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Cold Zucchini Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing

Zucchini pasta salad is the perfect side dish or can easily be made into a light meal! Great for meal prep, parties, potlucks or BBQ’s! This simple low carb vegan pasta salad recipe is topped with homemade Italian dressing and is packed with veggies!

Large bowl filled with zucchini pasta salad with tomatoes in background.

Why this recipe works?

  • Zucchini pasta is a great replacement for regular pasta in this vegan pasta salad recipe! It increases the veggies, reduces the carbs and is super filling and delicious! It’s also Whole30 and keto friendly so perfect for parties and get-togethers!
  • With a good spiralizer, this pasta salad is actually ready in less time than traditional pasta salad since you don’t have to boil the pasta!
  • Zucchini pasta salad with Italian dressing is great for meal prep or making your lunch the day before! This recipe is actually better the next day!
  • Add your favorite protein for a simple summer meal. Add shredded chicken or grilled shrimp or canned cannellini beans for a healthy, filling meal!
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How to make zucchini pasta noodles

To make zucchini pasta noodles that are just like elbow macaroni, you will need to take one step before putting your zucchini on the spiralizer.

  • First cut the top and the bottom off the zucchini.
  • Next using a sharp knife, cut the zucchini down the length of the zucchini half way through (go only to the center of the zucchini, not all the way to the other side).
  • Put the cut zucchini on the spiralizer and spiralize. You will get half moon shaped zucchini pasta noodles.
How to make zucchini noodles with spiralizer

Instructions

  • Start by spiralizing the zucchini and chopping the veggies (cucumber, tomato, roasted red pepper, capers).
  • Add everything to a large mixing bowl.
Chopped veggies in a bowl before stirring.
Italian dressing being poured over the veggies in a bowl.
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Why should you make this ahead of time?

The zucchini noodles in this pasta salad are raw. As they sit in the Italian dressing, they start to absorb the flavor and soften just a touch, making them the perfect al dente consistency after soaking.

You can make this pasta salad up to 48 hours ahead of time. Be sure to stir it well before serving. You will notice that there is a lot of extra moisture from the zucchini at the bottom of the bowl, but the zucchini don’t get watered down.

Store in a covered glass container or divide into mason jars for easy on the go salads.

Large bowl of zucchini pasta salad with italian dressing

How to make pasta salad into a meal?

This zucchini salad is great for appetizers, a side for potlucks, parties or BBQ’s but it’s also great as  a simple salad for lunch or dinner! Using zucchini noodles in place of lettuce can be a fun way to change things up!

That being said, this salad can easily become a full meal with the addition of protein! Some of my favorite additions include:

Substitutions

Zucchini – if you don’t have zucchini on hand, you can also use summer squash as a substitute.

Italian dressing – this salad would be equally delicious with homemade Greek dressing or Creamy Balsamic dressing

Pickled onions – to make a quick pickled onion, simply slice the red onion and add it to a mixture of 3/4 red wine vinegar, 1/4 water, and at least 2 tsp salt. I usually place the onion in a mason jar, add enough red wine vinegar to cover it 3/4 of the way and add the rest water. Add at least 2 tsp of salt and shake well. Sit for 5-20 minutes (or overnight up to a week). If you don’t have pickled red onion, soak red onion in some of the Italian dressing for 5-20 minutes.

Capers – capers are optional but add a great briny pop of flavor. You could also use olives or feta cheese (not vegan or Whole30).

Sundried tomatoes in oil – the oil from the sundried tomatoes with the Italian dressing really give this zucchini pasta salad great flavor, however if you don’t love sundried tomatoes, you can omit them completely.

Wooden spoons in a bowl of zucchini pasta salad italian dressing

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Bowl of zucchini pasta salad with tomatoes and spoon in background

Zucchini pasta salad with Italian dressing

$7.15 Recipe/$3.58 Serving
Zucchini Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing is the perfect healthy side dish for dinner or to bring to a party! This recipe is low carb, vegan, Whole30 and keto friendly! Make it a meal with the addition of your favorite protein! Great for meal prep too!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: low carb pasta salad, vegan pasta salad, zucchini pasta salad
Prep Time: 7 mins
Cook Time: 0 mins
Total Time: 7 mins
Servings: 2 servings

Guided Recipe Video

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Start by preparing the zucchini for spiralizing. Cut the top and the bottom off the zucchini. Cut the zucchini half way through (only to the center) lengthwise.
  • Put the half cut zucchini on the spiralizer and spiralize into noodles. Repeat for the other zucchini
  • Chop all the vegetables.
  • Combine the vegetables and the spiralized zucchini in a large bowl.
  • Pour the dressing over the ingredients and stir well.
  • Let sit in the fridge at least 3 hours, up to 48 hours.

Notes

To make this salad a full meal, just add your favorite protein!
Substitutions:
  • Zucchini – if you don’t have zucchini on hand, you can also use summer squash as a substitute.
  • Italian dressing – this salad would be equally delicious with homemade Greek dressing or Creamy Balsamic dressing
  • Pickled onions – to make a quick pickled onion, simply slice the red onion and add it to a mixture of 3/4 red wine vinegar, 1/4 water, and at least 2 tsp salt. I usually place the onion in a mason jar, add enough red wine vinegar to cover it 3/4 of the way and add the rest water. Add at least 2 tsp of salt and shake well. Sit for 5-20 minutes (or overnight up to a week). If you don’t have pickled red onion, soak red onion in some of the Italian dressing for 5-20 minutes. 
  • Capers – capers are optional but add a great briny pop of flavor. You could also use olives or feta cheese (not vegan or Whole30).
  • Sundried tomatoes in oil – the oil from the sundried tomatoes with the Italian dressing really give this zucchini pasta salad great flavor, however if you don’t love sundried tomatoes, you can omit them completely.
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Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Calories
221
Fat
 
12
g
Carbohydrates
 
27
g
Fiber
 
7
g
Sugar
 
17
g
Protein
 
7
g
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
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