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Summer pasta salad on a white plate on a wide wooden picnic table. Wooden handled fork on the side of the plate. Fresh halved strawberries on the table around the plate.
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5 from 7 votes

Creamy Balsamic Summer Pasta Salad

Creamy Balsamic Summer Pasta Salad is the perfect addition to any BBQ, picnic, or potluck. Makes a great light lunch or dinner, too. Dairy Free, Oil Free, Refined Sugar Free, Gluten Free option.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Entree, Side Dish
Cuisine: dairy free, gluten free, oil free, refined sugar free, vegan
Servings: 8
Calories: 245kcal

Ingredients

Pasta Salad

  • 1 lb cellentani pasta (or pasta shape of choice) (use gluten free pasta if desired)
  • 1 yellow summer squash (halved lengthwise and sliced thin)
  • 1 zucchini (halved lengthwise and sliced thin)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes (halved)
  • ½ red onion (diced)
  • 8-10 fresh strawberries (halved)
  • ½ cup fresh parsley (chopped)
  • ½ tsp salt (or to taste)
  • pinch black pepper (or to taste)

Creamy Balsamic Dressing

  • ¼ cup raw cashews (soaked for 1-2 hours if you don't have a HIGH SPEED blender, like a Vitamix or Blendtec)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3-4 tbsp balsamic vinegar (start with 3 tbsp and add more after tasting if needed)
  • ½ tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • ¼-1/2 cup water (to thin) (start with ¼ cup and add more if needed for desired consistency)

Instructions

For the Pasta Salad

  • Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside to cool. 
  • Add the chopped veggies, parsley, and strawberries to a large mixing bowl.
  • When the pasta has cooled, add it to the vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with ½ tsp salt and pinch of black pepper. Toss to combine evenly. 
  • Pour the Creamy Balsamic Dressing (instructions follow) over the pasta salad and toss well to combine.

For the Creamy Balsamic Dressing

  • Place all ingredients (starting with 3 tbsp of balsamic vinegar and ¼ cup water) into a high speed blender and purée until smooth. Add more water to thin if needed for desired consistency. Taste and add another 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar if needed. (Add the water before tasting for additional need of vinegar because the water will dilute the flavor. Also, keep in the mind that once added to the pasta and veggies, the flavor will be diluted again, so you want the dressing pretty strong!).

Notes

This recipe serves 8-10 as a side dish. Nutrition facts calculated based on 8 servings.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 245kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 291mg | Potassium: 198mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 750IU | Vitamin C: 28.1mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 2.3mg