Somehow, this gem of a recipe was lost in our files. Fortunately, it re-emerged in time for the spring and summer vegetables ahead. This plant-based pasta salad is made with whole grain noodles and spiked with colorful tomatoes, fresh basil, and your produce of choice.
This pretty side dish is completed with the brightness of balsamic vinegar and a garlicky breadcrumb topping. It’s perfect for outdoor events and gatherings.
To make it a light meal, you can add your favorite protein. Baked tofu or chickpeas are great vegan options, while cooked chopped chicken would also be delicious.
This plant-based pasta salad recipe with photo was shared with us by AICR.org and Culinary.net.
Special Diet Notes: Plant-Based Pasta Salad
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian.
- 8 ounces dry whole-wheat fusilli or farfalle pasta (use gluten free, if needed)
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil, divided
- 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar (optional)
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 4 cloves garlic, minced and divided
- 1 medium green bell pepper, finely chopped (can sub other vegetables, like broccoli)
- 4 plum or Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 1 slice dairy-free whole-wheat or multigrain bread (use gluten-free bread, if needed)
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Rinse the pasta, pour it into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate it to cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the vinegar, 2 tablespoons basil, sugar (if using), salt, pepper, red pepper, 2 tablespoons oil, and half of the minced garlic. Add the pasta, bell pepper, and tomatoes, and toss gently until well coated.
- In food processor or blender, pulse the bread to produce coarse crumbs.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the breadcrumbs and remaining minced garlic and saute for 1½ to 2 minutes, until browned and crisp. Remove the skillet from the heat and let the breadcrumbs cool.
- Top the pasta salad with the garlic crumbs and remaining basil to serve.
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This plant based pasta salad is right up my alley. Look absolutely delicious! I am loving all of the different colors + flavors. Cannot wait to try this recipe out 🙂
I actually don’t think I’ve EVER made a pasta salad, they were just never something that really appealed to me..probably because deli pasta salad is so yuck. This one I can get on bored with! Thanks!
Well then you must try it. Healthy pasta salad is delicious!
Looks really healthy and yummm!
Can I substitue the balsamic vinegar with rice vinegar? It’s the only vinegar I have now…
It will give it a different flavor, but I think would still be good. You might want to switch up the herb to something with a little more Asian flair too!