Broccoli Pasta Salad with Toasted Walnuts and Olives

Whole grain pasta, fresh broccoli, toasted walnuts, black olives and Parmesan cheese are tossed with a tasty herb and Dijon mustard vinaigrette for a wholesome and delicious salad you can take to your next potluck, picnic or serve at your backyard BBQ!  This Broccoli and Pasta salad recipe comes together in minutes and can be made well in advance.

For more delicious pasta salads be sure to try our Macaroni Salad, Pepperoni Pizza Salad, Greek Orzo Salad, Spinach and Artichoke Pasta and Curried Couscous Salad!

broccoli pasta salad recipe toasted walnuts olives parmesan cheese vinaigrette

There simply is no excuse for buying those pre-packaged boxed pasta salad mixes.   Not when you can whip up your own pasta in just minutes and it doesn’t have any of the junk ingredients found in the boxed stuff.

This wholesome Broccoli Pasta Salad recipe comes together in minutes and features whole grain pasta, fresh broccoli, toasted walnuts, black olives, Parmesan cheese, and a yummy herb vinaigrette.  I also love the combination of chewy-crunchy textures.  It can be made well in advance and is a perfect salad to bring to a potluck, on a picnic, or to serve at your next backyard BBQ!

While this recipe calls for whole grain pasta, there are any number of varieties of pasta you can choose according to your preference.  And if you eat GF, simply use gluten-free pasta.

Because the vinaigrette isn’t something that is cooked, thus coaxing the flavor out of dried herbs, I recommend using fresh rosemary; plus it has a more vibrant and robust flavor.  If you don’t have any, make the vinaigrette a few hours in advance of adding it to the pasta to give the dried rosemary some time to release its flavor.   And for optimal flavor be sure to let the pasta salad sit for at least an hour after adding the vinaigrette before serving.

broccoli pasta salad recipe toasted walnuts olives parmesan cheese vinaigrette

Broccoli Pasta Salad Recipe

Let’s get started!

To toast the walnuts, preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange walnuts on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, checking frequently.  Let cool completely.

While the walnuts and toasting, combine the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl, whisking until emulsified, and set aside until ready to use.

toasting walnuts and preparing vinaigrette

Add the salad ingredients in a large bowl along with the drained and cooled pasta.

Pour the vinaigrette over and toss to combine.  Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

broccoli pasta salad recipe toasted walnuts olives parmesan cheese vinaigrette

Enjoy!

broccoli pasta salad recipe toasted walnuts olives parmesan cheese vinaigrette

Originally published on The Daring Gourmet June 3, 2015

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