Southern Mom Loves: Easy Spring Lunch: Veggie Pasta Salad with Crusty Bread & Pesto

Easy Spring Lunch: Veggie Pasta Salad with Crusty Bread & Pesto

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ReadyPasta #CollectiveBias

There's nothing like spring for making fresh and delicious this easy, cold veggie pasta salad. It's an easy-peasy dish that can be made in less than 10 minutes and is full of crunchy, fresh taste. Pair that with a sliced french loaf and a delicious pesto and you have a fast and filling (and nutritious) lunch for two.

I'm a huge fan of pasta dishes, and this is one of the easiest and most versatile you can make. It is positively stuffed with crunchy, fresh veggies and marinated in a homemade Italian dressing. You can make it with the veggies that I used or sub in your favorites.

I'm using sliced grape tomatoes, orange bell pepper, cucumber slices, and tangy, thin-sliced red onion. The pasta is the easiest part of this dish because I'm using Barilla's brand-new Ready Pasta in the Rotini cut. It takes 60 seconds in the microwave for the quickest pasta salad I've ever made!

It's the same non-GMO, no preservative Barilla pasta you love, but in an ultra-convenient form. No waiting for water to boil and pasta to cook, it's ready in a flash with no draining. It's made with 3 simple ingredients: EVOO, a pinch of sea salt, and pasta. That's it!

It's available in 4 cuts: Penne, Elbows, Gemelli, & Rotini. I can see this as the perfect office lunch. You could microwave your pasta, dump in a sauce, and stir for lunch in a minute. Can you imagine the add-in possibilities?! Mac & cheese & bacon, Pesto penne, Rotini and marinara, or Gemelli Alfredo. Love it!

I also love their pesto. You can get it in a small jar so that it doesn't get wasted once opened and it's not too basil-y. I've had some pestos that were entirely basil and the taste is just too strong for me. This one is mixed with spinach so the taste is perfectly balanced. I'm having it smeared over sliced of fresh-baked, crusty french bread.

You can use your favorite pasta cut for this salad, but I would choose a heartier cut that will hold up well to the crunchy veggies. Rotini, penne, or elbows would all work well.

The dressing is based in EVOO and red wine vinegar, but again, you can use your favorite vinegar. If you drool over balsamic, feel free to substitute. 

This recipe is for a 2-serving salad, but is easily doubled or even tripled for a crowd.

Veggie Pasta Salad
Servings: 2


  • 1 pkg. Barilla Ready Pasta Rotini
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper
  • 1/4 small red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced
  • 1/2 c. grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, diced finely
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. basil
  • 1/4 tsp. dry mustard


1. Tear the top of the Barilla Ready Pasta bag and microwave for 60 seconds on high.

2. Pour the pasta into a colander and rinse with cold water to cool it fast. :) Let drain.

3. Prep your veggies if you haven't already.

4. Let's mix up our vinaigrette. Whisk the EVOO, vinegar, garlic, salt, sugar, pepper, oregano, basil, and mustard together.

5. Place your pasta and veggies in a large bowl and pour the vinaigrette over it. Toss to coat and serve or it can be refrigerated until needed.

This pasta salad makes for a refreshing spring lunch!

A tall glass of iced tea would pair perfectly on a hot day.

Slice your french loaf on the diagonal for the largest surface space for that drool-worthy pesto. :)

I hope you enjoy this savory cold veggie & pasta dish. It's an easy way to have lunch made in no time, especially considering the pasta only takes a minute to make.

The new Ready Pasta is out in stores now. Look for it with all of Barilla's other pastas.

At Walmart, right in the dry pasta section. Find out more here and have yourself a quick and delicious lunch or dinner.


What to you think of this dish? Will you be making it this spring or summer? I love to read your comments!

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