This gluten free vegan picnic pasta salad is a fresh, flavorful mix of veggies and curly pasta taking a tumble in a bright avocado dressing.
recipe originally published July 3, 2014
Picnic Pasta Salad
Picnic or Potluck, this IS the perfect dish to bring!
Also great meal prep dish, this vegan pasta salad is on repeat all summer long. I make a batch and we enjoy it through the week.
Or I will make a double batch when I am bringing it to a potluck. That way, we have more waiting for us at home. Because this is a recipe that yields an empty bowl at the end of the potluck.
Mayo Free Salad
Since going vegan, mayonnaise does not wig me out as it used to. It’s simply an oil-based condiment now – rather than something made with eggs – another item I didn’t want to eat.
The mayo we use is plant based, and I still don't always want to bring it to an outdoor BBQ situation, or even a potluck style party. Much like our Mango Edamame Quinoa Salad and our Cauliflower Cashew Confetti Salad, this Perfect Picnic Pasta Salad recipe is light and fresh and mayo free!
So so good – fresh and flavorful.
Easy Avocado Sauce
Like a savory version of Kourtney Kardashian's Avocado Pudding, this easy avocado sauce is incredibly versatile! My favorite way to use it is with recipes like this - a cold pasta salad.
To keep this sauce oil free, use juice of a fresh lemon instead of oil. Add hot sauce for a spicy avocado sauce, or your favorite fresh herbs. Adding roasted garlic cloves is one of my favorite ways to add great flavor to this healthy sauce.
Ways to use easy avocado sauce:
Avocado sauce is not only versatile in the flavor variations, but also the foods you enjoy it with.
- a warm pasta topping
- vegetable dip
- green salad dressing
- sandwich or wrap spread
- vegan pasta salad
How to roast asparagus
Every time I make this pasta salad, I think I need to use double the amount of asparagus. There is never enough for me. So go ahead and take that as a cue to use two bunches...
Roast asparagus is an integral part of this recipe, it is also one a favorite on its own. A super flavorful side dish that is also so very simple.
Once you clean, trim, and snap those asparagus spears, you just drizzle with a bit of olive oil (or fresh lemon if you are oil free), salt and pepper. Remove from the oven and turn once halfway through the cooking, and you have a delicious dish that most everyone loves.
I could eat an entire pan standing at the stovetop.
More vegan potluck recipes
- Lemon Piccata Potato Salad
- Mango Quinoa Salad
- Spicy Vegan Chorizo Queso
- Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Easy Gluten Free Vegan BBQ Sauce
- Retro Jello Salad
- Hawaiian Mac Salad
- Vegan Goat Cheese Bacon Wrapped Dates
- Best Vegan Mushroom Burgers
- Herb Cheese Peppadew Peppers
- Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Vegan Cranberry Chicken Salad
- Spicy Chipotle Kabocha Dip
Did you make this perfect picnic pasta salad?
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- 3 fresh roasted corn on cob (or 8 ounces frozen / canned)
- 1 bunch fresh asparagus
- 3 teaspoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 pound gluten free pasta (fusilli or another curly noodle)
- 3 ounces dehydrated sun dried tomatoes, chopped (or jarred in oil)
- ½ ripe avocado
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1-2 tablespoons water, to thin
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat oven to 400 °F.
- Remove all husks and silk from corn. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil and wrap each cob in foil.
- (If using frozen corn or canned, skip the previous step. Defrost / drain frozen or canned corn and set aside.)
- Run asparagus stalks under cold water to rinse clean. Trim rough ends with a knife, or snap them where they naturally break by bending with your hands. Trim any rough points.
- Pile trimmed asparagus on baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil and toss to coat. Arrange asparagus in a single layer on baking sheet, sprinkle with sea salt.
- Add both asparagus and corn to preheated 400 °F oven.
- Roast asparagus for 10 minutes. Remove after 10 minutes and using tongs, carefully flip asparagus. Return to oven and roast for another 10-12 minutes.
- Leave corn in oven to continue roasting for another 8-10 minutes. Foil wrapped corn generally cooks in 30 minutes in a 400 °F oven.
- Meanwhile, boil pasta according to package directions.
- While pasta cooks, chop sundried tomatoes. If using dehydrated tomatoes, place them in warm water to rehydrate. Set aside. Drain before adding to pasta.
- Peel and pit the ½ avocado. Place in blender with sesame oil, water, and salt. Blend until smooth, adding more water as needed.
- Once pasta is cooked, drain and return to pot. Add avocado sauce, corn, asparagus, drained sun dried tomatoes. Toss to coat.
- Transfer to serving bowl if serving right away, or set aside to cool completely before storing in refrigerator.
dairy, egg, soy and gluten free, vegan
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Serving Size:1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 103Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 185mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 4g
nutrition calculations results vary by calculator, are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to replace medical advice or treatment.
Kristina is spabettie! She found cooking at an early age, and created spabettie in 2010 to share vegan recipes. Kristina turned her culinary training into sharing vibrant vegan food! She loves dachshunds, karaoke, and travel.
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