Can pasta salad really be made vegan and gluten-free and still be as good as the traditional dish?
YES! The answer is yes. Absolutely yes. 1000000x yes.
I took this dish to a family gathering and nobody even knew it was vegan or gluten-free until I said something! I had everyone in that house fooled and let me tell you, I was one proud girl. After that, I knew I couldn’t not share the recipe with you guys.
Now, I don’t follow a vegan or gluten-free lifestyle—I follow an eat what you want when you want kind of lifestyle—also known as intuitive eating. For more information regarding intuitive eating, visit this post.
Anyway, what I was trying to say is that although I don’t follow a vegan or gluten-free lifestyle, I do enjoy many vegan and gluten-free foods and wanted to make this meal for my family because I thought they might enjoy them too. Not only was this dish a yummy compliment to the burgers we had that afternoon, but the bright variety of colors was more than flattering.
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I like to think of this pasta salad as a big veggie pizza…without cheese…and with noodles instead of bread, of course. You will taste some Italian notes in the dressing from the oregano, basil, thyme, and parsley.
The pasta I used is chickpea-based pasta from Banza, low in carbs and high in protein. You can find it at just about any local grocery store, or right here, on Amazon. If you choose to buy from Amazon, you’ll get 6 boxes of the same kind of pasta or a variety pack (2 of each style of noodle). This is a better deal than the single boxes available, and I think that once you try some of the pasta you may never go back to regular pasta! It’s that good!
Still keep in mind, you can use regular pasta. Everything in this recipe is simply a suggestion and I hope you use this recipe as an opportunity to get creative in your own kitchen; Playing around with toppings, different spices, and fillers.
Make sure to share this recipe and give me a shoutout on social media if you do decide to make this pasta salad—and lastly—ENJOY!!
Pineapple Pasta Salad
Servings: 8-12 Prep time: 30 min Total: 40 min
For the Pasta:
- 2 boxes of rotini Banza pasta
- 3/4 of fresh pineapple, cubed
- 1 bell pepper (I used orange), sliced
- 1 red medium onion, chopped
- 1 cucumber, sliced and cut in half
- 1 can of olives, whole
- cherry tomatoes (you decide how many), cut in half
For the Dressing:
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp juice from pineapple
- 1 tbsp sugar (I used coconut sugar)
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Begin cooking the pasta by following the instructions on the back of the box.
- In the meantime, start to prep the fruit and vegetables for the salad by washing and cutting everything. When done, set aside.
- Transfer the pasta to a colander once finished cooking, and strain with cold water for 2-3 minutes. This will speed up the cooling time of the pasta.
- Place pasta in a large bowl and set aside.
- Start to prepare the dressing by placing the above mixture in a jar. Shake until emulsified, set aside.
- Put the pineapple, bell pepper, onion, and cucumber in with the pasta.
- Pour half of the dressing over the contents in the bowl and mix well.
- Put the cherry tomatoes and olives in the bowl and pour the rest of the dressing in. Continue mixing until all ingredients are coated evenly with dressing.
- Serve at a party, use as meal prep, or store in the fridge for up to 5-6 days.
-For a stronger flavor, add 1/2-1 tsp more of oregano, basil, or thyme.
-For a twist, add a little orange peel to the mix.
-For some heat, add chili flakes.