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Mediterranean Pasta Salad w Parsley Relish

This pasta salad is bursting with flavors. Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Parsley Relish is packed with olives, semi-dried tomatoes, and pine nuts, tossed in a tangy lemony fresh parsley relish dressing. Don’t forget to drizzle more extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle golden flakes (nutritional yeast) on the top when serving.

mediterranean-pasta-salad-with-pasley-relish
Loaded with so much flavor and perfect for any occasion!

Italian-style Cold Pasta Salad is also know as Pasta Fredda. (Fredda in Italian means cold). This pasta salad is perfect for picnic or lunch boxes. It’s full of nutrients and goodness!

There are other salads also brilliant for lunch boxes, like Quinoa Chickpea Salad, Roasted Pumpkin Couscous…etc.

My Favorite Vegan green Pasta Salad

This pasta salad just tastes as delightful as it looks. I think we should call it ” Spring Pasta Salad” (So colorful!) To be honest, for something so simple, the parsley sauce packs a lot of flavors! And the beautiful thing about it is that you can use this parsley relish as a base to play around, like adding other herbs, chili, vinegar, mustard…etc.

mediterranean-pasta-salad-with-pasley-relish
Everyone goes crazy over this pasta salad!

What type of pasta can you use for a salad?

Any short type of pasta with plenty of nooks and crannies, such as Penne, Rotini, Risoni( Orzo), Bowtie, Fusilli…etc.Their small size makes them easy to serve. Their bite-size makes them easy to serve, and the folds and pockets provide spaces to catch salad dressing, herbs.

How to cook perfect pasta for salads?

For pasta salads, we want a bit of bite (Al dente) from the pasta but mushy. The key is to quickly chill pasta after cooking by placing the drained pasta in a bowl of icy water( ice bath.) When chilled, lift the colander out and drain.

mediterranean-pasta-salad-with-pasley-relish
Simple pasta with colorful Mediterranean ingredients~

What goes in Vegan Green Pasta Sauce

I’ve used both Italian flat-leaf or French curly leaf parsley, both are great for this recipe. The important thing is we need to remove the thick stems and try to use the leaves only. ( otherwise, the parsley relish becomes very fibrous.)

You will need a powerful food processor or a stick blender, to make a smooth parsley relish.

A high-speed food processor makes work done quicker and much easier. As you probably already noticed, a lot of my recipes here are all done by an immersion blender, including… desserts. It’s a very handy tool to have in the kitchen.

ingredients for parsley relish
  • ParsleyYou can use Italian flat-leaf or French curl-leaf parsley. I’ve tried both, they all taste great with pasta salad. Finely chop them before dumping them into the blender. ( just remember to remove the thick stems and use the leafy part only,) I’ve made a mistake before by not removing the stems, the end result was…very hairy >”<)
  • EVO– Extra-Virgin Olive oil ( cold-pressed )is essential for salads. It’s also the best way to use it without cooking off the goodness from EVO.
  • Garlic-fresh garlic clove, peeled.
  • Maple Syrup– give the salad a bit of sweetness.
  • Lemon Zest– use the grater to make lemon zest. Only grate the yellow part, as the white part has a bitter taste.
  • Salt n Pepper

Ingredients for Mediterranean Pasta Salad

You’re free to add more ingredients to your pasta salad, some people like to add red onion, cucumber, basil, avocado…etc.

ingredients for mediterranean salad
  • Pasta– Any short type of pasta with plenty of nooks and crannies, such as Penne, Rotini, Risoni( Orzo), Bowtie, Fusilli…etc.Their small size makes them easy to serve.
  • Semi-Dried Tomatoes– I prefer semi-dried tomatoes as they still taste a bit meaty. Sun-dried tomatoes are completely dry, and so can be stored pretty much infinitely. On the other hand, Semi-dried tomatoes are tomatoes that have been dried about halfway, so they still retain some moisture.
different type of sundried tomatoes
I prefer semi-dried tomatoes as they still taste moist.
type of olives for pasta salad
Here I use Kalamata olives or black olives for the color contrast.
  • Olives I’ve made this salad more than a hundred times at home, I’d say any type of olive would work.(Thasos, Arbequina, Nyon, stuffed olives…etc.) Here I use Kalamata olives or black olives for the color contrast. (The type of olives)
  • Nutritional Yeast( Nooch)– With an umami flavor profile, nooch brings both savory and salty flavors to the paste.
  • Toasted Pine Nuts- any type of tasted nuts would work.

