Growing up, I was a super picky eater. I was one of those kids whose food couldn’t touch any other food on the plate. (I know, I know, I was awful. Mom, if you’re reading this – thank you for putting up with me as a kid!! I love you!!). In fact, when I became a vegetarian at the age of 14, my mom all but gave up trying to cook for me… but it was this culinary independence that spurred my love for cooking. And now, at the age of 22, I’ll pile ten different foods into a dinner bowl (touching!!) with the best of them. But even after so many years, I haven’t entirely shaken my food idiosyncrasies. For example, I don’t like to eat cold food that’s meant to be hot. Cold pizza? No way. Lukewarm soup? Get outta here. But for some reason, the one hot thing I can tolerate cold is pasta salad.
The tricky thing about most pasta salads, though, is that they can get unsafe to eat if left unrefrigerated for extended periods of time.This is because most traditional pasta salad recipes call for mayo, which is egg-based. Mayo + heat = bad for you. Not ideal if you’re trying to bring a dish to a cookout. Fortunately, this pasta salad is 100% dairy-free, with a tangy, mouthwatering dressing that may be the most delicious thing I’ve ever made. It’s just perfect – a heavenly combination of grainy mustard, nutty almond milk, tangy spring onions, and tart lemon juice. Just writing about it right now is making my mouth water!!
I come from a family that is decidedly not vegetarian, so I was a bit nervous bringing this pasta salad to our Memorial Day Weekend cookout. To give you a better idea – my dad doesn’t consider a meal to be a meal unless there’s half a cow on the table. And as I gingerly placed my bowl full of orecchiette, tomatoes, green beans, chopped kale, and mustard vinaigrette on the picnic table, I couldn’t help but feel that my little pasta salad was terribly out of place amidst plates and plates of grilled meat. But I shouldn’t have been worried – it was a huge hit, even with my dad! In fact, my mom even texted me days later to tell me how much she loved it!
I hope you enjoy this pasta salad as much as I have – it was crafted with love!
The Best Vegan Pasta Salad
Get ready to wow some taste buds - this pasta salad will be a hit at any cookout or summer party! Made with a tangy, creamy mustard vinaigrette, this dish will be a sure favorite among friends and family. Inspired by this recipe by Laura Wright. UPDATE MAY 2019: I updated the instructions to be a little more clear!
- 1 lb pasta I used orecchiette
- 1 1/2 Cups Cherry Tomatoes halved
- 1 1/2 Cups Haricots Verts (Green Beans) chopped into small pieces
- 1 Cup Finely Chopped Kale
- 6-8 Spring Onions using the white + light green parts
- Juice from 1/2 Lemon or more to taste
- 4 Tbs Unsweetened Almond Milk or any unsweetened plant milk
- 2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Tbs Water
- 4 Tsp Dijon Mustard
- Salt + Pepper
From the spring onions, take the white bulb + 1/2 inch above bulb, where it starts to turn light green. Roughly chop, and combine with all other ingredients in a high-speed blender. Mix until the vinaigrette has a smooth, creamy consistency.
Cook pasta according to directions. When finished cooking, drain and set aside to cool.
Chop tomatoes and haricots verts, mixing 1 1/2 cups each with pasta once it has cooled.
Finely chop kale, and combine 1 cup with pasta salad.
When pasta and veggies are mixed, drizzle generously with vinaigrette.
Serve and enjoy!
- Here's more detailed instructions about the green onion - cut off the tip of the bottom (where the white part is) and cut again where the onion turns darker green. Chop up, then blend in the sauce!
- Use at least 1/4 tsp salt for the sauce, and feel free to add more if you like a more salty sauce.
Song of the Day:
Blind to the Blues – Ola Podrida