The best vegan pasta salad with an oil-free ranch dressing without mayo! Perfect for the grilling season in summer or as a side dish throughout the year. The recipe is plant-based (dairy-free, egg-free), healthy, protein-rich, light, guilt-free, and delicious!
Healthy Vegan Pasta Salad
I always loved a good creamy pasta salad, especially as a teenager. Actually, I was never a fan of an Italian pasta salad with a vinaigrette. My salads were loaded with mayonnaise, which isn’t very healthy… Now I veganized and healthified my favorite pasta salad into a light dish that is creamy, delicious, and guilt-free!
How to Make A Vegan Pasta Salad Without Mayo?
You are only a few simple steps away from enjoying this light Mediterranean pasta salad!
- First, you need to cook the pasta and chop the veggies.
- Meanwhile, you can prepare the oil-free ranch dressing, which is very easy to make. All you need to do is blend all dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor until completely smooth.
- Finally, you can assemble the vegan macaroni pasta salad in a large bowl. And that’s it! Eat it right away and store leftovers in the fridge. Check the easy instruction pictures below:
Use Your Favorite Pasta
You can use regular (wheat) pasta or gluten-free pasta, which often contains rice flour, quinoa flour, cornflour, or legumes. My favorite pasta shapes are:
However, any pasta shape is fine! Let me know in the comments what your favorite shape is for a salad. 🙂
Versatile Pasta Salad
A pasta salad is versatile because you can choose your favorite veggies. I used the following ones:
- Green peppers
- Chopped dill pickles
Not a fan of cucumber? Simply use something different. I also love adding olives and grilled corn! You could also add mushrooms, celery, or zucchini. What about vegan mozzarella for an Italian twist?
I love that this noodle salad is so versatile and easy to make!
Oil-Free Dressing Without Mayonnaise
I actually made the same (well, almost the same) dressing which I already used for my Vegan Potato Salad! I really love it because it contains only healthy ingredients:
- White beans*
- Plant-based milk
- Hulled hemp seeds or soaked cashews
- Garlic cloves
- Dijon mustard
- Lime juice or lemon juice
- White vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- Sea salt, black pepper, and fresh dill to taste
*I used cannellini beans which add healthy plant-based protein, but any white beans will work just fine!
How To Store Leftovers?
The pasta salad tastes best when it’s cold, in my opinion, which makes it the perfect summer side dish! Keep leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.
You Will Love This Salad, Because It’s:
- Oil-free (without mayo)
- Easy to make with simple ingredients
- Perfect as a summer salad
- Much healthier than other pasta salads
Helpful Tips For This Vegan Pasta Salad
- Use your favorite veggies (e.g. zucchini, celery, olives…).
- Double the batch and store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Bring it to a vegan potluck (most people LOVE pasta salad) or barbecue (BBQ).
Should you recreate this healthy pasta salad, please leave a comment and rating below, and don’t forget to tag me in your Instagram or Facebook post with @elavegan and #elavegan because I love to see your remakes! If you love salads, definitely also check out the following recipes:
- Mexican Avoado Salad
- Easy Pasta Salad
- Lunch Bowl With Hasselback Potatoes
- Buddha Bowl With Roasted Chickpeas
- Lebanese Fattoush Salad Recipe
- Brown Rice Salad Recipe
- Creamy German Cucumber Salad (Gurkensalat)
Creamy Vegan Pasta Salad
- 10 oz (280 g) dry pasta of choice (gluten-free if needed)
- 1 green pepper (or color of choice) chopped
- 1 medium-sized onion diced
- 4 tomatoes diced
- 1 small cucumber diced
- 3/4 cup chopped dill pickles
- olives (optional)
- 1 (15 oz) can white beans rinsed and drained (*see notes)
- 2/3 cup (160 ml) plant-based milk
- 1/4 cup (40 g) hulled hemp seeds OR 1/3 cup of soaked cashews (*see notes)
- 2-4 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard or more to taste
- 1 tbsp lime juice or lemon juice
- 1 tbsp white vinegar or apple cider vinegar or more to taste
- 1/2 tsp sea salt + more to taste
- black pepper to taste
- fresh dill to taste
- Cook your favorite pasta as per the instructions on the package.
