Healthy Vegan Black Bean Pasta Salad

We eat this salad on days I have waited too long to start supper.  If I want to feed my family food in 15 minutes, this will do!  My kids favourite food is pasta, so they love it.

Try this great no-oil whole-foods plant-based meal salad for a pot-luck, party, or BBQ. Get your plant-based protein from beans and whole grain pasta.  People will ask you about the dressing, surprise them by saying “it’s only dried herbs and lemon!”.

With frozen peas, cucumber, canned or frozen corn, green onions, tomatoes, whole grain pasta and black olives this simple vegan dinner salad is fast, fresh, and easy to put together.

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Nutrition Facts
Super Summer-Time Pasta Salad
Amount Per Serving (1 / 10th of recipe)
Calories 351 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 11%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Sodium 1275mg 53%
Potassium 719mg 21%
Total Carbohydrates 60g 20%
Dietary Fiber 11g 44%
Sugars 4g
Protein 15g 30%
Vitamin A 16%
Vitamin C 31.3%
Calcium 10.3%
Iron 25.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Hot pasta thaws the peas, activates the seasonings

While the pasta cooks, gather the vegetables, stir them together, still frozen.  Add the drained pasta and the heat cooks the peas a touch, the pasta cools, things get juicy, the dried herbs release flavour, and your meal is ready to serve in minutes.

Why whole grain pasta?  Read How To Judge the Healthiness of Grain Products to learn more about why whole grain pasta is going to help your gut microbiome, prevent cancer, and help you lose weight.

Olives make this salad so satisfying

Olives are better for you than olive oil – filled with a small amount of healthy unsaturated fat – the way nature intended us to eat fat, packaged with fibre and phytonutrients.

Canada’s food guide is being revamped, I just gave my input, and was pleased to see they recommend we limit saturated fats and instead choose unsaturated fats.  Good news!

Olives cause your brain to signal “yup, we are satisfied and full here!”  You get that mouth oil feeling, olives curb cravings.

Vegan meal salad that kids love

Simplicity means kid friendly, and most kids really enjoy pasta.  I call this pasta salad, and focus on the pasta when serving it to my kids, more than the vegetables.  Once they taste a few bites, they gobble it all up, making us all happy.  🙂

Vegan Meal Proportions

See my article, How to Eat Vegan For Energy and Weight Loss I talk about the proportions of beans, greens, veggies and starches to eat to keep up your energy and lose weight!  Tip: eat this salad on a bed of spinach or other dark greens, if you want to feel extra energy.

 

Vegan Healthy Pasta Salad Fat-free Italian
Print

Super Summer-Time Pasta Salad

Course: Main Course, Pasta, Salad
Cuisine: Italian, Western
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 351 kcal
Author: Jeanette Whitten

This salad is a meal, a 15 minute vegan fat-free plant-based protein pasta salad dinner!  Black olives, cucumber, whole grain rotini pasta, frozen peas, corn, tomatoes, green onions plus Italian seasonings and lemon juice make an extraordinary delicious high fibre FRESH healthy pasta salad.  

Assemble the vegetables - including the frozen ones - add the drained pasta, stir and the temperature will become perfect to serve.  The peas will melt, even cook a bit, the pasta will cool, it's awesomely fast.

We are always surprised by how tasty this simple combination is.  It's just perfect.  Kids love the sweet peas, salty seasonings, and the pasta!

Ingredients

Pasta

Vegetables

  • 3 cups cucumber diced, 1 large is about 3 cups
  • 2 cups tomatoes cherry quartered, or large diced whole tomatoes
  • 4 green onions sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups corn frozen, or canned
  • 398 ml black olives pitted canned, whole, no-oil, add a splash of olive juice to the salad, then drain the rest.
  • 1080 ml black beans can drained
  • 2 cups peas frozen

Dressing

  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp basil dried
  • 1 tbsp oregano dried
  • 1 tsp salt depending on how salty your canned items already are
  • 6 tbsp lemon juice fresh squeezed for vitamin C if you can!

Instructions

  1. Heat water for pasta.  We like whole grain rotini for this, the rotini shape holds the seasoning well and doesn't get soggy as leftovers.  Once water is boiling, add the pasta, stir.  Cook to be firm - al dente, following package directions, don't overcook.

  2. While the water heats, dice the cucumber, tomatoes, green onions and add to an extra large bowl.

  3. Open the cans of black beans, corn (if using canned) and black olives.

    Add corn with it's juice (max 1/3 cup) to the bowl, I like to splash some of the black olive juice into the salad bowl too.  If you are using frozen corn it will create some juice when it hits the hot pasta, so don't worry.

  4. Add the drained black beans and olives. 

  5. Add frozen peas - it is important that they are frozen at this point because they cool the pasta.

  6. Add seasonings and lemon juice to a small bowl or measuring cup, stir to combine, taste test and adjust to your preference, pour over salad, and stir  through.

    Easy Healthy WFPB Bean Tomato Cucumber Pasta Salad
  7. Once pasta is done, drain pasta well, while it is still hot add the pasta to the vegetables and dressing.

  8. Stir to combine. Wait a couple minutes for the herbs to release their flavours, and serve!

Recipe Notes

 

Variations: 

Sub herbs for a dried Italian seasoning purchased mix.  Store mixes usually contain salt, so don't add any extra salt.  Read the label, choose a mix that doesn't contain added oils.

Sub cucumber for orange and yellow peppers, zucchini, or romaine lettuce.  As long as you keep the peas, corn, tomatoes and olives other vegetables work well.

Omit the Pasta: This tastes great without the pasta as well, as a bean salad, serve with toast, pitas, or rice, or just with spinach.

Vinegar: I'm curious if a vinegar would make this even nicer.  Afraid to try, because my kids aren't into vinegar much yet and we've got something here that works.

If anyone tries adding vinegar, please let me know!!  Personally, I'd use a balsamic.

 

Nutrition Facts
Super Summer-Time Pasta Salad
Amount Per Serving (1 / 10th of recipe)
Calories 351 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 11%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Sodium 1275mg 53%
Potassium 719mg 21%
Total Carbohydrates 60g 20%
Dietary Fiber 11g 44%
Sugars 4g
Protein 15g 30%
Vitamin A 16%
Vitamin C 31.3%
Calcium 10.3%
Iron 25.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

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