This is my favourite gluten free vegan pasta salad recipe. The crunchy, healthy, colourful veggies are so good, and I love the dressing on this vegetable pasta salad. I wanted to make a roasted squash salad, because I am a squash lover. The other ingredients are tasty too. Try this broccoli pasta salad with roasted squash & walnuts to see what I mean!
As well as the pasta itself, I added broccoli, tomatoes, spinach and of course the squash. Walnuts added crunch while vegan cheese adds a creamy touch. For the dressing I teamed garlic and lemon with honey, oil, mustard and basil. Then ground in some black pepper. The mixture of sweet and savoury is so satisfying. Try this vegetable pasta salad for yourself. I promise you’ll love it!
You Will Love this Broccoli Pasta Salad with Roasted Squash & Walnuts
My favourite part of this broccoli pasta salad with roasted squash & walnuts has to be the juicy roasted squash. That is one of the best ingredients in there, and it pairs so well with everything else.
I added salt, oil, pepper and basil to the cubes of squash, then oven roasted them. If you cut the squash into small pieces, about ½ inch cubes, they roast fast. They will only take fifteen or twenty minutes.
You can make them larger if you prefer. Just give them a little extra roasting time. If you halve and roast the whole squash though, that will take closer to forty-five minutes! Since they need to be cubed for this roasted squash salad however, it’s easier to chop the squash first.
History of Pasta Salad
You might be wondering about the history of vegetable pasta salad. Of course pasta is Italian, so did this originate in Italy?
Actually this broccoli pasta salad with roasted squash & walnuts has an interesting background. Italians tend to prefer their pasta served hot and as a separate course. Cold pasta salads on the other hand have been in American cookbooks for decades.
Three thousand year old recipes for pasta dyes have been found in Sicily. So the pasta is an ancient ingredient. As for pasta salad, this is American-Italian fusion. Pasta salad dates back to the 1960s. In fact, the earliest recipe for it dates back to a 1962 cookbook. Such a salad was affordable and the ingredients were easily available.
Basically, pasta salad was simply pasta with any protein and veggies you cared to add, along with a creamy dressing. And that’s the great thing about it. You can add anything! This broccoli pasta salad with roasted squash & walnuts is especially good.
Pasta Cooking Tips
The pasta is the main ingredient in this gluten free vegan pasta salad. It is important to prepare it properly. Gluten free Bowtie or Farfalle pasta can be substituted with regular pasta if you want need a gluten free version.
Also ensure you never overcook it. Pasta should be slightly ‘al dente’ (have a little bite to it) rather than be mushy. Also, rinse the pasta in cold water as soon as it’s done. This is something this vegetable pasta salad needs, but typical pasta dishes don’t. The reason is pasta cooks further when it’s sitting in the colander, and you don’t want that.
These tips will help ensure your broccoli pasta salad with roasted squash & walnuts is amazing!
Preparing the Other Veggies
The broccoli I cook for a few minutes, because I like it al dente (like the pasta!) Some people like broccoli more tender while others are into raw broccoli. Just cook (or not!) the broccoli according to personal preference.
The cherry tomatoes and spinach are fine to add raw, although of course you can cook them if preferred. You can tweak this gluten free pasta salad according to your wishes. Really make it your own!
Tasty Roasted Squash Salad Dressing
The dressing is just as important as the pasta and veggies. Use fresh garlic and fresh lemon juice here for the freshest flavour. Dijon mustard adds a piquant bite while the honey adds softness and sweetness. Black pepper, basil and oil ties it all together.
This is an incredibly good dressing. It goes so well with this broccoli pasta salad with roasted squash and walnuts.
You will want to ensure you whisk all the ingredients together very well. This is because the honey is thick and the Dijon mustard can be hard to incorporate. You will see when everything is well mixed, and the dressing is ready for the vegetable pasta salad.
Serve this roasted squash salad for lunch, perhaps with some crusty bread and dipping oil on the side. This broccoli pasta salad with roasted squash and walnuts makes a wonderful meal, and it’s healthy too!
If you are a fan of this gluten free vegan pasta salad, you might also like Sweet Potato Kale Salad, Fresh Greens One Pot Pasta or Sesame Avocado Asian Chicken Salad with Honey Ginger Dressing.
Gluten Free Vegan Broccoli Pasta Salad with Roasted Squash & Walnuts Recipe
Gluten Free Vegan Broccoli Pasta Salad with Roasted Squash & Walnuts
- 1 Cup pasta gluten free
- 1 Cup broccoli florets
- 1 Cup cherry tomatoes
- 3/4 Cup butternut squash
- 1 Bag spinach
- 3/4 Cup walnuts roasted
- 1/2 Cup Parmesan optional or use vegan like I did
- 2 Cloves garlic
- 1/2 Cup lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- 1/2 Cup olive oil
- 2 Tsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 Pinch basil dried
- Preheat the oven to 375° degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil, coated with olive oil.
- Cut the butternut squash into cubes about ½ inch wide. Put them in a bowl and add a pinch of salt, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, ground black pepper and dried basil. Toss to coat. Roast the squash for about 15 to 20 minutes until tender.
- Cut the broccoli into florets. Put them into boiling water. Set the timer for 4-5 minutes depending on the size of the florets. Drain
- Use a dry skillet to toast walnuts. Don’t add any oil. Toast them until they become slightly darker in color and more fragrant, constantly stirring with a spatula. Don’t leave hem on the stove too long, they can easily burn
- The butternut squash is almost ready. Let’s cook pasta following the instructions on the package. It must be cooked until al dente.
- Whisk lemon juice, honey, Dijon mustard,olive oil with garlic and spices in a bowl.
- In a larger bowl, put the hot pasta. Add the butternut squash, roasted walnuts, cherry tomatoes, broccoli and spinach. Mix it well. Top with the dressing and some vegan parm.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
Let me know if you try out this broccoli pasta salad with roasted squash & walnuts. It is such a tasty gluten free vegan pasta salad and a great side for a BBQ or dinner at home.
If you are looking for other recipes, you might also like this Roasted Butternut or Pumpkin Feta Arugula Rocket Salad or this Gluten Free Vegan Air Fryer Meatballs with Spaghetti Marinara.