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Grilled Broccoli and Pepperoncini Pasta Salad with Basil

4.75 from 4 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 8

Ingredients

LEMONY OREGANO DRESSING:

  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar (or other sweetener of choice)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra

PASTA SALAD:

  • 13 oz (375 grams) shaped pasta of choice (I used rotini)
  • 1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets
  • cups chickpeas (cooked, drained, rinsed)
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup pitted olives, halved
  • ½ cup chopped pepperoncini peppers (about 6 peppers)
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
  • ½ cup crumbled vegan soft-style cheese (optional)

Instructions

  • Make the dressing. In a sealable jar, combine the lemon juice, salt, pepper, oregano, nutritional yeast, water, agave nectar, Dijon, garlic, and olive oil. Secure the lid and shake the jar vigorously to combine. Check the dressing for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Set aside.
  • Preheat your grill to high. In a medium bowl, toss the large broccoli florets with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Once evenly coated, transfer florets to the grill and close the lid. Let the pieces char on one side for about 3 minutes. Carefully flip them over and let them char on the other side for another 2-3 minutes. Once the florets are evenly charred, transfer them back to the bowl and cover with a pot lid or dinner plate, allowing the broccoli to steam for 5 minutes.
  • Roughly chop the grilled and steamed broccoli and add it to the bowl with the pasta. To the bowl, also add the chickpeas, red onion, olives, pepperoncini, basil, and the crumbled vegan cheese (if using). Season the pasta salad with lots of salt and pepper. Pour the lemony oregano dressing on top. Toss everything to combine. Grab a fork and have a taste to check for seasoning. Adjust if necessary, toss one more time, and serve!
  • This grilled broccoli and pepperoncini pasta salad will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days. If you’re bringing it to a gathering and want to make ahead, I’d combine all of it except for the basil and vegan cheese. Toss those in at the last minute to keep everything looking vibrant!

Equipment

  • Grill

Recipe Notes

  • If you don’t have a grill, a quick sear in a frying pan works for the broccoli! You could also roast the florets in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or so.
  • Dried oregano will also work for the lemony dressing. I would use 1 ½ teaspoons and just crush it up a bit with your fingers before adding.
  • I finished my pasta salad with some crumbled vegan soft-style cheese (this one). This is optional!
Grilled broccoli and pepperoncini pasta salad with lemony oregano dressing and fresh basil is a simple and hearty summer side dish.