I created this recipe when I was a broke college student. My first version of it was made using ramen noodles rather than “real” noodles. LOL. This most recent version is slightly more upscale, with penne noodles. Haha! Nonetheless, it has always been delicious. This recipe is one that I highly recommend when you are short on time, short on cash, and still want something that tastes like it could be served in your favorite Italian restaurant. And even though this dish can be a huge time saver by using canned veggies, you could also make a more elaborate version, including freshly cooked veggies such as roasted red peppers, sauteed onions, or even fresh artichokes and tomatoes. That version, for me, would be saved for an occasion when I was really trying to impress somebody.
Below are the very simple instructions for your work lunches, picnics, leftover meals, and whatever other “ordinary” meal you can think of. This tastes great served either hot or cold, so it just depends on your personal preference.
Here are the ingredients that you’ll need:
Mediterranean Pasta Salad
- 1 15 oz. can of cannelli beans or other white beans
- 1 6 oz. can of black olives
- 1 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes
- 1 13 oz. can of artichoke hearts
- 1 lb. of firm pasta, such as rotini, bow tie, or penne
- 1 cup of vegan Italian salad dressing
- Optional veggies that can be used in this recipe: roasted red peppers, sauteed onion, capers
- Cook the pasta according to package directions, but make sure you undercook a bit (“al dente”), so it won’t get soggy later.
- Open the cans of veggies and add to the pasta. If you are roasting red peppers or sauteeing the onion to add to this dish, you should do so while the pasta is cooking.
- Add the Italian dressing to the pasta and veggies. If you find it to be dry, you can add more.
- If you are gluten free, try this recipe using rice noodles.
- If you are sugar free, make your own salad dressing and omit the sugar. Most of the salad dressings sold commercially do contain sugar.
- If you are oil free, make your own salad dressing. You could make a creamy Italian dressing using unsweetened plant milk or pureed avocado in place of the oil. There are plenty of no- oil salad dressing recipes available these days online.
- If you are dairy free, check the nutrition labels of any salad dressing that you are considering buying. Many of the Italian salad dressings sold in stores do contain dairy.
- As always, if you want any help with substitutions in this recipe, write me a comment below and I’ll help any way I can.