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Pasta salad with roasted red pepper
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5 from 5 votes

Roasted Pepper Pasta Salad with Simple Vinaigrette

Refreshing Pasta Salad with Roasted Red Peppers and Caramelized onions makes for the best lunch or a side with some crusty bread. If you are planning Holiday lunch, make sure to include this on your menu. 
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Pasta, Salad
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 4 Servings


For the salad -

  • Elbow Pasta - 1 cup
  • Onion - 1 ½ cups thinly sliced
  • Roasted Pepper - 8 oz from a jar or 1 large red pepper roasted
  • Cucumber - 1 small cubed
  • Cheese I used pepper jack - based on your liking
  • Cilantro - About ¼ cup chopped and tightly packed
  • Oil - 1 TBSP

To make the Red Wine Vinaigrette Dressing -

  • Red wine vinegar - 2 TBSP
  • Olive oil - 4 TBSP
  • lemon juice - 1 TBSP
  • Garlic powder - ¼ tsp or ½ tsp of freshly minced garlic
  • Salt - to taste
  • Pepper - to taste


To make the Vinaigrette dressing -

  • Combine all the ingredients except oil in a small bowl and mix well to combine. Now whisk the mixture and drizzle in the olive oil to blend it. The dressing is now ready. Keep it aside until the pasta salad is ready.

To make the Pasta Salad -

  • Cook the pasta according to the label instructions. Drain the cooked pasta and rinse it cold water to avoid further cooking.
  • Meanwhile heat a cast iron or any heavy bottom skillet and add the oil to it. When the oil heats up, add the sliced onions and just enough salt for the onions.
  • Mix well and let it cook / caramelize over low heat. It will take about 10 to 15 minutes for the onions to caramelize.
  • Let the onions cool a bit and in the meantime, chop and prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • Chop the roasted pepper into bite size pieces and place it in a large bowl.
  • Add the caramelized onions, cilantro, cooked pasta, cucumbers to the same bowl and combine.
  • Drizzle the dressing over the salad and mix gently to evenly combine.
  • Add the cheese if using and toss  and serve at room temperature or cold.