Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad

Garden fresh basil and tomatoes
Fresh summer salad ingredients: basil, red and yellow tomatoes.

Summer Love

We have a wedding to go to. And not just any wedding. My first born son's wedding. I am mother of the groom. For the first time. Twenty-nine summers ago I cradled this soulful, musical being with new mother innocence and awe, lost in the ocean of this newborn's eyes, starting a journey called motherhood with few tools beyond my willing heart and a deep rooted conviction that I would create for him a childhood unlike my own.

And in many ways I did. I listened with curiosity. I valued his opinion. I gave him paper and paint and books and music. I gave him the time and space and respect to create. We hung together as true companions.

He was always good company.

And still is.

He inspires me daily. We connect through Instagram and iChat. He lives his life as an artist. Creatively. He improvises and honors his intuition. He composes music. Takes killer iphone photographs.

And he cooks.

In fact, he inspired this recipe.

Because he loves to grill vegetables.

His lovely bride is a vegetarian.

So the next time I cook for them- as husband and wife- I think I'll make this vegan pasta salad with smoky grilled vegetables.

Tomorrow we are off to New Hampshire for the wedding. We are staying in the picturesque town of Portsmouth. See you next week! I'll be posting as a newly minted mother-in-law.

I like the sound of that.

Grilled fresh veggies for pasta salad
Grilled vegetables add a smoky twist to summer pasta salad.

Karina's Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad
Brown rice penne makes a tasty gluten-free pasta salad.

Karina's Gluten-Free Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad Recipe

Recipe posted July 2011.

This light and fresh summer pasta salad is our favorite picnic food. We love the smoky depth from the grilled veggies. If you don't have an outdoor grill, you can grill your veggies using a cast iron grill pan. It works beautifully. Grill the veggies as the brown rice penne is cooking.


1 pound gluten-free penne pasta
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1 pound fresh asparagus spears, ends trimmed
1 cup grape tomatoes
4 scallions or spring onions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
1 medium yellow tomato

For the dressing:

5 tablespoons Vegenaise (vegan mayo)
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice or rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon dried dill

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil and cook the penne until it is firm to the bite- al dente. Do not over cook it.

Drain, rinse in cool water, and drain well. Drizzle with a touch of extra virgin olive oil and toss gently to coat.Place in a large salad bowl.

In the meantime, heat the grill or grill pan to medium heat.

Grill the zucchini, asparagus spears, grape tomatoes and scallions until tender but still firm. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Make your dressing by combining the Veganaise, olive oil, lemon juice or rice vinegar, garlic and dill. Set aside.

Grilled fresh veggies for pasta salad
Don't have an outdoor grill? Use a cast iron grill pan to grill veggies.

When the veggies are cool enough to handle, slice the zucchini into half moons. Slice the asparagus spears into bite size lengths. Slice up two of the scallions.

Add the zucchini, asparagus, sliced scallions, and grilled grape tomatoes to the cooked pasta. Add the chopped fresh herbs. Add the dressing.

Gently toss.

Karina's Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad
Gluten-free and vegan summer pasta goodness.

Serve with wedges of fresh yellow tomato for a splash of sunny color, and grilled scallions.

Cook time: 30 minutes

Yield: Serves six.

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xox Karina


  1. Congratulations! What a lucky lady to be marrying into your family. Best wishes for the newlyweds. :)

  2. This looks wonderful. I hope that you enjoy every single moment of this amazing and memorable weekend.

  3. I hope you have a delightful, heartwarming and heart opening experience as Mother of the Groom and soon to be
    Mother-in-law . Enjoy and make sure you have tissues handy LOL.
    Cynthia Groo

  4. Congratulations! I am sure you will be a fabulous mother-of-the-groom and a great mother in law :)
    I think, to add protein to this beautiful dish, you could add some toasted pine nuts. They would add protein, crunch and a great flavor to go with the veggies... just a thought.
    And now I'm hungry. And I need this!
    Great recipe, thanks for posting it!!

  5. Anonymous16:46


    And this salad looks lovely. I can't wait to try it.

  6. Karina,
    Congratulations on your son's wedding to his beautiful bride! I'm sure they will enjoy this beautiful grilled vegetable pasta salad when they visit you.

  7. Ohhh congratulations!!! How exciting!! I love Meghann's idea of adding pine nuts - sounds delicious! Maybe even a bit of sundried tomato...

  8. Congratulations to you all! From someone who remembers holding that wonderful son as a wee one, I am thrilled to hear what an inspired and loving son he became, and I am not surprised, knowing his Mom. Enjoy every second. Portsmouth
    is so lovely!!
    Love, M

  9. This reminds me that one of the first dishes I made after going gluten free 12 years ago was pasta salad for a potluck the next day. I used Tinkiyada, thrilled to have found a tasty GF pasta. Unfortunately the cold pasta had the consistency of rubber....... So, I learned that GF pasta salad must be consumed immediately (other types of GF pasta may not have the same problem). Leftovers can be warmed to soften the pasta, but will never be quite as good.

  10. Wishing you and your family all the happiness the universe has to give. xox

  11. Congrats!!

    That pasta salad logs fabulous! I have been enjoying grilled veggies, so this sounds delightful.

  12. How lovely. I'm smiling for you all from the other side of the world :-)

  13. I hope the wedding is perfect and everyone has a wonderful time. What a blessing to have a son who's also a wonderful friend.

  14. Those Veggies are grilled to perfection! The table setting in gorgeous too!

  15. Congratulations!
    And the pasta looks too good for words...have an amazing weekend

  16. Mmm this looks gorgeous, so summery and colourful! I've never tried grilling spring onions like that but I will give it a ago... Grilled vegetables are always a regular at my home, but I like the way you've presented it.

    Enjoy your son's wedding!

  17. Congrats, Karina! Your daughter-in-law will be well-fed. : ) Have fun and I'm sure you'll find inspiration in NH!

  18. Thanks for that post! Looks very yummy. By the way, amazing photography. Compliments to the person behind the lens. Congratulations too!

  19. Kate05:24

    Hi this has nothing to do with this post but you might be able to help me, I need to substitute oil for butter in a chocolate tort recipe, is there a sound ratio of oil to butter substitute or is it trial and error to get it right?

  20. I love the herbs in this salad, yumm...
    I hope you can relax and rejoice in the weekend finding time for love and laughter cause I know there'll be tears! (happy ones of course:))

  21. I am so glad I stumbled upon your blog! My husband and I have just started our gluten free adventure. In fact, gluten free pancakes were on the menu this morning. :)

    Congrats on welcoming a daughter into your family this weekend! There aren't many things better than having a wonderful mother-in-law! :)


  22. This looks so good, and healthy.

    Congrats on the wedding, I hope you enjoyed it !

  23. That looks lovely, and congratulations all around!!! What a happy event :)

  24. Great pasta salad, truly fresh and suits the summer and your happy moments so well! Congratulations!!! :)

  25. This sounds amazing! And I'm so excited for you and your family! I have loved catching a peek at your photos from the wedding on instagram :-) I cannot wait to try this dish!


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