Broccoli Sausage Pasta Salad is an easy pasta salad recipe you’ll want all summer long! Great flavor and texture with no mayonnaise so it’s a great choice for picnics or grilling out.
Updated May 10, 2018
With summer heading our way at full speed, it’s time to dust off the grills and picnic baskets and to become reacquainted with favorite warm weather recipes. Today’s Broccoli Sausage Pasta Salad recipe is an easy pasta salad and prefect tee up for dining al fresco.
I love summer salads. A great green salad full of vegetables and fruit is welcome any time especially in the hottest months. It’s hard to imagine eating much of anything else.
I’ve always loved a great potato salad. These two summer staples, Grill-Smoked Creamy Potato Salad with Bacon and Tri Color Chipotle Bacon Potato Salad, are our family favorites (and yes, I love bacon in potato salads). Macaroni salad? Yes, Picnic Macaroni Salad please.
Why You’ll Love THIS Easy Pasta Salad
A fantastic, easy pasta salad is a must to have on the summer salad recipe rotation. Not only is this Broccoli Sausage Pasta Salad a colorful feast for the eyes, it hits all the flavor bases with these tasty ingredients:
- crunchy broccoli
- sweet bell pepper
- zippy onions
- delicious chicken apple sausage slices
- penne pasta (gluten-free or regular)
- cubes of mozzarella cheese
- sunflower seeds for crunch
- an irresistible vinaigrette dressing
Having protein along with the pasta and vegetable makes it a filling and satisfying easy pasta recipe.
Easy Pasta Salad Recipe with No Mayonnaise
I do love a creamy pasta salad recipe but mayonnaise and heat don’t mix well (and can make you very ill). The flavor-forward vinaigrette on this Broccoli Sausage Pasta Salad is much more hot weather hardy when eating outdoors during summer.
Pasta Salad Serving Suggestions
This easy pasta salad recipe is great served warm or chilled. It can be eaten solo as a main dish or as a side dish.
When dining outdoors you can keep it colder longer by storing it in an insulated picnic basket.
How to make Broccoli Sausage Pasta Salad – Step by Step:
Red wine vinegar, olive oil, sugar, dijon mustard, garlic, salt and pepper are combined in a jar and shaken to immulsify and dissolve the sugar
Pre-cooked slices of chicken apple sausage are lightly browned in a skillet to warm through and develop a slight char for texture.
In a large bowl the sausage, prepared penne pasta, onion, broccoli and sweet pepper slices are tossed with the dressing; mozzarella cheese cubes and sunflower seed hulls are stirred in.
Can be served room temperature or chilled.
NOTE: if making gluten-free the easy pasta salad should be eaten the same day for best pasta texture.
More Summer Salad Recipes You’ll Love:
- Rainbow Quinoa Summer Salad
- Summer Grilled Chicken Chopped Salad with White Balsamic Dressing
- Red Grape Jicama Walnut Salad with Mango-Jalapeno Poppy Seed Dressing
If you’ve tried this Broccoli Sausage Pasta Salad recipe or any other recipe on BoulderLocavore.com please don’t forget to RATE THE RECIPE and let me know where you found it in the comments below, I love hearing from you!
Broccoli Sausage Pasta Salad
Ingredients for the Dressing:
- ¼ cup Red Wine Vinegar
- ½ cup Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon Granulated Sugar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
- 1 large Garlic Clove , diced
- ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
Ingredients for Pasta Salad:
- 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
- 1 pound pre-cooked Chicken Apple Sausage , sliced
- 1 12-ounce box Penne Pasta (gluten-free or regular), prepared
- 1/3 cup Red Onion , finely chopped
- 1 pound Broccoli , cut into small florets
- 1 Red, Yellow or Orange Sweet Pepper (or 2 halves of different peppers), sliced thinly and slices halved
- 1 cup Mozzarella Cheese cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1/3 cup raw Sunflower Seeds
- Combine all the dressing ingredients in a small jar with a lid. Shake to fully combine; stir to dissolve the sugar if needed.
- In a large saucepan over medium high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the sausage slices and stir until they are lightly browned. Remove from heat.
- In a large serving bowl combine the sausage, pasta, onion, broccoli, and pepper slices; toss with the dressing. Stir in the mozzarella cheese cubes and sunflower seeds. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Note: if using gluten-free pasta, the salad is best eaten the day it is prepared.