Blog · Plant-based main dishes

Easy 15 minutes lunch idea: Simple pasta salad /Vegan lunch idea/

I made this pasta salad several times. It is super easy to make, very delicious, and filling. It is ideal for people who follow a vegan diet or those who eat everything but want to include more veggies in their diet. This easy pasta salad does not require many ingredients.

Fresh and easy pasta salad packed with nutritious, and fresh ingredients. Perfect as a main dish or if you prefer as a side dish. The ingredients are simple and flexible. You can make this when you are inundated by summer produce or you can adapt to what’s in season in the fall and winter. Plus, you are looking at under 20 minutes from start to finish. And you can keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days!

Pasta salad ingredients /4 servings/:

  • 2 tablespoons vegan pesto (If you are not vegan, you can use any type of pesto.)
  • 40 dkg dried pasta (4 cups) (fusilli, penne, rotini or farfalle) (eggless if you are vegan)
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes (1 cup) (150 g)
  • 3 handful of baby spinach or arugula greens (about 2 cups)
  • 5-6 pitted black olives
  • 25 dkg cooked chickpeas (1 and 1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • fresh basil
  • salt and, freshly ground black pepper
  • optional: plant-based cheese or nutritional yeast or again if you are not vegan parmesan

Instructions:

  • First things first wash the cherry tomatoes and the greens.
  • Then cut the cherry tomatoes into halves or quarters according to your preference. If you wish you may chop up the greens as well.
  • Add the cherry tomatoes and your choice of greens to a large serving bowl.
  • Drain, and rinse the chickpeas and add them to the rest of the veggies.
  • If you prefer you may chop the olives into smaller pieces, but you can leave them whole. Add the olives to the veggies.
  • Season them with salt and freshly ground pepper, and toss well.
  • Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions.
  • Before draining, reserve about ½ cup pasta cooking water, then drain and immediately rinse the pasta under cool water to prevent the noodles from sticking to one another. Transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl.
  • Put a saucepan on medium heat and add 1 tbsp olive oil. Toss sliced garlic in the saucepan for 1-2 minutes. Be careful not to burn it. Add the pesto to this and the reserved pasta water. Simmer it for 1-2 minutes.
  • Pour the pesto mixture onto the pasta and toss it.
  • Then add your veggies to the pesto-covered pasta and toss it again.
  • Optionally serve it with fresh basil and cheese of your choice or with nutritional yeast.
Leftover pasta will keep for up to three days in an airtight container in the fridge.

One portion of pasta salad provides: 566 calories, 12 g of fat, 93 g carbohydrates, 19 g of protein.

Enjoy your meal. 🙂

For other plant-based meal ideas click here.

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