This healthy caesar pasta salad is made with a creamy, vegan dressing and tossed with chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, and fresh romaine lettuce.
I don’t eat a ton of pasta at home, so I when I do I make sure it’s a little over the top.
Not in an unhealthy way, just sort of…indulgent, I guess. Because if I’m going for pasta, it’s going to be satisfying.
And this vegan caesar pasta salad? Oh so satisfying!
I can’t decide what I love more: the creamy, faux-caesar dressing that makes its way into every little crevice of the pasta, or the delightful crunch from the fresh romaine. I think it’s more that I love the combination of the two. Ultra creamy, but with that perfect balance of crunch.
It’s a pasta salad like none other.
The dressing is made from a base of raw cashews – you know how much I love my raw cashew sauces! – which have been blended up with some mustard, lemon, a little vegan mayo, a touch of miso paste and some capers.
It’s got that tang that caesar dressings have, but without all the junk. Plus, you can use it for everything!
Luckily, for all of us pasta lovers who are also health conscious, there are quite a few options when shopping for healthy pasta. I always used to be a brown rice pasta girl, because of the whole-grain goodness, but my heart has been captured by a new pasta: Red Lentil + Quinoa Supergrain Pasta!
Seriously you guys…it’s SO good. And it’s only made from red lentil flour and organic quinoa flour. Meaning it’s not only nutritious, but it’s packed with protein.
Get this…in one serving there are 12 grams of protein! How crazy (and awesome) is that!? The same size serving of my beloved brown rice pasta has only 4g.
AND it also has more than 3X the amount of fiber, fewer carbohydrates, less fat and fewer calories.
But here’s what it doesn’t have: less taste!
I know that red lentil pasta might sound a little strange to some, but it truly tastes spectacular. It’s a little nutty, not bean-y at all, and the texture is perfect. It doesn’t crumble or break apart like some gluten-free pastas – it held up to lots of tossing and stirring with this pasta salad – so it could really go with any type of dish that you want. I’m thinking a pasta bake for my next test run.
Using this powerhouse pasta in a salad like this – with a creamy, cashew-based dressing, chickpeas and fresh veggies – there’s nothing unhealthy or overindulgent about it. It’s just wholesome, nutritious and seriously delicious.
If you dig a good caesar salad, but are looking for a healthier alternative, this pasta salad is it. It’s got all the traditional fixings, just skips out on the dairy, meat, additives and unhealthy fats. A must-try!
Happy munching my pasta peeps!
More Healthy Pasta Salad Recipes To Try:
- Creamy Mediterranean Pasta Salad
- Healthy Soba Noodle Salad with Almond Butter Dressing
- Vegan Cucumber Noodle Greek Salad
- One Pot Spring Pesto Pasta with Peas & Asparagus
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Vegan Caesar Pasta Salad
- 1 box Ancient Harvest Red Lentil Quinoa Pasta
- 1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 head romaine finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons capers minced
- 1 tablespoon caper water / juice the liquid from the jar
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 batch Creamy Vegan Caesar Dressing
- Salt + pepper to taste
- Crushed red pepper flakes for heat optional
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add pasta and cook according to package instructions (mine were perfect at 7 minutes).
- Drain and rinse quickly under cold water. Set aside until completely cooled.
- While the pasta is cooling, prepare the dressing. Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy. (I LOVE the twister jar from Blendtec for doing this!)
- Once pasta is cooled, add chickpeas, tomatoes, romaine, capers, caper water, lemon zest and 1/2 cup dressing. Toss to until salad is evenly coated. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add a dash of red pepper flakes if you want a little heat.
- Store in the fridge until ready to serve. This is best served cold, so allowing it to cool for an hour or two is recommended!
If you make this recipe, make sure to snap a pic and share it on Instagram using #SIMPLYQUINOA – I want to see your own quinoa creations!
This post was sponsored by Ancient Harvest, but all opinions are my own. I only share brands that I am passionate about, so thank you so much for supporting them! Learn more about Ancient Harvest on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.