Vegan Greek Pasta Salad (creamy and healthy)

greek vegan pasta salad

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Also note: While I am a certified nutrition coach, I am not a medical doctor. Information here is not intended to be a replacement for the advice you should seek from your doctor.

This Vegan Greek Pasta Salad has recently joined my recipe repertoire and I wish it had happened sooner! The combination of vibrant cherry tomatoes, crisp cucumber, juicy olives, and tender chickpeas perfectly mingles with the hearty whole-grain pasta, creating a refreshing and satisfying dish perfect for an easy lunch, a flavorful side, or even a dish to share for an evening gathering. ๐Ÿ˜‹ However, the icing on the cake of this healthy pasta salad is the zesty dressing, made with extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, and aromatic herbs that remind the flavors of the Mediterranean.

And, I guess this does not come as a surprise if you are already familiar with my recipes, this vegan pasta salad is packed with plant-based proteins, fiber, and healthy fats and, most importantly, balanced with all the micro and macronutrients our bodies need to thrive!


Vegan Greek Pasta Salad: what you need! ๐Ÿ…

Easy to prep, kid-friendly, and macro-balanced, this vegan pasta salad is made with a combination of colorful and wholesome ingredients, each of which brings incredible health benefits and a unique twist to the dish. Let’s explore them more in detail!

1. Whole Grain Pasta ๐Ÿ

  • Whole grain pasta is made from whole wheat flour, providing more fiber, vitamins, and minerals compared to traditional refined pasta. The high fiber content helps promote digestion, supports weight management, and provides sustained energy release.
  • Swap it for chickpea pasta for a completely gluten-free pasta salad, or if you want to further bump up the protein intake of the dish (in this case, my suggestion is to do half and half to maintain a good intake of complex carbohydrates).
  • Benefits:
    • Provides complex carbohydrates that offer sustained energy release, keeping you feeling fuller for longer.
    • High fiber content supports digestion, helps regulate blood sugar levels, and promotes gut health.
    • Rich in vitamins and minerals like B vitamins, iron, and magnesium, supporting overall health and vitality.

2. Cherry Tomatoes ๐Ÿ…

  • Cherry tomatoes have a naturally sweet and tangy flavor that provides a burst of freshness with every bite, enhancing the overall taste of the salad. In addition, their bright color makes the pasta even more appealing, which makes the dish more palatable for children and those who struggle to reach the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables.
  • My recommendation is to choose ripe cherry tomatoes that are firm, plump, and brightly colored for the best taste and texture.
  • Benefits:
    • Packed with antioxidants like vitamin C and lycopene, which help combat free radicals and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
    • Low in calories and high in water content, aiding hydration and contributing to overall hydration status.
    • Provides essential nutrients like potassium, folate, and vitamin K, supporting heart health and bone health.

3. Cucumber ๐Ÿฅ’

  • Cucumbers have a crisp and refreshing taste that adds a lightness to the pasta salad. Their mild flavor complements the other ingredients without overpowering them, making the salad more enjoyable to eat.
  • Select cucumbers that are firm, evenly colored, and free of soft spots or wrinkles. English cucumbers or Persian cucumbers work well in salads.
  • Benefits:
    • High water content helps keep you hydrated and promotes healthy skin, hair, and nails.
    • Low in calories and carbohydrates, making it a great option for weight management and calorie-controlled diets.
    • Contains antioxidants like flavonoids and tannins, which have anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties. Click here to learn more about the amazing health benefits of cucumber.

4. Bell Pepper ๐ŸŒถ๏ธ

  • Bell peppers are low in calories but high in dietary fiber, making them a nutritious addition to the pasta salad. In addition, they add freshness and a pleasant crunch, which perfectly contrasts the tenderness of the chickpeas and pasta. In alternative, you can roast them for a sweeter, more intense flavor, and better digestibility.
  • Choose bell peppers that are firm, glossy, and free of blemishes. Different colors (red, yellow, orange, green) offer varying levels of sweetness and nutritional benefits.
  • Benefits:
    • Excellent source of vitamin C, supporting immune function, collagen production, and wound healing.
    • Rich in carotenoids like beta-carotene and lutein, which promote eye health and protect against age-related macular degeneration.
    • Provides fiber for digestive health, as well as vitamins A, B6, and potassium, supporting cardiovascular health and nerve function.

5. Red Onion ๐Ÿง…

  • Red onions are truly one of my favorite veggies. Compared to white onions, they have a more delicate and slightly sweet flavor that perfectly complements the milder one of chickpeas and cucumbers, and are also easier to digest. Goes without saying that I also love them for their vibrant, purple color, which further enhances the dish from a visual standpoint.
  • Make sure to opt for onions that firm, dry, and free of soft spots or signs of sprouting.
  • Benefits:
    • Contains sulfur compounds like allicin and quercetin, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
    • Supports heart health by lowering cholesterol levels and blood pressure, and improving blood circulation.
    • Provides prebiotic fiber that nourishes beneficial gut bacteria, supporting digestive health and immune function.

6. Kalamata Olives ๐ŸŒฟ

  • Olives are one of my favorite sources of healthy fats. They are not only more satiating than olive oil but they also add a pleasant briny taste to the pasta salad. In particular, Kalamata olives are known for their firm and meaty texture, which sets them apart from other types of olives and adds a tasty bite to complex dishes such as this vegan Greek pasta salad.
  • Opt for olives preserved in brine (and not in oil) for lower calories and fats.
  • Benefits:
    • Rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats like oleic acid, which help reduce inflammation and lower the risk of heart disease.
    • Contains antioxidants like vitamin E and polyphenols, protecting cells from oxidative damage and reducing the risk of cancer and aging-related diseases.
    • Provides minerals like iron, calcium, and magnesium, supporting bone health, muscle function, and energy production.

