Oil Free Greek Pasta Salad! We love pasta salads; they make for a fantastic light and refreshing meal or perfect for picnics and potlucks.
Fresh, healthy, and delicious, this Oil Free Greek Pasta Salad is a plant-based twist on the traditional Greek-style pasta salad. It’s loaded with powerhouse ingredients like: pasta, asparagus, tomatoes, red onions, artichoke hearts, pepperoncini, and kalamata olives then tossed in a flavorful Greek inspired vinaigrette dressing.
Whole Food Plant Based, Vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, no highly processed ingredients and gluten free.
Hi there, Ameera here!
This salad rocked my world. As you know I love all things Greek, and this Greek inspired salad is no different. We all ate it up like our lives depended upon on. The sliced pepperoncini were the perfect flavor bomb to this deliciousness.
You gotta give this one a try!
Tips for Success:
- Flavor Profile: The flavor profile of this salad is inspired by a traditional Greek salad only made healthier excluding oil, meat, and cheeses. This salad is delicious, all the fresh ingredients come through. Because this recipe uses no oil, the Greek salad dressing is somewhat zippy; however, it balances out when mixed with the salad ingredients and cold pasta. If you are concerned about the zippiness, cut back on the red wine vinegar. You can always splash more into the salad after you have made it.
- Base Salad Ingredient Amounts: We suggest not using more than the indicated amounts or you could end up with a dry salad.
- Pasta: Feel free to use your favorite pasta. Do not use more than 12 oz.
- Blanched Asparagus: The cooking of the asparagus is slightly more than blanched, but it is important to not cook the asparagus to tender. It should be blanched-tender-crisp, typically 3 to 5 minutes. In other words, it should be slightly cooked, still crisp, but pleasant enough to eat in the salad.
- Asparagus Substitutions: Feel free to leave the asparagus out and/or slightly increase the other salad ingredients.
- Sliced Pepperoncini: The sliced pepperoncini are a must for this Greek salad as it really adds some extra flavor and zing to this salad. Our suggestion is not to leave it out. Please note that some pepperoncini are super zippy and have a ton of tanginess. We used Divina brand which has great flavor but is not overly strong. If you are concerned about the zippiness of the pepperoncini that you are using, do not use the full amount. Add more pepperoncini as needed at the end after taste testing.
- Traveling and/or Dressing the Salad: If traveling or serving for guests, we strongly suggest adding the salad dressing about 5 minutes before serving as the salad ingredients (pasta) tend to really soak up the dressing and can mellow out over time. The refrigerated leftover flavor will not be as vibrant but can be spruced up with a splash of red wine vinegar.
- Taste Testing Salad Dressings: There is an art to arriving at the salad dressing that perfectly suits your tastes. The best way to test salad dressings is to place a few salad ingredients in a tiny bowl, put a tiny bit of the salad dressing over top and mix really well, then taste test. Some salad dressings taste amazing before you dress the salad, then once dressing the salad, the salad falls flat. That is because the salad dressing has to cover all the salad ingredients which then flattens the flavor of the dressing. Additionally, some salad dressings taste really tangy or overly strong before dressing the salad, but once you dress the salad, it coats all the ingredients and tastes amazing.
- Red Onions: We enjoy red onions. If you have concerns, start low and build from there. If you have an especially sharp-tasting red onion, you may wish to consider chopping the red onion, then placing it in a small bowl and cover the chopped red onions with some warm tap water for 7 minutes. This will take some of the sharpness out of the onion. Drain well, shake off any excess water, then use in the salad.
- Artichoke Hearts: We used canned artichoke hearts from a can. We used 5 artichoke hearts, quartered. Feel free to leave them out if you wish.
Leftovers and Freezing:
Leftovers will generally keep for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. Store in a covered container.
This pasta salad cannot be frozen.
Pantry Products Used:
- Miso: We used Miso Master Organic Mellow White Premium Lite Miso, Certified Gluten Free. Miso really lends itself to balancing flavors when you don’t use oil. You can also use chickpea miso for a soy free version.
- Sliced Pepperoncini: We used Divina Sliced Pepperoncini. These pepperoncini are Whole Food Plant Based, no dyes are included. They have amazing flavor. Feel free to use your favorite sliced pepperoncini in this salad.
- Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
Kitchen Products Used:
- Whisk (or fork)
- Large skillet (to blanch the asparagus)
- Large stock pot (to cook the pasta)
Fresh, healthy, and delicious, this Oil Free Greek Pasta Salad is a plant based twist the traditional Greek-style pasta salad.
Base Salad Ingredients:
- 3 cups chopped fresh asparagus, 2 to 3-inch pieces, blanched
- 12 oz. farfalle pasta, cooked and cooled *
- 1 cup grape/cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/3 to ½ cup red onions, fine dice
- 5 artichoke hearts, quartered (from can) *
- 1/3 to ½ cup sliced pickled pepperoncini (+/-) *
- 1/3 cup sliced kalamata olives (optional) *
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons water
- ¼ teaspoon pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
- 1 Tablespoon white miso *
- 1 ½ teaspoon dried oregano (+/-)
- ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly chopped parsley
- Sprinkle dried oregano
- Place all the Dressing Ingredients into a bowl, whisk well until smooth and emulsified, set aside.
- Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain, run under cold water until cold, shake well to remove excess water; set aside.
- Cut the asparagus to bite-size pieces (2 to 3 inches), place one cup of water into a large skillet. Heat until boiling, then add the cut asparagus. Boil for 3 to 5 minutes, largely dependent upon how tender-crisp you enjoy asparagus. Drain, run under cold water to stop the cooking process, shake to remove excess water; set aside.
- Place all the Base Salad Ingredients (including the cooked pasta and cooked asparagus) into a large bowl, mix well, set aside.
- Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients, gently mix well to completely coat the salad ingredients. Taste test and add more seasonings as needed.
- Serve topped with freshly chopped parsley and dried oregano.
*Please reference the blog post for Tips for Success, Pantry Items Used, Storage and Freezing, and Kitchen Products Used.
*Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
*Servings: 4 to 6 servings (makes 9 to 9 ½ cups)
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