Vegan Chickpea Caesar Pasta Salad

SERVES: 6 to 8

PREP TIME: 10 minutes (not including time to make Vegan Pepita Parmesan)

ACTIVE TIME: 30 minutes

INACTIVE TIME: 2 hours

Recipe By: Giant Vegan

Ingredients:

Caesar Dressing 

  • ¼ cup raw cashews, soaked in warm water for 1 hour and drained, water reserved
  • 6 tablespoons reserved soaking water
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon vegan mayonnaise (soy-free if necessary), optional
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons vegan Worcestershire sauce (gluten-free and/or soy-free if necessary)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (gluten-free if necessary)
  • 2 teaspoons drained capers
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Salad 

  • 12 ounces pasta shape of your choice (gluten-free if necessary)
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas (or two 15-ounce cans, rinsed and drained)
  • ¼ cup liquid aminos (use coconut aminos to be soy-free)
  • 2 cups halved cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 large head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 avocados, pitted, peeled, and chopped
  • Pepita Parmesan

Method:

  1. To make the dressing : Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain, rinse the pasta with cold water, then drain again. Transfer the pasta to a large bowl.
  3. Heat a large frying pan, preferably cast iron, over medium heat. Add the chickpeas and liquid aminos and cook, stirring occasionally, until all of the liquid has been absorbed, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add to the pasta.
  4. Let the chickpeas cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, lettuce, and dressing and toss until combined. Gently fold in the avocado. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour, or up to 3 hours, before serving. Serve topped with Pepita Parmesan (you can add it to the large bowl if people are serving themselves, or over individual servings if that’s how you’re serving it). This is best when eaten the day it’s prepared but will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for about 1 day.