Vegan Bacon – Pea Pasta Salad with Basil Ranch

Creamy vegan basil ranch pasta salad, loaded with bacon & peas.

Since summer is waiting around the corner, it’s the perfect time to start sharing salad recipes. Summer is the time for picnics, potlucks and of course barbecues!

Entering my vegan bacon and pea pasta salad! This salad celebrates the winning combination of bacon and peas, dressed up with a basil ranch. You know, the best flavours in a salad… ever! So simple, so perfect.

Let’s start at the very beginning, do-re-mi. Use any pasta of choice, it’s all good. That was easy…

Over to the peas. So deliciously bright and colourful. Of course, you can add whatever veggies you like. But there’s something so addictive about the combo of sweet peas and salty bacon that even vegans seem to love!

Next the basil ranch. It’s basically a classic ranch recipe, with a few tweaks. It’s so fresh and vibrant, with a little tang. And we all know, ranch is one of those things, that goes on pretty much everything. Oh, toss that pasta salad…

And let’s not forget the “bacon”. I used my homemade smoked seitan bacon, but any store bought option will do. I also added an option for gluten free bacon bits, yeay.

This bacon & pea salad will be your new summertime favourite! Bursting with flavour and texture, without the mayo.

The salad comes together in no time and can be made in advance. And it’s crowd pleaser that will leave everyone begging for more. At least… If I make this salad, I simply can’t stop sneaking bites.

This is a vegan pasta salad for the books! Serve as a light lunch or dinner with some crsipy bread, as a barbecue side… or eat it all alone.

…walking on sandals and sunshine…

Need some more summer inspiration?

Lemon – Rosemary Seitan Cutlets with Caramelized Corn + Peach – Avocado Salad

Summer Pizza with Pea Pesto, Spiralized Zucchini & Radishes on a Thin Spelt Crust

Refreshing Noodle Salad with Mango, Bean Sprouts & Mint

Cucumber – Dill Gazpacho

Arugula – Chickpea – Radish Salad

If you make this sunshine salad, send it to me! Tag your pictures on Insta @chillies_for_chocolate, so I can drool from afar. You can also share your pics on my Facebook page under my post.

If you like this recipe, pin it on Pinterest or share it on Facebook. As you know I share all my recipes on this blog for free, so if you share them, I would be so grateful!

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Vegan Bacon – Pea Pasta Salad with Basil Ranch

vegan, gluten free option



For the basil ranch:

½ cup cashews, soaked for 4 hours, rinsed & drained

½ cup water of almond milk (or half-half)

3 tsp fresh lemon juice

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

2 tsp olive oil

1 tsp mustard powder

¼ tsp garlic powder

2 shallots, finely chopped

⅓ cup fresh basil leaves, torn

Pepper & salt, to taste

For the pasta salad:

350 grams of small pasta choice (GF if needed)

2 cups green peas

200 grams vegan bacon bits (homemade or store bought)*

Pepper & salt, to taste



For the basil ranch:

Blend cashews, water or milk, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, olive oil and garlic powder into a smooth dressing.

Stir in the shallot and fresh basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cool down in the fridge.

The dressing will keep for a few days in the fridge.

For the pasta salad:

Cook the pasta according package instructions (al dente!). During the last 1-2 minutes of the cooking time, add the peas.  Drain and rinse with cold water.

If serving immediately:

In a large bowl, combine the pasta, peas, bacon and basil ranch. Toss until evenly coated with the dressing. Taste and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Garnish with extra basil leaves if desired.

If serving later:

In a large bowl, combine pasta, peas, bacon bits and half of the dressing. Cover the salad with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.

When ready to serve, add the remaining dressing and toss until evenly coated. Taste and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Garnish with extra basil leaves if desired.



Notes + variations:

*If needed, cook the bacon bits until crisp and slightly browned. Cool down before adding to the pasta salad.

Gluten free? Use these vegan bacon bits!

**If you like to smother your pasta salad in sauce, double the recipe for the basil ranch.

***Feel free to add other veggies of choice.

****Add some vegan feta cheese for a rich and creamy salad.

© 2020, Chillies for Chocolate. All rights reserved.


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