Creamy vegan basil ranch pasta salad, loaded with bacon & peas. Summer is the time for picnics, potlucks, and of course barbecues! This salad celebrates the winning combination of bacon and peas, dressed up with a basil ranch. You know, the best flavors in a salad… ever! So simple, so perfect.

Vegan Bacon – Pea Pasta Salad with Basil Ranch [Vegan]

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Ingredients

For the basil ranch:

  • 1/2 cup cashews, soaked for 4 hours, rinsed & drained
  • 1/2 cup water or almond milk
  • 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
  • Pepper & salt, to taste

For the pasta salad:

  • 350 grams of small pasta choice (GF if needed)
  • 2 cups green peas
  • 200 grams vegan bacon bits (homemade or store bought)*
  • Pepper & salt, to taste
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Preparation

For the basil ranch:

  1. Blend cashews, water or milk, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, olive oil and garlic powder into a smooth dressing.
  2. Stir in the shallot and fresh basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Cool down in the fridge.
  4. The dressing will keep for a few days in the fridge.

For the pasta salad:

  1. Cook the pasta according to package instructions (al dente!). During the last 1-2 minutes of the cooking time, add the peas.  Drain and rinse with cold water.

If serving immediately:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, peas, bacon, and basil ranch. Toss until evenly coated with the dressing. Taste and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Garnish with extra basil leaves if desired.

If serving later:

  1. In a large bowl, combine pasta, peas, bacon bits, and half of the dressing. Cover the salad with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.
  2. When ready to serve, add the remaining dressing and toss until evenly coated. Taste and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Garnish with extra basil leaves if desired.
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Notes

Recipe for GF bacon bits on my website.

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