This meal is
- easy to prepare in advance and eat from for days
- perfect for potlucks and picnics
- delicious cold or at room temp
Pasta salad is one of my favorite summer meals to make for other people, because it’s not “weird” and it doesn’t scream “vegan.” It seems normal, yet it can be so healthy. Use whole wheat, brown rice, or legume pasta and with all those veggies and beans, it’s a complete meal in one bowl.
This version is totally oil-free (and delicious that way), but you can use olive oil for a more traditional dressing that clings well to the pasta. For best flavor, let it marinate for a few hours so the flavors can be at their peak.
If you like cilantro, try this unique Cilantro Pesto Pasta Salad, too! It’s also a southwest-flair on pasta salad that has no oil and is super fresh-tasting and flavorful.
Simple, filling, colorful and low-fat.
- 8 oz pasta (whole wheat or legume pasta, such as chickpea pasta)
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup corn (fresh or frozen)
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
- 1 avocado, chopped
- 1-2 TBSP fresh or canned diced jalepeno (optional)
- 1 avocado, diced
- 2 TBSP lime juice
- 2 TBSP red wine vinegar
- 2 TBSP maple syrup
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 TBSP olive oil (optional, not necessary)
- 1 tsp chili powder (optional)
Boil pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, mix the dressing ingredients together in a big bowl.
Chop the vegetables and cilantro, and add to the bowl. Stir in the black beans.
Drain the pasta and rinse with cool water. Add the pasta to the bowl and mix all the ingredients together.
Let sit for at least a couple hours, ideally, so the flavors can be absorbed. Add salt and pepper to taste. Delicious chilled or at room temp.
Note: for a creamy dressing, blend the avocado (or part of it) with the dressing ingredients. Not beautiful, but yummy.