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Tuscan Pasta Salad is a quick and easy summer pasta salad. The addition of veggies, beans, and optional cheese makes a tasty pasta dish or side.
Tuscan flavors are similar to Italian flavors but definitely have their own profile. Apply that flavor profile to pasta and you can’t help but end up with a delicious bowl of pasta!
What Is Tuscan Pasta Salad?
Tuscan pasta salad is simply a pasta salad with classically Tuscan flavors and ingredients mixed in. It’s similar to Italian pasta salad but has some very specific additions that you wouldn’t normally find in the classic Italian versions.
Can I Make A Creamy Dressing?
The easiest way to make a creamy dressing is to add a tablespoon or two of mayo to any vinaigrette dressing. Mayonnaise a great option for this salad for those who want it a more creamy texture.
Greek yogurt may be an option for some, but you’ll want to mix it with other things to offset the tanginess.
For dressings, you have a few choices. I find vinaigrette dressings to work the best for a salad like this. You can make it with balsamic vinegar or even white wine vinegar. Olive oil is a great choice here and then add any spices you like and whisk or blend to make your dressing.
Here are some vinaigrette dressing recipes that would work well with this salad.
Recipe Variations And Additions
If you want to “flesh out” this salad a bit to make it heartier, here are some additions you can make to this salad:
- Olive oil
- White beans – I used Cannellini beans, but you can use whatever white beans you prefer.
- Spinach – You can use cooked or fresh. Your choice. I like fresh baby spinach.
- Parmesan cheese
- Feta cheese – This will give it more of a Greek flavor profile, but it’s tasty nonetheless. The same goes for chopped artichoke hearts. Yum!
- Cherry tomatoes instead of grape tomatoes
- Use black olives instead of Kalamata olives.
- Chopped, roasted garlic
- Chopped salami
- Fresh or dried oregano
- A splash of lemon juice
- Add shredded chicken
What Kind Of Pasta Should I Use?
At the end of the day, you can truly use whatever shape pasta you prefer. I’m sure there are a few culinary elites that would pass out at the suggestion, but it’s true. You can. Here are a few suggestions.
- Farfalle pasta
- Bowtie pasta
- Penne pasta
- Rotini pasta
- Cavatappi pasta
- Orzo pasta
- Couscous pasta
What To Serve With Tuscan Pasta Salad
As with most pasta salads, they can be enjoyed as a side dish or a main course. But no matter how you serve it, there are some things that just go well with this dish. Here are three suggestions to round out the meal.
If you have dietary restrictions, here’s how to change things up.
Make It Keto
If you are keto or low carb, you can switch out the pasta for cauliflower rice instead. Omit the beans, and go easy on the sun-dried tomatoes. A little is fine, but cutting it in half should keep the carbs at an acceptable level.
Make It Gluten-Free
Use a gluten-free pasta and make sure that all other ingredients you use that are packaged, are labeled as gluten-free.
Make It Dairy-Free
While cheese would be great on this pasta salad, it’s not included here. So just ensure that any packaged products have no added dairy-based ingredients.
Make It Vegan
This recipe is naturally vegan! No adjustments necessary!
About The Ingredients
Pasta – Cooked to package directions. Any shape you prefer for pasta salad is fine. I used Cavatappi pasta.
Red onions – Yellow onions will work in a pinch.
Kalamata olives – Pitted and halved. If you don’t like them, black olives work too.
Sundried tomatoes – Chopped. I used the ones packed in oil, but you can use dry sun-dried tomatoes too. Just be sure to cut the dry ones very fine so they distribute well through your salad.
Red bell pepper – You can use whatever color you like best. But the red is the sweetest and therefore will give this salad the best flavor.
Cannellini beans – You can use any white bean you prefer or have on hand. Rinse and drain them if canned.
Fresh basil leaves – Chopped.
Salt and ground black pepper – to taste.
How To Make Tuscan Pasta Salad?
Chop all vegetables as indicated.
Place the cooked and cooled pasta into a large bowl, and add the onion.
Add the peppers and beans.
Then add the olives and sun-dried tomatoes.
Add in the fresh basil.
Lastly, season with salt and pepper.
Add whatever dressing you prefer and toss well.
Serve with some parmesan cheese or any sides you like.
How Long Will Homemade Pasta Salad Last?
If you add any type of meat to this, the salad will last up to 3 days.
If you leave it as is, it will last 4 to 5 days.
More Healthy Pasta Salad Recipes
- BLT Pasta Salad
- Greek Pasta Salad
- Mexican Pasta Salad
- Vegetable Pasta Salad
- Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad
- Rustic Italian Pasta Salad
- Turkey Vegetable Pasta Salad
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Tuscan Pasta Salad Recipe Card + Video
Tuscan Pasta Salad
CLICK TO WATCH THIS RECIPE IN ACTION!
- 1 Large mixing bowl
- 8 oz. package pasta (cooked to package directions)
- ½ cup chopped red onions
- ⅓ cup Kalamata olives (pitted and halved)
- ⅓ cup sun-dried tomatoes (chopped)
- ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
- ½ cup Cannellini beans
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- Chop all vegetables as indicated.
- Place the cooked and cooled pasta into a large mixing bowl, and add the onion.
- Add the peppers and beans.
- Then add the olives and sun-dried tomatoes.
- Add in the fresh basil.
- Lastly, season with salt and pepper.
- Add whatever dressing you prefer and toss well.
- Serve with some parmesan cheese or any sides you like.