The best vegan pasta salad with a creamy sauce made from a secret ingredient! This is the perfect summery side dish that’s packed full of wholesome ingredients. Gluten-free and oil-free.
I love salads, but I love pasta salads even more. I mean, salads by themselves don’t keep me full for very long, so adding a carby base is super important, and gives salads a way better reputation. Add plenty of vegetables, a dressing of your choice, and perfection is on the table.
If you’re looking for a new and creative pasta salad recipe to try out, I would 100% recommend you give this one a go. Despite the simple list of ingredients, you’ll be amazed at how gourmet it tastes!
Vegan pasta salad with a secret ingredient
I’ve tried many pasta salad recipes over the last month or so, and this is definitely one of my favourites. There’s a real emphasis on vibrant, colourful vegetables and their ability to create an interesting dish without any complicated preparation method. Of course, when you make this pasta salad, you can add any other ones depending on your preference.
As I mentioned, the key to making a salad filling is adding a carbohydrate base. I usually use gluten-free penne for pasta salads, but any other short pasta works, too. Just make sure to never overcook it because gluten-free pasta in particular can be quite fragile and could fall apart when you’re stirring it with the other ingredients.
Creamy sauce with a secret ingredient
I just love secret ingredients: ingredients that are unusual, but give dishes their distinctive qualities. The one with comes to mind immediately is cashews, which. are often blended into cashew sauces and cheese alternatives. But tofu is another great one. In general, tofu is eaten as it is either fried or baked, but it has a wide variety of other uses.
One of them is sauces, as this recipe demonstrates. Typically, silken tofu makes a great option for blending, as it has the highest water content out of the most popular tofu categories and adds a silky smooth texture to soups, smoothies, sauces etc. But, for a denser and more filling texture, firm and extra firm tofu come in. They are very neutral by themselves, so you can flavour them however you’d like.
Here, we’re making a garlicky, refreshing and creamy dressing that clings to the pasta and goes very well with the vegetables. I always like to make a little bit extra and use, for instance, as a dip or a spread.
Ingredients you’ll need
- Gluten-free pasta of your choice.
- Extra firm tofu.
- Almond milk, or any other plant based milk of your choice.
- Nutritional yeast.
- Fresh garlic cloves.
- Lime juice.
- Red bell pepper.
And that’s it!
How to make the best creamy vegan pasta salad
First, cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than the packaging instructions state.
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by adding the tofu, almond milk, salt, nutritional yeast, garlic, and lime juice to a blender or food processor and blend until very smooth.
Drain and rinse the pasta, then transfer to a large mixing bowl together with the cucumber, zucchini, carrot, red bell pepper and. tomatoes. Stir to combine.
Next, pour in the sauce and mix together really well. Serve immediately or leave to chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
How can you store pasta salad?
Pasta is great for batch cooking and having lunch or dinner ready to go. You can keep this in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. I would not, however, recommend freezing it as the sauce will not be smooth when defrosted.
Other vegan salad recipes
- Potato salad with smoky tempeh
- Zucchini sweet potato salad
- Massaged kale salad with roasted chickpeas
- Cold spaghetti salad with balsamic tofu
- Falafel salad with tahini dressing
Let me know in the comments: what’s your go-to salad recipe? If you give this creamy vegan pasta salad a go, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@earthomariaa) so I can see your creations, and leave your feedback in the comments below, together with a star rating!
Creamy Vegan Pasta Salad
- Blender or food processor
- Mixing bowl
- 10 oz gluten-free pasta
- 10 oz extra firm tofu
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 lime juice of
- 1 cup cucumber chopped
- 1 cup zucchini chopped
- 1/2 cup carrot peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper chopped
- 1/2 cup tomatoes chopped
- Cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than the packaging instructions state.
- Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by adding the tofu, almond milk, salt, nutritional yeast, garlic, and lime juice to a blender or food processor and blend until very smooth.
- Drain and rinse the pasta, then transfer to a large mixing bowl together with the cucumber, zucchini, carrot, red bell pepper and tomatoes. Stir to combine.
- Next, pour in the sauce and mix together really well. Serve immediately or leave to chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.