Vegan Pasta Salad

Heidrun Kubart
by Heidrun Kubart
4-6 Main Dishes
25 min

This cold and creamy vegan pasta salad with tofu, dill pickles, peas, corn, red onions, and peppers is one of the best inventions, especially for summer. It is quick and easy to prepare and is great to take to the pool or for a barbecue. But it is also a wonderful vegan party salad at any other time of the year. The dressing of this yummy and creamy plant-based pasta salad is made out of vegan mayonnaise, and yogurt. A salad full of flavor that both kids and adults will love.

Summer, Sun, Pasta Salad

What would a summer be without – right: pasta salad, of course. This tasty vegan pasta salad with mayonnaise is easy to prepare and is great to take with you on a lazy day at the swimming pool or – in my case mostly – to the river Danube. It’s the perfect choice when you’re looking for a quick, easy, and cold lunch that tastes great and fills you up.

Similar to this delicious vegan egg salad, this refreshing watermelon feta salad with cucumber, and this hearty vegan potato salad, this homemade pasta salad makes a wonderful vegan salad for a BBQ or a party. If you want to make a pasta salad for a crowd, then the recipe can stay as it is, because my quantities are based for 4–5 servings as a main dish. So like it is, you have a salad for 10 people for a party, because I assume, there will be other things to eat.

Vegan Pasta Salad with mayo, tofu, dill pickles, and more veggies, on a plate that is placed on a light gray table.

Like Grandma’s but better

This best of all the world’s best pasta salads tastes quite classic, like grandma’s style. A spicy pasta salad, full of flavor but made entirely without animal products, which is why I take the liberty of calling it even better. So, yes, vegans can definitely eat pasta salad, if you simply make it vegan. And I promise that also non-vegans will love it. My dear colleague would say, that “It doesn’t taste vegan at all” (she once wanted to compliment me with this feedback).

Even my 2.5-year-old daughter devoured it and praised it. She didn’t even pick out the chopped onion, at least on the first day. If it’s supposed to be a special kid-friendly pasta salad, then to be on the safe side (because of the threatening “Ugh!” with pushing the plate away, like it was on the second day), I would skip them.

Vegan Pasta Salad with mayo, tofu, dill pickles, and more veggies, on a plate that is placed on a light gray table.
Vegan Pasta Salad with mayo, tofu, dill pickles, and more veggies, on a plate that is placed on a light grey table.

Which pasta?

For a delicious vegan pasta salad, you only need a few ingredients, which you can usually buy anywhere and are usually cheap. First and foremost, of course, you need pasta. It doesn’t really matter which pasta you use for pasta salad. It should be short pasta, such as elbow macaroni, penne or fusilli. If you also want your pasta salad to be really healthy, you can use wholewheat pasta or pasta made from legumes *).

Which vegetables?

Next we need a lot of vegetables. For this colorful pasta salad, I use a mix of pickled or frozen and fresh veggies, namely peas, corn, bell pepper, pickles and red onions. Smoked tofu is also added. All these ingredients give the salad a very nice taste.

Although I love tomatoes, I make this pasta salad without tomatoes because I’m afraid they’ll just “smack” everything. After all, it’s also a great meal-prep dish, so it’s great to prepare and suitable for taking away.

What about the dressing?

The dressing for the pasta salad consists mainly of vegan mayo and, so that everything doesn’t become the worst calorie bomb and at the same time gets some freshness and summery lightness, also from (soy) yogurt.

This vegan pasta salad is seasoned with the pickle juice from the dill pickles, and also mustard, paprika powder, fresh chives (or other herbs such as parsley or dill, a mixture is also welcome), paprika powder, and salt. For the egg taste, I prefer to use the sulphurized salt Kala Namak *).

By the way: As we use soy yogurt for the dressing and tofu instead of cheese, this recipe is also perfect if you are looking for a dairy-free pasta salad.

Close up of a vegan Pasta Salad with mayo, tofu, dill pickles, and more veggies, on a plate that is placed on a light grey table. Seen from above.


Making a pasta salad yourself is very easy if you know what and how. That’s what I’m here for. I’ll tell you how to make pasta salad with all the details you need to know in the recipe card at the end of the post. You really can’t go wrong here: cook the pasta, cut the bell peppers, pickles, onions, and tofu into small cubes, and mix them together with the peas and corn.

Speaking of pasta salad with peas: rinse the pasta with cold water for a moment, as the dish should ultimately be cold. But don’t scare them too much if you use frozen peas like I did. You don’t have to cook them before preparing them. If you add them in the frozen state they stay nice and crunchy (so there is no risk of overcooking them), they cool the pasta, and the warm pasta thaws the peas. And all this saves time. Win-win on all levels.

For the dressing, you simply mix all the ingredients together. Then pour the sauce over the pasta with the vegetables, and finally, everything is stirred well, and then the pasta salad is best left in the fridge to steep. Preferably the day before you want to eat it, which makes it a wonderful meal-prep dish.

Vegan Pasta Salad with mayo, tofu, dill pickles, and more veggies, on a fork. In the background the blurred plate that is placed on a light gray table.

Speaking of the day before: That ultimately brings me to the question of how long you can store it. Since this is a vegan pasta salad, i.e. without meat, sausage, cheese, eggs, or mayo with eggs, there is no risk that it will go bad quickly. You don’t have to be afraid of salmonella or the like at a barbecue party under the sun.

I’ve always eaten the pasta salad within three days, and it still tasted great on the third day. But I wouldn’t push it to the limit (I’m a bit picky personally) and therefore I say that you can keep it up to four days in an airtight container in the fridge.

@plantbased.redhead💚 Cold & Creamy Vegan Pasta Salad with Mayo, Tofu & Veggies🍝 🥗 ☀️ Detailed recipe in 🇬🇧 & 🇦🇹 on 🌱👩‍🦰 sideyohead

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Recipe details
  • 4-6  Main Dishes
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 10 Minutes Total time: 25 min
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  • 500 g (17 oz) of pasta
  • 200 g (1.5 cups or 7 oz) frozen peas
  • 1 can corn (approx. 285 g or 10 oz drained weight)
  • 1 bell pepper (green, yellow, orange or red - whichever color you prefer)
  • 1 package (approx. 200 g or 7 oz) smoked tofu
  • 200 g (7 oz) dill pickles (gherkins)
  • 1 red onion
  • 200 g (7 oz) mayo
  • 200 g (7 oz) unsweetened yoghurt
  • 10 tbsp liquid from the pickles (pickle brine)
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tsp paprika powder
  • Fresh chives to taste (or other herbs such as parsley or dill, a mixture is also welcome)
  • 1.5 tsp kala Namak (for the egg taste) or alternatively regular salt
  • Some freshly ground black pepper

Cook the pasta in salted water according to package instructions until al dente.
Meanwhile, place the peas and drained corn in a bowl.
Then cut the remaining vegetables (bell pepper, pickles, and onion) and the tofu into small cubes (cut the onion smaller than the rest)
Now mix together all the ingredients for the dressing.
Drain the cooked pasta and rinse briefly with cold water.
Mix the pasta with the vegetables, tofu, and dressing and store in the fridge until ready to serve.
  • The peas can also be canned or jarred. I prefer to use the frozen ones as I think they are the crunchiest and freshest. Yes, you don't have to cook them beforehand, you can use them frozen right away.You can also replace the paprika powder with e.g. a mild curry powder.
Heidrun Kubart
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