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Oil-Free Vegan Pasta Salad

Author : Ashley Madden
Prep Time: 15 mins
Course: Salad



  • ¼ minced shallot or white onion
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Italian spices
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • 12 ounces brown rice penne or fusilli pasta or whole wheat if gluten isn’t an issue
  • cups diced cucumber
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • ½ cup diced roasted red pepper packed in water, not oil
  • ½ cup thinly sliced black olives
  • 1 large avocado pitted, peeled, and diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh basil


  • First whisk all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside. 
  • In a large pot of salted water, cook the pasta according to directions for al dente (1-2 minutes short of the directed cooking time). Once cooked, rinse under cold water and drain well. Transfer to a big bowl and add most of the dressing, reserving 2 or 3 tablespoons. Mix well. Set aside to cool, either on the counter or in the fridge.  
  • Right before serving, add the reserved dressing and toss the pasta to “wake” it up. Now add all the chopped veggies and avocado and gently mix. Season generously with salt and pepper, garnish with some fresh basil if desired, and serve immediately. 


This pasta salad works best when the pasta is cooked no more than 2 to 3 hours before serving – just enough time to let it cool and absorb the dressing. If cooked too early, the pasta will become hard and chewy.
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