Home Nutrition Lemon Basil Pasta Salad – Sharon Palmer, The Plant Powered Dietitian

Lemon Basil Pasta Salad – Sharon Palmer, The Plant Powered Dietitian

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Tossing together a vegan Lemon Basil Pasta Salad couldn’t be any easier than this. Just cook up the pasta, then mix in fresh cherry tomatoes, flavorful olives, shallots, sweet basil, a lemon olive oil vinaigrette, and crunchy pistachios. With only 8 ingredients (excluding pantry staples), you can whip up this Lemon Basil Pasta Salad in under 15 minutes. While the pasta is cooking, pull together all of your ingredients: tomatoes, olives, herbs, and pistachios, with a vinaigrette made out of lemon juice and EVOO. Then toss it together and you’re good to go. You can serve it warm, or chill it to bring to a potluck or dinner party later on. It tastes even better the next day!

I love to serve pasta salads like this for outdoor meals, paired with a simple entrée like grilled tofu or veggie burgers. Packed with nutrients, like protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, this salad is a great way to fuel your day with powerful plant nutrition.

You can also swap the ingredients out, if you like. Try a different type of nut instead of pistachios, or throw in some slivered zucchini or cauliflower florets to add a nice earthy crunch. You can also add chickpeas, tofu or tempeh to make this recipe a balanced meal. This salad is also great for meal prep, allowing you to create healthy delicious meals all week long. Make this recipe gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta. 



Toss together this flavorful, plant-based (vegan), uber delicious Lemon Basil Pasta Salad in 10 minutes with only 8 ingredients.





  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes (yellow, orange, or red), sliced in half
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 1 cup olives, whole, drained (i.e., Sicilian, Greek)
  • ½ cup pistachios, shelled
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Lemon Olive Oil Vinaigrette:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large lemon, juiced and zested
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  1. To make pasta: Cook penne pasta in boiling water, according to package directions, until al dente (about 9 minutes). Rinse in cold water and drain.
  2. While pasta is cooking, add tomatoes, shallot, olives, pistachios, and fresh basil to a large bowl. Add drained, cool pasta to the bowl.
  3. To make vinaigrette: In a small dish, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and zest, garlic, sea salt (optional) and black pepper.
  4. Toss vinaigrette into the pasta salad and combine well. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate until serving time.
  5. Makes about 2 quarts; 10 (about 3/4 cup) servings.

  • Category: Salad
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean, American


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 227
  • Sugar: 2 g
  • Sodium: 316 mg
  • Fat: 9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 31 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 7 g

Keywords: best vegan pasta salad, healthy pasta salad

For other hearty, plant-based salad recipes, check out some of my favorites:

Green Bean, Chickpea, and Farro Salad with Za’atar
Spicy Sorghum Avocado Salad
Vegan Confetti Potato Salad

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