This vegan creamy pesto pasta salad with soy curls and handfuls of roasted cherry tomatoes is perfect for summer. It’s herbaceous, filling without being heavy, travels well and is great at room temperature for picnics or camping. Thanks to the almighty soy curls, it’s full of protein and fiber and works great as a side dish or the main course. The cashew cream makes it rich and delicious, providing a nice base to the bright flavors of the pesto while still being just 1/3rd the fat of dairy cream. This pasta salad comes together quickly and is a real crowd pleaser. I can pretty much guarantee that everyone you share this with will love it.
I say it in every post about soy curls but I’m gonna say it again cuz I am still so impressed with them…soy curls are the ultimate convenience food. Incredibly affordable, sustainable, a whole food, shelf stable, easy to prepare and makes everything they’re in SO MUCH BETTER! My friends and I buy the 12 pound bags directly from Butler Foods which means this big pasta salad, which serves 8, has only $3 worth of soy curls in it. You can also find them on Amazon or, if you’re lucky, a grocery co-op near you.
The soy curl seasoning here is very similar to my soy curl gyros but I skip the cumin, parsley and use less oil, but if you happen to have leftovers from gyros you want to use up, they’d be perfectly suited here as well.
Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad with Soy Curls and Roasted Tomatoes
serves 8 as a good sized side dish
1 pound pasta, cooked according to instructions (I use gemelli)
1/2 cup vegan pesto (I use legnano brand until basil harvesting time)
2 tbsp capers, chopped
cashew cream: 1/2 cup raw cashews blended into 1/2 cup water until completely smooth
10 oz cherry tomatoes (the more the better though!)
2 tbsp olive oil
optional – I like to use 1/4 cup dry roasted sunflower seeds and a bit of violife vegan parmesan
8 oz dry soy curls
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 tbsp italian seasoning
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup vegan broth (vegetable or chicken work great, I use better than bouillon brand)
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Soak the soy curls in warm water for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, boil your pasta according to instructions on the package, then strain and rinse with cold water to stop them from cooking more.
Once the soy curls are hydrated, strain and gently squeeze all the starch water out of them. In a large bowl add the minced garlic, italian seasoning, black pepper, vegan broth, lemon juice and soy sauce. Stir well, then toss in the soy curls making sure they absorb all the broth and seasonings. Pour them into a shallow baking dish or sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes.
Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, toss with olive oil and salt then roast on a parchment covered baking sheet for ~15-20 minutes or until blistered and jammy.
In the bowl from the soy curls (no need to wash it), mix together the vegan pesto, chopped capers and cashew cream, then stir in the cooked pasta, roasted soy curls and cherry tomatoes. Top with optional vegan parmesan and/or dry roasted sunflower seeds.