Bruschetta Pasta Salad

July 17, 2018

Perfect for a potluck or event, this vegan Bruschetta Pasta Salad is loaded with creamy basil flavour and will feed a crowd! This past weekend I attended a friends baby shower and me being me, offered to make something tasty to bring along. When I found out the number of people attending I had a bit of an “oh sh*t” moment. Not that I wanted to back out of course, but what was I going to make for 40 people?! Salads are always great for large group potlucks and events, and super versatile. That being said, I didn’t want to be the boring vegan bringing a bunch of leaves to share. I also didn’t want to go the typical macaroni salad route (I think I overdid it as a child). So after some thought I came up with the idea of doing a pasta salad meets bruschetta dish. Creamy pesto dressing made with fresh basil, plus ripe grape tomatoes and tiny bits of crunchy red onion? Siiign meeee uuuup! Given the large number of servings this recipe will provide, the recipe is quite straight forward. You can even prepare everything ahead of time and assemble prior to serving. The recipe can be halved also, in case you have a smaller group to feed. I used regular old wheat based rotini for this recipe; you can of course use gluten free noodles, however I find some to not be particularly appealing when eaten chilled. I mix the fresh pesto with vegan mayo because I just adore the creaminess. If you are not a mayo fan or wanting to keep calories lower, you can double up on the pesto. To be fair, the mayo comes in at less than 2 tsps per serving, so that isn’t too bad! Try topping this Bruschetta Pasta Salad with a little vegan parmesan, toasted walnuts, or nutritional yeast! If you are looking for other easy party food recipes, check out my Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms! I hope you give this recipe a try! If you make it and share on Instagram be sure to tag me @whitney.earl – I would love to see your beautiful recreation! Bruschetta Pasta Salad Perfect for a potluck or event, this vegan Bruschetta Pasta Salad is loaded with creamy basil flavour and will feed a crowd! 2lbs 8oz rotini 2 cups fresh basil 1/4 cup ground walnuts 1/4 cup nutritional yeast ((you could also use vegan parm)) 1/4 cup almond milk, unsweetened 2 tsp garlic powder 2 tsp lemon juice sea salt, to taste 1 1/2 cups vegan mayo 1 cup red onion, finely chopped 3-4 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved toasted walnuts, vegan parm, or nutritional yeast for topping (optional) Cook pasta according to package instructions. While pasta is cooking, place basil, ground walnuts, nutritional yeast, almond milk, garlic, and lemon juice in food processor and pulse until a nice pesto consistency is achieved. Season with sea salt if necessary/wanted. Add mayo to bowl and stir in the pesto; place in fridge until needed. Once pasta has been cooked and strained (I rinse mine in cool water – only for pasta salads), add to large bowl. Mix in pesto mayo and make sure all the noodles are coated. Stir in the onion and tomatoes. Top with any desired goodies and enjoy! You can prep everything in advance and assemble prior to serving; try to mix everything together about 2 hrs before serving to allow the noodles to soak up some of the flavours. Pasta salad is always best served chilled, NOT cold. Pin this Bruschetta Pasta Salad recipe so you can make it later ?

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