Sometimes all you need is a quick, easy and nourishing meal, and this Mediterranean-Inspired Vegan Pasta Salad recipe is exactly that!
This vegan pasta salad recipe uses simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand. It’s Mediterranean-inspired because of the use of homemade vegan feta, oregano, olives, and olive oil, as well as fresh vegetables like tomato and cucumber. It’s served cold, making it the perfect summer meal.
The most time-consuming part of this dish is making the tofu ‘feta’- but just because it’s time-consuming doesn’t mean it’s complicated! All it requires is making the brine, and letting the cubed tofu sit in it for 2-4 hours. Regardless, you can feel free to omit this tofu ‘feta’ if you’re short on time (or forget to prep it!) and sub it with another plant-based protein source, like chickpeas, lentils, or edamame.
Feta originates from Greece, and is a mainstay in many of their popular dishes. It’s usually made from sheep or goat milk, meaning it’s obviously not vegan. Let’s be honest for a second- cheese can be really hard to replicate on a vegan diet. While I’ve successfully closely replicated a few types of cheese from scratch, and have found some of my favorite vegan cheese brands, feta was one of the cheeses that I thought I would never have again after going vegan. Then came in this vegan ‘feta’.
I’ve tried some vegan ‘feta’ recipes that are delicious, but take way too long to make. Or they’re super labour intensive. This vegan ‘feta’ is insanely simple, and while I have to be honest, it doesn’t exactly replicate feta, it does a pretty darn good job of hitting the briney, salty, tangy flavor notes of real feta. The key is soaking the cubes of tofu in a salty, acidic brine mixture for at least two hours before serving! Feel free to adjust the amounts of the brine to your liking! the minimum amount of time needed to soak the tofu cubes in brine is 2-4 hours, but you can keep this tofu ‘feta’ in the fridge for 3-4 days to add to any meal you like! It would be excellent on top of pizza or salad, too!
The vegan pasta salad is the perfect meal prep option for a busy week, since it will stay fresh in the fridge for 3-4 days. I’ve used tomato, red onion and cucumber for vegetables in this recipe, but feel free to use more, less or whatever you have on hand!
Mediterranean-Inspired Vegan Pasta Salad
This Mediterranean-Inspired Vegan Pasta salad is simple, delicious and so nourishing! The perfect cold pasta salad to enjoy when you don't feel like spending a ton of time on dinner, and great for easy meal prep!
- 1 package Extra-firm tofu cubed
- 1/2 cup Water
- 1/2 cup Apple cider vinegar Adjust to taste
- 1/4 cup Lemon juice Adjust to taste
- 1 tsp Dried oregano Adjust to taste
- 1 tsp salt Adjust to taste
Pasta Salad Components
- 250 g Rotini pasta
- 1/3 cup Pitted Kalamata olives
- 2 large Vine tomatoes diced
- 1/2 large Red onion diced
- 1 cup Cucumber diced
- 1/4 cup Olive brine Adjust to taste
- 2 tsp Dried oregano Adjust to taste
- 3 tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil Adjust to taste
- 1/2 Lemon juiced. Adjust to taste
- 1 cup Tofu feta
To make tofu feta
Combine water, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, oregano, salt and cubed tofu for tofu feta in a container. Place lid on container and shake until combined. Let sit in the fridge for at least two hours, and up to 3-4 days.
To make pasta salad
Cook pasta as per package instructions. Rinse with cold water after cooking.
Once pasta and tofu feta are done, combine vegetables, olives, pasta, tofu feta, olive oil, lemon juice, olive brine, and oregano in a large bowl. Toss to combine and enjoy!
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