This vegan beetroot pasta salad with green lentils is packed full of vegetables, fresh, and incredibly easy to make. It's delicious served hot or cold for a lunch or dinner that's great for meal prep too. Gluten-free and ready in under 15 minutes.
I don’t know what I captivates me the most about this dish - the colour, or the fact that my love for pasta has no limits. Whenever I don't know exactly what to have for lunch or dinner, pasta is the option that I turn to immediately. It's delicious, versatile, and ready in no time.
Then there's also the fact that there are countless varieties of gluten-free pasta available. Whether made from brown rice or sweet potato, each one has a distinctive flavour and works well in a wide variety of dishes. So that brings me to this dish, which is a pasta salad that I love making for a dinner or lunch that feels fancy, but is practically effortless.
Vegan beetroot pasta salad with green lentils
Okay, I know that beetroot isn’t everyone’s cup of tea (or a cup of tea full stop - it’s beetroot). But trust me, it's not overpowering at all in this recipe. It does add a nice hint of earthiness to the sauce and an amazing purple colour, without that distinctive 'beetroot' flavour thanks to all the other ingredients that are added to the sauce.
You can serve this pasta salad for a dinner or lunch that's ready in around 15 minutes. It's also super meal prep friendly, and you can enjoy it either hot or cold. If you prefer cold pasta salads, simply leave it in the fridge for 20 minutes before serving, and you're good to go!
What vegetables to add to a pasta salad?
I used the following fresh produce:
However, you can add whatever you have in the fridge - it's a great way use up leftovers! Veggies such as peppers and carrots work really well. I also added green lentils for a little bit of texture, as well as plant based protein, and once again, you can replace these with any beans/pulses of your choice. For instance, chickpeas always make a great addition to pasta!
Cold pasta salad beetroot dressing
For the nutty, slightly tangy dressing you will need the following ingredients:
- Tamari. You can replace this with soy sauce if not avoiding gluten, and coconut aminos for a soy-free version.
- Balsamic vinegar.
- Maple syrup.
- Almond butter. Or any other nut butter of your choice.
- Cooked beetroot.
Add the ingredients to a blender or food processor, blend, and that's it! If you want more tanginess, add a little bit of lime or lemon juice.
How to make a green lentil pasta salad
Firstly, cook the pasta according to packaging instructions, draining and rinsing when it's done.
Use this time to prepare the dressing by adding the tamari, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, almond butter and beetroot to a blender or food processor and blending until smooth.
Also prepare the vegetables. Dice the tomatoes, onion, zucchini and cauliflower.
When the pasta is ready, transfer it to a large mixing bowl together with the vegetables, cooked green lentils and the sauce. Mix together and serve either immediately, or after leaving to chill in the fridge.
The final vegan beetroot pasta salad is...
- Tangy and nutty, with plenty of freshness from the vegetables.
- Ready in under 15 minutes and pretty much effortless: perfect if you’re in a rush or want a quick, healthy midweek dinner.
- Meal prep friendly: you can leave it in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container.
- Gluten-free, as long as you use gluten-free pasta
- Great as both a side and a main dish.
- Made using simple and wholesome ingredients.
Other vegan salads you may love
- Potato salad with smoky tempeh
- Zucchini sweet potato salad
- Massaged kale salad with roasted chickpeas
- Falafel salad with tahini dressing
Let me know in the comments: what's your favourite way to make pasta salad? If you give this vegan beetroot pasta salad a go, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@ohmyveggies) so I can see your creations, and leave your feedback in the comments below together with a star rating.
For the salad
- 8 oz gluten-free pasta
- 7 oz cherry tomatoes
- 1 medium red onion
- ½ medium zucchini
- 3 cups arugula
- ½ medium cauliflower
- 1 cup cooked green lentils
- Cook the pasta according to packaging instructions, draining and rinsing when it's done.
- Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by adding the tamari, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, almond butter and beetroot to a blender or food processor and blending until smooth.
- Prepare the vegetables. Dice the tomatoes, onion, zucchini and cauliflower.
- When the pasta is ready, transfer it to a large mixing bowl together with the vegetables, arugula, cooked green lentils and the sauce. Mix together.
- Serve either immediately, or after leaving to chill in the fridge.