This fabulous, naturally vegan pasta salad is light and refreshing with a quick and easy tangy lemon-olive oil dressing! Chock full of healthy veggies and protein rich tofu cubes, it's an all-around favorite for picnics, lunches, and potlucks.
This no-mayo, Italian style vegan pasta salad is perfect for outdoor picnics because it is equally tasty chilled or at room temperature!
Related recipe: Vegan Broccoli Salad
What ingredients do you need to make this easy Vegan Pasta Salad?
- multicolored rotini (or bow-ties) - I love both the flavor and beauty of the multi-colored pasta
- an English cucumber - really only half of one, diced
- grape tomatoes - grape tomatoes keep their juices to themselves, increasing the longevity of salad left-overs
- black olives - adds healthy fat and great texture and flavor
- red onion - a little spunk! I keep the slivers fairly large for picky-eater removal ease
- firm tofu - the water-packed kind - love these little chunks!
- olive oil - extra virgin is the richest!
- lemons - to make fresh squeezed lemon juice!
- dried basil, oregano, Italian seasoning, or Spike (or Mrs. Dash, or seasoned salt)
Another option for this pasta salad is to add some of this amazing vegan feta cheese. You'll love the flavor of creamy, rich, salty feta with this salad and it pairs perfectly with the black olives.
Related recipe: Vegan Crunchy Ramen Noodle Salad
How to make Vegan Pasta Salad:
Drain and squeeze tofu gently to remove most of the liquid. Cube tofu and add to bowl. Mix gently to cover the tofu in the dressing.
Add cooked pasta (already cooled to room temp or cooler) and olives and toss to coat.
You can allow the salad to marinate in the refrigerator overnight (or longer) at this point, or if serving right away, go ahead and add the veggies.
If serving immediately, go ahead and add diced cucumbers, slivered onions, and grape tomatoes.
Toss everything to coat, and taste test for tang, salt, and spice! Adjust according to your palate and enjoy!!
Related recipe: Vegan Mexican Pasta Salad
How long does this pasta salad keep?
This pasta salad will keep in the refrigerator for up to five days. The cucumber pieces will, however, gradually become softer.
If you are making this salad for week-long lunch box prep, chop the cucumbers and keep them on the side, adding them just before eating to keep the crunch!
Expert Cooking Tips:
Avoid rinsing your pasta, simply drain and cool before using. (Not rinsing your pasta helps the dressing stick to the pasta better!)
In a hurry? Spread the pasta out on a baking tray to cool faster, even stick it in the refrigerator for a few minutes if needed. Hot pasta won't harm the tofu or dressing, but you don't want to wilt your fresh veggies!
YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY THESE RECIPES:
- Vegan Mexican Pasta Salad
- Best Vegan Chickpea Salad
- Vegan Key Lime Pie
- Best Tofu Egg Salad
- Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
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Vegan Pasta Salad
- Cook multicolored rotini in salted water according to directions. Drain and allow to cool to at least room temp.
- Whisk seasonings, olive oil, and lemon juice together in the bottom of a large bowl.
- Drain and squeeze tofu gently to remove most of the liquid. Cube into ½ inch pieces.
- Add cubed tofu, drained olives, and cooled pasta to bowl and mix gently to coat with dressing. (If not immediately serving, place mixture into the refrigerator to marinate for a couple of hours or overnight.)
- Just before serving add tomatoes, diced cucumber, and slivered onion. Toss and taste test for tang and saltiness. Adjust according to taste! Enjoy!