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Vegan Kale & Roast Veggie Pasta Salad Recipe

It's winter in Australia and I don't know about you, but I seek comfort food this time of year. So today I am sharing a favourite recipe of mine for a deliciously good wholefood-based salad that is vegan and offers just that, comfort (the healthy kind). This recipe is originally from fellow recipe creator Sara Tercero of Better Food Guru. In less than 25 minutes, you can have a super delicious salad recipe that serves six that gets my 100% nutritionist tick of approval for a comfort food. Ready to make it? Let's start cooking...

Vegan Kale & Roast Veggie Pasta Salad  |  Photo courtesy of Better Food Guru
Vegan Kale & Roast Veggie Pasta Salad | Photo courtesy of Better Food Guru

Vegan Kale & Roast Veggie Pasta Salad


So, why pasta salad? Pasta makes for a hearty meal perfect for wintertime and the cooler June weather. Its super filling even in small portions, and if you use wholewheat or other whole grain pasta choices, it makes an excellent, high fibre meal choice over other common go-to comfort foods. I'll be honest, Mac & Cheese has really got nothing on this recipe, as this salad recipe is far healthier for you with a wide variety or veggies and tangy, creamy sauce (that I swear you'll want to drizzle over just about everything).


This salad recipe also gets my nutritionist tick of approval because it is an excellent way for those interested in pursuing a more plantbased diet or for those who just want to eat healthier, to consume more vegetables.


On a budget? Chickpeas and pasta are two super cheap ingredients at the grocery shops and can cost as little as .90c for a bag or tin making this salad recipe super affordable. At this time of year, kale is also often found on sale or just $2-3 for a big bunch that you can portion for many meals and winter salads. Combine the three with cauliflower, whether fresh or frozen and you've got a deeply satisfying feed that is easy on the pocketbook.


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Key Ingredients Used

Garden Fresh Red & Yellow Heirloom Tomatoes  |  Eat Nourish Glow
Wheat Pasta Is Usually The Prime Ingredient | Eat Nourish Glow

This plantbased version of this pasta salad recipe is not only easy to make, but it's also a healthy feed if you choose wholewheat or vegetable based pasta for the base. These are usually higher in dietary fibre than regular milled wheat and provide a more filling and nutritious option. I recommend using either type for this salad recipe and considering the texture. You also want a tough pasta that won't fall apart when its tossed with the other ingredients or if it sits in a moist sauce. This pasta is usually at its best flavour-wise the next day and makes a fabulously nutritious leftover side or main meal.


Healthy Vegan Pasta Salad Variations


Aside from making this pasta salad recipe as it is, you can boost the nutrition and flavour of this and other salads simply by adding a variety of other healthy ingredients:


  • Avocado: add a 1/2 cup of chunks to pimp up this recipe and balance your bowl with a healthy fat. You may find you don't even want or need sauce if you try this variation.

  • Herbs: add a variety of your favourite fresh herbs to experiment with new flavours from the same recipe. I love finely chopping all kinds of herbs into my salads but especially enjoy using coriander, fresh mint leaves, Italian parsley, or Thai basil.

  • Citrus fruit: add a little tang to this vegan salad recipe with freshly peeled mandarins, grapefruit chunks or a little lime zest. Again, you may find no sauce is needed if you add the zip of citrus.

  • Vegan cheese: make a super tangy salad recipe by adding plantbased feta or mozzarella cheese either to a homemade sauce or crumbled throughout.


If you're looking to make this pasta salad recipe even more filling, consider adding some protein, such as plantbased options like beans, chickpeas, lentils, pasta, or tofu. If you add these, I recommend that you go sparingly on the pasta. If you are coeliac and gluten-free like myself, I make it with vegetable flour pasta, or you can even just omit the pasta altogether. Adding roast sweet potato or spiralised veggie noodles are two other options.


