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Perfect for potlucks and picnics, these 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.

Vegan Soba Noodle Salad

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.

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Grilled Peach and Blueberry Pasta Salad

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.

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Broccoli Pasta Salad with Red Pepper Pesto

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!

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Potato and Artichoke Heart Pasta Salad

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.

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Confetti Corn and Pasta 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!”

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Kimchi Noodle Salad

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.

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Israeli Couscous and Kale Salad

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.

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Easy Vegan Pasta Salad

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.

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Chilled Peanut Noodles

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.

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Chopped Veggie Salad with Pasta and Creamy Cauliflower Dressing

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!”

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Stone Fruit Pasta Salad with Fennel

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.

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Ponzu Noodle Salad

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.

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Rainbow Pasta Salad

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.

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Farmers Market Couscous Salad

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!

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Veggie Potluck Pasta Salad

Now here’s a showstopping vegan pasta salad that will impress even the pickiest eaters. Tender whole wheat shells are slathered in a cheesy cashew cream sauce and tossed with juicy cherry tomatoes, meaty jackfruit, and hearty chickpeas. Fresh dill infuses the dish with refreshing herbal flavors while carrots and celery add crunch, ensuring each forkful is packed full of hunger-busting goodness.

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Cauliflower Pasta Salad Lettuce Wraps

Now here’s a showstopping vegan pasta salad that will impress even the pickiest eaters. Tender whole wheat shells are slathered in a cheesy cashew cream sauce and tossed with juicy cherry tomatoes, meaty jackfruit, and hearty chickpeas. Fresh dill infuses the dish with refreshing herbal flavors while carrots and celery add crunch, ensuring each forkful is packed full of hunger-busting goodness.

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Grilled Summer Squash Pasta Salad

Celebrate summer produce with a vegan pasta salad that combines your favorite hot-weather fruit and veggies. While the recipe calls for broken lasagna noodles, feel free to use any other whole wheat pasta you enjoy. Savory grilled squash, licorice-scented fennel, sweet grapes, and briny olives are tossed with the pasta and coated in a white balsamic vinaigrette to create a dish that’s equal parts filling and refreshing. Perfect for your next potluck!

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Cucumber and Glass Noodle Salad

Glass noodles don’t have much flavor on their own, but when you combine them with crisp cucumbers and tangy vinegar you get a refreshing meal that tickles your tongue with beautifully delicate flavors. Fresh parsley adds rich peppery notes while sesame seeds deliver a tasty crunch and subtle nuttiness. Sprinkle everything with salt and pepper before chilling to allow the flavors to meld together, then serve as a light lunch or palate-cleansing afternoon snack.

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Orzo Salad with Kale Ribs

While kale stems are usually discarded, this clever orzo pasta salad recipe has you cook them to soften the fibrous tissue so they add a satisfying, earthy crunch to the end result. No separate pot needed: You can toss them right into the boiling water alongside the orzo, cutting down on cleanup and cook time. Creamy artichoke hearts, sweet bell pepper, and tangy sun-dried tomatoes add garden-fresh flavor to the orzo while a sprinkling of nutritional yeast creates a cheesy finish that ties everything together. Reduce your food waste and create a tasty meal at the same time with this simple 30-minute recipe!

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Refreshing Vietnamese Noodle Salad

This refreshing noodle bowl is delicious served chilled or at room temperature, making it the perfect meal to beat the heat on a warm day. Brown rice noodles and black rice are tossed with a medley of crunchy veggies and drizzled in a homemade sweet chili dressing that will leave you licking the bowl. Mint, basil, and cilantro add herbal freshness to the noodles while a squeeze of fresh orange juice punches up the irresistible combination of citrus and spice.

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Dilly Vegan Macaroni Salad

This scrumptious recipe from For Fork’s Sake author Rachael Brown takes just 25 minutes to come together, start to finish, and will appeal to kids and grown-ups alike. Pickle juice infuses the creamy cannellini-based sauce with tangy, lip-smacking flavor, while finely chopped apple and celery add sweet, mild crunch to balance things out. A garnish of fresh dill is the perfect finishing touch.

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Megan Edwards

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.

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