Creamy Cold Pasta Salad (dairy free!)

This creamy cold pasta salad filled with veggies and a healthy dressing is so perfect for your next summer BBQ! 

One of my favorite things to eat when I was younger was this cold pasta salad that my mom used to make. I loved taking it to the beach in the summer or having it at BBQ as a side dish with a hot dog. Hot dogs over hamburgers; always. It was so simple to make, creamy, and tasted even better the longer it would sit in the fridge and marinate in the homemade dressing. When Sir Kensingston's sent me their new Fabanaise Vegan Mayo, I knew exactly what I wanted to re-create! 

I feel like there are always two types of people when it comes to mayo- you either love it or you hate it. Personally, I am somewhere in the middle. I hate when dishes, such as pasta salads or lobster rolls are drowning in mayo but really don't mind a thin spread of it with some avocado, turkey, and tomato on a sandwich! The thing that I love about this mayo is that it is egg-less and made with ingredients that we can actually pronounce!  Sir Kensingston's made their mayo from drained chickpeas, added things like lemon, spices, and vinegar and sunflower oil and boom- a new mayo was born. It tastes just like the real deal- but better- and healthier- so that is a plus! I used their regular vegan mayo for this dressing but they also have a chipotle flavor that tastes just as amazing! Which I am thinking would be really good with some tacos....

For this recipe I also used my favorite pasta, Banza, which is also made from chickpeas. So if you are totally chickpea'd out from the mayo, feel free to use your favorite macaroni pasta! I love using shells or elbow pasta for these types of dishes and prefer to cook the pasta a little al dente. I find that if I over cook the pasta it tends to fall apart after it has been marinating in the dressing in the fridge after a few days. I chose to add some greens in the pasta salad such as spinach, green beans, and zucchini, but you can really dress it up to your preference or leave them out all together! I just think it gives the dish a nice balance- little pasta and a little bit of greens- makes it into a meal if you wanted it! 

The dressing is very simple as well. I used the mayo and added in a few simple ingredients such as sea salt, pepper, mustard, lemon etc. and it created a sweet and tangy flavor. It was actually light, refreshing, and didn't take away from the pasta or the veggies! The whole dish can be ready in less than 15 minutes and even be made ahead of time before you head off to a summer get together or is perfect for Sunday night meal prep! 

Hope you enjoy!

Main Meals/Side Dishes
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes
Total time: less than 15 minutes! 

Ingredients:

1 box of pasta (I used Banza chickpea pasta, 3 cups)
*Shells, elbow, or bow-tie work best
1/4 cup spinach
1 medium sized zucchini, quartered
2 long carrots, diced
1/2 cup string beans, halved

Dressing:

1/2 cup Fabanaise vegan mayo
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
juice of half of a lemon
1 tbsp. sweet & tangy mustard seeds *
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
sea salt + pepper to taste

*You can also use regular mustard and if you do I would add a pinch of coconut sugar or maple syrup to the dressing

Directions:

1. Cook the pasta according to directions. Do not over cook the pasta or it will break apart once you add the dressing. You want it to be a little al dente.

2. While the pasta is cooking, bring 3 cups of water to a rapid boil in a small pot over high heat. Add the the string beans and diced zucchini to the pot and cook for roughly 4-5 minutes. I prefer mine to be a little on the crunchy side; you want to essentially blanch the green beans and lightly steam the zucchini. Drain & set aside.

3. While the pasta + vegetables are cooking, prepare the dressing. Whisk all over the dressing ingredients together. Taste test & adjust according to your preference. It will be on the creamier side.

4. Drain the pasta and allow to cool for a few minutes.

5. In a large bowl, add the pasta, the spinach, raw carrots, zucchini, string beans and the dressing. Mix well until incorporated. Add more seasoning if needed.

The pasta salad will keep in the fridge for up to a week! Serve cold.