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Glass bowl filled with our Vegan Gluten-Free Penne Pasta Salad recipe
4.7 from 20 votes

Penne Pasta Salad (30 minutes!)

Wholesome and delicious classic pasta salad made with creamy pesto dressing and roasted tomatoes. Made with just 9 ingredients in 30 minutes! The perfect quick + easy side dish.
Author: Minimalist Baker
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Category: Side
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 4 Days

Ingredients

PASTA SALAD

PESTO

  • 2 cups semi-packed fresh basil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (4 cloves yield ~2 Tbsp)
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (plus more for serving // or sub raw walnuts)
  • 1 medium lemon, juiced (yields ~3 Tbsp or 45 ml as original recipe is written)
  • 1/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese (plus more for serving)
  • 1 pinch sea salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (extra virgin is best // plus more for pasta)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Add tomatoes to the baking sheet and drizzle with a little oil and a pinch each salt and pepper. Arrange cut side up and roast for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom and slightly shriveled. Set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a generous pinch of salt. Once boiling add pasta of choice and cook according to package instructions. Then drain and set aside. Drizzle with a little olive oil and toss to prevent sticking.
  4. Make pesto by adding basil, garlic, pine nuts, lemon juice, vegan parmesan cheese, and salt to a food processor and blending to combine. Stream in the olive oil until creamy and smooth, scraping down sides as needed. If too dry, add a little water. It should be thick but pourable (see first photo).
  5. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more lemon juice for acidity, vegan parmesan cheese for cheesiness, salt for saltiness, or garlic for bite/spice. Set aside.
  6. Add cooked pasta and roasted tomatoes to a mixing/serving bowl and top with pesto. Toss to combine and enjoy immediately. Garnish with extra vegan parmesan cheese and/or fresh parsley or basil (optional).
  7. Best when fresh, though leftovers keep in the refrigerator up to 4 days. Enjoy at room temperature for best flavor/texture.

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with whole-grain penne and all of the pesto and tomatoes but no additional toppings.
*Pesto adapted from my Vegan Pesto Parmesan Breadsticks.

Nutrition Per Serving (1 of 6)