Delightful Picnic Pasta Salad for Summertime Joy

Food is never just fuel; it’s an experience that enriches our soul. As the days get longer and warmer, the outdoors become irresistible, and enjoying a picnic with your loved ones is always a great idea. If you’re craving a dish that is hearty, flavorful, and perfect for a refreshing meal under the sun or by the beach, then this vegan Picnic Pasta Salad recipe is exactly what you need.

Made with delicious ingredients like sun-dried tomatoes, garlic cloves, onion, peas, corn, kidney beans, and fragrant basil leaves, all tossed together in a creamy vegan pesto sauce, this pasta salad packs a punch. It’s easy to make and completes any summertime picnic or potluck gathering. Whether you’re looking for a quick meal or something substantial after an active day outdoors, this salad hits the spot every time.

Even if you’re not a vegan or vegetarian yourself, this salad will surprise you with its delicious and nutritious blend of plant-based ingredients that come together to create a mouthwatering taste sensation that everyone will love. Plus, preparing vegan food is a small but meaningful way to contribute to our planet’s health and well-being.

So why wait? Grab your favorite picnic blanket, pack some cold drinks and sandwiches in the basket, and don’t forget to prepare this vegan Picnic Pasta Salad that will make your outing even more delightful!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Picnic Pasta Salad (Vegan)
Picnic Pasta Salad (Vegan)

Dear readers,

Are you looking for a quick and easy meal that is perfect for a picnic or a summer day outside? Look no further than this delicious Picnic Pasta Salad (Vegan) recipe.

Why should you love this recipe? Let me count the ways. First, it’s vegan and packed with protein from the kidney beans and peas, making it a healthy and satisfying choice. Second, it’s bursting with flavor thanks to the sun-dried tomatoes, garlic cloves, onion, and basil. Third, it’s versatile and customizable – you can add your own favorite ingredients or substitutions to truly make it your own.

But what really sets this recipe apart is how easy it is to make. With just a few simple steps, you will have a creamy and delicious vegan pasta salad that is sure to impress at any picnic or outdoor gathering.

So why not give this recipe a try? With its combination of refreshing summer flavors and hearty plant-based ingredients, this Picnic Pasta Salad (Vegan) is sure to become one of your go-to dishes. Trust me, your taste buds (and your body) will thank you.


Your Vegan Chef Assistant

Ingredient List

 A refreshing, colorful bowl of vegan picnic pasta salad!
A refreshing, colorful bowl of vegan picnic pasta salad!

Let’s dive into the ingredient list for this scrumptious vegan picnic pasta salad recipe. Here are all the ingredients you’ll need to make this dish:

  • 8 ounces of vegan pasta (macaroni, penne, or any short shape)
  • 2 cups of cooked and cooled corn
  • 1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup of peas
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 of red onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves for garnish

For the creamy vegan dressing:

  • 3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Salt and pepper to taste

These ingredients are easily accessible and can be found at any grocery store. You may also substitute any ingredient depending on your preference.

The Recipe How-To

 A medley of summer veggies and protein-rich chickpeas make this salad a nutritious and delicious option.
A medley of summer veggies and protein-rich chickpeas make this salad a nutritious and delicious option.

Now comes the fun part, cooking! This recipe is simple and quick to make, perfect for a summer picnic or a last-minute gathering with friends.

Step 1

Firstly, cook 8 ounces (225 grams) of pasta according to the package instructions until it is al dente, drain and rinse with cold water.

Step 2

In a large bowl, combine pasta, ½ cup (120 milliliters) of vegan pesto, ½ cup (120 milliliters) of olive oil and mix well.

Step 3

Add 1 red onion (finely sliced), 1 bell pepper (diced into small pieces), 1 cup (160 grams) corn, 1 cup (160 grams) peas, ½ cup (60 grams) kidney beans and ½ cup (80 grams) sun-dried tomatoes (chopped). Mix everything together until the ingredients are combined uniformly.

Step 4

Finally, add in some chopped fresh basil leaves for a fragrant aroma and added freshness. Give everything one final mix before refrigerating for at least an hour.

