There’s a good chance that at any given BBQ my plate is half filled with grilled veggies. The other half? Pasta salad. I love bringing pasta salad to parties because it’s always a crowd pleaser and it’s easy to accommodate different diets. Vegan – check. Gluten-free – check. Soy-free – check! It might seem like not much is left on the table for whipping up a pasta salad everyone will love, but quite the opposite is true. All you have to do is turn to your garden for some inspo! That’s what gave me the idea for this Fresh Veggie Pasta Salad.
You can’t go wrong with using whatever extra veggies you have from your garden or farmers’ market haul. Here I used kale, zucchini and summer squash (leftover from making our Heirloom Tomato & Summer Squash Tart!), red onion, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and a handful of fresh parsley. I think basil or dill would also pair fabulously with this Fresh Veggie Pasta Salad, especially since we’re using our Dill Havarti Cream Cheeze in the dressing. It’s super smooth and creamy and bursting with dill pickle flavor!
A lot of pasta salads are 75% pasta and 25% veg. I wanted to create a lighter, fresher salad so I took it easy on the noodles. If you’re feeding a big crowd, just use the whole 16-oz. bag or box of pasta. Easy! Have you found a gluten-free pasta you like? Gluten-free pasta has come a long way in the past few years. No more mushy noodles! I like using a quinoa/brown rice blend but there are tons of options out there. Of course, if you don’t have a gluten sensitivity or allergy, feel free to use whole wheat pasta.
I’d love to see what vegetables you’re using in your batch of Fresh Veggie Pasta Salad! Post a photo on Instagram and make sure you tag me @plant_perks so I can see your creation.
Fresh Veggie Pasta Salad
Serves 6 to 8
- 8 oz. small shape pasta (I used a quinoa/brown rice gluten-free fusilli)
- 1 container Plant Perks Dill Havarti Cream Cheeze
- ¼ cup non-dairy yogurt (plain, unsweetened)
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 kale stalks (leaves only), chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced
- ½ zucchini, chopped
- ½ summer squash, chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 mini seedless cucumbers, chopped
- Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- Freshly cracked black pepper, for serving (optional)
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain, rinse with cool water, and return to the pot.
- Meanwhile, combine the Dill Havarti Cream Cheeze, non-dairy yogurt, water, and a fat pinch of salt in a blender. Blend until smooth, about a minute. Scrape into a bowl and set aside.
- Put the kale in a large serving bowl and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of salt. Massage the kale with your hands until bright green and soft (this will make the kale less bitter). Add the chopped red onion, zucchini, summer squash, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber to the bowl and toss to combine.
- Add the cooled pasta to the salad and drizzle with the cheezy dressing. Add the fresh parsley and lemon juice and toss once more. Garnish with a few twists of cracked black pepper and serve.