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Summer Pasta Primavera Salad

in Entrees, Salads, Sides

A hearty Summertime pasta salad that is chocked full of veggies and is big on flavor.

pasta primavera 4I was a picky child.  I was picky about my hair.  I was picky about my clothing (apparently I hated when my socks were twisted?).  And I was most definitely extremely picky about my food.

pasta primavera 3As a result, the fact that I now love and crave most veggies and foods like tempeh, tofu, vegan mayo, mustard, pickles, wheat bread, etc. continues to amaze me.  I think both of my parents are slightly baffled by this as well.  How does someone go from eating mostly grilled cheese sandwiches, french fries, carrots (I have always loved those), pizza, and Spaghettios to eating all of the goodness that I eat now?

I do not have anything specific that I can pinpoint other than finally wanting to be healthy and understanding that our tastebuds take time to adjust to new foods.  I am very happy to say that my tastebuds have adjusted for the better.

pasta primavera 7So what does my pickiness have to do with the deliciousness in this bowl?  You guessed it.  I used to hate cold pasta (unless we are talking cold mac and cheese), which meant that I wanted nothing to do with pastsa salads.   And I absolutely refused to go anywhere near black olives (olives are still not something that I love, but I definitely like them now).

This past Summer, I branched out and decided to give pasta salad a try again.  What do you know?  I loved it.  So what is a girl to do about a newfound food love?  Healthify it a bit and make it vegan.  Duh.

pasta primavera 5Summer Pasta Primavera Salad
Vegan + Mayo-Free

Servings: 3 to 4 (as a meal) or 6 to 8 (as a side)


6 oz whole wheat farfalle pasta (or other favorite pasta)
2 whole carrots, peeled and cut into rounds
16 oz fresh green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup diced green onions
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1 TB apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 TB good quality extra virgin olive oil
1 TB pure maple syrup (not pancake syrup)
1 1/2 TB Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
fine sea salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
1 TB nutritional yeast, optional


1. Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain, do not rinse, and set aside to cool.

2. Add carrots to a large pot of boiling water.  Boil for approximately 3 minutes.

3. Add the green beans to the pot and continue boiling for an additional 4 to 5 minutes, or until cooked but not mushy.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Set aside to cool.

4. Once cooled, add pasta, carrots, green beans, peppers, onions, and olives to a large bowl.  Stir to combine.

5. In a small bowl, wisk together vinegar, oil, maple syrup, mustard, garlic powder, and onion powder.

6. Pour the sauce into the bowl of pasta and veggies.  Mix well.

7. Season with salt and pepper.  Stir in nutritional yeast, if using.

8. Refrigerate any leftovers.

pasta primavera 10I love vegan mayo as much as the next person (seriously, Vegenaise is amazing), but trust me when I say that you won’t even miss it in this dish.  The savoriness of the EVOO combines wonderfully with the bitterness of the vinegar and mustard, and the sweetness of the maple syrup leaves your tasetbuds very happy.  And if it gets you,your family, and your guests to eat tons of veggies and whole wheat pasta, then why not?

pasta primavera 2Pasta salads are great to make ahead for work weeks (I ate mine for lunches) or to prep ahead as sides for gatherings.  Basically, this is a recipe for numerous occasions, even if that occasion is just your lunch hour at work.  I don’t know about you, but I like to be able to really look forward to lunch on a Monday.  It helps make the day a teensy bit better!

pasta primavera 11It’s Summertime in a bowl.  And despite Summer almost being over, I’ll definitely still be eating this into the Fall and Winter months.

What is one food that you used to hate but now love?

