Mediterranean Pasta Salad | Vegan & GF

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This Mediterranean-Inspired Pasta Salad is packed with sun-dried tomatoes, olives, artichoke hearts, marinated tofu, and a zippy lemon dressing! Vegan & GF

Today I’m sharing this Mediterranean Pasta Salad recipe in full support of pasta salad season. It’s the perfect lunch, dinner, or picnic side and is packed with all the good stuff. 

Bouncy noodles, crunchy cucumber, lots of briny marinated things, and a zippy lemon dressing? Count. Me. IN!

bowl of mediterranean pasta salad with fresh herbs and a glass of lemon water

But before we continue, let’s go on a brief geographical tangent! I decided to call this a “Mediterranean” salad because it’s a fusion of ingredients from this region that are commonly found in the Mediterranean diet. It’s definitely not a traditional Greek or Italian (or any other Mediterranean country) recipe, that’s for sure! You can also read up on the history of pasta salad here.

INGREDIENTS FOR MEDITERRANEAN PASTA SALAD 

ingredients for Mediterranean Pasta salad in small white bowls on stone background

One of the things I love about this recipe is how it’s made from minimal and simple ingredients, but still goes big on flavor. It also calls for a lot of preserved/marinated ingredients, which means all you really need to do is chop a few things and boil some pasta. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Pasta: I’m partial to rotini, but any smaller shape will do! Just make sure it has a few nooks and crannies to better hold the dressing 🙂 I used gluten-free pasta, but you can use a wheat-based pasta as well.
  • Artichoke Hearts: for some textural contrast and subtle flavor,
  • Super Firm Tofu: acts as a sub for feta cheese here – don’t worry, we’re going to marinate it!
  • Kalamata Olives: for that briny goodness! If you’re not a fan of olives you can leave them out.
  • Sundried Tomatoes: add an intense sweet and tart flavor that works really well here
  • Persian Cucumbers: think of these like smaller, crunchier hothouse cucumbers. They can be hard to find sometimes, so a regular cuke will do as well.
  • Oregano & Basil: for some earthy and refreshing flavor, and
  • Our Zippy Lemon Dressing, which is simply made of olive oil, lemon juice, and dijon mustard!

HOW TO MAKE MEDITERRANEAN PASTA SALAD

marinated firm tofu in salad dressingpasta salad in large white bowl before mixing

  1. Marinate the tofu with the dried oregano and dressing. The great thing about marinating vegan food is that you can re-purpose the marinade later 😉
  2. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions, then drain and rinse with cold water until it comes to room temperature
  3. Add the pasta and tofu to a bowl with the remaining ingredients, then mix everything together.
  4. Top with fresh herbs, then serve and enjoy!

mediterranean pasta salad topped with black pepper and fresh herbs in large white bowl with wooden serving spoon

This Mediterranean Pasta salad has the best combination of textures and flavors! The pasta is hearty, the olives and tomatoes add some salty and tangy, the cucumber adds crunch, and the lemony dressing adds that final pop to help blend everything together. If you’re a fan of Greek or Italian food, I can guarantee you’ll love this inspired take!

Overall this recipe is a very easy and fuss-free, which is why I love it for both meal prep and entertaining. It’s very hands-off, which makes it great for multitasking or cooking something else! My fiancé and I gobbled this up so quickly that we didn’t have leftovers, but if you’re not like us it will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days.

bowl of mediterranean pasta salad with fresh herbs and a glass of lemon water

If you’re looking for more pasta salad recipes, you’ll also love this Vegan Taco Pasta Salad, this Dill Pickle Pasta Salad and this Vegan Macaroni Salad!

