Vegetarian Italian Pasta Salad with Arugula


This Italian pasta salad features all the caprese ingredients and then some - mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, plus artichoke hearts and arugula. The arugula adds great color and freshness to the salad. I love to make it for a barbeque or as a cold lunch on a hot day.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Additional Time:
3 hrs
Total Time:
3 hrs 30 mins
8 servings


  • 1 (16 ounce) box penne pasta


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup

  • 2 cloves garlic, grated

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • 5 tomatoes, chopped

  • 1 (15 ounce) can artichoke hearts, well drained and quartered

  • 1 (8 ounce) package fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed

  • ½ bunch basil, chopped

  • 4 cups arugula


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add penne and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 11 minutes.

  2. Prepare the dressing while penne is cooking. Whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and maple syrup in a small bowl until well combined. Stir in grated garlic. Mix in mustard and season with salt and pepper.

  3. Drain penne and transfer to a large bowl. Mix in 1/2 of the dressing. Allow to cool for 1 hour.

  4. Mix tomatoes, artichoke hearts, mozzarella cheese, and basil into the penne. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

  5. Mix in remaining dressing and arugula right before serving.

Cook's Notes:

You can use any kind of pasta shape for this salad.

The pasta salad can chill longer as well, just make sure you don't mix in the arugula until right before serving. Otherwise it will wilt.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

407 Calories
13g Fat
58g Carbs
18g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 407
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g 16%
Saturated Fat 4g 21%
Cholesterol 18mg 6%
Sodium 581mg 25%
Total Carbohydrate 58g 21%
Dietary Fiber 5g 19%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 18g
Vitamin C 21mg 107%
Calcium 274mg 21%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 425mg 9%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.