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Vegan Italian pasta salad | pasta with Kalamata olives and capers

Italian Vegan Pasta Salad

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  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 main dish servings, more as a side 1x


This Italian vegan pasta salad is full of zesty flavor, featuring kalamata olives, capers, tomatoes, and crisp romaine lettuce.


  • 1 pound DeLallo Biodynamic Whole-Wheat Penne Rigate Pasta (vegan)
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (plus additional for pasta water and sprinkling)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes (if you don’t have access to good fresh tomatoes, sub 1/2 cup thinly sliced sundried tomatoes)
  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • 1/4 cup jarred capers, drained (like these DeLallo Capers)*
  • 1/2 cup jarred sliced pepperoncini, drained*
  • 1 1/2 hearts of romaine lettuce (6 cups chopped)
  • 3/4 cup DeLallo Pitted Greek Calamata Olives


  1. Boil the pasta a large pot of water salted with 1 tablespoon kosher salt. When pasta is al dente, drain, rinse under cold water, and return to pot. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, the oregano, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, and fresh ground pepper.
  2. Meanwhile, thinly slice the zucchini. Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in a skillet and saute the zucchini, stirring in 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and more fresh ground black pepper. Saute until just lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Then add the zucchini to the pot with the pasta.
  3. Slice the tomatoes in half and sprinkle them with a bit of kosher salt. Slice the red onion into half moons. Add the tomatoes, red onion, capers (drained) and pepperoncini (drained) to the pot with the pasta.
  4. Chop the romaine into bite sized pieces and add it to a large bowl. Add the olives to the lettuce. Sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt and mix with your hands so the olive brine coats the lettuce. Add the pasta and veggies to the romaine and toss to fully integrate. 
  5. Serve immediately. If you’re not vegan, top with grated Parmesan cheese, but it’s optional and not needed for flavor. Store leftovers refrigerated for a day or so (you can also add additional olive oil and/or salt if it looses flavor over time).


*Don’t even think about omitting the capers here! Like the Kalamata olives, they’re key to the pasta’s flavor. **Some pepperoncini come as whole peppers; look for sliced jarred, or thinly slice the whole peppers yourself.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Pasta
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Italian, Italian Pasta Salad, Vegetarian Pasta Salad, Vegan Pasta Salad, Vegetarian, Vegan, Mediterranean, Olives, Kalamata Olives, Capers, Pepperoncini, Tomatoes