{ 21 comments… add one }
  • Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat August 15, 2014, 7:26 am
    Delicious! I love that it has no mayo in it because I wouldn't feel as bad letting this sit out as much during a hot summer picnic. Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat recently posted...My Favorite Prenatal WorkoutsMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl August 15, 2014, 4:26 pm
      Yes!! That is definitely a great perk for it being mayo-free!
  • Kelly @ Hidden Fruits and Veggies August 15, 2014, 7:28 am
    Hannah, these photos are straight up gorgeous! That fancy pants camera you got is really earning it's keep! This salad sounds delicious, too. While it's hard to pass on a creamy, mayo-y pasta salad, I must prefer when they're made with a vinaigrette like this one (and packed with veggies. yum!). Kelly @ Hidden Fruits and Veggies recently posted...Ice Cream, Margaritas, and Blue Diamond Honey Roasted AlmondsMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl August 15, 2014, 4:27 pm
      Gotta love anything packed with veggies! And thank you so much on your compliment about my photos! I sure am in love with my camera ;)
  • meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles August 15, 2014, 7:43 am
    I was THE PICKIEST kid alive. Even until my early 20's, the only vegetables I would eat were carrots, green beans and corn. Seriously. Based on this, I probably don't need to tell you all of the foods I now eat that I would never touch. I never imagined I would become a vegetarian let alone crave roasted Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower. meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles recently posted...GF Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Protein BitesMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl August 15, 2014, 4:32 pm
      Isn't it the craziest thing? I still crack myself up when I eat certain foods. 'Gotta love it, though! We have changed for the better ;)
  • Joanna @Makingmine August 15, 2014, 7:47 am
    Your photos are SO pretty! I was an extremely picky child - I'm still trying to get over it! Thankfully I have friends who take me to new places (like Modern Love) and I get to try new things ;) Joanna @Makingmine recently posted...ruby turns 2My Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl August 15, 2014, 4:35 pm
      Well good for you for being willing to try new things!! Hopefully we have converted you to love some new foods :)
  • Katie @ running4cupcakes August 15, 2014, 12:08 pm
    Drool. Totally going to make this minus the black olives. ;)
    • ClnEatingVegGrl August 15, 2014, 4:37 pm
      Haha.. I totally understand. People generally either like them or HATE them! ;)
  • Erin @ Her Heartland Soul August 15, 2014, 1:38 pm
    This looks so good! I was a picky eater too growing up. I think it was because I wasn't exposed to a whole lot of foods. Now I feel like I'm a pretty adventurous eater! Erin @ Her Heartland Soul recently posted...Friday Five 28My Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl August 15, 2014, 4:40 pm
      That is probably the same for me... I definitely was not exposed to many vegetables or any "different" types of food other than your classic meats and sides. I am so glad we are both adventurous eaters now!
  • Jennifer August 15, 2014, 5:08 pm
    So colorful and healthy . .. mmmmm Jennifer recently posted...Strip Steak Salad with Roasted Hatch Chile Relish RecipeMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl August 15, 2014, 7:09 pm
      Tasty dishes are great, but colorful dishes are even better!!
  • Ashley August 16, 2014, 6:30 am
    haha yeahhh I was the same way as a kid (and my sister too). We ate a lot of mac and cheese :) This pasta salad sounds delicious! And I especially love that it is mayo-free!! Happy weekend!! Ashley recently posted...Corn Fritters with Tomato Avocado SalsaMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl August 16, 2014, 8:20 pm
      I must say, mac and cheese is definitely still one of my favorite dishes ever!! That is comfort food at its finest!
  • Thalia @ butter and brioche August 16, 2014, 4:39 pm
    definitely craving a bowl of pasta right now.. looks delicious. Thalia @ butter and brioche recently posted...Strawberry & Brown Sugar Brioche TartMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl August 16, 2014, 8:21 pm
      Sometimes there is just nothing better than pasta!
  • Sabrina @NutritiouslySweet August 16, 2014, 7:54 pm
    Pasta primavera is so good! I don't remember the last time I had pasta... I need to hope on this now! :) Sabrina @NutritiouslySweet recently posted...#OnAQuestMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl August 16, 2014, 8:34 pm
      Yes! For some reason I always seem to forget about pasta... which is silly because it is so delicious and so easy to make!

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