- Add white beans, plant-based milk, hemp seeds (or soaked cashews), garlic cloves, mustard, lime juice, vinegar, and sea salt + black pepper to a blender. Blend on high speed and scrape down the sides if needed until the dressing is completely smooth and creamy. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooled pasta, chopped pepper, onion, tomatoes, cucumber, and dill pickles. Pour over the dressing and stir to combine.
- Taste and adjust seasonings. Add more salt/pepper/vinegar if needed. I added 1/2 tsp of sea salt in addition.
- Garnish with fresh herbs (e.g. dill) and serve at room temperature or cold. Enjoy! Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- You can use any white beans, e.g. Cannellini beans, Navy beans or Great Northern beans.
- If you don't have hemp seeds you can use either soaked cashews (soak in hot water for about 30 minutes or until soft) OR you could use 2 heaped tbsp of cashew butter or almond butter.
- If you love salads, you can also check out my Mexican Avocado Salad recipe.
- Recipe serves 4. Nutrition facts are for one serving.
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically
If you are using Pinterest, feel free to pin the following photo:
I’m generally a sweet macaroni salad girl but I really enjoyed this. I had some hemp seeds and was pleased that I could use them instead of the cashews. I didn’t have any tomatoes or cucumbers. I used an orange pepper, green onions, green olives, celery, and the dill pickles..
I’m really impressed with this dressing and am wondering if I can find some other uses for it! I’ve been WFPB for over 2 years and find not using oil the hardest part so I really appreciate recipes like this. Thanks, Ela!
Hi Melanie, glad you liked it! I sometimes drizzle it over oven-baked sweet potatoes or roasted veggies. Tastes yummy!
I’ve tried a lot of pasta salads with WFPB dressings and this is for sure one of the best. Will definitely be my go to for pasta salad from now on. Loved it!
So happy to hear that, Tammy! Thanks for your feedback. 🙂
I started on WW about 2 months ago. Having delicious whole food recipes like thus has made my journey so easy. This pasta salad is amazing!! The white bean sauce is mind blowing. It is so creamy and well seasoned. I love the dill. Thank you for making my weight loss journey so easy and ????. You rock.
You are very welcome, Carla! I am so glad you like it. 🙂
This will now be my second time making this salad in 2 weeks, that’s how much my husband and I love it! My mom used to make this all the time in the summer (the non-vegan version) with TONS of Mayo and sugar. This is definitely healthier but just as tasty. It brought back some summer memories and will be a summertime staple in our house. We our currently in a record heatwave and cold salad is the perfect dinner option. Thank you for the wonderful recipe! 🙂
That’s awesome, Cecily! I am so glad you and your husband love it. 🙂
Dear Ela, please tell me in gramms how much will it be “1 15 oz can white beans”?
Hello, it’s about 250-275 grams of cooked (canned) beans after being rinsed and drained. 🙂
I grew up in an area in the Midwest where a similar pasta salad was popular, but it was definitely sweeter and made with a ton of Miracle Whip (because Midwest in the ’80s). I get a huge nostalgia pull for that once in awhile, and found I can adapt this recipe wonderfully by a few tweaks: sub 4-5 tablespoons of sweet pickle or bread and butter pickle vinegar for the vinegar, sub sweet or bread and butter pickle pieces for the chopped dill pickle, omit the dill, add chopped black forest vegan ham deli slices, and grate some vegan parmesan on top just before serving. Everything else stays the same. A different flavor profile for sure, but just as yummy!
Thanks for sharing, Karen! 🙂
I just made this for a camping trip! It turned out amazing! I left out the cucumber (just because I didn’t have any on hand) and used the 1/3 cup soaked cashews and it is absolutely perfect! This is going to be a keeper for me! Thanks!
Yay, that’s awesome! Thanks for your great feedback! 🙂
Would 16 oz of pasta be too much for the sauce to cover all of it? Going to try this tonight!
Hi Emily, yes, it might be a little too much pasta. I prefer my salad to be quite creamy. 🙂
Would sunflower seeds work instead? I have an abundance of those.
Hey, I think it should work fine if you soak them and use a high-speed blender. 🙂