7. Chickpeas ๐Ÿง†

  • Chickpeas are an excellent source of plant-based protein, making them an excellent addition to vegetarian or vegan dishes like this pasta salad. In turn, protein helps promote satiety and supports muscle repair and growth.
  • If opting for canned chickpeas, check the ingredient list. Choose varieties with minimal additives and low sodium content. Look for options labeled “no salt added” or “low sodium” to control your salt intake.
  • Benefits:
    • High-quality plant-based protein source, promoting muscle growth, repair, and maintenance, and supporting satiety and weight management.
    • Rich in soluble and insoluble fiber, which aids digestion, regulates blood sugar levels, and lowers cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
    • Provides essential nutrients like folate, manganese, and iron, supporting energy production, cognitive function, and red blood cell formation. Click here to learn more about the exceptional health benefits of chickpeas.

To boost the protein intake of the dish..

You can easily boost the protein intake of the dish by adding some cubed and marinated tofu, or vegan feta cheese. You can easily find it in any food store, or make it at home by following this homemade vegan feta recipe.

Vegan Greek Pasta Salad: a wholesome addition to your weight loss diet! ๐Ÿ’ฃ

Did you know that pasta can be a healthy addition to your diet, even if you are trying to lose weight? Despite what the magazines and media may have told you, pasta –especially whole-wheat pasta- is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates and fiber, which are essential for promoting satiety and satisfaction after meals. In turn, this helps curb unhealthy food cravings, helping you stay fit without having to give up your favorite dishes. The only caveat is that you have to be mindful of the sauces and condiments you use!

Here are some tips you can follow if you want to eat pasta even on a weight loss diet:

P.S. I followed each of them in creating this vegan Greek pasta recipe!

  1. Watch Portion Sizes: Stick to recommended portion sizes, typically around 1/2 to 1 cup of cooked pasta, depending on your calorie needs and dietary goals.
  2. Choose Whole Grain Pasta: Opt for whole grain or whole wheat pasta instead of refined white pasta. Whole grain pasta contains more fiber, which helps you feel fuller for longer and aids in digestion.
  3. Load Up on Vegetables: Incorporate plenty of vegetables into your pasta dishes to add volume, fiber, and nutrients without significantly increasing the calorie content. This can help you feel satisfied with smaller portions of pasta.
  4. Balance Your Meal: Pair your pasta with lean proteins, healthy fats, and a variety of vegetables to create a balanced meal. This combination helps regulate blood sugar levels and keeps you feeling full and satisfied.
  5. Limit High-Calorie Sauces: Be mindful of the sauces and toppings you use with your pasta. Creamy sauces, heavy cheese, and rich meat sauces can add a lot of calories. Instead, opt for lighter options like marinara sauce, pesto, or olive oil with garlic and herbs.


If you liked this recipe, here are other recipes you might like. Creamy Italian Chickpea Pasta Recipe with Sautรฉed Veggies, Creamy Lemon Zucchini Pasta, and The Best Cold Summer Salads โ€“ Perfect for Motherโ€™s Day Outdoor BBQ Picnic!

Before you goโ€ฆ

I hope you will love this recipe as much as I do! If you have tried it, please let me know how you liked it in the comments. And donโ€™t forget to tag my socials (all the links are down below). ๐Ÿ’—

vegan greek pasta salad

Vegan Greek Pasta Salad

This vegan Greek pasta salad is packed with plant-based proteins, fiber, and healthy fats and, most importantly, balanced with all the micro and macronutrients our bodies need to thrive. In addition, the combination of vibrant cherry tomatoes, crisp cucumber, juicy olives, and tender chickpeas perfectly mingles with the hearty whole-grain pasta, creating a refreshing and satisfying dish perfect for an easy lunch, a flavorful side, or even a dish to share for an evening gathering. ๐Ÿ˜‹
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 462 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the dressing:

Instructions
 

  • Cook the whole grain pasta according to the package instructions until it's al dente.
  • Once cooked, drain the pasta and rinse it under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
  • Halve the cherry tomatoes, dice the cucumber and bell pepper, finely chop the red onion, and slice the kalamata olives.
  • Chop the sun-dried tomatoes if they are not already chopped. Drain and rinse the chickpeas.
  • Place all the prepared vegetables in a large mixing bowl.
  • Finely chop the fresh basil and parsley. Add them to the bowl with the vegetables.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, minced garlic, dried oregano, salt, and pepper until well combined.
  • Add the cooked and cooled pasta to the bowl with the vegetables and herbs, and pour the dressing over the pasta and vegetables.
  • Gently toss everything together until the pasta and vegetables are evenly coated with the dressing.
  • Once everything is mixed, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or transfer the salad to an airtight container.
  • Refrigerate the pasta salad for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld together.
  • Before serving, give the salad a final toss and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper if needed.
  • Serve the vegan Greek whole grain pasta salad chilled or at room temperature as a delicious and satisfying meal or side dish. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Greek Pasta Salad
Amount per Serving
Calories
462
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
17
g
26
%
Saturated Fat
 
3
g
19
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
3
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
12
g
Sodium
 
434
mg
19
%
Potassium
 
760
mg
22
%
Carbohydrates
 
70
g
23
%
Fiber
 
6
g
25
%
Sugar
 
8
g
9
%
Protein
 
15
g
30
%
Vitamin A
 
769
IU
15
%
Vitamin C
 
22
mg
27
%
Calcium
 
96
mg
10
%
Iron
 
5
mg
28
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword greek pasta salad, Vegan, vegan dinner, vegan greek pasta salad, vegan lunch, vegan pasta, vegan pasta salad, vegan recipes
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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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