Pasta Salad with Balsamic Basil Vinaigrette

  • Author: Aggie's Kitchen
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop


  • 1 box whole wheat rotini pasta (whole wheat is totally optional)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli florets, cut in small florets
  • 1 small red onion, quartered and sliced thin
  • 1 cup black or kalamata olives, halved
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained (I prefer Bush’s Beans garbanzos)
  • good pinch of course salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

    For Dressing:

  • 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove
  • good pinch of coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
  • big handful of fresh basil leaves


  1. Cook pasta according to directions.
  2. Place broccoli florets in a colander. When pasta is ready to drain pour over broccoli florets. Drain well and put in large bowl. Set aside and let cool.
  3. In the meantime, make your dressing by adding all ingredients to a blender or food processor. Process ingredients for about 30 seconds until well blended and emulsified.
  4. Add 1/4 of dressing to pasta and broccoli and gently toss. Once combined add the tomatoes, onions, beans and olives to pasta salad along with more dressing. Do not use all of dressing, save some for right before serving because pasta salad will soak up most of dressing and may dry out a bit. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Add additional dressing as desired and gently toss salad before serving. Taste for salt and pepper, I usually add a good pinch of both before serving. Serve with bowl of grated Parmesan cheese for garnish.