Perfect for potlucks and picnics, these crowd-pleasing vegan pasta salad recipes shine as either a side dish or the main event. If you have bad memories of macaroni noodles drenched in a sickly sweet mayonnaise sauce, don’t worry: These easy pasta salads highlight fresh produce and lightened-up dressings. From juicy stone fruits to spicy kimchi, each recipe puts a unique oil-free spin on an American classic. Get ready to dig in!
Not sure what distinguishes a pasta salad from your traditional pasta dish? It’s all about temperature. Pasta salads are almost always served chilled or at room temperature, unlike spaghetti or lasagna which are intended to be eaten hot.
In this delectable Japanese-inspired dish, the subtle heat of ginger and the citrusy flavor and acidic quality of ponzu sauce meld deliciously with the nutty-earthy tone of buckwheat noodles. Note: If you don’t have ponzu sauce, use a blend of lemon juice, lemon zest, and tahini.
Make the most of ripe summer fruit with this easy pasta salad recipe that combines sweet peaches, peppery arugula, and a lemon-Dijon vinaigrette. If blueberries aren’t your favorite, feel free to substitute strawberries or blackberries to customize this colorful meal.
Each delectable forkful of this recipe is loaded with a spicy red pepper pesto and plenty of fresh veggies. Ideal for using up any extra produce that’s hanging around your fridge, this dish can easily be altered to include anything that’s in season. Pro tip: Use leftover red pepper pesto as a sandwich spread!
Tofu is the secret ingredient in this incredibly creamy and satisfying pasta salad. Hearty potatoes, sweet cherry tomatoes, and nutty artichoke hearts are tossed in a savory herb-infused sauce for a dish that rivals any store-bought salad. Garnish it with fresh scallions and dill, and this recipe will have you reaching for seconds before you’ve even finished the first bowl.
This party-in-a-bowl pasta salad is perfect to share with friends on a warm summer evening. Sweet corn kernels are mixed with hearty edamame, crunchy bell pepper, spiralized zoodles, and a velvety sauce to create a festive dish that one reader praised as “the bomb!”
Coming together in just 15 minutes, this refreshing noodle salad serves up some serious flavor. Spicy kimchi (fermented cabbage) and gochujang (Korean chile paste) are paired with cooling cucumber slices for a beautiful Asian-inspired dish that brings restaurant-quality ingredients into your home kitchen.
Pearl-shaped Israeli couscous is spiced with a fragrant mixture of curry powder, cumin, and paprika—making it the crown jewel of this colorful salad. Tossed with a base of kale, chopped veggies, and aromatic herbs, this recipe keeps well in the fridge and might become your new favorite make-ahead meal.
Short on time? This easy pasta salad is for you. Cook a bag of frozen veggies in the pot with your pasta, toss them with a premade Italian dressing, add a little fresh basil, and voilà: Your weeknight dinner dilemma is solved! Perfect for kids, this simple recipe is a great addition to packed school lunches.
This cold pasta salad couldn’t be easier to make—or tastier to eat. Ginger and cayenne give the creamy peanut sauce a delicious kick that can also double as a dip for fresh spring rolls. Garnish your noodles with chopped scallions, extra peanuts, or sesame seeds for a lovely crunch.
If you’re craving that classic pairing of macaroni with a creamy sauce, look no further. Pureed cauliflower forms the base of the zesty dressing that coats a mouthwatering medley of fresh veggies and whole wheat pasta. This recipe is so good that one reader says, “I’ve been sneaking forkfuls of salad out of the fridge because I just can’t get enough of it!”
The delicate anise flavor of slivered fennel bulb pairs beautifully with peppery arugula and sweet stone fruits in this colorful pasta salad, which gets drizzled with a bright lemon dressing. This one is filling enough to be served on its own or paired as a side dish at a summer BBQ. Feel free to swap out the cherries and nectarines for any other seasonal fruit that you enjoy.
Japanese Ponzu sauce is a sweet and savory blend of soy and citrus flavors that can turn plain pasta into a finger-licking feast. This simple cold noodle salad showcases the delicious crunch of fresh carrots and snow peas, making it a no-brainer addition to your regular recipe lineup.
This just might be the Holy Grail of vegan pasta salads. Traditional tomato sauce is spiced up with extra herbs and drizzled over a jumble of tender pasta, hearty kidney beans, and fresh veggies. A delicious halfway point between a red-sauce pasta dish and a leafy green salad, this recipe combines the best of both worlds.
Layers of baby greens, Mediterranean-spiced couscous, fresh veggies, and a tangy tahini sauce make this show-stopping salad the perfect dish to impress a group of guests. Golden raisins add a pop of sweetness, while toasted walnuts bring an earthy nuttiness to round it all out. Make sure to snap a pic before digging into this Instagram-worthy pasta salad!
Megan Edwards is a staff writer and content producer for Forks Over Knives. She is also a certified RYT-500 yoga teacher who is passionate about cultivating holistic wellness through plant-based eating, mindful movement, and meditation. With a background in journalism and marketing, she supports both the online presence and quarterly print magazine for Forks Over Knives.