This Bruschetta Pasta Salad is packed with fresh vegetables, lentils and tons of flavor for a well-rounded, quick and easy meal!
Bruschetta is one of my favorite things to eat, so when I had the idea to make a Bruschetta-Inspired Pasta Salad, I knew I had to make it immediately. And guess what? It somehow tastes even better than I thought. Plus, it only takes 20-minutes to make, meaning it’s the perfect weeknight meal. It also requires basically no cooking, which is a major plus in the summer when turning on the oven is the last thing I want to do.
While quick and easy meals are a huge priority for me, I also want them to be well-rounded, too. This means that I typically look for ones with a good source of plant-based protein, carbohydrates, veggies and healthy fats. This pasta salad totally checks all the boxes.
I call this an ‘inspired’ recipe because it obviously isn’t authentic bruschetta, but is my spin on it in a pasta salad! We use sweet cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, and of course, a homemade balsamic vinaigrette to get that delicious bruschetta taste. We pair it with cooked bowtie pasta (the best pasta shape, in my opinion!) and lentils for a well-rounded meal.
One of the best parts about this pasta salad is it can be prepped ahead of a busy week since it keeps so well in the fridge. It also makes a great packable lunch option since it doesn’t need to be reheated! If you have a hard time motivating yourself to meal prep ahead of the week, try this recipe!
Cherry tomatoes: Of course! Other tomatoes will work, too, but I think cherry tomatoes have the sweetest flavor and work best in this recipe.
Fresh basil: For delicious flavor!
Balsamic Vinaigrette: We whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper and a splash of maple syrup for the easiest, most delicious homemade balsamic vinaigrette. It’s amazing on this pasta salad, but also tastes great on other salads, too!
Lentils: For protein! Did you know just 1/2 cup of lentils is packed with nine grams of protein? Plus, lots of good-for-your-gut fiber and plant-based iron. I used canned lentils for this recipe to make it take even less time.
Pasta: I used bowtie pasta in this recipe, but use whatever kind you like best!
How to make this Bruschetta Pasta Salad
- Cook your pasta as per package instructions. Meanwhile, whisk (or shake in a mason jar) together all of the balsamic vinaigrette ingredients.
- Combine the cooked pasta, drained and rinsed lentils, sliced cherry tomatoes, julienned basil and balsamic vinaigrette in a large bowl. Add the nutritional yeast, plus additional salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Mix well to combine and enjoy!
Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days. The pasta salad may dry out a bit the longer it’s kept in the fridge-Feel free to moisten it with an additional drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- I used canned lentils for this recipe to make it come together more quickly and easily. If using canned, make sure you drain and rinse them well before using. If using dried, I recommend starting to cook them before the pasta as they take longer to cook.
- I used bowtie pasta in this recipe and love the texture it provides, but feel free to use whatever pasta you’d like!
- Cherry tomatoes work very well in this recipe since they’re sweet, but use whatever kind of tomatoes you like, as long as they yield about 2 cups.
- Feel free to use whatever sweetener you like in the balsamic vinaigrette. Sugar or honey would also work well.
I hope you love this Bruschetta Pasta Salad as much as I do! If you try it out, make sure to take a photo and tag me on Instagram so I can see!
Lentil Bruschetta Pasta Salad
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 300 grams bowtie pasta dried
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes sliced
- 1/2 cup basil packed, julienned
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 540 mL cooked lentils drained and rinsed. About 2 cups
Cook pasta as per package instructions. Meanwhile, whisk together all ingredients for salad dressing.
Mix together cooked pasta, sliced cherry tomatoes, basil, nutritional yeast, cooked lentils and salad dressing. Serve and enjoy!
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