Healthy Vegetable Pasta Salad (Vegan)

Jun 15, 2022| By JOI team


Jun 15, 2022| By JOI team

Healthy Vegetable Pasta Salad (Vegan)

Almond-Base | Cashew-Base | Dairy-Free | Dinner | Dressing+Dip | Lunch | Oat-Powder | Recipe | salad | Vegan | Vegetarian | 

Looking for a surprising twist on your typical salad? One that's packed with vegetables and tied together with a delicious, dairy-free, light and creamy dressing? This easy pasta salad is the answer!

How is this Pasta Salad Different?

Sure, we've all had pasta salad. Whether it's an Italian pasta salad with Italian dressing and parmesan or goat cheese. Or Greek pasta salad with black onions, bell peppers feta cheese. Or that uber-creamy one (your "classic pasta salad") loaded with mayonnaise that shouldn't stay out in the sun too long (silent scream!).

Which is why we thought it was time for a pasta salad re-fresh. Take the best of what's we're looking for - macaroni! tons of veggies! loads of flavor! But give it a new twist.

Our answer: creamy melon dressing. You've got to try this delicious dressing. The light, refreshing sweetness of the melon pairs perfectly with apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and thyme. The JOI oat milk powder adds creamy dreaminess. Blend it all together (don't forget salt and pepper) to make your pasta salad dressing. Presto! You've got a surprisingly perfect complement to your pasta and vegetable salad base.

The other secret to making this summer salad a memorable side dish for any occasion? We're tossing in fresh apricot with the veggies for a delightful surprise in every bite.

Who would have thought adding cantaloupe to the dressing and apricot to the salad would make such a flavorful statement?!

What Makes this Pasta Salad Healthy?

This pasta salad recipe is already loaded with fresh veggies:

  • cucumber
  • zucchini
  • cherry tomatoes
  • purple cabbage

And as a bonus, you're getting the healthful benefits of apricots!  If apricots are not in season, or not looking their best, try substituting a different stone fruit.  Peaches, nectarines, or even pitted cherries would taste great and add fresh fruit nutrition.

Feel free to add even more healthfulness i.e., vegetables. Red bell peppers and red onion would be a great addition. Sugar snap peas, shredded carrots or yellow squash work well too.

Want to keep it gluten-free? substitute a gluten-free pasta or a grain, like farro or quinoa, instead of the pasta.

Ditching dairy? No problems here. This recipe is vegan. The creaminess in the dressing comes from the addition of JOI oat milk powder. It's a single-ingredient, oil-free solution to packaged oat milk alternatives! Plus it's shelf stable so you'll never run out of oat milk again ;)

How to Serve this Salad?

Traditionally, pasta salad smacks of side dish. It's perfect for pot lucks and barbecues - especially because our recipe is different enough to make a statement.

Why not top it with your favorite protein, though, and let it be the main dish of lunch or dinner? Grilled chicken breast, tofu, nuts (cashews, sliced almonds, pecans...endless possibilities) or seeds (sunflower, pumpkin) would add heartiness.

This salad can be served warm or cold. If you've just cooked pasta and tossed together all the ingredients, room temperature will work. Or, make it ahead and chill it if you'd like to serve it cold. Perhaps add some fresh herbs into that large bowl at the last minute to add a dose of fresh flavor.

What Are Some Variations on this Salad?

Time marches on, and so the seasons change.  Find yourself in October or November wanting to make a pasta salad, the dog days of summer and all its produce a distant memory?  Fear not!  

For the dressing, think seasonally.  Substitute ripe, peeled apples or pears for the cantaloupe.  No oat milk powder?  Substitute JOI almond or cashew base instead for creaminess.

For the vegetables, instead use roasted or shaved

  • beets
  • carrots
  • butternut squash
  • brussels sprouts
  • fennel

And instead of apricots, try fresh or dried

  • apples
  • pears
  • grapes
  • figs
  • dates
  • persimmons
  • cranberries

All of these ideas work well through the colder months.  And don't forget to work in oranges or grapefruits or other citrus when they too come into season.

What is the Recipe for Vegetable Pasta Salad with Creamy Melon Dressing?

Here it is - make it and enjoy!

[[ recipeID=recipe-9l4cse91h, title=Healthy Creamy Vegetable Pasta Salad (Vegan) ]]

Leave a comment

Related Posts

4 Things That Set JOI Nutbase Apart from Nut Butters—And Make for a Better Nut Milk

Let’s take a look at four things that set JOI nutbases apart from nut butters—and why JOI is better to make, better to drink, and better for you.

Comparing Almond Milk: JOI Almond Nutbase Vs. Grocery Store Brands

You’ve decided to make the switch to plant milk. Whether better health is the goal, the traditional stuff doesn’t really get along with your body, or you just like the taste, it probably hasn’t taken you long to figure out you’ve got a lot more decisions ahead of you to find your plant milk. JOI is here to make that decision a bit easier for you. 

The Skinny Truth About Fats

With all the “low-fat” and “fat-free” products on the market, it’s not a surprise that most people have a negative association with fats—whether it’s about gaining weight, raising cholesterol levels, increasing risk for heart disease... talk about a bad reputation. All of which is true, but only to a certain extent. The fat we eat, known as dietary fat, is one of three essential macronutrients in a diet. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are the three musketeers of nutrition and must stay together through all your meals, not one can be excluded from the dinner party... (we're looking at you, keto diet). 

Eating For Good Mental Health

JOI's in-house nutritionist Carolina Schneider (aka The Green RD) is back to tackle an important topic - especially these days - how food and eating healthy will help with your mental health.

Check Out Our Products

Organic Oat Milk Base


Almond Milk Base


Cashew Milk Base


Hazelnut Creamer Base