Mediterranean Pasta Salad Recipe by Joyful Balance - Dairy Free and Vegan

Mediterranean Pasta Salad (With Tofu Feta!)

Hello, my wonderful chickpeas! We all know by now that I am a big fan of pasta. However, I’ve noticed that pasta is often thought of as a warm and cozy meal to snuggle up on the couch with, and I think that we sometimes forget that it can ALSO be light and refreshing! (Seriously, what can it not do?) That’s exactly what I was going for with this Mediterranean Pasta Salad! This one is perfect when you want something fresh but flavorful during these hot months, and I have a feeling it’s going to be a go-to in my house this summer.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad Recipe by Joyful Balance: Vegan, WFPB, and Oil-Free

This recipe has so many nutritious veggies thrown in and the pasta is still comforting (as always), but in a lighter and brighter way. It also includes my Marinated Tofu Feta, which automatically makes it an A+ in my book. Let’s get into it!

Inspiration for Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Oil-Free Zesty Italian Dressing

Last summer I released my Lemon Basil Orzo Salad, and it quickly became a big hit in my kitchen. I loved it so much that I decided I wanted to do another pasta salad this summer, but with a different flavor profile! (Maybe this will become a yearly tradition?)

I’ve been playing with the idea of using my Oil-Free Zesty Italian Dressing in a pasta salad for a while, so I decided that this was my opportunity. I decided to take inspiration from traditional Greek salad and use (tofu) feta, olives, red onion, and cucumber. I threw in a few extra yummy additions, topped it with that Italian dressing, and this Mediterranean Pasta Salad was born!

Ingredients

Vegan Mediterranean Pasta Salad with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and vegan feta

We’ve got some great nutrients packed into this one! Let’s get into it.

  • Pasta: obviously. Use whatever shape and type of pasta you’d like!
  • Italian dressing: I use my Oil-Free Zesty Italian Dressing, but any Italian dressing of your choice will do the trick! I love using this style of dressing on pasta salad because it brings in a bright zesty flavor from the vinegar and herbs.
  • Tofu feta: Again, I use the Marinated Tofu Feta from the blog, but any vegan feta will work! This will add a slightly salty and herby flavor to our pasta salad, along with some fun texture from the tofu.
  • Cherry tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, and olives: Every pasta salad needs some veggies! These are largely inspired by Greek salads, but they’re honestly also some of my favorite veggies for any refreshing salad.
  • Chickpeas: adding beans or legumes to pasta salad (or really any salad) is a great way to throw in some extra nutrients and also make the dish more filling! The chickpeas pair well with our other ingredients, making them an excellent addition.
  • Parsley and scallions: For one more burst of flavor!

How to Make Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Plant Based Mediterranean Pasta Salad with vegetables and tofu feta

This one is pretty much a matter of throwing things together! We love that.

  1. Prepare your tofu feta, Italian dressing, and veggies
  2. Cook your pasta
  3. Throw everything together in a bowl!

Tips & Tricks

Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Marinated Tofu Feta, olives, and Italian dressing

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love making recipes for you guys, but I also love it when you put your own twist on it to make it your own! Here are some ideas I’ve got for you.

  • Switch up the pasta you use! You can use whatever pasta you prefer – whole wheat, gluten free, whatever suits your needs! As far as shapes go, my personal favorites are rotini (seen in the photos of this post) or farfalle (bowties!). 
  • Switch up your veggies! Salads are so versatile. You can really switch out these veggies for whatever you’d like, just realize that the flavor profile will likely change with it! Feel free to leave out any veggies that you don’t like, or add in any favorites that I missed!
  • In a hurry? I personally think the homemade dressing and feta are so worth it, but I totally understand that sometimes we are in a rush. On those days, use store-bought dressing and store-bought vegan feta to speed things up!
  • This one does work as leftovers, but I personally think its best the day it is made. I like to let it sit in the fridge for an hour or two after making it to really soak up all the flavors, and then dig in!
  • In the mood for more light and refreshing recipes? Try out my Lemon Basil Orzo Salad and my Vegetable Summer Rolls with Peanut Sauce next! Or, if you want to use up more of that tofu feta, check out my Strawberry Apple Cider Salad!

Enjoy!

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Recipe by Delaney Romero – Joyful BalanceCourse: Lunch, Salad
Servings

6

servings
From Start to Finish

1

hour 

15

minutes

This Mediterranean Pasta Salad is the perfect refreshing meal for these hotter months! It’s got lots of nutrients packed in from the veggies, and tons of flavor from our Marinated Tofu Feta and Oil-Free Zesty Italian Dressing. This one can be saved as leftovers, but I personally think it’s best after just an hour or two in the fridge. Enjoy!

*Note that “From Start to Finish” is an estimate, but that only about 35 minutes of hands-on time are expected. The Marinated Tofu Feta includes a lot of passive time (waiting for your tofu to press, then waiting for it to marinate). Therefore, this estimate assumes that your Marinated Tofu Feta will be marinating WHILE you prepare the rest of your ingredients and complete the recipe directions. Also note that this estimate does not include extra time at the end to let your pasta salad chill in the fridge.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz pasta of choice

  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered

  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, quartered

  • 1/2 one small red onion, diced

  • 1/2 one medium cucumber, sliced and quartered

  • 3 stalks scallions, thinly chopped

  • 1/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped

  • 2/3 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup Joyful Balance Oil-Free Zesty Italian Dressing (or you can use store-bought Italian dressing)

  • Half a recipe of Joyful Balance Marinated Tofu Feta (or you can use store-bought vegan feta)

Directions

  • Cook pasta according to package directions. When it’s done cooking, drain it and let it sit in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the salad.
  • Combine your cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, red onion, cucumber, scallions, parsley, and chickpeas in a large bowl. Stir to combine.
  • Add your pasta to the rest of the salad ingredients and mix to combine (if your pasta is still very hot, allow it to cool in the fridge a bit longer. It doesn’t have to be super cold, but we don’t want it so hot that it could wilt the veggies). Pour in your Italian dressing and toss in your tofu feta. Mix to combine again, ensuring that all your salad components are evenly coated. (The tofu feta is a little bit “crumbly”, so adding it in last is ideal so that it doesn’t crumble too much while being mixed!)
  • Serve right away, or set your pasta salad in the fridge for an hour before serving for a stronger flavor. Enjoy!

Happy cooking! If you made this recipe don’t forget to tag me (@joyfulbalanceofficial) on facebook or instagram so I can cheer you on for your pasta-salad-making ways.

Stay joyfully balanced!

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