Our favorite type of salad? One that has the word pasta in front of it.
This dish is unbelievably satisfying, incredibly easy, full of flavor, and light on prep time. The process goes a little bit like: boil water, roast mushrooms, make pesto, cook pasta, whisk together dressing, toss errything together (yes, eryything), and stash it in the fridge until thoroughly chilled.

Sound too complicated? Okay fine. Just replace the homemade pesto with a store-bought variation and purchase pre-sliced mushrooms in place of full caps for a meal that’s even more relaxed on prep-work.


There’s not much in the way of food science, history, or technique to cover here, so we’re just gonna get you that recipe as quick as possible. But first, a bulleted list for our OCD pleasure. This penne salad is:

  • Savory, fresh, herbal, and balanced
  • Chewy, silky, and tender
  • Easy, quick, and simple
  • Italian-Inspired
  • Perfect for picnics, meal prep, and leftovers
  • Vegan

If you like what your eyes are tasting, then share this recipe with your friends on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest at @noeggsorham! For more flame-emoji photos, geeky food talk, and mouth-watering dishes, subscribe to our email list. Tag us in a photo when you create one of our recipes at home so we can share it!

“I’m so over pasta” – no one ever


Chilled Penne Salad with Creamy Pesto Dressing, Tangy Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Deep Roasted Mushrooms, and Grated Parmesan (vegan)

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

A satisfyingly simple lunch comprised of al dente pasta, savory herbal dressing, and tastebud tingling fillings.


  • 8 oz penna pasta
  • 5 tbsps vegan pesto (we prefer homemade)
  • 5 tbsps vegan mayonnaise
  • 8 oz sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 10 grinds black pepper (~1/4 tsp)
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 c packed (2 oz) grated vegan parmesan


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400° F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Toss together mushrooms, olive oil, salt, and black pepper. Roast for 25 minutes.
  2. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water according to package’s instructions; about 14 minutes. Drain through a colander and rinse with cold water to shock.
  3. Whisk together pesto, mayonnaise, and a small pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl. Fold in pasta, parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes, and roasted mushrooms. Cover with plastic wrap or move to a large tupperware container and store in fridge until chilled; at least 2 hours.
  4. Enjoy within 3 days.

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