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Vegan Greek Pasta Salad

I recently polled my Instagram followers about their favorite things to take to potlucks. So many of them said they take some version of this black bean salsa. I had to laugh because that’s what I usually take, too. It’s so good! Many others said some kind of pasta dish, like Macaroni Pasta Salad, or Ramen Salad. Another common response was fruit. I agree, fruit is so easy and usually always appreciated and eaten.

This plant-based Greek Pasta Salad is another summer item that checks all the boxes. It can be eaten cold or room temp, it is totally vegan, can easily be made gluten-free with GF pasta (I would use chickpea rotini).  It also uses in-season ingredients if you’re making it in the summer, and it’s so delicious!

 

This pasta salad is even MORE DELICIOUS than it looks! Just make it!

About the Oil in the Dressing

While I used to aim for a completely oil-free diet, I don’t as much anymore. I certainly don’t make recipes that call for 1/2 cup of oil, and I try to not buy any foods with oil added. But in my own cooking, I just find that a little oil goes such a long way in flavor and helps us eat more vegetables that it’s worth it. No one in our family needs to lose weight (on the contrary, my kids need more fat in their diets) or is at risk of heart disease, so I feel like it’s not necessary to eliminate it 100%. Joel Fuhrman, the doctor who I resonate with the most in the plant-based world, says in a book of his that a tablespoon of olive oil a day is not going to hurt if you’re not overweight. Pasta salad is one of those dishes that just tastes SO much better with a small amount of oil. However, if you are aiming for the benenfits of an oil-free diet, you can easily replace the oil in the dressing with aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas) or at least do half oil/half aquafaba.

For another healthy oil-free dressing version, make the Creamy Italian Dressing that’s in my cookbook, Plant-Based Cooking for Kids. SO YUMMY!

You might be scratching your head about a low-oil or no-oil diet, thinking, “But there are a lot of studies showing that olive oil improves heart health!” Those studies are comparing olive oil to butter or saturated fat. When you compare olive oil to NO oil at all, I predict there would be marked health benenfits. However, that study has not been done to my finding.

It must also be clear that oil is different than fat. I do NOT believe that a fat-free diet or even an extremely low-fat diet is in our best interest. Fats are necessary but should come from whole foods–mainly nuts, seeds, and avocados. Fat from whole foods is the way to get the most nutrition per calorie, and thus have the best health. Health = nutrition/calories. You want the most nutrition in each calorie possible. You get that through whole fat sources, not oil. Here is a fascinating podcast episode I recommend if you’re interested in the topic: Eat to Live Podcast: Discover the Essential Role of Fats.

To Make this Pasta Salad Gluten-Free

Use chickpea pasta or any other gluten-free pasta. We love the Banza rotini as a way to get more protein and vary our diet.

Other Pasta Salad Recipes

Summer Harvest “Parmesan” Pasta

Southwest Pasta Salad

Cilantro-Pesto Pasta Salad

Enjoy this pasta salad! We’re making it on repeat since the whole family likes it.

5 from 1 vote
Greek Pasta Salad (vegan, WFPB)

This pasta salad is even more delicios than it looks! It's filling, easy, and the perfect summer meal to enjoy for lunches and dinners or take to a potluck, picnic, or BBQ.

Servings: 6
Author: Faithful Plateful
Ingredients
  • 16 oz pasta of choice (such as whole wheat rotini, orzo, or chickpea pasta)
  • 1-2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large handful fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil (if available), rolled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup jarred chopped pepperoncinis, drained (optional)
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives (optional)
  • 1/2 can artichokes in water, drained and chopped (optional, see note)
Dressing
  • 3 TBSP olive oil or aquafaba
  • 2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
  • 1 TBSP dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp dried basil
Instructions
  1. Mix the dressing ingredients together and marinate the chickpeas in it while you make the rest of the salad.

  2. Boil pasta according to package. Drain in a colandar and rinse with cold water.

  3. Meanwhile, chop the vegetables.

  4. Toss the marinated chickpeas and dressing, pasta, and vegetables together and enjoy immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat.

  5. Keeps well for probably 5 days. I wouldn't know, it's too good to last that long. 🙂

Recipe Notes

If you use artichokes, save the brine and make this Caesar Smashed Chickpea sandwich. It's very good!

https://thevegan8.com/vegan-caesar-smashed-chickpea-sandwich/#recipe

 

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One Comment

  1. Just made this. So good! I used chickpea pasta elbows and oven dried tomatoes (no oil). Thank you for a great recipe.

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