Finally, if you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I love seeing your delicious recreations 🙂

Print

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

This Mediterranean-Inspired Pasta Salad is packed with sun-dried tomatoes, olives, artichoke hearts, marinated tofu, and a zippy lemon dressing! Vegan & GF

  • Author: Caitlin Shoemaker
  • Prep Time: 30 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 Minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6 as a side 1x
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale

For the Marinated Tofu & Dressing:

  • 8 ounces (225 g) super firm or pressed tofu, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • Juice of 1 medium lemon (I used a Meyer lemon)
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (or sub 1 tablespoon fresh)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste

For the Pasta Salad:

  • 8 ounces (225 g) gluten-free rotini (or sub another pasta of your liking)
  • 8.5 ounces (240 g) canned quartered artichoke hearts, drained*
  • 1 cup (165 g) sliced persian cucumbers; about 2
  • 1/3 cup (55 g) kalamata olives, sliced in half
  • 1/4 packed cup (45 g) sun-dried tomatoes in oil, sliced*
  • 1/2 cup (10 g) fresh basil, roughly chopped or left whole

Instructions

  1. Prep the Tofu: add the oil, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt, and black pepper to a medium bowl and whisk well. Transfer the tofu to the bowl and use a spatula to gently fold the tofu into the marinade, until every piece is coated. Let sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes while you prepare the pasta, or transfer to a sealable container and store in the fridge for up to 24 hours for a more pronounced flavor.
  2. Cook the pasta: bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta to the pot and cook until al dente, according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta and carefully rinse with cold water, until it comes to room temperature.
  3. Prep the Salad: while the pasta is cooking, prepare the remaining salad ingredients. Transfer the cooled pasta to a large mixing bowl along with all of the tofu (include the marinade – this is the dressing), artichoke hearts, cucumber, olives, and sun-dried tomato. Fold everything together until the dressing is evenly distributed. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, if necessary.
  4. Serve: top with fresh basil, then serve as-is. You can also place the salad in the fridge for 15-30 minutes before serving, to further chill the dish and allow the flavors to combine. Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to three days.

Notes

  • Artichoke hearts and kalamata olives are typically packed in oil or brine; you can use either for this recipe. Sun-dried tomatoes can also be found dehydrated; if you are using dried tomatoes, soak them in hot water for at least 10 minutes before slicing.
  • Prep in Advance: if you are bringing this recipe to a party I suggest prepping the salad as-is with the exception of the cucumbers. Add those in at the last minute so they stay nice and crunchy!
  • Oil-Free: Olive oil adds flavor to this dish and helps the dressing adhere to the ingredients. If you follow a strict oil free diet you can leave it out or substitute with cashew cream or tahini. I personally recommend making the salad as-is, as all of these options will drastically change the final flavor of the dish.

Keywords: vegan pasta salad, vegan greek pasta salad, vegan tofu pasta salad, mediterranean pasta salad, vegan italian pasta salad, pasta salad with tofu

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About the Author

Hey there, I’m Caitlin! I make easy-to-follow, wholesome, and budget-friendly vegan recipes that are mostly gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I’m also an avid yogi, love the great outdoors, am chocolate-obsessed, and enjoy eating almond butter straight off of the spoon.

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Comments

  1. At this point I’ve made this recipe more times than I can count! It’s such a great recipe. It’s a perfectly balanced meal and it’s so delicious! I use cherry tomatoes instead of sundried (because I don’t like sundried tomatoes – blasphemous I know!). Even my meat-eating boyfriend loves this recipe. Thank you Caitlin!

  2. I adore this recipe! It’s become a weeknight staple for us! We will often use cherry tomatoes instead of sun dried and it’s still very delicious and fresh. Thank you Caitlin!

  3. This pasta salad is perfect for warm weather! Will definitely be bringing it to summer cookouts this year 🙂

  4. Love this recipe. Have made it twice now. Just a nice, fresh, tangy salad that is great for lunch or dinner. The tofu in this recipe is super yummy!

  5. Loved this salad! I only had a softer tofu and used that, it crumbled, but it added to the lovely dressing. I made it for my husband and friends and they all loved it! Thank you, Caitlin!!

  6. Okay, yum!!! This is definitely going to have to happen before Summer is out. I’m sure it would be a hit at any picnic!!