This is another super simple summer salad that is perfect to bring along to any BBQs or parties! Most of the ingredients in this salad are raw and the sauce is blended, so the only thing you have to cook is the pasta. Pasta salads usually get a bad stigma for all the mayo they have to use to achieve a creamy consistency, but this recipe is oil free and mayo free, using avocado as the base for this creamy pesto sauce.
Vegan Pesto Pasta Salad
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 20 Minutes
1 Lb Pasta of Choice
1 Cup Asparagus, Steamed
1 Cup Chopped Spinach
1 Cup Diced Tomatoes
1 Cup Diced Zucchini
1 Ripe Avocado
1 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
Salt & Pepper
1. Cook pasta according to package directions. While the pasta is cooking, prep all the veggies and set aside.
2. To make the sauce, add ripe avocado, basil leaves, garlic, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, Italian seasonings and a few splashes of water. Blend until smooth adding more water if needed.
3. In a large bowl, add pasta, veggies and sauce. Stir to combine.
Serve cold or room temperature!
This is probably one of the best recipes I have ever made. I originally got the idea to make this salad based off a non-vegan shrimp salad I used to order at the Nordstrom Cafe. That salad had arugula, corn, tomatoes, shrimp and polenta croutons. Yum! But now that I'm vegan, I wanted to sub out some of the ingredients and make a portable healthy salad that I can take with me to summer BBQs.
This salad couldn't be easier to make and only requires a few simple ingredients. There are only two prep steps and then you just have to mix it all together. This could not be any simpler!
Barley is not the most common ingredient, but let me tell you, it is delicious. I like that it is chewy and doesn't taste like fluff. It really keeps you satisfied and is full of whole grain nutrition. I like to use the 10 Minute Barley that I find at Trader Joe's. It is super easy to make and almost completely fool-proof. The dressing for this salad can also be found at Trader Joe's, I like to use the Goddess Dressing. It is vegan and completely delicious.
As far as the other ingredients go, you can use fresh, canned, or frozen corn. Even better would be some fire roasted corn. Cherry tomatoes and chickpeas get added to a large baking sheet with the corn and you just leave them in the oven for about 30 minutes to let them do their thing. Cook the barley while you are waiting for the veggies and then toss it all with a bag of arugula and some Goddess dressing. Super simple and yummy!
Roasted Corn & Barley Salad
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 35 Minutes
1 Can Chickpeas, Drained and Rinsed
1 Bag Frozen Corn
1 Package Cherry Tomatoes
1 Bag Aurgala
1 Bag 10 Minute Barley
1 Bottle Trader Joe's Goddess Dressing (or other vegan dressing of choice)
1. On a large baking tray, add chickpeas, corn and cherry tomatoes. Roast in the oven at 400 degrees for ~30 minutes or until the chickpeas are crispy.
2. While the veggies are roasting, cook the barley according to package directions. Once drained, add to a large bowl with the arugula and allow the hot barley to wilt the arugula slightly. Set aside.
3. Once the veggies are finished roasting, add them to the bowl with the barley and arugula. Add some Goddess dressing and toss to combine.
Let me know if you try out this recipe! Tag me on Instagram @nicoleeatsplants or use #simplesixmenuplan so I can see all of your creations!