Who says pasta salad is just a summertime potluck thing? Our Fall Pasta Salad is brimming with all the best flavors of autumn.
Roasted veggies, crisp apples, sweet dried cranberries, and so much more. This is one of those salads where every bite brings a new combination of flavors.
Give this one a sure try when the temperatures start to drop. Hint, hint, this fall pasta salad would be a great surprise on holiday spreads…
Fall is typically a time when we lean towards those cozy comfort foods. Soups like Zuppa Toscana and Ham Bean Soup are sure hits, as are casseroles like our Chicken Pot Pie Casserole and Johnny Marzetti.
But it’s also a time for big family get togethers like Thanksgiving. And one of the best things to take to big gatherings is pasta salad.
Make a huge bowlful, and everyone can munch endlessly. This year, give a pass to the usual casserole side dishes, and surprise everyone with this unique pasta salad.
Or, save it for yourself and have lunches and easy dinners for days!
This is a very versatile salad. We’ll give you some variations later in the post, but here is what we used today:
- Pasta – We used tricolor rotini. The shape is great for pasta salads, and the colors give a festive feel.
- Vegetables – Butternut squash, broccoli and brussels sprouts.
- Chick peas – Roasted with the veggies.
- Apple – Granny smith for tartness.
- Dried cranberries – For some sweetness.
- Cheese – This time we used smoked cheddar, which added unique flavor.
- Bacon – You can omit, or serve on the side, if you’ll have vegetarian guests.
- Pumpkin seeds – Some nice crunch.
- Dressing – Olive oil, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, salt and pepper.
Fall Pasta Salad Recipe
Cut the butternut squash into 3/4 inch cubes, halve the brussels sprouts, cut the broccoli into florets, and drain and rinse the chick peas. Arrange all on a baking sheet lined with greased parchment paper. Season with salt, pepper and paprika.
Bake for 30 minutes in an oven preheated to 400°F. Test for doneness. As ovens can vary, add more time if necessary.
Meanwhile, boil the pasta in salted water according to the directions on the package to al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
Fry the bacon, then crumble. Dice the apple and cut the cheese into cubes.
Whisk together all dressing ingredients in a small bowl until well combined.
Now all that’s left is to assemble the pasta salad. In a large bowl, toss pasta, veggies, chick peas, apple, cranberries, cheese and dressing until well combined.
Top with bacon and pumpkin seeds. Serve immediately, or cover with cling wrap and refrigerate.
The varieties are only limited to your imagination. Some ideas:
- Try different fall vegetables. Think carrots, green beans, cauliflower, acorn squash, or even pumpkin.
- Change up the cheese. Regular cheddar, smoked gouda, goat cheese, feta or blue cheese would all give different flavors to the salad.
- Use different nuts or seeds. Pecans, candied pecans, slivered almonds, hazelnuts or sunflower seeds would all go well here.
Leftovers and Storage
Fall pasta salad is great refrigerated for 3-4 days in an airtight container. This also makes it a great make ahead option to bring to holiday celebrations.
Just because summer is behind us, there’s no need to forget everyone’s favorite pasta salads. Give this fall pasta salad a try.
Experiment. Try different variations. Make it your own in time for the holidays.
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Fall Pasta Salad, in our Gypsy Bowl… enjoy!
Check out these other great side dishes!
Classic Squash Casserole
Green Beans Almondine
Sweet Potato Mash
Fall Pasta Salad
This Fall Pasta Salad in a unique twist on your usual summertime fare. With great autumn flavors like roasted veggies, dried cranberries and more, it would be a great addition to your holiday spreads.
- 1/2 butternut squash, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
- 1 small head broccoli, cut into florets
- 1 pound brussels sprouts, halved
- 1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- salt, to taste,
- pepper, to taste
- pinch of paprika
- 12oz pasta (small shapes like rotini or bowties)
- 4oz smoked cheddar cheese
- 1/2 apple, cubed
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 6 slices bacon
- pumpkin seeds, for garnish
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbsp maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Arrange squash, broccoli, brussels sprouts and chick peas on a baking sheet lined with greased parchment paper. Brush with olive oil, season with salt, pepper and paprika. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, boil the pasta in salted water according to the directions on the package to al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Fry the bacon, then crumble.
- Dice the apple and cut the cheese into cubes.
- Whisk together all dressing ingredients in a small bowl until well combined.
- In a large bowl, toss pasta, veggies, chick peas, apple, cranberries, cheese and dressing until well combined.
- Top with bacon and pumpkin seeds.
- Serve immediately, or cover with cling wrap and refrigerate.
Nutrition InformationYield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 298Total Fat 17gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 15mgSodium 306mgCarbohydrates 28gFiber 5gSugar 9gProtein 9g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
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