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Vegan Kale & Roast Veggie Pasta Salad

Vegan Kale & Roast Veggie Pasta Salad  |  Photo courtesy of Better Food Guru
Vegan Kale & Roast Veggie Pasta Salad | Photo courtesy of Better Food Guru

This Kale & Veggie Pasta Salad is a simple, healthy, and budget-friendly plantbased dish that's a great tasting way to add more veggies to your menu or ease into a more plantbased lifestyle. I love how Sara used so many veggies in one tasty and appetising meal. Next time you're in the mood for comfort food, forget Mac & Cheese, and give this vegan salad a try! Your body (and waistline) will thank you!


GRAB THE RECIPE: Better Food Guru →


Batch Cook & Meal Prep


Yes, you can easily meal prep this salad either in its entirety or by preparing all the ingredients ahead of time. Whether you use pre-chopped frozen veggies or prefer to prepare your own, you can add the veggies you'll use to a container for easy cooking later in the week. You can even pre-cook the pasta if you plan on making the salad in the next day or two. When you are ready to cook, toss all the ingredients together with the sauce and add to a tight, sealable container.


The salad recipe needs to be kept chilled to remain fresh, but will keep well for several days in the fridge. This makes it such a handy meal to make either to use as a main meal, light lunch or side dish. Even a very small bowl could be used as a healthy snack.


Mistakes to Avoid When Making Vegan Pasta Salad


  • Choose a shape and size of pasta that marries well with the veggies of choice. Avoid delicate pasta options that may fall apart in your salad recipe when paired with chunky or hard veggies.

  • Overcooking or undercooking the pasta can ruin your recipe. If the pasta is overcooked it can fall apart easily making for a mushy salad. If its undercooked, it can also ruin the dish. make sure the pasta is fully cooked to your liking.

  • Not seasoning the pasta enough can leave you with a bland dish. Most of the flavour comes through by the next day, so be sure its flavourful at the time of making it.

  • Not dressing the pasta salad while it's still warm. This is how you can really bring out the mouth-watering flavour of the salad even if you are serving your primavera cold.

  • Don't make your salad recipe too far in advance. It will usually keep for 2-3 days but beyond that, thing can begin to get mushy or go off.


For more expert meal prep tips, and time-saving meal planning hacks, head over to my Meal Prep category and discover how to make nutritious and delicious meals in advance.


Why Is Vegan Pasta Salad Better The Next Day?


Quite simply, because the natural flavours of the herbs, dressing and veggies just get better when they have had time to marinate. Yes, you can absolutely enjoy your pasta salad right after tossing it, but I recommend letting it sit in the fridge overnight or at least for a few hours. This will beautifully bring all the flavour out and just be more tasty.


One Last Thing, Before You Go...


If you really enjoy these recipes... stick around with a cup of peppermint tea and browse this blog for more clean eating recipes, nutrition and healthy eating guides, and be sure to grab my free Wholefood Recipe Collection, click here. You'll receive my Nutritionist-approved clean eating recipes to sample this week. Learn how to ease into healthy, wholefood eating that won't take you hours in the kitchen to eat clean and healthy. Come grab a copy, click here.


Emma Lisa, Nutritionist & Women's Practitioner

Emma Lisa, Nutritionist at Eat Nourish Glow

Emma Lisa is a Nutritionist & Women's Health Practitioner with over 12+ years experience in wholefood nutrition, meal planning and health coaching. She is a published cookbook author, passionate food recipe creator and lifestyle blogger, and an advocate for women's health and anti-diet culture. When she's not in clinic, Emma is mum to five kids, in her test kitchen and a wellness digital creator. She lives in Sydney, Australia.
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Healthy + happiness,

Emma Lisa xx

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2 Comments

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Guest
Apr 05
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

This recipe is so good! It's a vegan pasta salad with kale and roasted vegetables. The dressing is delicious and it brings everything together. I like to find vegan recipes that everyone will enjoy and I'm so grateful to the author for sharing this recipe. I can't wait to try it! By the way, I have another vegan pasta salad recipe for you. If you're interested, you can try it if you're looking for more vegan recipe options. https://menuwars.com/food-blog/pasta-salads-for-every-taste-vegetarian-vegan-and-gluten-free-options-to-delight-your-palate/

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Guest
Oct 28, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Loving this salad. I made I big batch of it and put the dressing on only when I serve it. Was great for my meal prep this last week. Thank you Emma & Sara 😍 chef's kiss!

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