Like pasta salad? Like bean salad? Can't decide which to make for your summer cookout as a side dish or to bring to a potluck? Combine the two with this quick and easy vegetarian pasta salad with beans. This pasta and bean salad recipe calls for rotini (corkscrew) pasta, kidney beans, and garbanzo beans combined in a light and creamy dressing made from mayonnaise and Italian salad dressing. It couldn't be easier!
This quick pasta salad recipe is vegetarian, but you could easily make it vegan by using vegan mayonnaise, and, be sure to read the ingredients on your bottled Italian salad dressing, as some are dairy-free and vegan and some are not.
Fill up this pasta and beans salad even more. Experiment by adding some of your favorite veggies for an even more nutritious salad. Try adding black olives, steamed broccoli or cauliflower, diced tomatoes, green onions, and, if you're not vegan, a bit of crumbled feta cheese.
- 1 (8-ounce) package rotini (corkscrew) pasta (cooked and drained)
- 2 (16-ounce) cans kidney beans (drained)
- 1 (16-ounce) can garbanzo beans/chickpeas (drained)
- 1 (11-ounce) can corn kernels (drained)
- 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 (2-ounce) jar diced pimento
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (or to taste)
- Salt and pepper (to taste, optional)
First, cook your pasta. Most people prefer to make pasta salad with pasta cooked in heavily salted water, so add about one tablespoon of salt (minimum!) to the water used to cook your pasta.
Once your pasta is cooked and drained, combine the prepared pasta, with the kidney beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), and corn kernels in a large bowl.
In a separate small bowl, stir together the Italian salad dressing, the mayonnaise, the diced pimento peppers, and the red pepper flakes. Pour this dressing over the pasta mixture and lightly toss until well combined and the dressing is evenly distributed.
Taste, and add a bit of salt and pepper to taste, if you'd like.
If you have time, chill your pasta and bean salad for at least 2 hours before serving to allow the flavors to fully develop, and toss gently to combine everything again just before serving. You may also want to give a quick taste, and adjust the seasonings to taste.
This is a very versatile recipe and you can swap out some of the beans without too much trouble. For example, switching out either the garbanzo beans or the kidney beans for cannellini beans or another white bean would be just fine.