This Vegan Pasta Salad with Corn and Tomatoes has all the goods, with bright colors and flavors that is sure to be a summer favorite. Plus, it’s a super satisfying meal that comes together quickly!
One of the dishes that screams summer to me is pasta salad. It has all the best things – pasta, veggies, and delicious dressing. I’m also a sucker for colorful food.
The red cabbage, tomatoes, and corn brighten up this dish, along with vibrant fresh herbs. I used parsley here, but you can use whatever fresh herbs you may have handy or prefer.
Some of my favorite other colorful (and super delicious) pastas are: Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Spiced Chickpeas, Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes, Kale & Artichokes, Spaghetti with Artichokes & Roasted Peppers
Another great thing about this Vegan Pasta Salad with Corn and Tomatoes is that it’s a complete meal. This dish is loaded with vegetables and also includes tofu for lots of protein, but feel free to substitute chickpeas or other beans (white beans comes to mind as another great option!).
how this dish comes together
- Chop and marinate the tofu.
- Cook your choice of pasta (I used bowties).
- Chop and prepare the vegetables.
- Whisk together the dressing.
- Stir it all together, and add the fresh herbs.
Marinating the tofu for this Vegan Pasta Salad with Corn and Tomatoes will give delicious flavor to the tofu, and the longer you can do it – the better! Try to marinate the tofu for at least 30 minutes, but if you can do so for a couple hours, that’s more ideal.
Also, I use super firm tofu here. It has a great texture that holds up well in a pasta salad without crumbling. Plus, there’s no need to cook the tofu given its firmness.
The other important elements of the dish are the dressing and seasoning. The dressing has lots of fresh lemon juice, which I love in pasta salads for freshness and tang. The dijon mustard also adds flavor here.
I use za’atar seasoning for this dish, which is a Middle Eastern combination of spices that has wonderful, fragrant flavor. It’s a great addition to both cold and hot dishes. My za’atar seasoning is predominantly sumac, dried thyme and sesame seeds.
You can find za’atar seasoning in most shops, but if you can’t find it (or don’t have it handy), no worries. You can substitute some dried basil and oregano, with some dried thyme, to bring the additional flavor to the pasta salad.
Other things I love about this dish
You can use your favorite pasta, whether it’s traditional, gluten-free, or whole wheat. I love to use farfalle in pasta salads.
There’s just something about the bowtie shape that gives pasta salads a fun twist, and it really holds the dressing and the fresh herbs in its little nooks and crannies.
Another thing that’s great about this dish is that it’s perfect at room temperature or warm. So, you can serve at your preference.
Also, this pasta salad makes the most of fresh summer flavors, with corn and tomatoes taking center stage.
helpful and fun items for this dish
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We love having a stainless steel colander for hot pasta, and this one with handles is so helpful.
These glass bowls are SO handy in the kitchen for whisking dressings, combining stir fry sauce, pasta salad, other salads, and endless more.
These pasta bowls are a great size for pasta or salads, and they hold up well at our house. Is it just me, or does it seem like you can never have enough bowls?
Vegan Pasta Salad with Corn and Tomatoes
- 1/2 lb. farfalle or your favorite pasta
- 1.5 cups finely chopped red cabbage
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes sliced
- 2 cups corn
- 12 oz. super firm tofu cut in small dice
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion use less if desired
- 1/3 cup packed finely chopped herbs (used parsley)
Tofu Marinade: (whisk together)
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 tsp whole grain mustard or dijon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- Dash of ground thyme
Dressing: (whisk together)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp vinegar
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 3/4 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp za’atar seasoning optional but highly recommended; can sub with Italian seasoning or dried basil
- Prepare the tofu marinade, add tofu cubes, toss very gently to coat. Refrigerate for at least 15 min but the longer the better (such as a few hours).
- Cook pasta in salted water until al dente. While waiting for water to boil and pasta to cook, whisk together the dressing and chop the other ingredients.
- When pasta is cooked, drain well and add to a large mixing bowl. Let cool for 5 minutes, stirring every couple min to release heat.
- While pasta is still warm, add the dressing and all ingredients, except fresh herbs and the marinated tofu. Stir well. When pasta is cooled, mix in the fresh herbs and the tofu, including some of the reserved marinade liquid as desired.
- Just prior to serving, stir through some additional lemon juice (1/4 of a lemon) and also kosher salt and more pepper if desired.