Balsamic Vegetable Pasta Salad


We grilled almost every meal this past weekend.

Steaks, burgers, chicken sausages, veggies, bread, s’mores. You name it, we grilled it.


When it’s 90 degrees outside, I’ll do just about anything to not be inside cooking over a hot stove.


And Nick loves to grill, which means when summer hits, I’m planning as many meals that can be grilled as possible. Less time in the kitchen, less dishes to clean, less mess after dinner.

When it comes to side dishes for grilled meals, I love throwing veggies on that have been marinated in balsamic or sweet corn or even fruit.

If I cook anything else, it’s usually some beans or a pasta salad.


Growing up, I wasn’t a huge fan of cold pasta salads. I was usually reaching for macaroni and cheese or bbq chips instead.

But as I’ve gotten older and smarter and figured out that trying new things is a good thing, I’ve also figured out that I love a good, cold pasta salad for a lot of reasons.

1. Pasta salads don’t just have to be multicolored pasta with olives and a dressing.

2. I can put anything I want in my pasta salad.

3. They are one of my favorite things to have with a burger right off the grill.

4. They are pretty.


Crunchy veggies. Chewy pasta. Tangy dressing. Salty olives.

Pasta salad is just plain good.


Balsamic Vegetable Pasta Salad

Makes: 6-8 servings


  • 1 lb. small shape pasta of your choice (I used a brown rice shell pasta)
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 1/2 cup olives
  • 1/4 cup radishes
  • 1/4 cup scallions
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp oregano


  1. Fill large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add pasta and a palmful of salt, stir,  and return to a boil. Cook 8-10 minutes or until tender.
  2. While pasta is cooking, chop your vegetables and herbs and mix together in a large bowl.
  3. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic over the vegetables, add your salt, pepper, and oregano and toss to combine.
  4. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add to vegetables.
  5. Gently toss together.
  6. Serve warm, cold, or at room temperature.

28 Responses to “Balsamic Vegetable Pasta Salad”

  1. #
    Cait @ A Bicycle Built for Two — June 1, 2011 at 10:46 am

    YUM! We also use the grill all the time during the summer-less work for me, more for Jeff. I made a very similar dish for dinner last night that I am blogging today :) Great minds think alike ;)

    • admin replied: — June 1st, 2011 at 7:42 pm

      can’t wait to see yours! :)

  2. #
    Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean — June 1, 2011 at 11:06 am

    pasta salad is just so darn delicious! i had some for dinner last night too, but with italian dressing!

  3. #
    Maris (In Good Taste) — June 1, 2011 at 11:08 am

    This looks like the perfect pasta salad!

  4. #
    Hope — June 1, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    I am a big fan of pasta salads in the summer. They are refreshing! I love this one! It has the perfect combination of veggies and pasta! :)

  5. #
    Shannon — June 1, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    i was never much of a fan, either, but maybe i’ll have to try this one :)

  6. #
    Erica — June 1, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    I am not a fan of mayo based salads, so this sounds pretty fantastic to me :) I also agree- any recipe that really allows you to switch up ingredients rocks! Hooray for summer and grill time

  7. #
    jenna — June 1, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    pasta salad is one of my favorite summer dishes! this looks so healthy and delish! :)

  8. #
    Amanda — June 1, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    That pasta salad looks so pretty! I love making pasta salads with tons and tons of fresh veggies. It’s one of my favorite summer dishes.

  9. #
    Faith @ lovelyascharged — June 1, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    This got me so excited about pasta salads now – I love them, but I usually make my own instead of getting mayo-laden ones from the deli. I loved your ideas, and I’m totally on board with the pasta salad deeeelishness!

  10. #
    Kacy — June 1, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Just starred this! I LOVE cold pasta salads!

    • admin replied: — June 1st, 2011 at 7:42 pm

      yay! let me know if you try it!

  11. #
    Kristina @ spabettie — June 1, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    I LOVE a pasta salad – mine are always full of fresh veggies. I sometimes throw extra veggies on the grill and then make a salad out of them! :)

    we love this time of year, Jason loves to grill so I’m always trying to make ANY meal on the grill! we grill pizza all the time!

    • admin replied: — June 1st, 2011 at 7:41 pm

      me too – I hate when pasta salads only have one veggie.

  12. #
    Heather — June 1, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Shelled noodles are my favorite for pasta salad, too! Looks great!

  13. #
    Jessica — June 1, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    This sounds delicious! I just bookmarked it for an upcoming picnic! Yum!

    • admin replied: — June 1st, 2011 at 7:41 pm

      Let me know if you try it! I had the last of the leftovers for lunch today. Still delicious :)

  14. #
    rebecca — June 1, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    just in time for summer! this would be great by itself or as a side dish.

  15. #
    Kelly — June 1, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    Once it turns to summer I’m an absolute sucker for a pasta salad and this one sounds fantastic and perfect for the warm weather we’ve been having in Chicago.

  16. #
    suzzie v — June 1, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    ooOO I agree I used to hate cold pastas of any kind, but now, I am thinking I should give them another try.

    • admin replied: — June 2nd, 2011 at 12:16 am

      They’re so much fun to make! and so easy.

  17. #
    Cookin' Canuck — June 2, 2011 at 4:36 am

    Pasta salads are often my favorite part of a barbecue. I like that yours is packed with veggies.

    • admin replied: — June 2nd, 2011 at 12:08 pm

      Me too :)

  18. #
    Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga) — June 2, 2011 at 4:39 am

    it looks and sounds wonderful! mmmm, good! :)

    • admin replied: — June 2nd, 2011 at 12:08 pm

      Thanks Averie!

  19. #
    Shachar — June 2, 2011 at 6:55 am

    yum yum

  20. #
    Stephanie @cookinfanatic — June 2, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    What a great summer pasta salad! Balsamic + veggies = win! :)


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