Mediterranean Zucchini Pasta Salad

This easy and colorful vegetable pasta salad is crunchy, cold, refreshing and full of Mediterranean flavor.

Here, spiralized veggies are tossed with fresh parsley, sweet and juicy cherry tomatoes, salty, meaty olives, green onions and a creamy (dairy-free) garlic dressing.

You can bulk it up with quinoa and/or chickpeas to make it more of a meal.  Either way it is mega addictive.  For the vegetables noodles I used zucchini, cucumber, red bell pepper, orange bell pepper and red onion.

Spiralizing the vegetables makes it so easy to pull this recipe together quickly.  It is a riff on my Vegan Mediterranean Pasta Salad, but instead of noodles, I used zoodles (zucchini noodles).

I recently bought a new spiralizer and I have been loving transforming vegetables and fruits into noodles to create new and inspiring recipes.  You can expect more spiralized recipes from me over the next couple of weeks because I am most definitely hooked.  I find spiralizing to be so much easier than chopping veggies (and faster too).  I also love the taste of veggies in noodle form.

Since everyone has been asking I’m including my affiliate link to shop my favorite spiralizer: The Inspiralizer.  It is the third spiralizer I have owned and hands down the best.  It suctions to the counter so it doesn’t slide around and it has a convenient noodle twister knob with four different noodle sizes so you don’t have to switch out blades.  My other favorite features are the safety cover for the blades and the fact that it spiralizes more of the vegetable creating less waste.   It really is the best spiralizer on the market.

This recipe packs in all the veggies leaving you feeling satisfied and healthy.  I love to serve this salad at outdoor summer gatherings.  It is also great for meal prep since it doesn’t get soggy.  This recipe makes a big batch and I like to enjoy any leftovers for lunch.

This recipe is vegan, soy-free, nut-free and gluten-free.

If you give these a try, please let me know! Leave a comment below, rate it above, and tag a photo @eatingbyelaine and #eatingbyelaine on InstagramTwitter or Facebook so I can see your zoodle salad!

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Mediterranean Zucchini Pasta Salad


  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 8 1x

Description

This vegan and gluten-free vegetable-based spin on the classic Mediterranean pasta salad is a total crowd-pleaser. It is full of robust flavor and so satisfying. You can bulk it up with chickpeas, quinoa and/or avocado for a complete meal. The dressing makes more than you will need so you can adjust the amount to your liking. You can make this dish ahead of time for easy entertaining.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 large zucchini, spiralized on thinnest noodle blade (I use blade D on my Inspiralizer)
  • 1 large cucumber, spiralized on thinnest noodle blade (I use blade D on my Inspiralizer)
  • 2 bell peppers (you can choose different colors, I did 1 red and 1 orange), spiralized on thinnest noodle blade (I use blade D on my Inspiralizer)*
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and spiralized on thinnest noodle blade (I use blade D on my Inspiralizer)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (I used a combination of red and yellow)
  • 1 cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
  • 1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
  • 2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa (optional) – How to Make Perfectly Cooked Quinoa
  • Dressing:
  • ½ cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tahini (make sure it is runny and not hardened)**
  • 2 teaspoons agave (or maple syrup)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  1. Place zucchini, cucumber, bell peppers, onion, tomatoes, parsley and olives in a large mixing bowl. If you are using quinoa and/or chickpeas mix them in as well.
  2. To make the dressing, add olive oil, vinegar, tahini, agave, garlic, salt and pepper to a mini food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour about half the dressing over the salad. Toss, taste and add more dressing if desired. Serve chilled.
  3. Store leftovers in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Notes

*To spiralize a bell pepper, cut off the end with the stem and remove the seeds/core. Then place the open end against the blade of the spiralizer and the bottom of the bell pepper in the prongs of your spiralizer. Spiralize as you normally would. If you do not have a spiralizer you can also thinly slice the bell pepper (or any of the vegetables in this recipe).

**If you have a sesame allergy you can omit the tahini. I have done this before and it was still delicious. The tahini just adds a subtle nutty flavor and slightly thicker, creamier consistency to the dressing.

Please note some of the photos in this post show the dish with quinoa and chickpeas and some show it with just the vegetables. Either way is great it just depends on if you plan to serve this as a vegetable side dish versus a complete meal. If you do add the quinoa and chickpeas you might want to add a bit more dressing.

  • Category: Side Dish or Lunch Entree
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

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