Vegan Caprese Pasta Salad

Vegan Caprese Pasta Salad

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Ages ago, I stumbled across a vegan caprese recipe that substituted avocado for cheese and I was hooked. I’ve adapted my recipe time and again, settling on what I think might be the final product: vegan caprese pasta salad.

Vegan Caprese?

When most people think of caprese, they think of a salad made with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil. In this simple, yet elegant dish, the ingredients are layered and then drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. But what about a vegan version of this classic recipe?

There are so many vegan cheese options available on the market these days, but they aren’t always very accessible. For example, vegan mozzarella is great (I can hardly wait to try the new plant-based Babybel!) and would be a delicious vegan caprese ingredient. However, it”s not always available at your local grocery store.

That’s why I’m always on the lookout for accessible vegan ingredients that can be used in recipes like vegan cheese. Some of my favourites include nutritional yeast and avocado. These are relatively more accessible and, as a bonus, can be found fairly affordably.

Avocado is the ideal creamy addition to a vegan caprese, and to this vegan caprese pasta salad. The avocado will add a creamy richness to the dish, and its slightly tangy flavor will pair well with the sweetness of the tomatoes. Add your choice of grape or cherry tomatoes, toss them with a tasty dressing, and you’ve got a delicious vegan pasta salad option! Plus, it’s easy to swap in your favorite gluten-free pasta for an allergy-friendly variation.

Vegan Caprese Pasta Salad Banner

Vegan Caprese Pasta Salad

So, avocado can make this vegan caprese recipe extra delicious. But better yet, what about a delicious pasta option?

As you probably know from recipes like my salad stuffed shells, I really like pasta salad. I’m also a huge avocado fan (like in our brunch-worthy avocado toast!).  Put together? Nothing but *heart eyes*.

If you’re looking for a delicious, yet easy-to-prepare dish, look no further than this vegan caprese pasta salad. This salad is perfect for potlucks, picnics, and tailgating parties, and it can also be served as a main course or side dish. What’s not to love about a salad that features fresh tomatoes, ripe avocado, and juicy tomatoes? The combination of flavors and textures in this dish makes it one of my all-time favorites.

Looking for more vegan-friendly picnic recipes? Check out our guide to a vegan summer picnic for some delicious dishes from An Ideal Life and some of our favorite vegan blogs!

I love this homemade dressing with it, pulling together ingredients like apple cider vinegar, Dijon, and flavorful seasonings to coat the pasta and veggies in a marinade inspired by the original caprese salad. But you can easily substitute your favourite store-bought, vegan-friendly Mediterranean dressing! If I’m short on time, I’ll use Aldi’s Greek vinaigrette.

Try it yourself by adding that dressing to an Instacart order—if you use our referral link, you’ll save $10 on your first delivery!

This recipe is super customizable in that you can really adjust the amounts (and type/shape of pasta!) to fit your preference. Love tomatoes? Add more tomato! Really like the aesthetic of farfalle? Go for it. Swap in gluten-free pasta. Try that new plant-based Babybel. Make this dish your own—and be sure to tag us in your final product!

Closeup Caprese Pasta

Vegan Caprese Pasta Salad

This recipe combines some of my favourite ingredients to create a refreshing, delicious pasta salad that’s perfect for a picnic or just because. 
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian

Ingredients
  

  • 1 box pasta, cooked and cooled
  • 1-2 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast (optional)

Instructions
 

  • If not done beforehand, cook pasta as directed on box. Allow to chill while preparing dressing and vegetables. 

For the dressing:

  • Combine ingredients in mason jar or vessel of choice
  • Shake or stir to thoroughly combine
  • Refrigerate until ready for use. 

For pasta salad:

  • Half (or quarter, if you prefer!) grape tomatoes and set aside. 
  • Dice avocado. 
  • Remove dressing from refrigerator and pour over pasta. You can adjust the amount as desired – save any extra for a salad! I tend to use about 1/2 of the dressing made here. 
  • Fold in tomatoes and avocado slices. 
  • Chill for at least half an hour before serving (the longer it rests, the more dressing is absorbed by the pasta and veggies!). 
Keyword Avocado, Pasta

I haven’t tried it myself yet, but I think this would be really good with some fresh basil added in as well, to really up the caprese factor! I also plan to try this with gluten-free pasta in the not-so-distant future, now that I know a gluten intolerance is behind some of my symptoms.

Tried our vegan caprese pasta salad? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or @anideallifeblog, especially if you put your own unique twist on the dish!

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