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Colorful Mediterranean Pasta Salad Recipe
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Colorful Mediterranean Pasta Salad Recipe (Vegan & Gluten-Free) in 10 Minutes

This easy and quick salad is a great addition for any meal and it can be served as an appetizer, lunch or even a snack “to go”. The burst of flavors and great taste will enchant your taste buds and you won’t even believe that this goodie is actually vegan and gluten-free.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Resting Time1 hr
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: Gluten-Free, Mediterranean, Pasta Salad, Vegan
Servings: 4
Calories: 420kcal

Ingredients

For the Salad

  • 12 oz. gluten-free short pasta
  • 1 block extra-firm tofu
  • 1 pcs cucumber, diced
  • 2 pcs roasted bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 pcs red onion, sliced
  • ½ cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1 cup baby arugula leaves
  • 1-2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

For the Dressing

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of raw honey
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Press the tofu so you will discard any liquid inside it. Wrap the block in a paper towel or a clean cloth. Place it on a rimmed plate. Put a cast iron skillet on top of it. If you don’t have such a thing, choose something equally heavy. Set aside for about an hour. After unwrapping it, pat dry with a towel to remove the excess moisture from the surface.
    Colorful Mediterranean Pasta Salad Recipe
  • Place the pasta in a pot and cover with water. Add 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil and cook according to package instructions. Transfer to a sieve and place under running water so you will stop the cooking process. Toss with 1/3 of the dressing quantity and set aside.
  • While the pasta is boiling, prepare the dressing for the Mediterranean pasta salad. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, honey in a jar. Secure the lid and shake strongly until everything is well combined. Taste and adjust the salt, pepper or any other ingredient as needed. You might feel that the dressing is a bit salty or tangy but keep in mind that it will spread over 12 ounces of pasta so it might not taste the same in the end.
    Colorful Mediterranean Pasta Salad Recipe
  • Cut the tofu into small cubes. Sprinkle a little bit of salt and drizzle 2 tablespoons of dressing. Use your hands to coat or, if you don’t like to feel the oil on your fingers, utilize a fork. You may add a splash of lemon juice if you like a citrusy flavor.
    Colorful Mediterranean Pasta Salad Recipe
  • Take a large salad bowl and add the boiled pasta, cucumber, roasted bell peppers, red onion, sundried tomatoes, olives and arugula leaves. Pour the dressing and stir well. Add the tofu and toss again. Taste the salad and adjust the taste if needed.
    Colorful Mediterranean Pasta Salad Recipe
  • Place a lid on the bowl or use a plastic foil to cover. Transfer to the fridge and leave it there for minimum 2 hours to marinate.
  • After removing the salad from the fridge, taste again. Drizzle some more olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  • Top with toasted sesame seeds and ground pepper to serve!

Notes

  • This salad can be served directly from the fridge or you may leave it to reach the room temperature. It will taste equally good.
  • If you know you will be needing the salad in a few days but won’t have time to prepare it, just make it ahead of time. You can store it in the fridge and everything will be ok. In this case, only combine the veggies with pasta. Add the tofu, arugula and sesame seeds just before serving it. Arugula leaves have the tendency to soften really quick so it is best to add them on the serving plates or bowls.
  • If you want to take the salad for an office lunch, place it in a glass jar the night before. It will keep well and you won’t need to worry about what you are going to eat the next day.
  • Your kids will also enjoy this colorful salad. You can pack it for them, next to some crackers or grilled meat. It is extremely nutritious and nourishing. They won’t feel hungry many hours after serving it.

Nutrition

Calories: 420kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 14g