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Vegan Pasta Salad Recipe

Vegan Pasta Salad is the perfect side dish. It's packed with veggies, and you won't even realize it's vegan. Get the recipe at www.drugstoredivas.net.

I love cheese. Like, honestly, cheese is one of the biggest reasons I could never go vegan. No way I could give that up. But for this Vegan Pasta Salad, I skipped the cheese and instead, packed it with a ton of flavor.

If you’re not vegan, you’ll still love this.

Keep in mind that vegan means no dairy. So there’s no mayo as a coating in this vegan pasta salad. No vegan mayo either because I really wanted you to be able to make this with ingredients that you have at home.

Honestly, I find that some vegan recipes call for things that we never have, like vegan cheese and nutritional yeast. I stay away from those recipes because I hate buying an ingredient for just one recipe. I’d rather stick with ones that use ingredients that are always on my shopping list.

That’s how this vegan pasta salad is.

But, back to the dairy. Since there’s no mayonnaise, you want to be generous — but not heavy handed — with the finishing oil you use at the end. That’s a big part of what’s going to stop this from sticking together and tasting too much like plain pasta.

Tri colored pasta with blue cheese, olives, and tomatoes in a white bowl with the words "Pasta Salad Recipes" digitally written on top.

This vegan pasta salad is just one of the recipes for pasta salad on Drugstore Divas. For more ideas, check out all of our Pasta Salad Recipes.

Vegan Pasta Salad Recipe

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You can use other types of pasta with this, but we prefer orzo. Remember it does expand a little as it cooks, but you still want to chop your vegetables into pretty small chunks to match the size of the orzo.

If you’re using rotini for this, you can chop your vegetables a little larger.

Vegan Pasta Salad Ingredients:

How To Make Vegan Pasta Salad:

Pre-heat your oven to 425 F.

Make the orzo according to the package. Drain it, and set it aside to cool.

Peel your eggplant. Cut it into thin rounds, between 1/8- and 1/4-inch thick. Then cube those with two cuts lengthwise, and five widthwise (depending on how wide the eggplant is, of course).

Put the eggplant cubes in a bowl of salted water (covering the eggplant) for at least 30 minutes to pull out any bitterness from the eggplant.

After a half hour, strain the eggplant cubes, rinse them, and put them on a baking sheet.

Dice the Roma tomatoes and add them to the baking sheet with the eggplant cubes.

Rinse the can of chickpeas and add them to the baking sheet eggplant and tomatoes.

Drizzle the pan with olive oil, salt, and onion powder. Toss to coat.

Bake for 25 minutes, flipping halfway through. Don’t be alarmed if the chickpeas pop as they cook in the oven. That’s fine.

Put the orzo in a 9×13-inch pan.

Add the vegetables to orzo.

Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Add a dash salt and onion powder. Stir until combined.

Cut the parsley and olives. Stir them into the orzo.

Serve cold.

Vegan Pasta Salad is the perfect side dish. It's packed with veggies, and you won't even realize it's vegan. Get the recipe at www.drugstoredivas.net.

Vegan Pasta Salad Tips:

  • There aren’t any exact measurements for the spices in this. Be sure to season and taste as you go. As Pete always says, “You can always add, but you can’t take away.”
  • When I make this, I use a ceramic casserole pan with a glass lid as my pan. The ceramic casserole pan doesn’t add much but aesthetics, since you’re just using the pan to serve, not to cook. But, my casserole pan has a really easy to remove glass lid. So, when I transport this, I can put the lid on. And when it’s sitting outside at a potluck, I can cover it with the glass lid too. The lid keeps the flies away, and it easy (easier than a plastic lid) to remove when someone wants to eat some.
  • If you don’t have fresh parsley, you can use fresh basil instead. Substituting a dry herb isn’t going to work in this. It will just be a weird dry/chewy texture. So if you don’t have fresh herbs, just skip the herbs.

Vegan Pasta Salad Variations:

If you want to infuse more flavor into this Vegan Pasta Salad, you can boil your orzo in vegetable broth rather than using plain water. If you use plain water, be sure to salt your water before boiling it. The salt will add a little favor to the plain orzo.

If you don’t want orzo, you can substitute any pasta for this, although similarly-sized pasta is better. Acini de pepe and ditalini are great orzo pasta substitutes. 

If you want to make this a Vegetarian Pasta Salad, not vegan, you can add 2 oz. of finely chopped Feta cheese. Stir it in when you add the vegetables. The Feta cheese will melt slightly into the orzo, giving it a delicious, creamy taste and texture. You can sprinkle a little on top as well, but it actually doesn’t taste as good that way.

For a little extra color, you could leave the skin on the eggplant. But, keep in mind that the skin can be tough to eat, so if you do this, put the eggplant on its own tray (instead of with the chickpeas and other vegetables) and leave that tray in the oven for 30 minutes (instead of 25).

Squash would be a good addition to it, like our Vegetarian Couscous. Add chopped yellow squash or zucchini onto the baking sheet for some extra vegetables.

Green onions are a great addition to this Vegan Pasta Salad. You can cook the whites of the onions with the rest of the vegetables, then use the greens at the end as a garnish.

Instead of olives, you could add capers. You’ll still get the salty, briny taste that the olives add, but with a different ingredient. Don’t skip the olives or capers though. This recipe really benefits from using all the ingredients together and will end up really bland if you skip any of them.

Chickpea and spinach vegan burger on a plate.

Dishes To Serve With Vegan Pasta Salad:

Yield: 10 Servings

Vegan Pasta Salad

Vegan Pasta Salad is the perfect side dish. It's packed with veggies, and you won't even realize it's vegan. Get the recipe at www.drugstoredivas.net.

Vegan Pasta Salad is the perfect side dish. It's packed with veggies, and you won't even realize it's vegan. Get the recipe at www.drugstoredivas.net.

Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. orzo
  • 1/2 large eggplant
  • 2 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas
  • 3 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped olives
  • Olive oil
  • Onion powder
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 425 F.
  2. Make the orzo according to the package. Drain it, and set it aside to cool.
  3. Peel your eggplant. Cut it into thin rounds, between 1/8- and 1/4-inch thick. Then cube those. Put the eggplant cubes in a bowl of salted water for at least 30 minutes to pull out any bitterness from the eggplant. After a half hour, strain the eggplant cubes, rinse them, and put them on a baking sheet.
  4. Dice the Roma tomatoes and add them to the baking sheet with the eggplant cubes.
  5. Rinse the can of chickpeas and add them to baking sheet with the eggplant and tomatoes.
  6. Drizzle the pan with olive oil, salt, and onion powder. Toss to coat. Bake for 25 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  7. Put the orzo in a 9×13-inch pan.
  8. Add the vegetables to orzo. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Add a dash salt and onion powder. Stir until combined.
  9. Cut the parsley and olives. Stir them into the orzo.

Nutrition Information

Yield

10

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 133Total Fat 2gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 0mgSodium 87mgCarbohydrates 25gFiber 2gSugar 2gProtein 4g

Have you made this Vegan Pasta Salad recipe? Leave a comment letting us know what you thought.

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