Vegan Tomato & Balsamic Mediterranean Pasta Salad
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We have been thinking of this Mediterranean pasta salad as a spring pasta salad or even a summer pasta salad – it’s so light and refreshing and perfect for warmer weather (we write this optimistically!)
Basically it’s the best pasta salad recipe ever, the one that all your barbecues and parties have been missing… until now! And it’s vegan to boot!
How to serve this Mediterranean pasta salad?
This is intended to be a vegan cold pasta salad recipe, so why not make a batch up in advance and keep it in the fridge?
The flavours mellow and become richer overnight, so we would definitely recommend this option! You can pop it in a jar and take it to work with you (we’re really into meals in jars at the moment – check out our noodle soup in a jar!)
This would also work as a delicious side dish, maybe one to enjoy alongside this simple ricotta bake?
Or, as the weather gets warmer, bring it along to a party or barbecue! The Mediterranean flavours of balsamic, basil and tomato are so perfectly suited to eating outdoors in the sunshine (fingers crossed!).
One top tip: make sure that the pasta and the dressing/tomatoes have cooled down before you mix everything together. If you assembled it all while still hot, the spinach and basil can wilt and go brown very quickly.
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How healthy is this vegan pasta salad?
This easy vegan pasta salad is full of greens like asparagus, peas and spinach, which give it texture and colour.
The sauce is made from cherry tomatoes gently fried with garlic, then cooked with balsamic vinegar, a touch of sugar and some cornstarch for thickening. The result is a sharp sweet sauce which adds a fresh flavour to the dish.
In fact, it tastes so good you’d wonder how it can possibly be healthy. But it really is.
In terms of health, this has to be one of the best vegan pasta salads. All those vegetables add crucial vitamins and plenty of fibre. The sauce/dressing is very light, with only a small amount of salt and sugar, and very little saturated fat.
Overall, one portion of our Mediterranean pasta salad comes to 483 kcal, 18g protein, 13g and 10g fat (of which only 1g is saturated). That’s a decent amount of protein and fibre – enough to make it a filling meal – and a solid amount of calories for a lunch or light dinner (if you want more like this, try out our top light vegetarian dinner ideas!).
Furthermore, there are choices you can make within the recipe to make sure it is as healthy as possible. For example, you could use whole grain pasta instead of white pasta.
Whole grain foods contain more nutrients than refined grains, because the process of refining grains strips them of much of their nutritional value.
While we’ve got you here, you should check out our vegetarian for weight loss e-book if you want more tips on healthy eating, with an emphasis on losing weight!
A healthy Mediterranean pasta salad to welcome in the warmer days and boot out the winter months? Bring it on!
- In a pot of salted boiling water cook pasta according to package instructions. During the last 5 minutes of cooking time, add peas and asparagus to cook with the pasta. Finally remove from water.5.5 oz pasta, 5.5 oz asparagus, 5.5 oz peas
- Meanwhile, in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook until their skin is golden. Then add the minced garlic and cook until it begins to brown and the tomatoes pop. Add sugar, balsamic, water, salt and baking soda. Mix and simmer for 2 minutes. Dissolve cornstarch in a little water and add to the pot. Cook until the sauce thickens, boiling for 1 minute. Turn off heat and stir in half of the spinach.7 oz cherry tomatoes, 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, 2 tsp sugar, ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, ¼ cup water, 1 tbsp cornstarch, Salt to taste, ¼ tsp baking soda, 4 oz baby spinach
- To serve, mix in the tomato pot the pasta and veggies, remaining spinach and basil.1 handful basil, fresh