Pro Tip: If you have time, you can refrigerate the salad overnight to allow all the flavors to fully develop.


Once ready to serve, remove the bowl from the refrigerator and garnish with slices of bell pepper, cucumber or tomatoes. Serve cold in a large bowl as a main or side dish.

Enjoy this delicious Picnic Pasta Salad as a tasty lunch or dinner option, perfect for any occasion!

Substitutions and Variations

 The vibrant colors of the fresh vegetables in this salad will make your taste buds dance!
The vibrant colors of the fresh vegetables in this salad will make your taste buds dance!

If you’re looking to make some tweaks to this recipe or have certain dietary restrictions, there are plenty of substitutions and variations that you can try out. Here are some ideas to switch things up and make this picnic pasta salad truly your own:

– Gluten-free: If you need to avoid gluten, simply swap the regular pasta for gluten-free pasta. There are plenty of options available these days, from quinoa and rice-based pasta to chickpea-based pasta.

– Veggie swaps: If you don’t have all the vegetables on hand as listed in the ingredients list, don’t worry! You can easily swap them out for whatever veggies you have in your fridge or pantry. For example, instead of peas and corn, you could add diced zucchini or chopped spinach. Use what veggies you like taw on this delicious salad.

– Creamy vegan pesto: In place of the sun-dried tomatoes, consider making a creamy vegan pesto by blending together fresh basil leaves with garlic cloves, pine nuts, ¼ cup of olive oil and a pinch salt. Drizzle this pesto over your dish to add more depth of flavor to your dish.

– Greek or Italian dressing: Instead of using lemon juice or a vegan mayo-based dressing, try tossing your pasta salad with a Greek or Italian dressing for a different flavor profile.

– Esquites-inspired pasta salad: For a tasty twist on this classic pasta salad, consider turning it into an esquites-inspired dish. Swap out the kidney beans for black beans and add roasted corn kernels, diced red onion and minced jalapeños. Toss everything together with fresh lime juice and top with vegan queso fresco or cotija cheese (optional).

Whether you choose to keep things classic or explore new flavors with these substitutions and variations, this vegan picnic pasta salad is sure to be a crowd-pleaser at any occasion. So go ahead, embrace creativity on this recipe!

Serving and Pairing

 This salad is a great option for a family picnic or gathering with friends.
This salad is a great option for a family picnic or gathering with friends.

When it comes to serving and pairing your picnic pasta salad, the options are nearly endless. This refreshing dish pairs well with an array of summertime favorites like grilled veggies, tofu kebabs, watermelon slices, and white wine spritzers.

For a complete vegan meal, enjoy the pasta salad with plant-based proteins such as grilled tempeh, vegan sausage or chickpea patties. This pairing will add protein and additional flavor to your plate.

The tomato and basil undertones of this salad make it perfect for pairing with other Italian favorites like garlic bread, caprese salads or even pizza. Want something more exotic? Serve it alongside a classic Greek salad or a hummus platter – the creamy texture of hummus complements the tanginess of your picnic pasta salad.

When it comes to beverages, opt for a light and refreshing summer drink such as iced tea, lemonade or any other cold fruity cocktail. Consider complementing these refreshing drinks with sparkling water topped with lemon wedges for a crisp finish.

Overall the picnic pasta salad is a versatile side dish that you can pair with virtually anything- hot or cold!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The perfect dish for a hot summer day - light, refreshing and fulfilling.
The perfect dish for a hot summer day – light, refreshing and fulfilling.

Preparing a dish ahead of time can often be a lifesaver, whether you’re meal prepping, travelling, or simply want to enjoy a stress-free gathering with friends and family. Fortunately, this vegan picnic pasta salad is highly customizable and easy-to-store, making it the perfect make-ahead option for any occasion.

To make it ahead of time, cook the pasta according to the package directions and set aside to cool. Then, add all of the ingredients to a large bowl and mix well before drizzling with olive oil and lemon juice. Cover the salad tightly with plastic wrap or an airtight container and keep refrigerated until ready to serve – which can be 2-3 days depending on your preference.

