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Vegan Broccoli Pasta Salad with Fresh Italian Herb Dressing

When I was a kid, my mom would let me pick a salad from the deli counter at our local grocer every week. I almost always picked the same one with broccoli. It was on my mind as I put together this recipe for vegan broccoli pasta salad with black olives, chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, and a homemade Italian dressing with fresh herbs.

Fresh basil, oregano, thyme, and parsley bring a freshness to this sun-dried tomato-balsamic vinegar Italian dressing.  It perfectly complements the rest of the elements.  Whether you top it with vegan parmesan or not, it has delicious, herbaceous flavor!

This vegan broccoli pasta salad keeps well in the fridge. You can make it in advance of when it is needed, and it will still be good. In fact, I have taken it on road trips and camping. Left in a cooler with ice packs, it has been super tasty, even a day or two later. If it will need anything, maybe a touch more balsamic vinegar, but even then, it’s a maybe.

Serve this recipe for vegan broccoli pasta salad as a side at a bbq cookout, for lunch, or as a tasty summer meal! It also pairs well with Italian White Bean Burgers, or as a side to Vegan Minestrone Soup.

Check out more UVK recipes, like Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup, Vegan Tater Tot Casserole with Broccoli and Mushrooms, Tofu Scramble, Vegan Baked Pasta with Tofu Ricotta and Eggplant, or Italian Tempeh with Peppers, Onions and Herbed Farro.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and please enjoy 💚

Broccoli Bow Tie Pasta Salad Recipe
An easy vegan recipe for broccoli pasta salad with Italian dressing

Vegan Broccoli Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing


2 garlic cloves, sliced in half

1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

½ cup olive oil

6 sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil

2 Tbsp fresh oregano leaves

¼ cup flat leaf parsley

½ cup fresh basil

2 sprigs of fresh thyme, just the leaves (toss out the stems)

½ tsp dijon mustard

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

Salt, to taste

Black pepper, to taste


3 cups fresh broccoli florets

16 ounce package of farfalle pasta

5 ounce can of sliced black olives, drained

1 ½ cups halved cherry tomatoes

15 ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Vegan parmesan, to top – optional

How to Make Broccoli Pasta Salad Vegan

1. First, you’ll blanch the broccoli for the vegan pasta salad. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Put the broccoli in a strainer. When the water is at a rolling boil, submerge the broccoli florets for 15 seconds (see photo above), then remove the strainer from the pot and rinse the broccoli off with very cold water.  Reserve the pot of boiling water. Add the broccoli to a large mixing bowl.  

2. Use the same pot of boiling water that you used for the broccoli to prepare the pasta.  Follow the directions on the pasta package, drain, rinse with cold water, and allow it to cool.

DIY Italian Dressing

3.  Next, make the vegan Italian dressing for the broccoli pasta salad. In a skillet, add garlic, olive oil, and crushed red pepper flakes over high heat.  As soon as it starts to sizzle, turn it down to low and cook for 1-2 minutes to infuse the oil with the garlic and red pepper flakes.  Don’t let the garlic brown or burn.  

4. Add the contents of the skillet, and everything listed under “Dressing” to a food processor or blender.  Blend until very smooth.  Taste, and adjust seasonings (Salt? More balsamic? etc).

Pasta Salad Vegan

5. Add everything EXCEPT the pasta to the large salad bowl with the broccoli. Stir and coat the vegetables with the Italian dressing.

6. Next, stir in the pasta.  Taste the vegan broccoli pasta salad, and adjust flavor, if needed (more salt? More balsamic?). Serve topped with vegan parmesan.

Italian Pasta Salad Broccoli
A flavorful vegan pasta salad recipe with broccoli and Italian dressing

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