Vegan Fusilli Pasta Salad, a fast and easy weeknight meal that's perfect for lunch leftovers. Fresh basil, tomato, onion and olive oil - so simple!

Kristina Todini, RDN

Ben vuneto, bem vindo, welcome! I’m a dietitian nutritionist with a serious case of wanderlust. When I’m not exploring the world I love to explore in the kitchen with new ingredients and flavors from around the world.

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Vegan Fusilli Pasta Salad, a fast and easy weeknight meal that’s perfect for lunch leftovers. Fresh basil, tomato, onion and olive oil – so simple!

Vegan Fusilli Pasta Salad, a fast and easy weeknight meal that's perfect for lunch leftovers. Fresh basil, tomato, onion and olive oil - so simple!

Picture this: it’s a weeknight, you’ve had a long day at work and you just finished making dinner. There are no leftovers to speak of and you think to yourself, “Oh, it will be fine if I buy my lunch again tomorrow.” But then you realize it would be the third time you’ve eaten out this week and you’re nearing $40 just on lunches alone.

Sound familiar?

I’m guilty of the late night “I don’t want to make lunch” self talk. Hell, I will self talk my way out of anything I really don’t want to do but after staring at your bank account after just a week of $15 salads (yes, $15 salads in San Francisco!) it’s hard to justify your late night laziness. So how should you combat the lazy lunch late nights?

With a plan. A lunch plan. That includes this Vegan Fusilli Pasta Salad.

Vegan Fusilli Pasta Salad, a fast and easy weeknight meal that's perfect for lunch leftovers. Fresh basil, tomato, onion and olive oil - so simple!

Do you have 10 minutes? Good, then you have enough time to make this Vegan Fusilli Pasta Salad.

This Vegan Fusilli Pasta Salad is another of my favorite “Sunday Salads.” or salads and other easy dishes that can be make on the weekend and eaten all week long. Making a big batch of pasta salad on a Sunday will mean you have lunch on days you don’t have dinner leftovers, have a side dish for protein when you want an easy weeknight dinner, and a snack for when you get home from work famished but it’s not quite dinner time so you stand in front of the refrigerator and eat whatever is in front of you.

Oh, wait – you don’t do that?

The beauty with this Vegan Fusilli Pasta Salad recipe (and with most recipes you’ll find here on Fork in the Road) is that is can easily be customized to fit your tastes, your dietary preferences, the season or even just your mood. Feel like basil one week and thyme another? Fine. Don’t want fusilli pasta but instead want farfalle? Go for it. The world is your pasta salad. Or, in other words, you do you and you do your pasta salad however you want.

Vegan Fusilli Pasta Salad, a fast and easy weeknight meal that's perfect for lunch leftovers. Fresh basil, tomato, onion and olive oil - so simple!

The perfect pasta salad equation.

Pasta salad is a staple dish that is like pizza or chili – there are truly endless amounts of ingredient possibilities and most everyone has their favorite. Growing up I was not a fan of cream-based cold pasta and that aversion has carried over into adulthood, so my pasta salads are always made with an olive oil base and whatever pasta love at the moment (right now I’m having a bucatini moment, but fusilli seemed like a great choice for a cold pasta salad).

Below is a general ingredient equation that I use for my pasta salads:

Pasta + olive oil + vegetables + garlic + fresh herbs + spices

You really cannot go wrong with this basic equation and you can (and should!) add your favorite protein source (beans, fish, poultry, meat or dairy).

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Vegan Fusilli Pasta Salad, a fast and easy weeknight meal that's perfect for lunch leftovers. Fresh basil, tomato, onion and olive oil - so simple!

Vegan Fuselli Pasta Salad


  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: Salads & Soups
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

Vegan Fusilli Pasta Salad, a fast and easy weeknight meal that’s perfect for lunch leftovers. Fresh basil, tomato, onion and olive oil – so simple!


Ingredients

  • 2 cups fusilli pasta
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 cup fresh basil (or more!)
  • Salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes to taste

Instructions

  1. Bring 6 cups of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes.
  2. In a separate large pan, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cherry tomatoes and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer.
  3. When pasta is done, drain and immediately add to pan with olive oil. Top with fresh basil, salt, black pepper, red pepper and juice of one lemon. Mix well and remove from heat.
  4. Either serve warm or let cool on the stove before packing individual lunch servings for the week.

Notes

Seasonal tips: Use fresh, seasonal produce to make this pasta salad seasonally appropriate year round!

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 serving (about 1 cup)
  • Calories: 268

Vegan Fusilli Pasta Salad, a fast and easy weeknight meal that's perfect for lunch leftovers. Fresh basil, tomato, onion and olive oil - so simple!

Vegan Fusilli Pasta Salad, a fast and easy weeknight meal that's perfect for lunch leftovers. Fresh basil, tomato, onion and olive oil - so simple!
Kristina Todini

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Minimalist. Sustainable nutrition junkie. Wannabe nomad. Eating the world, one plate at a time.

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