Creamy Vegan Pasta Salad with Quick-Pickled Chiles

Dear food, it's been a while...

Hello kitchen, you've been underutilized. Do you feel purposeless?

Appliances and utensils, do you want to come out and play?

My goodness. I went from the Queen of the Kitchen to Queen of the Couch in the last six months. It is so very interesting how you really have no idea how pregnancy will affect you until it really does. The last six months looked a lot like this:

Morning sickness.
Something random and nothing with spinach for lunch.
Midday sickness.
Take-out because there was no way I could possibly fathom cooking anything, plus I was starving.
Evening sickness.

Thank goodness I'm coming out of that horrible routine and feeling up to cooking again! ...still wondering why it's called "morning" sickness and not killer-all-day-sickness...

Last recipe I posted? Snow (ice) cream, back in January! Time for a new recipe huh? With the last few months's meals consisting of ginger ale and saltines, I was a bit short on food inspiration, so I hit up my Pinterest boards. Being that it is now officially summer, I decided a pasta salad would be quite fitting.

This recipe is: Lemony. Bright. The pickled chiles adds a touch of heat but with an excellent added dimension. Punchy saltiness with the olives. Creamy. Mmm-mmm-mmm, it is just plain good!

Creamy Vegan Pasta Salad with Quick-Pickled Chiles
Recipe by Laura Wright


for the quick-pickled chiles
1 large or 2 small hot chiles, seeded + de-stemmed
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
fat pinch of sugar
pinch of salt

for the sauce
4 green onions
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp grainy mustard
3 tbsp oil

for the pasta
4 cups dry pasta, a small shape like orecchiette or elbows is preferable
10-12 asparagus spears
handful of snap peas, ends trimmed
1/2 cup olives (pitted or not—your choice!)


Chop the chiles into small pieces and place in a small, non-reactive bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons water, sugar and a pinch of salt to a boil. Pour this mixture over the chopped chiles and set aside for at least 10 minutes.

Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Drain, rinse, and set aside.

In a saucepan, bring about 4-5 cups of water to a boil. Remove and discard the hairy end bits of the green onions and chop off just the white parts; you’ll use the greens later. Once the water is boiling, throw the white parts into the water and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Remove the onions with a pair of tongs (you’ll be using the water again) and place them in the pitcher of a blender.

To the blender, add the lemon juice, mustard, a splash of water, the oil, some salt, pepper, and a bit of the vinegar from the quick pickled chiles if you’d like. Blend the mixture on high until everything is mixed and creamy. Check the dressing for seasoning, adjust, and set aside.

Bring the saucepan of water back up to a boil. Chop the asparagus into small bits and throw them into the water. Simmer until the pieces are slightly tender, about 3-4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to prevent further cooking.

Thinly slice the greens from the green onions. Chop the snap peas up as well. Drain the pickled chiles.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, pickled chiles, cooked asparagus, chopped green onions and snap peas, the olives, and the dressing. Toss it all together and add salt and pepper to your liking. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

What is your go-to pasta salad recipe? Or have you found a recipe on Pinterest you'll be trying this week? Please share!