Chopped Veggie Salad with Pasta and Creamy Cauliflower Dressing

A delicious mashup of macaroni salad and chopped vegetable salad, this colorful dish gets coated with a creamy herbed dressing made with pureed raw cauliflower.

By Darshana Thacker Wendel,



  • 6 ounces dry whole-grain elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups green beans, cut into ½-inch dice (12 ounces)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice (1 cup)
  • 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce (½-inch pieces)
  • 1 cup roughly chopped red cabbage
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup red onion, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 whole pepperoncini, sliced (optional)


  • 1 cup 1-inch raw cauliflower florets (about 4 ounces)
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon yellow mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon dried marjoram
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook according to package directions. Five minutes before you expect the pasta to be done, add green beans and carrots to the pot. Return water to a boil, and continue to cook until pasta and veggies are tender. Drain and transfer pasta, green beans, and carrots to a large serving bowl.
  • To make the dressing, in a blender, combine the cauliflower, almond flour, nutritional yeast, vinegar, garlic, Italian seasoning, mustard, salt, marjoram, pepper, and 1 cup of water. Blend 5 to 7 minutes or until smooth.
  • Transfer the dressing to a saucepan and cook on medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes to thicken. Remove pan from heat and let dressing cool.
  • Add the dressing, lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, and onion to the pasta mixture, and toss to coat.
  • Garnish with parsley and pepperoncini (if using) right before serving.

Comments (9)

(4 from 2 votes)

Recipe Rating

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The dressing was horribly bland, and my wife and daughters. Wouldn't bother making this again without a significant increase in seasoning. Do appreciate that it was cauliflower-based, at least.


Oops...wife and daughters AGREED.


1 cup water should have been listed with the ingredients. Tasty sauce. I added arrowroot flour to the sauce to thicken it up. Next time I don’t think I would add almond flour at all.


I left out the nutritional yeast and substituted lemon juice for the vinegar. Tasted great!

Melissa W

Thank you for that! I'm not a fan of nutritional yeast so I was worried it wouldn't enjoy it.

L Moore

The list of dressing ingredients does not include the cup of water mentioned in the dressing instructions.


I cannot use almond flour bc of nut allergies. What is a good substitution?


Jodie in the comments below used arrow root and to thicken it and left out the almond flour. I'm going to do that.


It's an ordinary veggie pasta salad... until you add the dressing! I can't get over how delicious and addictive the dressing is -- I've been sneaking forkfuls of salad out of the fridge because I just can't get enough of it. I did make a few adjustments to the dressing recipe; I used regular white vinegar and a touch of apple cider vinegar as it was all I had on hand, and added just a half tablespoon of olive oil to make it a little more smooth. I also did not cook the dressing, just added to the salad raw after blending.

About the Author

Headshot of Darshana Thacker

About the Author

Darshana Thacker Wendel

Darshana Thacker Wendel is a whole-food, plant-based chef and former culinary projects manager for Forks Over Knives. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she is the author of Forks Over Knives: Flavor! She created the recipes for Forks Over Knives Family and was a lead recipe contributor to the New York Times bestseller The Forks Over Knives Plan. Her recipes have been published in The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, and LA Yoga magazine online. Visit and follow her on Instagram for more.
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