Anyone going to socially distanced back yard Labor Day Parties? Or even a digital one where you get to eat your own snacks while chatting with friends or family online? Do you want to be eating the best picnic food and make all your friends and family ooh and ahh over your goodies?
Yes, we all know there are macaroni salads and potato salads out there, but why not shake things up and try something a little more fun? And a little healthier? Wink wink nudge. This is one of my favorite pasta salad recipes because it’s:
can be gluten free
uses up lots of veggies in the fridge – check out this guide on how to cut down on food waste on a plant based diet
To make this pasta salad, you will need:
bell peppers (red, orange, or yellow will do!)
garlic cloves (or minced garlic/garlic powder)
artichoke hearts (optional)
sun dried tomatoes (optional)
nutritional yeast or any vegan cheese
salt and pepper
How to Make the Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
I use the gas burners on my stove top to get authentic char marks on my peppers, but you can go about cooking them a few different ways.
(1) Place whole peppers over flames of gas burning grill for about five minutes on each side, or until blackened marks appear.
(2) You can also choose to roast on a baking pan in an oven at 450° for 35 minutes.
(3) You can cook on high heat in a skillet until you see char marks. I used my Uno Casa Home skillets (check out the discount link below if you want to try them yourself!)
If roasting in an oven or pan, you can knock two tasks out at once and also roast your garlic at this point. The garlic will probably only take half as long, so keep an eye on it.
Cut the tops off of your peppers, and scoop the seeds out. They will probably have some liquid in them after roasting, this is normal. Pop your peppers into a food processor or blender.
If you have not roasted your garlic, you can brown it with a teaspoon of olive oil in a pan over high heat for about 10 minutes, or until you see char marks. I used these amazing Uno Casa cast iron skillets, which I highly recommend if you are in the market for some new pans. They’re amazing for everything from stir fries to baking pies. Get a discount on a set of cast iron pans or a Dutch oven with this link.
When the garlic is done cooking, blend in a blender or food processor with the roasted peppers until you have an almost puree consistency.
How to make the other components of the pasta salad
Bring water to a boil and add a pinch of salt. Once boiling, add your pasta. You can use elbows, shells, penne, or whatever your favorite is.
Open a can of chickpeas, and drain. If you would like to make your own chickpeas from scratch, find my tutorial here. Add chickpeas to a large serving bowl. Place the red pepper puree into the bowl at this point.
Remove pasta from boiling water when it is done, and drain. Add to the bowl with chickpeas.
Dice onion, slice cherry tomatoes, drain and slice artichokes, chop sun dried tomatoes and basil. Add to the bowl with chickpeas and pasta.
Add nutritional yeast, salt and pepper, and then stir. This is ready to serve hot or cold!
I roasted garlic cloves and pureed with the bell peppers. You can swap out 1 tablespoon of minced garlic or garlic powder if you prefer or if that’s easier.
Swap artichoke hearts for olives, roasted broccoli, or even roasted eggplant.
Use massaged kale instead of spinach for an extra health boost.
Swap out regular pasta for a protein packed gluten free one like chickpea, quinoa, or lentil pasta.
This is amazing as is for taking to parties and even meal prep. I also love it for dinner with a green salad. The green salad I served it with had spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, vegan Violife feta, grilled asparagus, sun dried tomatoes, and olive oil.
This will stay good in the fridge for up to a week. You can also freeze it and microwave when ready to consume.
If you are a new vegan or are curious about plant based lifestyle: Please join our Facebook Group: New Vegan Recipes and Advice Community to ask questions about vegan recipes, lifestyle, personal products, restaurants in your area etc. It’s a forum and support group full of other plant-based food bloggers and seasoned vegans who would love to help you o your journey!
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