Creamy, zesty, tangy homemade vegan ranch mixed with pasta and fresh veggies--is there anything better? This simple and delicious pasta salad is great warm or chilled, and the perfect dish to take to a potluck or cook at home for yourself or your family, and free of any nuts, gluten, oil, or sugar.
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Hey Internet, ready for more pasta? Haha, I’m always ready for it. But seriously, this one’s pretty amazing--and if you don’t want to use pasta, I have a few suggestions for you. :)
I just published a nut-free vegan ranch dressing and I wanted to share this recipe with you, as it has been a favorite of ours this summer.
This pasta salad is actually great warm or chilled, and you can customize it with whatever veggies you like. You don’t even need to add the pasta, though it’s my favorite so my recipe has some delectable fusilli noodles in it.
It’s funny, because I don’t feel like I’ve seen ranch pasta salad before, but a quick internet search told me I definitely wasn’t the first one to think of it (even though when the idea occurred to me I was sure I had an epiphany…). But it’s SO GOOD that I had to share my version, and that’s one of the many reasons I’m so happy to have this blog!
I absolutely love experimenting in the kitchen and coming up with new and interesting recipes like nut-free vegan cheddar cheese and matcha pound cake. What’s even better is being able to share them with you all. It SERIOUSLY makes my day when you make and enjoy my recipes :)
Now, back to this crazy awesome ranch pasta salad.
I’ve used a rainbow of veggies and my tangy, zesty, creamy ranch, and I’m excited to share it with you today, so let’s just get into the recipe!
What You’ll Need
So obviously, you’ll need my vegan ranch dressing, but luckily it comes together in 5 minutes and you can make it while the pasta is cooking, as well as chopping up your veggies!
If you’re using pasta (if not, check the substitutions section below), you can use one pound of whatever pasta you like. I used regular fusilli pasta for this.
Whole wheat pasta or other pastas will also work, just cook according to package instructions.
As far as veggies, you can use whatever you’d like! I used what I had on hand: bell peppers, jicama, and cucumber, but you could also use carrots (cut finely), tomatoes, avocado, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, mushrooms, corn, etc.!
You could definitely also include a protein like tofu, tempeh, or seitan if you wish.
That’s it! It’s a super simple, delicious, and wholesome recipe. Keep reading to see how you can substitute ingredients and customize it to your own tastes.
What Substitutions Can I Make?
Whether you don’t want to eat pasta for every dinner like I do (why the heck not?) or you’re watching your carbs, there’s plenty of ways you could substitute the pasta in this recipe.
If you’re buds with carbs like I am, try this recipe with rice or potatoes, yum!
But if you’d like to reduce your carb intake, you could easily substitute the pasta in this recipe for zucchini noodles, cauliflower rice, beans, or tofu.
For a delicious protein packed meal, try subbing the pasta for quinoa!
Like I mentioned above, use any veggies you like! Use all raw, all cooked, or a combination of the two for great variety in flavor, texture, and nutrition. The more colors on your plate, the more nutrients going into your body!
Furthermore, I don’t really think you’d be on this page if you don’t like ranch, but I’ve got plenty of other vegan sauces you could use for this pasta, like lemon miso tahini, vegan cheddar sauce, vegan mozzarella sauce, vegan honey mustard, etc.
How to Make Vegan Ranch Pasta Salad
So this section assumes you’ll be making this recipe with pasta. If not, just ignore those instructions and use whatever you’d like.
Start your pasta cooking before you do anything else. You can get everything else done while it’s cooking. Follow the instructions on your package of pasta.
First, make the ranch dressing if you haven’t already. Set it aside.
Then work on cutting up the vegetables. I like to dice mine finely, as I feel like it makes the pasta salad easier to eat.
When your pasta is done cooking, go ahead and drain the cooking water.
If you want to eat your pasta salad warm, mix everything together now and serve immediately.
However, if you’d like your pasta salad cool or cold, you have two options. Refrigerate the pasta for a half hour or so, or rinse it under cold water until it cools down.
I’m told it’s not proper to rinse pasta as you’re rinsing off some of the starch and flavor, but honestly, I don’t taste much of a difference since we’re covering this in ranch dressing anyway.
When your pasta is cool enough, add it to a large bowl with your veggies and stir it well. Then add the dressing and stir that all around.
I used the whole batch of ranch dressing that I made, but you may choose to use less if you’d like a lighter taste. Up to you.
Refrigerate leftovers up to 5 days in an airtight container.
What Goes Good With Pasta Salad?
This pasta salad is a fun twist on a BBQ classic. Bring it to any potluck, party, or cook-out and everyone (even meat eaters) will eat it up!
It’s great as a main meal, or you can serve it as a side with a protein or a sandwich. This pasta salad would go great with BBQ Baked Tofu.
It would also be delicious with another type of sandwich like vegan Philly Cheesesteaks (yes you read that right!)
Any kind of veggie burgers, especially these cute lentil cheeseburger sliders would also be perfect with this dish.
This pasta salad is an awesome dish for meal prep too. I'd pair it with some fruit on side, a few nuts like almonds or walnuts (so good for you!), and a bottle of water. If you're into meal prepping, here's 40+ vegan meal prep recipes!
Other Awesome Pasta Dishes
Love pasta? Me too.
I have tons of delicious pasta recipes here on the blog. Here are some reader favorites to check out for your next easy dinner!
As always, I hope you love this recipe--I know I do, and Mr. Zardyplants does too.
This Vegan Ranch Pasta Salad is:
- And perfect for a potluck, BBQ, or easy dinner at home!
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!