Grilled Veggie Pasta Salad – Recipe by Laura Vitale

While Italians prefer their pasta dish served hot, pasta salad is generally served cold as an appetizer, side dish or a main course. Macaroni salad is probably the most popular pasta salad all over the world. It is made with elbow macaroni and other ingredients, topped or mixed with mayonnaise. Pasta salad is often considered as a spring or summertime meal for its bright flavors, but it can be served year-round.

In this grilled veggie pasta salad recipe, cooked whole wheat penne and grilled vegetables are tossed in a light and tangy roasted garlic vinaigrette. Although it is very tempting to eat the salad right away, it is best to let it sit for an hour in the fridge before serving. It is a great make-ahead meal as that the flavor gets better after it sits in the fridge for a day! So make this grilled veggie pasta salad, keep it in the fridge, and you’re ready to serve a healthy and delicious salad, anytime.


• ½ pound of whole wheat penne
• 2 zucchini
• 1 eggplant
• 1 red onion, cut into thick rings
• 1 red bell pepper,
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tsp salt
• ½ tsp black pepper
• 4 oz of baby arugula, washed and dried
• ½ cup of pitted Kalamata olives, sliced


• 1 head of garlic
• 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
• 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• ¼ tsp salt
• ¼ tsp black pepper


This recipe takes about 90 minutes to make. Serves 6 to 8.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Slice the garlic in half, then drizzle with some olive oil.
wrap the garlic in aluminum foil, then roast in the oven for about 45 minutes.
Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat.
Cut off the top part of the eggplant, then slice into 3, lengthwise.
Cut off the top and bottom parts of the zucchini, then slice in half, lengthwise.
Slice the bell pepper into 4, then remove the head and seeds.
Drizzle olive oil on the vegetables.
Grill the vegetables for 4 to 5 minutes on each side.
Transfer grilled vegetables to a plate and let them cool while you prepare the vinaigrette.
Squeeze out the roasted garlic from its peel into a large salad bowl.
Add balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.
Using a fork, mash the garlic.
Gradually pour in extra virgin olive oil while whisking.
Cook the pasta according to packet instructions, then immediately submerge the cooked pasta in an ice bath.
Drain and set the pasta aside.
Cut grilled vegetables into chunks, then put them in the salad bowl.
Season with salt and black pepper.
Add olives and toss the vegetables.
Add pasta and arugula, then give the salad a final toss to make sure that everything is coated with the vinaigrette.

Ideas And Tips:

• Aside from penne, you can, of course, use other types of pasta such as elbow macaroni, fusilli, farfalle, shells or rigatoni.

• You can use red wine vinegar to substitute balsamic vinegar.

• Aside from arugula, you can use watercress, baby spinach leaves, dandelion greens or radicchio.

• You add grated cheese to the salad.

Grilled Veggie Pasta Salad - Recipe by Laura Vitale
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