How to make Mediterranean Pasta Salad

For this light and fresh green pasta salad, you are looking at it for under 20 minutes from start to finish.

how to make mediterranean-pasta-salad

1. Wash and dry the parsley. Remove the thick stems from the parsley( as we want the leafy part) Roughly chop it then place it into a food processor. Add garlic clove, extra-virgin olive oil, maple syrup, lemon zest, pepper, and salt, then blitz. Scrape down the sides as necessary, until the parsley has broken down to create a smooth sauce.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. Cook the pasta until al dente according to package directions. Draining and quickly chill pasta after cooking by placing the drained pasta in a bowl of icy water( ice bath.) When chilled, lift the colander out and drain, then transfer the pasta to a large mixing bowl.

3. Assembling the pasta salad- pour all of the parsley relish sauce over the pasta then add the sliced black olives, semi-dried tomatoes, nutritional yeast, and toasted pine nuts.

4. Toss until the pasta is evenly coated. Season to taste with more nooch, salt, and pepper. Drizzle more extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle golden flakes (nutritional yeast) on the top when serving.

mediterranean-pasta-salad-with-pasley-relish
Look at that, one of the best ways to eat your green.

Making Pasta Salad ahead

Pasta salads are brilliant dishes for making ahead. You can make pasta salad and keep it in air-tight containers in the fridge for up to 3 days. When serving, always drizzle some extra-virgin olive oil and quickly toss to refresh it up. They’re one of my favorite lunch box candidates for reasons.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What type of parsley to use in pasta salads?

You can use Italian flat-leaf or French curl-leaf parsley. I’ve tried both, they all taste great with pasta salad. (just remember to remove the thick stems)

Q: What type of pasta can you use for salads?

Any short type of pasta with plenty of nooks and crannies, such as Penne, Rotini, Risoni( Orzo), Bowtie, Fusilli…etc.Their small size makes them easy to serve. Their bite-size makes them easy to serve, and the folds and pockets provide spaces to catch salad dressing, herbs.

Q: How to cook perfect pasta for salads?

For pasta salads, we want chewy bites (Al dente) from the pasta but mushy. The key is to quickly chill pasta after cooking by placing the drained pasta in a bowl of icy water( ice bath.) When chilled, lift the colander out and drain.

mediterranean-pasta-salad-with-pasley-relish PIN

Hope you’d love this Green Pasta Salad from sunshine Australia~ Gustoso!

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Other Salad Recipe Ideas

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mediterranean-pasta-salad-with-pasley-relish

Mediterranean Pasta Salad w Parsley Relish

Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Parsley Relish is packed with olives, semi-dried tomatoes, and pine nuts, tossed in a tangy lemony fresh parsley relish dressing. 
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 493kcal
Author: SHU-CHUN

Ingredients

Parsley Relish

  • 2.5 oz Parsley Leaves
  • 1 ea Large Garlic Clove
  • Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 ea Zest of Lemon

Instructions

  • 1. Wash and dry the parsley. Remove the thick stems from the parsley( as we want the leafy part) Roughly chop it then place it into a food processor. Add garlic clove, extra-virgin olive oil, maple syrup, lemon zest, pepper, and salt, then blitz. Scrape down the sides as necessary, until the parsley has broken down to create a smooth sauce.
  • 2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. Cook the pasta until al dente according to package directions. Draining and quickly chill pasta after cooking by placing the drained pasta in a bowl of icy water( ice bath.) When chilled, lift the colander out and drain, then transfer the pasta to a large mixing bowl.
  • 3. Assembling the pasta salad- pour all of the parsley relish sauce over the pasta then add the sliced black olives, semi-dried tomatoes, nutritional yeast, and toasted pine nuts. 
  • 4. Toss until the pasta is evenly coated. Season to taste with more nooch, salt, and pepper. Drizzle more extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle golden flakes (nutritional yeast) on the top when serving.

Video

Notes

Note1- Any short type of pasta with plenty of nooks and crannies, such as Penne, Rotini, Risoni( Orzo), Bowtie, Fusilli…etc. Their small size makes them easy to serve. Their bite-size makes them easy to serve, and the folds and pockets provide spaces to catch salad dressing, herbs.
Note2- any type of olive would work. (Thasos, Arbequina, Nyon, stuffed olives…etc.) Here I use Kalamata olives or black olives for the color contrast.
Note3- I prefer semi-dried tomatoes as they still taste a bit meaty. Sun-dried tomatoes are completely dry, and so can be stored pretty much infinitely. On the other hand, Semi-dried tomatoes are tomatoes that have been dried about half way, so they still retain some moisture.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 493kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 21g | Sodium: 495mg | Potassium: 528mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 986IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 3mg

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