This vegan pesto pasta salad with sun-dried tomatoes is fully loaded with herbs, greens, and asparagus — perfect for picnics, lunches, easy dinners or an addition to a BBQ.
This vegan pasta salad will sure hit the spot, ready in no time and utilising the bounty available in the warmer seasons.
It’s healthy, easy to make, and super delicious. An affordable meal to make for a crowd with minimal fuss. The pesto dressing is full of goodness and can be prepared ahead of time.
So, if you’re after a plant-based pasta salad that will impress others, this recipe will certainly do the trick!
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What are the steps to make this vegan pesto pasta salad?
First up, we have to get the water on for the pasta. Place a large pot of water and salt on the stove and bring it to a boil.
In the meantime, prepare the other components of the dish. Grill the asparagus, and when they’re nicely coloured but still with a bit of crunch to them, take them out of the pan to cool down.
If your almonds aren’t already toasted, do so now until golden.
When the water has come to a boil, cook the pasta. Make sure that it cooks well as it will harden a little as it cools.
To a food processor, add the pesto ingredients and water and blend. Mix the ingredients first without the water to combine properly.
When the pasta has cooked, let it soak in cold water and drain it. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and toss.
Add the pesto sauce, asparagus, almonds, baby spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon juice and rind, and pepper to the pasta. Mix it well, and taste to adjust the salt. Ensure all the dish parts have cooled down; you don’t want the spinach to wilt.
Eat straight away or store in the fridge until you do. It’ll keep for a few days.
That’s pretty easy, right? You’ll find the full breakdown of the ingredients and instructions below in the recipe card.
What can you serve this sun-dried tomato pesto pasta salad with?
You can serve this dish as a side or main. Perfect for lunches, picnics, BBQs, and easy dinners. Here are a few ideas of other dishes that pair perfectly with this recipe.
- Grilled red bell peppers
- Panzanella salad
- Add a dollop of romesco sauce or cashew cream
- Lentil salad
- Stuffed mushrooms
- Corn & zucchini fritters
- Buckwheat Salad with Roasted Eggplant & Peppers
- Pearled Couscous Salad
- Red Rice Salad with Tahini Dressing
- Potato and Beet Salad
- Kale, Pomegranate & Walnut Salad
- Spiced Quinoa & Eggplant Rolls
- Olivier Salad
- Rustic Caprese Salad
- Grilled veggies or skewers
It’s also perfect for meal prep. You can enjoy it over a few days; it keeps well!
Tips for making this vegan spring greens pasta salad
Here are a few tips to get the best results with this dish.
- If you’re in a hurry, add some ice cubes to the cold water when you drain the cooked pasta and let the pasta soak in it until it has completely chilled.
- You can prepare all this the day before. Especially the asparagus, so no time is wasted waiting for them to cool down.
- The prepared salad will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- If you want to make this salad nut-free, you can swap out the cashews in the pesto for sunflower seeds and almonds for pepitas.
- For a gluten-free version, swap the pasta for a gluten-free pasta of choice.
- We love this salad with vegan mozzarella. It’s a great little addition!
- You can use a pasta shape of choice. We like fusilli because the pesto catches inside the crevices really nicely.
- You can easily halve if you don’t want to make the full recipe.
- This recipe serves four people as a generous main or six as a side.
This recipe is:
- Packed with healthy ingredients
- Gluten and nut-free options
- Perfect for meal prep
- Easy lunch or dinner option
- Ideal for shared plates
This quick and easy sun-dried tomato pesto pasta salad is perfectly balanced in texture and flavour.
It’s a great dish for the warmer months, and I’m sure it will be your new go-to pasta salad for the holidays as well!
Other wonderful recipes you’ll love:
- Vegan Spinach Pie with ‘Ricotta’
- Vegan Walnut Pesto
- Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus Toast with Asparagus
- High Protein Vegan Salad
- Simple Potato and Radicchio Salad