Fresh, vibrant and summery, this vegan pasta salad with beetroot and lentils is exactly what you need as a side dish at your next BBQ or outdoor party. But it’s just as delicious when eaten warm as a comforting dinner. Vegan, gluten-free and ready in under 15 minutes.
I don’t know what I captivates me the most about this dish – the colour, or the fact that my love for pasta has no limits.
Lately, I’ve been loving trying out different gluten free pasta varieties. I seem to discover a new one every single day at the local health food store and end up doing plenty of recipe testing with anything from buckwheat fusilli to sweet potato noodles.
One of the outcomes? A vegan pasta salad with beetroot and lentils.
Okay, I know that beetroot isn’t everyone’s cup of tea (or a cup of tea full stop – it’s beetroot). But trust me, in this one you can barely taste it at all, and still get to eat purple food. And purple food is always awesome. Who wouldn’t want intergalactic magic at a BBQ or outdoor party with friends and family? But of course, if you leave it out, you’ll keep the overall deliciousness.
What vegetables to add to a pasta salad?
I used the following fresh produce:
- Red onion
- Fresh beetroot
However, you can add whatever you have in the fridge – it’s a great way use up leftovers! To give the salad a little bit of texture, I used my food processor to chop up the red onion, zucchini and cauliflower. Talk about a great way to sneak in extra vegetables if you don’t like big chunks in each mouthful. However, if you don’t have a food processor or want to keep washing up to a minimum, simply chop them up as finely as you can.
Cold pasta salad dressing
As for the nutty, slightly tangy dressing, it’s as fuss-free as stirring together the ingredients, which are:
- Peanut butter
- Agave nectar
- Gluten-free soy sauce
- Rice vinegar
- Dried basil
As a finishing touch, I added some lime juice, but you can leave this out if you don’t want it to be as zesty. Overall, the dressing definitely had a summery feel to it, and a nutty undertone that’s not too overpowering either.
Prepare the vegetables and the dressing as the pasta cooks, and then mix everything together with the dressing in a large mixing bowl. Of course, to make a cold pasta salad, leave this to chill in the fridge for at least fifteen minutes, but it’s just as delicious when eaten straight away – I wouldn’t blame anyone for getting inpatient!
The final vegan beetroot pasta salad is…
- Tangy and nutty, with plenty of freshness from the vegetables.
- Ready in under 15 minutes and pretty much effortless: perfect if you’re in a rush or want a quick, healthy midweek dinner.
- Mealprep friendly: this lasted me around 4 days in the fridge in an airtight container.
- Ideal for outdoor parties and BBQs – or gatherings of any kind.
- Gluten-free, as long as you use gluten-free pasta
- Great as both a side and a main.
- A favourite with my non-vegan family members!
Check out the recipe video below from my YouTube channel (also featuring my cold spaghetti salad with balsamic tofu):
Let me know in the comments: what’s your favourite dish to enjoy in the summer? And if you give this vegan pasta salad a go, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@earthofmariaa) so I can see your creations!
Vegan Pasta Salad With Beetroot And Lentils - Easy Recipe
- 14 oz buckwheat fusilli or any other pasta of choice
- 2 medium red onions
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 large zucchini chopped
- 1 medium cauliflower chopped
- 5 large vine tomatoes finely diced
- 1 cup rocket arugula
- 1.5 cups cooked green lentils
For the dressing
- 4 tbsp smooth peanut butter
- 4 tbsp agave nectar
- 3 tbsp tamari
- 4 tbsp rice vinegar
- juice of 1 lime
- Cook the pasta according to packaging instructions - this usually takes 8-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the red onion and garlic into a food processor and blend until finely chopped. Transfer to a plate and repeat firstly with the zucchini, then with the cauliflower.
- To make the dressing, stir together the peanut butter, agave nectar, gluten-free soy sauce/tamari, rice vinegar and lime juice.
- Once the pasta is cooked, combine with all the vegetables and the dressing in a large mixing bowl. Serve immediately or leave to chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.