Once you’re ready to enjoy your pasta salad, take it out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes so that it’s not as cold. To reheat leftovers and restore some of the freshly-made magic, Add extra touches like vegan pesto or Italian dressing if desired to give it more life!

The beauty of this dish is that even if you had leftovers that went back into the fridge, you can still enjoy them later. This Picnic Pasta Salad is happy being eaten cold (like traditional macaroni salad) so it’s perfect cold as well! Make sure to store any left-overs in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Overall, this creamy vegan picnic pasta salad makes meal prep less daunting without sacrificing taste or nutrition. It holds up well in storage and reheats easily without losing its flavor or texture, making it a practical choice for long trips or impromptu gatherings with loved ones who appreciate delicious vegan food.

Tips for Perfect Results

 A great way to sneak in some healthy veggies into your diet!
A great way to sneak in some healthy veggies into your diet!

Now that you have all the ingredients ready to make your delicious picnic pasta salad, let’s talk about some tips to ensure the perfect results.

Firstly, make sure to cook the pasta al dente. Overcooking it can turn it mushy and break easily when tossed with other ingredients. Set a timer for 1-2 minutes less than the package instructions and taste for doneness. Rinse it with cold water immediately after cooking to stop the cooking process, then drain it well.

Secondly, use a flavorful dressing, like a vegan pesto or an Italian dressing, to bring all the ingredients together. Be generous with the dressing and toss the salad well to coat everything evenly.

Thirdly, don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations of veggies and beans. Adding roasted bell peppers or grilled zucchini can add a smoky flavor, while using black beans instead of kidney beans can give it a Mexican twist.

Fourthly, chill your salad in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. This will help the flavors mingle and create a delicious creamy vegan picnic pasta experience.

Finally, garnish your picnic pasta salad with some chopped fresh herbs like basil or cilantro, and maybe even some sliced olives or diced red onion for an extra crunch of flavor.

Follow these tips and you’ll be able to create an amazing vegan pasta salad that will impress everyone at your next picnic!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this vegan Picnic Pasta Salad recipe is a scrumptious and easy-to-make dish that is perfect for any picnic occasion. Vegan food can be just as delicious and indulgent as non-vegan dishes, and this recipe is proof of that. The combination of tender pasta, crisp vegetables, kidney beans, and sun-dried tomatoes creates a refreshing and satisfying meal.

By choosing plant-based ingredients, you are not only promoting a healthier lifestyle but also contributing to a more sustainable planet. Veganism is not only for vegans but also for anyone who wants to make conscious choices about their consumption. Whether you’re a seasoned vegan or just trying to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet, this recipe is an excellent option for nutritious and wholesome eating.

Try this tantalizing Picnic Pasta Salad recipe at home and enjoy the creamy vegan pesto dressing with fresh basil and garlic cloves. Not only does it taste fantastic, but it’s also quick and easy to make, which makes it ideal for busy weeks or last-minute picnic ideas.

So why not give this delicious vegan pasta salad recipe a try today? Impress your friends at your next summer gathering with this lip-smacking dish while making eco-friendly choices in your life. Cheers to happy picnicking!

Picnic Pasta Salad (Vegan)

Picnic Pasta Salad (Vegan) Recipe

This is a salad that is easy to vary and also transports well. I am still perfecting the quantities.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Vegan
Servings 3 cups
Calories 376.6 kcal



  • 1/2 cup kidney bean
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup cooked rotini


  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes, soaked and chopped
  • 1/2 cup basil, finely chopped
  • 2 -3 tablespoons olive oil


  • Mix the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Stir the dressing ingredients together and let sit for a couple minutes.
  • Pour dressing over the salad and coat all the veggies and pasta. You can let it marinate or enjoy immediately!

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 267gCalories: 376.6kcalCarbohydrates: 50.1gProtein: 12gFat: 15.4gSaturated Fat: 2.2gSodium: 277.8mgFiber: 8.9gSugar: 8.3g
Keyword < 15 Mins, Beans, Beginner Cook, Corn, Easy, Egg-free, Free Of..., Lactose-free, Low Cholesterol, No-Cook, Potluck, Small Appliance, Vegan, Vegetable
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