Tuscan Pasta Salad Recipe

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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!

An overhead view of a white bowl filled with Tuscan pasta salad.

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
A front view of a white bowl filled with Tuscan pasta salad.

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.

Dietary Variations

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!

Just mixed Tuscan pasta salad sitting in a stainless steel mixing bowl.

About The Ingredients

8 oz. package pasta – Cooked to package directions. Any shape you prefer for pasta salad is fine.

½ cup chopped red onions – Yellow onion will work in a pinch.

⅓ cup Kalamata olives – Pitted and halved. If you don’t like them, black olives work too.

⅓ cup 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.

½ cup chopped 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.

½ cup Cannellini beans – You can use any white bean you prefer or have on hand. Rinse and drain them if canned.

½ cup fresh basil leaves – Chopped.

Salt and ground black pepper – to taste.

How To Make Tuscan Pasta Salad?

Chopped Kalamata olives and sun-dried tomatoes sitting on a cutting board.

Chop all vegetables as indicated.

Adding chopped red onion to cooked and cooled pasta in a large stainless steel mixing bowl.

Place the cooked and cooled pasta into a large bowl, and add the onion.

Cannellini beans added to the peppers, onions and cooked pasta in a mixing bowl.

Add the peppers and beans.

Sun-dried tomatoes and olives added to peppers, onions and cooked pasta in a mixing bowl.

Then add the olives and sun-dried tomatoes.

Fresh basil leaves added to a mixing bowl of pasta and chopped veggies.

Add in the fresh basil.

Seasoning the Tuscan pasta salad with pepper and salt.

Lastly, season with salt and pepper.

Adding balsamic vinegar to the Tuscan pasta salad.

Add whatever dressing you prefer and toss well.

A bowl of Tuscan pasta salad in a white bowl sitting on a white marble surface.

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.

Recipe Supplies

Large stainless steel mixing bowl sold on Amazon. (affiliate link)
Wooden cutting board sold on Amazon. (affiliate link)
Chef knife sold on Amazon. (affiliate link)

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A front view of a white bowl filled with Tuscan pasta salad.

Tuscan Pasta Salad

Delicious pasta salad with Tuscan flavors.
4 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 187kcal
Author: The Gracious Pantry

CLICK TO WATCH THIS RECIPE IN ACTION!

Equipment

  • 1 Large mixing bowl

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. package pasta (cooked to package directions)
  • ½ cup chopped red onions
  • cup Kalamata olives (pitted and halved)
  • 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

Instructions

  • Chop all vegetables as indicated.
    Chopped Kalamata olives and sun-dried tomatoes sitting on a cutting board.
  • Place the cooked and cooled pasta into a large mixing bowl, and add the onion.
    Adding chopped red onion to cooked and cooled pasta in a large stainless steel mixing bowl.
  • Add the peppers and beans.
    Cannellini beans added to the peppers, onions and cooked pasta in a mixing bowl.
  • Then add the olives and sun-dried tomatoes.
    Sun-dried tomatoes and olives added to peppers, onions and cooked pasta in a mixing bowl.
  • Add in the fresh basil.
    Fresh basil leaves added to a mixing bowl of pasta and chopped veggies.
  • Lastly, season with salt and pepper.
    Seasoning the Tuscan pasta salad with pepper and salt.
  • Add whatever dressing you prefer and toss well.
    Adding balsamic vinegar to the Tuscan pasta salad.
  • Serve with some parmesan cheese or any sides you like.
    A bowl of Tuscan pasta salad in a white bowl sitting on a white marble surface.

Notes

Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible. Note that this data can change based on the pasta you use.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 187kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 159mg | Potassium: 349mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 577IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 2mg
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