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Vegan Pasta Salad in a bowl with tomatoes and cucumber

Vegan Italian Pasta Salad

Easy Italian-style pasta salad with curly pasta, crunchy vegetables, and fresh herbs. Then tossed in a zesty oil-free dressing!
AuthorKaitlin - The Garden Grazer
Prep Time:15 mins
Cook Time:15 mins
Total Time:30 mins
CourseMain Dish, Salad, Side Dish
CuisineGluten-Free Option, Italian-Inspired, Oil-Free, Vegan
Servings6 side servings

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. fusilli pasta (gluten-free if desired)
  • 8 oz. grape/cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/3 cup red onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1/3 cup olives (I use kalamata)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley (more as desired)

Optional variations:

  • Artichoke hearts, green bell pepper, roasted red pepper, capers, pepperoncini, sun-dried tomato, vegan nut parmesan, vegan mozzarella cubes (I love Miyoko's)

For the Oil-Free Italian Dressing:

  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon, or less)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1-2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

Instructions

  • Cook pasta according to package instructions, leaving al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water when finished.
  • Meanwhile, prepare veggies: dice cucumber, quarter/halve tomatoes, and thinly slice red onion. Place in a large mixing bowl.
  • Slice olives and roughly chop parsley (large stems removed). Place in bowl.
  • Make the dressing: in a separate small bowl, add all dressing ingredients and whisk well to combine. (Or place ingredients in a jar with tightly sealed lid and shake well to combine/emulsify.)
  • Add cooked pasta to bowl. Pour dressing over the top and toss well to combine.
  • Can serve immediately, but best served chilled after 1-2 hours. (Be sure to gently stir again before serving as some dressing may settle at the bottom.)

Notes

Keeps covered in the fridge for 2-3 days. Or you can store the dressing + salad separately and toss together when ready. (It does tend to dry out a little as it sits.)
This is really tasty with small cubes of Miyoko's mozzarella added as well. (Not oil-free however.)
If not using olives, I recommend adding capers and/or artichoke hearts for a salty pop of flavor.
I use organic brown rice & quinoa fusilli to make this gluten-free.

Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)

Calories: 179 kcal | Carbohydrates: 34 g | Protein: 6 g | Fat: 3 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Potassium: 273 mg | Fiber: 3 g | Sugar: 2 g | Vitamin A: 482 IU | Vitamin C: 17 mg | Calcium: 40 mg | Iron: 2 mg