Some dishes are quintessential to summer. This Roasted Asparagus Pasta Salad is one of them.
The first time I remember eating asparagus, or, more accurately, the first time I remember enjoying asparagus, was the summer I turned ten. Almost as exciting as the grilled asparagus my mom served for dinner this particular night was the late sunset we enjoyed.
Thanks to this memory, I’ll always associate asparagus with summer, even though asparagus season peaks in spring.
Roasted Asparagus Pasta Salad
As the recipe title suggests, roasted asparagus is the star component of this pasta salad. But it’s the combination of all the salad ingredients that makes this dish such a showstopper.
The roasted asparagus is complemented by spaghetti, sautéed tomatoes and olives (the olives were my daughter’s genius contribution to the recipe), chickpeas, dark red kidney beans, and cubed mozzarella. The pasta salad is compiled just after the spaghetti finishes cooking, so the mozzarella cubes melt slightly into the other ingredients.
I admit that the bites with melted mozzarella are my favorite. But this pasta salad still makes a delicious vegan dinner if the mozzarella is omitted.
My red wine vinaigrette brings the spaghetti, tomatoes, olives, beans, and mozzarella together. This vinaigrette is savory, sweet, and tangy, thanks to red wine vinegar, garlic, maple syrup, Vegenaise (vegan mayonnaise), and black pepper.
Make Roasted Asparagus Pasta Salad!
Asparagus season may peak in spring, but this Roasted Asparagus Pasta Salad is a dish to enjoy year round. Especially in the summer. Make it this week!
Enjoy this dish as a one pot meal, or serve it with a salad.
The red wine vinaigrette makes a great dressing over greens too, so if you have any extra vinaigrette, drizzle it over whatever greens you have on hand.
Check out my Amazon store here for my favorite olive oil. This is the olive oil I prefer to use for all of my salad dressings. (Trader Joe’s also has great, budget-friendly olive oil options.)
Roasted Asparagus Pasta Salad
For the asparagus:
- 12 oz asparagus spears, cut on the bias to 1 inch pieces
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
For the tomatoes and olives:
- 10 oz tomatoes, cherry or grape, cut in halves
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ⅓ cup manzanilla olives, sliced (kalamata olives would also be great)
For the dressing:
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp Vegenaise, (or mayonnaise)
- 3 tsp maple syrup
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 pinch black pepper
- ⅓ cup mozzarella cubes, freshly cubed (omit to keep this meal vegan)
- 1 15 oz can garbanzo beans, drained
- 1 15 oz can dark red kidney beans, drained
- ¾ pound spaghetti
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
Make the dressing
- In a small bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients until the dressing emulsifies. Set the dressing aside while you prepare the other components of the meal. (Now is also a good time to cube the mozzarella, if using.)
Cook the tomatoes and olives
- Add the olive oil, tomatoes, olives, and salt to a skillet. Turn the heat on to medium-high, and cook for 6 minutes. The tomatoes will begin to break down and release their juices.
- If the pan is a little dry, add an additional Tbsp of olive oil, then turn the heat down to low and cook the tomatoes and olives for an additional 9 minutes.
- Turn the heat off, and add the drained chickpeas and dark red kidney beans to the skillet. Mix the beans in with your spatula until they are fully incorporated into the tomatoes and olives. Set the mixture aside.
Roast the asparagus
- While the tomatoes and olives cook, roast the asparagus.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Add the asparagus, salt, red wine vinegar, and olive oil to a baking sheet. Toss everything together with your hands, then spread the asparagus out evenly on the baking sheet.
- Roast the asparagus for 10 minutes. Take the asparagus out of the oven and lightly toss the asparagus with your spatula. The asparagus is done, set aside.
Make the spaghetti
- While the asparagus roasts, cook the spaghetti. Drain the spaghetti once it finishes cooking, and save ½ cup of the pasta water.
Compile the pasta salad
- Put the drained spaghetti back in the pot you cooked it in. Add the tomato/olive/bean mixture, the roasted asparagus, and the minced parsley to the pasta. Give everything a light toss with tongs or a large spoon and fork, then add about half of the dressing.
- Toss the dressing into the pasta mixture until it evenly coats everything. Taste, and add more dressing, if desired. If the dressing ratio and flavor is good, but the dish is a little dry, toss in a few Tbsp of the reserved pasta water.
- Continue adding dressing and/or pasta water until your desired flavor and moisture level is reached.
- Now toss the mozzarella cubes into the pasta salad. The mozzarella will melt slightly.
Serve and enjoy!
- Serve this pasta salad alone, or with a salad. Enjoy!
This sounds delicious. I love the olives in the mix! And your plating is gorgeous.
Thank you so much Jeff! The olives were my daughter’s contribution. She’s a natural little chef already!
This is fabulous! More like a warm pasta salad in my book, which I love. Pasta served warm puts off the most aromas and flavors I think. Love your dressing!
Oh I completely agree Mimi! The flavors of a warm pasta salad like this one are definitely richer and more intense in my book. Thanks for your comment Mimi, hope you have a lovely day!
Ohh, this looks and sounds like another keeper, Shannon! Does your daughter love olives as much as mine does? Mine will just stand there and eat them right out of the jar but is the happiest when we incorporate them into her favourite meals, so I dare say she would love this! I love that this comes together so quickly too – bonus! Happy Thursday, lovely!
Oh, my daughter absolutely LOVES olives, that is so cute that yours does too! Sounds like they would be best buds. 😄. You’ve seriously just described a scene in our house haha. Any meal that has olives is an automatic hit in our house, I’m sure your daughter would love this dish! Thanks so much for the lovely comment Katerina! ♥️
This pasta salad look so delicious ! I have to try it out, thanks for sharing.
Thank you so much Lovely! It’s definitely a new summer favorite in our house! 😃
What an awesome combination of flavors here, Shannon! I don’t know how I missed this recipe last week, but I’m glad I’m seeing it now. We’re all about pasta salads in the summer, and this one is certainly unique. I love the asparagus in there. We often just toss asparagus in olive oil and grill it – delicious, for sure – but I’m looking for new ways to mix it up. This pasta salad is it! And the olives in there for salty bites of goodness? I echo your thoughts that they are genius!
Thanks David! Ohhh grilled asparagus is the BEST! Something I’m always excited to add to any meal, or eat alone!
Aren’t the olives a great addition? My daughter’s already putting me to shame, I never would have thought of adding them here haha, but they truly are the finishing touch.
Loved this asparagus pasta salad! Easy and delicious. Will make again this summer for sure!
I’m so glad to hear Daisy! Thanks for making the pasta salad!