegan yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, garlic and some spices in a small bowl until smooth.
Assemble the salad
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve immediately or cover with a lid and store in the fridge to serve chilled!
This vegan pasta salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Since pasta salads are usually meant to be enjoyed chilled, this recipe is perfect for making ahead of time so you can allow the flavors to marinate!
Before enjoying your stored and chilled quinoa pasta salad from the fridge, try to give it about 30 minutes to warm up at room temperature to wake up the flavors.
You might need to add a bit more dressing when storing for longer — salads sometimes dry out over time.
This hearty quinoa pasta salad is loaded with filling ingredients which means you can enjoy it as a main meal!
During fall and winter, we like to prepare warm pasta salads loaded with hearty beans, grilled veggies, pine nuts and avocado instead of making this chilled Mediterranean version with crunchy summer vegetables!
Tips & adjustments
- Don’t overcook your pasta, or this salad will be mushy!
- If using gluten-free pasta, you’ll have a firmer texture compared to wheat pasta.
- Leftover cooked pasta or quinoa can be used for this salad!
- Make this recipe during meal prep and store your pasta salad in individual food containers for quick to-go lunches.
- Pasta: choose gluten-free if needed or use wheat, whole grain, legume-based or spelt varieties. You can also omit the pasta and go for cooked quinoa only in this recipe!
- Quinoa: can be omitted or swapped for more pasta.
- Artichokes & olives: omit if you’re not a fan!
- Chickpeas: use white beans or tofu feta instead.
- Veggies: reduce or omit any components you don’t like.
- Basil: omit or use other herbs like oregano, parsley or mint.
More salad dressings
Looking for more ideas? Feel free to browse our favorite oil-free vegan salad dressings here.
You can dress your quinoa pasta salad up any way you like! Here are some ideas for what else to add to this cold lunch.
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Grilled veggies
- Green onion
More vegan salads
Check out the following recipes for more delicious and hearty salads!
Have you tried our Mediterranean vegan pasta salad and liked it? Share with us in the comments below and rate our recipe! You can also Pin it here.
- 7 oz macaroni pasta (200 g), gluten-free if needed
- ⅔ cup dry quinoa (115 g), rinsed
- 1 small cucumber, cubed
- ½ can artichoke hearts in brine (120 g), drained
- 1 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes (100 g), halved
- 1 cup black olive rings (130 g)
- 1 cup canned chickpeas (165 g), drained
- 1 small red onion, diced
- ½ cup vegan yogurt dressing
- Fresh basil leaves to garnish
- Cook the pasta according to the package instructions, then drain and rinse the pasta under cold water. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, cook quinoa in a different pot until all of the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let cool while preparing the rest of the salad.
- Wash and chop your vegetables, then get a large bowl and combine all of the ingredients for your quinoa pasta salad.
- Make the quick garlicky vegan yogurt sauce and pour it over the salad. Toss to combine.
- Garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve immediately or cover the salad with a lid and place it in the fridge for an hour. This allows the flavors to combine!
- Any type of short pasta, from wheat to corn, quinoa or legume-based, can be used for this Mediterranean salad.
- If you store the quinoa pasta salad for a couple of days, it’s possible that the dressing will become dry and you may need to add some more before serving and eating the salad.
- Chilled quinoa pasta salad should get around half an hour at room temperature to allow the flavors to “wake up” before serving.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 392Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 356mgCarbohydrates: 60gFiber: 10gSugar: 7gProtein: 14g
Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated automatically, their accuracy is not guaranteed. Just focus on whole plant-based foods and eat until satiety!