Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad
This Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad is the best dairy-free salad. Serve it as a main course or a side salad for a fresh, tasty vegan recipe idea.
As we head into the end of summer, pasta salad is a staple in my house. It requires very few dishes and almost no cooking. And this Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad has massaged kale, a creamy pesto sauce and plenty of veggies. Topped off with vegan parmesan and Calabrian chili paste for a little zip.
Step One: Prep the Pasta & Veggies
Like I said, this pasta requires very little cooking – the only thing that needs to be cooked is the pasta. So, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add your favorite kind of short pasta. Once the pasta is al dente, drain it and rinse with cold water. This will stop the pasta from cooking more.
While the pasta is cooking, prep the veggies. Here is what you’ll need:
- lemon juice
- cherry tomatoes
- sun-dried tomatoes
- red onion
- fresh basil
Step Two: Make the Creamy Pesto Sauce
I love a pesto mayo! And this one is not only great in this salad – it would be perfect for sandwiches or wraps too!
Here is what you need:
Add everything to a jar and mix to combine. Add some water to thin out the dressing and set it aside.
Step Three: Assemble & Serve
To assemble, add the kale and lemon juice to a large bowl. Get in there with your hands and massage the kale until it is tender.
Add the pasta, tomatoes, red onion, basil and chives to the bowl. Pour over some of the pesto mayo and toss to combine – you probably won’t need all of the pesto sauce.
You can serve this pasta salad at room temperature or chilled. Just add some vegan parmesan before serving. If you like it spicy you can also spoon over some Calabrian chili paste.
The leftovers for this pasta salad will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. This is a great make ahead lunch!
Need more recipe inspo? Check these out:
Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad
- 12 ounces short pasta dry
- 2/3 cup vegan mayo
- 1/3 cup vegan pesto
- 1-2 cloves garlic grated
- 2 handfuls kale torn in bite-sized pieces
- 1 lemon juiced
- 10 ounces cherry tomatoes halved
- 3 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes roughly chopped
- 1 small red onion diced
- 1/4 cup fresh basil roughly torn
- 1 tablespoon chives diced
- Calabrian chili paste optional
- vegan parmesan optional
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- While the pasta is cooking, combine the mayo, pesto and garlic in a bowl. Thin with water as needed and set aside.
- Add the kale and lemon juice to a large bowl. Massage with your hands until the kale is tender. Add the pasta, tomatoes, red onion, basil and chives to the bowl. Pour over some of the pesto mayo and toss to combine – you probably won't need all of the pesto sauce.
- Serve at room temperature or chilled with vegan parmesan and chili paste.