Broccoli Pasta Salad
This Vegan Broccoli Pasta Salad is so incredibly tasty that no one will realize exactly how much veggies they’re actually eating! It’s the perfect way to get kids and picky eaters to get their daily intake!
Summertime… it’s all about salads, is it not? With so many picnics and barbecues and family gatherings, I say you can never have too many salad recipes.
And plus, salads are always good, any time of year. Whether you decide to enjoy them on their own, or a as a side, they should totally be a part of your every day meals.
Here’s one that I think you will particularly appreciate… It’s crazy loaded with all kinds of super nutritious veggies, namely raw broccoli, bell peppers and carrots, but the fact that it also contains a small amount of pasta, and that it’s brought together by a crazy tasty creamy dressing (seriously… it’s so good that dressing, you’ll want to use it in ALL your salads!) no one will ever even realize that they are in fact ingesting so many veggies.
What’s more, this Broccoli Pasta Salad also happens to be super sturdy and will keep really well in the fridge for up to a few days, so you can totally make it ahead of time and still find it totally presentable for a party, or have you last a while to enjoy with your meals throughout the week.
It comes together pretty quick, too… just about the time that it would take you to cook pasta. I say in the kitchen, quick is good. I’m all for quick!
The first thing you should do is cook your pasta — I chose to use spelt rotini , but feel free to use your own favorite kind — in plenty of salted boiling water, according to the instructions on the package
While this is happening, you’ll want to finely chop 6 cups worth of broccoli florets — you’ll need about 2 large crowns for that — and place them in a large colander. Once that’s done, you should still have plenty of time to prep the rest of your veggies.
When the pasta is cooked to your liking, carefully pour it, along with its cooking, liquid all over the broccoli, making sure to hit as many of the florets as you can with the water as it pours.
Let that sit undisturbed for a few minutes; the heat from the water and pasta will slightly soften the broccoli while keeping it entirely raw, which will preserve all of its precious nutrients while making it more palatable!
During that time, make your dressing by combining all the ingredients in a large measuring cup and whisk them until thoroughly combined.
As you can see, after a few minutes the broccoli will have taken on a beautiful vibrant green color and will have softened up slightly while retaining most of its crunch. If you really, truly are not a fan of raw broccoli, though, and would rather cook yours, you could simply add it directly to the pot when your pasta is almost done cooking and leave it in there for 30 to 45 seconds, then drain the whole thing — pasta and broccoli — at once.
Now transfer the pasta and broccoli to a large mixing bowl and then add the carrots, bell peppers, dried cranberries and roasted pumpkin seeds to it. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss gently until all the ingredients are evenly combined and coated.
Serve your Broccoli Pasta Salad immediately, or let it sit for a few hours to allow the flavors to meld. You could also make this salad up to a two days ahead. Keep it refrigerated until ready to serve and, if necessary, add a little bit more oil to it at the moment of serving.
Vegan Broccoli Pasta Salad
- 7 oz dry spelt rotini pasta, or other short pasta of your choice
- 6 cups small broccoli florets, from about 2 large crowns
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries, or raisins
- 1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
For the creamy dressing
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tbsp herbes de Provence, or other dried herb
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- Cook the pasta in plenty of salted boiling water, according to the instructions on the package.
- Meanwhile, chop the broccoli and place the florets in a large colander, then prep the rest of your veggies.
- When the pasta is cooked, pour it along with its cooking water all over the broccoli, making sure to hit as much of the florets as you can with the water as it pours. Let that sit undisturbed for a few minutes; the heat from the water and pasta will slightly soften the broccoli.
- During that time, combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a large measuring cup and whisk until thoroughly combined.
- Transfer the pasta and broccoli to a large mixing bowl and then add the carrots, bell peppers, dried cranberries and roasted pumpkin seeds. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss until all the ingredients are evenly combined and coated.
- Serve immediately, or let your salad sit for a few hours to allow the flavors to meld.
- You could also make this salad up to a two days ahead. Keep it refrigerated until ready to serve; if necessary, add a little more oil at the moment of serving.
If you’ve tried this recipe, please take a minute to rate the recipe and let me know how things went for you in the comments below. It’s always such a pleasure to hear from you!
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