This creamy vegan macaroni salad is loaded with tons of fresh veggies, pasta, and is tossed in a homemade vinaigrette.
Here's why I love this vegan pasta salad recipe
- Not only is this pasta salad vegan, with one easy swap, it can also be gluten-free!
- This pasta salad is packed with tons of fresh veggies, making it easy to hit your daily vegetable quota
- You can easily swap the pasta for an alternative and make this a gluten-free pasta salad
- This recipe is perfect for meal prepping and great to make ahead of time as it stores well and the flavors meld and increase as time goes on
- This plant based pasta salad is a great source of protein and dietary fiber (see recipe card below)
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Basil: I strongly recommend using fresh basil in this recipe for the freshest and best flavors.
Tomatoes: I used cherry tomatoes in this recipe but you can use any type of sweet tomato you love best. If it's a really juicy tomato, I recommend seeding it before adding it to your pasta salad.
Onion: This recipe calls for red onion because of the distinct flavor and beautiful pop of color.
Dressing: The homemade vinaigrette is what brings so much delicious, unique flavor to this recipe and makes this the best vegan pasta salad. If you're running behind on time, you can use a pre-made Italian vinaigrette instead.
See recipe card below for the full ingredient list and quantities.
Step by Step Instructions
Pro Tip: Make this recipe at least 2 hours prior to serving it (or even better, make it the night before). The flavors in this creamy vegan pasta salad meld and get better and better after several hours. Just make sure you're storing it in a covered container in the fridge!
Start by boiling a large pot of water and cooking the pasta according to the package instructions. Once the pasta has finished cooking, carefully drain and rinse under cool water.
Next, you'll combine all ingredients for the homemade vinaigrette, mix it well, and set it aside.
Wash and prep all of the fresh ingredients according to the ingredient list.
Combine the pasta, vegetables, chickpeas, and the dressing in a large serving bowl. Toss the vegan mac salad with salad tongs until well combined.
Make it Gluten-Free: This vegan pasta salad recipe can also be made gluten-free! All you'll need to do is swap out the pasta for a gluten-free option.
Looking for a pasta that is both gluten-free and vegan? This article outlines some of the top GF and vegan pasta brands.
Swapping out Veggies: If you're not a fan of red onion, bell peppers, etc, no worries! Though the dish might have a slightly different taste, you can change out any of the vegetables from the original recipe.
If you do take one of the veggies out, be sure to add another one in it's place, or add twice the amount of another. This will help keep this dish packed with nourishing ingredients and will be equally as fun and exciting to eat as the original.
No Time for the Homemade Vinaigrette? Though I strongly recommend following this recipe and making this veggie pasta salad with Italian dressing, you can use a store-bought dressing instead if necessary.
Make Vegan Tortellini Salad: Simply swap the original pasta with a plant based tortellini instead.
How to Serve This Vegan Macaroni Salad
You can enjoy this summer pasta salad vegan dish all year long, but it's perfect for summer cookouts and picnics.
I often enjoy this recipe on it's own, as a side dish, or I make it into even more of a salad and serve it over crisp lettuce!
This would make a great vegan side dish for my Veggie Sandwich or my Spicy Vegan Chicken Sandwich.
Vegan Pasta Salad
- Large pot
Tahini Lemon Vinaigrette
- 1 lemon juiced
- 2 tablespoon tahini
- 2 cloves garlic minced or pressed
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ pound pasta
- 1 cup chickpeas drained and rinsed
- ½ cup cucumbers diced
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes sliced
- ½ cup bell peppers diced
- ¼ cup fresh basil chopped
- ¼ cup red onion
- Start by cooking your pasta of choice according to package instructions. Once it is fully cooked carefully drain, rinse, and set aside.
- Next, combine all ingredients for the homemade vinaigrette, mix well, and set aside.
- Wash then prep all remaining ingredients according to the ingredient list.
- Combine the pasta, chickpeas, vegetables, and vinaigrette in a large serving bowl and gently toss with salad tongs.
Food Safety Tips
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
See more guidelines at USDA.gov.
Hi! Very delicious. I meal prepped it for my lunces this week. I used protein chickpea pasta for extra protein.
Is the protein amount listed above for the original recipe a typo? 183g?
Planted in the Kitchen says
Hi Chasity! Thank you so much for your feedback, I'm so glad that you're enjoying the recipe! Thanks for bringing that to my attention, the protein listed did have a typo and should say 18.3 rather than 183. I just fixed it in the recipe card. Thank you again 🙂
Where can I find the vinaigrette recipe? I searched your website and it didn’t come up!
Planted in the Kitchen says
Hi Maria, thanks for checking out my recipe! The vinaigrette recipe is in the recipe card right on this page.