Cool Pasta Salads
Brimming with fresh corn and tomatoes, this sturdy, savory pasta salad is a reliable offerings for summer company, and is easy enough for everyday meals. This is a delicious accompaniment to grilled vegetables or veggie burgers. Photos by Evan Atlas.
This mild and creamy vegan macaroni salad is reminiscent of the kind sold at deli counters, but with more going for it — namely, lots of veggies. Kid- and picky eater-friendly, it’s a nice change-of-pace from sandwiches to pack for school or office portable lunches. For this recipe, we used Tolerant gluten-free organic green lentil pasta, just one of several such high-protein, legume-based pastas. Adapted from The Vegetarian Family Cookbook. Photos by Evan Atlas. more→
I especially like this sprightly pasta salad made with orecchiette (“little ears”), a small, delicate pasta, but you can use any short pasta shape you’d like. Use very slender asparagus and you won’t need to scrape the stalks. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky. more→
Israeli couscous is one fun little pasta. It’s round and quick-cooking, and has a very pleasant mouth feel. Combined with herbs, raw veggies, and lush stone fruit, this Israeli Couscous Summer Pilaf is a light and refreshing foil to grilled foods or well-seasoned plant-based protein dishes.
Cooking pasta for a cold salad is radically different from cooking pasta for a hot dish. Going against the grain, you cook it not to al dente, but to tenderness. Overcooking it will leave you with a soggy mess instead of a salad, and undercooking it will produce hard-as-nails pasta once cool. Cooking the pasta just right will render this a perfect American staple. Use gluten-free pasta to make it gluten-free. Recipe and photo from Everyday Vegan Eats* by Zsu Dever © 2014, reprinted by permission of Vegan Heritage Press. more→
This tasty vegan pasta salad featuring roasted peppers, fresh tomatoes, and tofu “feta” is great for parties, potlucks, and barbecues, or just as a change of pace companion to veggie burgers, soups, and green veggies. Photos by Evan Atlas. more→
This simple pasta salad makes a nice change of pace from sandwich fare. Featuring kid-friendly veggies, you can dress it in a way you think would be most appealing. Vary the vegetables according to your child’s preference. You can make this for dinner, then use leftovers for the lunch box (moisten with additional dressing as needed), or just make it for lunch-packing from the get go, for which it yields a generous number of servings. If you’re looking for more lunch ideas, you might enjoy our post, Healthy School Lunch Recipes and Tips. more→
This pasta salad featuring peppers, avocado, and corn has a delectable southwestern flavor. For a nice warm-weather meal, serve with a simple bean dish or vegan quesadillas. Photos by Rachael Braun. more→
Featuring tasty chickpeas, marinated artichoke hearts, bell pepper, and olives, the ingredients for this delectable pasta salad can be easily doubled to make it party-size. Photos by Evan Atlas. more→
Here’s a veggie-filled pasta salad that’s always a crowd-pleaser. Broccoli, carrots, yellow squash, and briny olives and dried tomatoes make this a most colorful dish. This is a great choice as a vegan potluck recipe for warm weather occasions. Photos by Evan Atlas. more→
Using pasta in place of the customary lettuce in a Greek salad makes it a substantial and lively main dish for warm-weather meals, as well as a great vegan potluck dish for summer gatherings. Take along some extra vinaigrette to moisten the salad if it is to stand for a substantial amount of time. Leftovers are great to pack into containers for the next day’s lunch. Photos by Evan Atlas. more→
This delightful pilaf/salad combining Israeli couscous, tomatoes, avocado, and stone fruit is from Vegan Holiday Kitchen.* Israeli couscous is one fun little pasta. It’s round and quick-cooking, and has a very pleasant mouth feel. Look for it in bulk in natural foods stores, or in the Middle Eastern section of the international aisle in well-stocked supermarkets. Photo by Susan Voisin, FatFree Vegan Kitchen. more→