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  • Writer's pictureJolanta Nowobilski

Quick Marinated Veg Pasta Salad

Updated: Jan 27

When I first made this pasta salad, I was just throwing something together for meal prep in my college dorm and had my friend taste it, not expecting much. With the amount of random times she has been on my case to give this recipe, I think it's time to give it a spotlight. In her words, "You gotta put it on the blog lol I remember it being so simple, cheap, and quick!" So, here it is.

I am not defending this way of making vegetables in the oven as ~the~ way to marinate vegetables. The traditional method is to do it over the stovetop with a different ratio of oil and vinegar and then to leave it in the fridge for a few hours. I don't have the time or mental energy for that most of the time. In all honesty, the inspiration for this method came from a turkey recipe that I grew up with that I didn't particularly care for. It was literally just turkey tenderloins and ~zesty~ Italian dressing baked in the oven. I thought 'If salad dressing can be a decent flavor addition to something as bland as turkey, what could it do in the oven for vegetables?"

These ratios of veg to pasta to beans here is really only a suggestion. I have had a good pasta salad with a full 16 oz. box of pasta and two cans of beans. I would adjust your salad dressing to coat these things accordingly. This is a very forgiving recipe, so don't sweat it. Taste as you go along to your preference. With that being said, only use a salad dressing that you know you already like. It does not even have to be Italian; it can be any oil-vinegar-based dressing. As much as I love ranch, I would not use that in this recipe.

I used a combination of fresh and frozen vegetables here because I wanted to show how you didn't even have to chop up veggies for this recipe if you didn't want to! Fresh vegetables take less time to cook then frozen, so if you are using them, check the oven after 15 minutes.

This recipe is also great for meal prep because you can serve it cold and it lasts all week!

Quick Marinated Veg Pasta Salad

  • 12 oz of a good pasta-salad pasta (like bow-tie or fusilli)

  • 1 15 oz can of drained white beans

  • 3/4 c your favorite oil-vinegar based salad dressing (I used Kraft Italian dressing), divided

  • 2 lbs of your favorite fresh or frozen vegetables, chopped to desired sizes (I used 1 lb frozen cauliflower, 2 fresh zucchini, and 1 fresh red bell pepper here, but feel free to use whatever combination)

  1. Preheat your oven to 450F. Get your salted water boiling for pasta.

  2. On two sheet pans, spread a pound of your vegetables and 1/4 cup salad dressing on each tray. Mix everything until the vegetables are well coated.

  3. Add your vegetables to the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, stirring halfway. Cook pasta according to instructions on package.

  4. While the pasta and vegetables are going, drain your white beans and add to a large mixing bowl.

  5. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the large mixing bowl. Once the vegetables are ready, also add that to the mixing bowl.

  6. Stir everything together with the remaining salad dressing, adjusting to taste. Serve warm or cold.

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