This vegan pasta salad is perfect for a summer picnic, as a to-go lunch to take to work or if you're having friends and family over and need to prepare something in advance. It comes together in 20 minutes and you can store it in the freezer for up to 4 days. I made this vegan pasta salad for a little picnic with my boyfriend along with some lentil hummus and chocolate zucchini banana bread.
Vegan Pasta Salad with Healthy Ingredients
To make this vegan pasta salad, we will use a variety of healthy foods which makes this meal super nutritious and light. Peas are a great source of plant-based protein. I love frozen peas because you can just add them to pretty much anything without a lot of effort. Simply pop them in the microwave for half a minute and you're ready to go.
The carrots add a nice crunch to the pasta salad. Furthermore, they contain beta-carotene. Our body needs beta-carotene to make vitamin A. It's important for a good vision and our immune system. Finally, we will add some red bell peppers to get some more veggies in and also I think it looks pretty.
Homemade Mustard Cashew Dressing
I wanted to make a salad dressing that is oil-free. I have already made a vegan mayonnaise before for my vegan potato salad. However, I made it with sunflower oil. This time, there is no oil in the dressing.
All you need for the mustard cashew dressing is some soaked cashews, apple cider vinegar, mustard (obviously), a garlic clove, water, salt and pepper. You can adjust the ingredients to your preferences. If you like almonds more, you an use them instead. Just make sure to remove the skin if you want to achive a light color. You can also use a different vinegar if you don't have apple cider vinegar. And if you don't like garlic, use less or none at all.
Make This Vegan Pasta Salad Your Own
I'd say this recipe is a pretty basic version of a vegan pasta salad. So make it your own! Here are a few suggestions of what you could use instead of peas, carrots and peppers:
- broccoli and arugula
- sun-dried tomatoes, olives and green bell peppers
- cherry tomatoes, cucumber and red onion
And of courser, you can always add fresh herbs, nuts and hemp seed hearts to make it more exciting!
Vegan Pasta Salad (healthy & oil-free)
Mustard Cashew Dressing
– 50 g cashews (soaked)
– 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (~10 g)
– 1 tbsp mustard (~20 g)
– 1 garlic clove
Vegan Pasta Salad
– 300 g pasta (like fussili or penne)
– 1 red pepper
– 100 g carrots (3 medium)
– 150 g frozen peas
- Cover the cashews with boiling water and soak for ~5 minutes. Defrost the peas in the microwave.
- In the meantime, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package instructions.
- Peel the carrots and half them. Then, cut them into thin slices. Clean the red pepper and cut into thin strips.
- Mustard cashew dressing: Drain the cashews and add them to a blender. Add the remaining ingredients and enough water so that everything is covered. Blend for a couple of minutes to make a smooth paste. Add more water if too thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Drain the pasta and add to a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and the cashew dressing and mix well.
- Store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
The dressing is quite garlic-y. f you don’t like garlic, leave it out or use half.