This Vegan Pasta Salad with Lemon Herb Dressing (no mayo!) is creamy, fresh and flavorful with a bounty of white beans and avocado tossed in a homemade lemon dressing with fresh herbs.
It’s a quick, easy and versatile cold pasta salad recipe to serve to all your friends at your next summer party, BBQ or picnic!
What kind of summer salad lover are you?
Pasta salad or potato salad?
When it comes to summer salad side dishes, I am all about the pasta salad.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good potato salad. But if I really had to choose, I am all about the pasta. With so many shapes and sizes to choose from, the options are endless.
Plus, when I can create a pasta salad dressing with no mayo, I am all for it!
That’s exactly what this Vegan Pasta Salad is all about! Packed with creamy cannellini beans and buttery avocado, there is no need for mayo because these ingredients add a creamy factor all on their own. The light and refreshing lemon herb dressing brings it all together.
Plus, the pasta salad holds up well in the warm weather. That’s why it’s perfect to bring to all your warm-weather parties, BBQs and picnics.
This pasta salad is made with a handful of simple ingredients broken down into two categories – pasta salad and dressing.
- pasta noodles (any shape or size!)
- white cannellini beans
- cherry tomatoes
- red onion
Lemon Herb Dressing
- garlic cloves
- fresh herbs (basil, rosemary, dill, thyme)
- fresh lemon juice
- dijon mustard
- olive oil
- red pepper, salt and pepper
Tip: Keep a few extra lemon slices and herbs nearby for a final garnish and pop of color!
How To Make Creamy Vegan Pasta Salad – The Steps
All it takes is a few easy steps to creamy vegan pasta salad goodness. Simply:
- Cook the pasta! According to package instructions for ‘al dente’. Drain and rinse in cold water.
- Prep the pasta salad. In a large serving bowl, add the cooked pasta noodles, white beans, avocado, cherry tomatoes, red onion and cucumber.
- Make the lemon herb dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together garlic, herbs, lemon juice, dijon mustard and olive oil. Add red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste.
- Toss and Serve! Pour the dressing over the top of the pasta salad and gently toss to coat. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate for 30 minutes to serve cold.
Get Crazy with Different Pasta Shapes
Feel free to use ANY kind of pasta shape that you like. The biggest thing you have to pay attention to is how long to cook the pasta. Simply choose your pasta and cook it according to the ‘al dente’ directions on the package.
I went with spirals because I love their fun and flair, but a few more options include:
- Traditional: Penne, Rigatoni
- Fun Shapes: Corkscrews, Fusilli, Bowties
- Diet-Friendly: Lentil, Quinoa, Brown Rice or any gluten-free pasta of your choice
Use a Variety of Vegetables
Again, the vegetables are completely versatile! I would stick with cannellini beans and avocado to keep that creamy consistency, then add about 2 cups of any mix of fresh vegetables. Other than tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers, you can try:
- Zucchini and Bell Peppers
- Celery and Shredded Carrots
Change Up the Herbs
I used fresh basil since I just purchased a fresh plant from Trader Joe’s. Plus, its slightly minty and licorice flavor goes so well with lemon juice.
But I’ve tried this dressing with an equal amount of fresh chopped rosemary, dill, and thyme and they were all fabulous!
Store the Pasta for Meal Prep
I made this pasta salad on a Sunday and had enough to enjoy for the whole week. It makes meal prep a breeze since the pasta salad will last for up to 5 days in the fridge.
Store it in the fridge in a large airtight container or 5 individual meal prep containers so it’s portioned and ready to go for the whole week.
The pasta will absorb the dressing after a few days. Simply add more olive oil or lemon juice to your liking.
- Lightly slice or tear fresh basil with your hands. Out of all the herbs, basil is the most delicate, so I like to roll the leaves up like a cigar and gently slice with my knife. If the leaves are super tender, I tear them gently with my hands.
- Serve room temperature or cold. I serve it cold after a good 30-minute chill in the fridge, but this is more about personal preference. It’s just as delicious at room temperature!
- Prep it at the beginning of the week for meal prep. The longer the pasta and dressing sit together, the more flavorful it will become. This makes it a great make-ahead recipe for meal prep. Simply add more olive oil or lemon juice if the pasta becomes too dry after a couple of days.
More Pasta Salad Recipes You Will Love!
I seriously love seeing what you guys are making and sharing your creations with the College Housewife community!Print
This Vegan Pasta Salad with Lemon Herb Dressing (no mayo!) is creamy, fresh and flavorful with a bounty of white beans and avocado perfect for summer BBQs.
1/2 lb or 8 oz dried pasta noodles (any shape or size)
1 (15 oz) can white cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 avocado, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 small red onion, finely diced
1/2 cucumber, quartered and chopped
Lemon Herb Dressing
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced herbs (basil, rosemary, dill, thyme)
Juice of two lemons
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons olive oil
red pepper flakes
lemon slices, for garnish
herbs, for garnish
- Cook pasta noodles according to package instructions for ‘al dente’. Drain and rinse in cold water.
- In a large serving bowl, add the cooked pasta noodles, white beans, avocado, cherry tomatoes, red onion and cucumber.
- In a small bowl, whisk together garlic, herbs, lemon juice, dijon mustard and olive oil. Add red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the dressing over the top of the pasta salad and gently toss to coat. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate for 30 minutes to serve cold.
Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Add more olive oil or lemon if the pasta begins to dry out.
Keywords: summer, quick, vegan salad