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Looking for non-boring, non-meat, non-dairy pasta salad recipe

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Yup. Something that is just pasta, vegetables, and a non-dairy dressing...but not boring. I'm more interested in a vinaigrette type dressing than something like peanut sauce. Can anyone suggest a good recipe? Thanks

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  1. Why, yes I can!

    Make a beeline for your local Asia supermarket and acquire yourself some Soba noodles (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soba). Make sure you taste the noodles, and they're not over done (etc), and then drain for a couple of minutes before rinsing and oiling up the noodles with a bit of toasted Sesame Oil so it won' stick together.

    Dressing:
    1 part sugar
    3 parts vinegar
    2.5-3 parts soy sauce
    a bunch of fresh grated ginger
    a few cloves of smashed garlic
    a few chilies (Thai or Jalapeno are good) diced

    sitr/shake it and let sit for at least 10 minutes before tossing over anything. Taste it and adjust the hot/sour/salty/sweet elements till you like it.

    Put soba, some thin sliced scallions, some fresh thin orange slices, some grilled salmon (if you've got it around) or even good canned Tuna, a bunch of chopped cilantro and/or Thai basil, and toss with dressing right before serving.

    TASTE IT! make sure it's good - and then dump a bunch of sesame seeds on top and feel very satisfied with yourself.

    you've now made, Nate's Sassy Sexy Soba Salad.

    Oh, yeah - it's good with normal pasta, Vietnamese Bun, cooked ramen noodles...really anything you can throw at it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Nate Uri

      sounds pretty sexy, nate. thanks!

    2. My favorite lately has been a Greek-inspired pasta salad. Use your favorite type of pasta (though I tend to use quinoa...it's a Weight Watchers thing), add a homemade Greek salad dressing of fresh lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano. I add chopped tomatoes, chopped cucumbers and/or zucchini, capers, diced red onion, and some good chopped olives. If you wanted dairy, you could add feta. It is also great with some grilled or roasted asparagus, but that's not Greek.
      Also, Michael Chiarello did a rice salad on his show yesterday that could easily be put over pasta and would be good. It had beans and lots of great vegetables, too.

      1 Reply
      1. re: FeedingFive

        These all sound great. Another option is a balsamic pesto pasta salad. Make pesto without the cheese for non-dairy version. Add balsamic to taste, toss with sundried tomatoes, black olives, chopped veggies of your choice (asparagus is one of my favourites).
        The rice salad MC made looked awesome. I am going to make it tomorrow. Such a great way to use arborio rice.

      2. I make this one all the time: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/39365...

        1. I like toasted sesame oil and lots of fresh lime juice with fresh garlic, ginger, a little chili paste, a splash of wine vinegar. This could be an excellent marinade for tofu (if you do that) as well as an excellent light dressing for your pasta. Mmm. Some lime zest for color - and for veggies pea pods, julienne red pepper and carrot, scallion, cabbage, fresh mint. Mmmmm. I'm making this for dinner tonight with chicken marinated in that sauce! Add some honey if you like it sweeter. Bow ties are great for this as they catch all of the goodies in the sauce.

          1 Reply
          1. re: foxy fairy

            that sounds soo good - i wish i had the fortitude.

          2. This is excellent. Dressing the pasta first while it's still warm with sesame oil and soy sauce really makes a difference. Just omit the chicken in the recipe and you're all set.

            Chinese Spaghetti Salad
            Dressing for pasta:
            2T dark sesame oil
            4t soy sauce

            1 pound spaghetti, cooked and kept warm

            Dressing for salad:
            1/4C chicken broth
            3T soy sauce
            2T red wine vinegar
            1T dark sesame oil
            1t dry mustard
            1/8t cayenne, or to taste
            Chili oil to taste

            Salad:
            1 pound spaghetti, cooked and kept warm
            2C slivered cooked chicken breast
            1/2 pound snow peas, cut into 1” pieces, blanched then refreshed in cold water
            2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/4” by 1-1/2” strips
            2 red bell peppers, cut into strips
            3/4C slices scallions (include some green tops)
            3T chopped Italian parsley
            2T toasted sesame seeds

            In large bowl, combine dressing for pasta; add warm pasta and combine well. In small bowl or jar, combine dressing for salad; set aside. At serving time, toss pasta with salad dressing. Add all salad ingredients and toss again.

            1. Spaghetti Salad

              1 lb. spaghetti (broken into 3rd's)
              1-(16 oz.) bottle Kraft's Free Zesty Italian Salad Dressing
              ( I added a bit more; 5 ounces to be exact ).
              4 Tbsp. Mc Cormick Salad Supreme Seasoning
              1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
              1 cucumber, seeded and chopped
              2 large Roma Tomatoes, seeded and cut-up
              1 cup each broccoli & cauliflower, cut into small pieces
              1 large carrot, shredded
              (8 ounces) Co-Jack Marbled Cheese, cubed small
              1-(2.25 oz.) can sliced black olives, drained

              Cook spaghetti; drain.
              Marinade spaghetti over night with (16 oz.) of the Italian Dressing.
              The next day, add the remaining ingredients,
              and a bit more of the bottled Italian dressing.
              Chill several hours in the refrigerator, before serving.
              Yield: Makes 7 lbs. of Spaghetti Salad.

              1. Pasta Primavera Gregory
                from the Silver Palate Cookbook

                1/2 lb each of egg and spinach fettucine, cooked in salted water until tender but still firm. Drain immediately and transfer pasta to a large bowl and add 1/3 cup good-quality olive oil and 1/2 cup finely chopped purple onion. Toss to combine, then set aside to cool to room temperature.

                Blanche 3/4 lb snow peas and 1/3 lb. sugar snap peas (large pot salted water brought to a boil, peas added and cooked for 1 minute before being transferred to a large bowl of ice water, where they area allowed to cool before being drained and patted dry).

                To the cooled pasta add
                blanched peas
                3/4 lb. prosciutto cut into coarse julienne (obviously leave this out for a meat-free meal)
                2 ripe plum tomatoes, quartered
                2 sweet red peppers, stemmed, cored and cut into fine julienne
                8 scallions (green onions) cleaned, trimmed, cut diagonally into 1/2 inch pieces
                1/2 cup snipped chives, basil or other fresh herbs

                Season with salt & pepper, sprinkle on 4 tablespoons raspberry vinegary (or to taste), and toss gently. Toss with 1/4 cup prated parmesan cheese, taste, and correct seasoning.

                Serve at room temperature.

                The next step I skip - but I'll give it to you in case it sounds good to you... arrange pasta on a serving platter, and scatter 1 cup imported black olives and grated zest of 1 orange, 1 lemon or 1 lime.

                Makes 6 portions.

                1. I made a pasta salad with fruit. I used ziti and then put in fresh strawberries, raspberries, mandarin oranges and watermelon. Topped with balsamic vinegar. Nice, light and summery.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jes

                    I made this on mother's day and it was gone in seconds.

                    I use:
                    1 lb organic bowtie pasta
                    2 diced org. orange peppers
                    1 cup capers, drained
                    1/2 cup org. olive oil mayonaise
                    1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
                    1 can black jumbo olives, sliced
                    sea salt
                    coarsely ground pepper
                    1/2 tsp garlic powder
                    1/4 tsp cilantro

                    Cook pasta, toss with mayo and cool. Then throw in everything else, toss well, cool again and serve.