This vegan pasta salad recipe is perfect for picnics! A creamy, no-mayo tahini dressing coats curly noodles, summer veggies, and briny artichokes.
This vegan pasta salad is basically a big bowl of sunshine! It’s full of colorful produce, like cherry tomatoes, yellow squash, and green beans, and artichokes and olives add delicious briny flavor. To tie it all together, I make a tangy, creamy tahini dressing. Because this dressing is totally mayo-free, it travels extremely well. As a result, this vegan pasta salad is a perfect dish to bring to a cookout or picnic. It’s so fresh, vibrant, and fun that I’m planning to make it all summer long. Once you try it, you will be, too!
Vegan Pasta Salad Recipe Ingredients
To make this vegan pasta salad recipe, you’ll need these simple ingredients:
- Pasta, of course! Use any short, curly pasta shape you like. Of course, use gluten-free pasta if you need this recipe to be gluten-free.
- Spiralized summer squash – To lighten this salad up, I mix spiralized yellow squash with the regular pasta noodles. You feel like you’re eating a big pile of pasta, but actually, it’s mostly veggies!
- Haricots verts – They add vibrant color and crunch to this vegan pasta salad.
- Cherry tomatoes – What’s a summer salad without them? I love how their juicy texture contrasts with the crisp haricots verts and al dente pasta.
- Navy beans – For plant-based protein and hearty, creamy texture.
- Red onion – For sharp depth of flavor.
- Kalamata olives and artichoke hearts – I love their briny taste with the fresh veggies and tangy dressing.
- Sunflower seeds – For crunch!
- And fresh herbs – Tender, aromatic herbs like parsley and basil take this salad over the top.
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
Last but not least, you need the dressing! It’s lightly creamy, sweet, and tangy, made with tahini, almond milk, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and Dijon mustard.
Whisk together the dressing, and add the cooked pasta, veggies, beans, olives, and artichokes to a large bowl. Toss them with the dressing, and fold in the sunflower seeds and fresh herbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and enjoy!
Vegan Pasta Salad Recipe Variations
This vegan pasta salad recipe is delicious as written, but it’s totally customizable! Change it up based on what you’re craving or what you have on hand. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Make an Italian version with roasted red bell peppers instead of green beans.
- Simplify it by skipping the spiralized squash and increasing the pasta.
- Doesn’t matter if it’s vegan? Use 3/4 cup halved mini mozzarella balls instead of the navy beans.
Feel free to toss in your favorite summer veggies and herbs. Let me know what variations you try!
Vegan Pasta Salad Serving Suggestions
This recipe is perfect for picnics, as it holds up well if you make it ahead of time. Toss it together and enjoy it right away, or prep it up to 2 days in advance. Store it in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.
Serve this vegan pasta salad with Caprese sandwiches, chickpea salad sandwiches, or Grilled Veggie Skewers drizzled in Greek Salad Dressing. It’s also an excellent side dish for these classic cookout recipes:
Round out the meal with a fresh fruit salad.
When I’m not planning a picnic, I love to meal prep this salad for lunch. Thanks to the protein-packed navy beans, hearty pasta, and colorful veggies, it’s a fresh, satisfying meal on its own.
More Favorite Picnic Salads
If you love this easy vegan pasta salad, try one of these picnic salads next:
- Easy Pasta Salad
- Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint
- Greek Salad
- Best Broccoli Salad
- Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
- Creamy Coleslaw
- Macaroni Salad
Vegan Pasta Salad
- 1 cup haricots verts, sliced in half lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 8 ounces short curly pasta
- 2 medium yellow squash, spiralized or very thinly sliced
- 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and sliced into quarters
- ¾ cup cooked navy beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 heaping cup halved cherry tomatoes
- scant ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
- ¼ cup Kalamata olives, sliced in half
- ½ cup chopped parsley
- ½ cup chopped basil
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
- ½ teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
- ¼ cup tahini
- ¼ cup almond milk or water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil and place a bowl of ice water nearby. Blanch the haricots verts for 1 minute, then transfer to the ice water. Drain and pat dry.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare the pasta according to the instructions on the package, cooking just past al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- Make the dressing: In a small-medium bowl, whisk together the milk, tahini, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, salt, and pepper.
- In a very large bowl, combine the pasta, haricots verts, yellow squash, artichoke hearts, navy beans, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and olives. Toss with the dressing. Mix in the parsley, basil, and sunflower seeds. Season to taste with more salt (I add ½ teaspoon).
- Serve at room temperature or store in the fridge for up to 2 days. Season to taste before serving.