As we bring the summer of one of the strangest years to a close, I thought it was the perfect time to teach you how to make my favorite pasta salad. I know many of us are in different stages of quarantine right now due to COVID, and our summer plans might have been changed, which is why I wanted to bring a bit of summer to your table.
We’ll soon be premiering season 8 of our podcast where we’ll get to connect much more and talk about these strange times, but I wanted to use the opportunity this yummy recipe is providing to tell you that I hope you’re safe and that you and your loved ones are healthy and braving through these trying times.
I’ve been making different versions of pasta salads for as long as I can remember. Growing up in Venezuela, we used to go to a small beach town about 3 hours away from our hometown, the city of Caracas. One of our usual meals for the weekend was this massive bowl of pasta salad which would be taunting us for the entire 3 hour journey because no matter how many times we made this trip, my mom still wouldn’t buy a big enough tupperware container.
The car would be jam-packed with people, our dog, our cat, our turtle, all our belongings, and the pasta salad in a bowl covered with plastic wrap on someone’s lap. By the time we got to our destination we just HAD to eat it.
My mother’s recipe wasn’t vegan, it included tuna fish, and of course tons of veggies like olives, artichoke hearts, carrots, tomatoes, and whatever she wanted to use up from the fridge before we left. I’ve made so many vegan versions throughout the years, but this one is definitely my favorite. It has the crispiness and smokiness of delicious vegan bacon, for which you can use store-bought vegan bacon or make our yummy smoky tempeh bacon, and lots of crunchy and delicious veggies like sweet summer corn, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, red onion, tons of fresh herbs and of course, a creamy vegan buttermilk dressing for pasta salad.
I hope you love this, it’s a great recipe to make for picnics or potlucks and it can be made ahead of time.
Enjoy the video, printable, and recipe below!
For the pasta salad:
- 2 & 1/2 cups dried pasta of your choice, I love orecchiette (small half shells)
- 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
- 1 & 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
- 8 strips of your favorite store-bought vegan bacon or one recipe of our tempeh bacon
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into smaller pieces
- 1 cup small broccoli florets
- 1 ear of corn, boiled or grilled and kernels removed (or 1 cup thawed corn kernels from frozen)
- Some oil for the pan to sauté the bacon
For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons eggless mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1. Whisk together the non-dairy milk and vinegar and set it aside to create your buttermilk.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add ample salt. Once boiling, cook your pasta according to the package directions.
3. While your pasta is cooking, get the vegan bacon crispy in a pan by sautéing it in a bit of oil. Remove from the pan and chop. Add it to a large bowl. If making this using our tempeh bacon recipe, simply make it following our recipe or make it ahead of time, chop it into smaller pieces.
4. When your pasta is done, but before draining it, add the broccoli florets to the pot only for 5 seconds and then drain both the pasta and broccoli in a colander. Add both to the bowl.
5. Add the cherry tomatoes, corn kernels, red onion, chives and basil.
6. To finish the dressing, whisk together the buttermilk you prepared earlier, the eggless mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Add it to the bowl and toss eveyrthing together.
7. If you have the time, let this salad chill in the refrigerator for the flavors to come together. Enjoy!
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