Usually, when we look back at old recipes, we shudder in shame at our novice skills. However, there’s one recipe we frequently return to: Smoky Pasta Salad. It’s just got that special quality that separates it from anything else we’ve tasted, not to mention that it’s simple, quick, and frickin’ PASTA.

img_3719In the original recipe, we talk about how pasta salad needs a thick dressing in order to hold ingredients together & stick to the noodles, but I don’t think you need me to tell you that. You do however want to use a noodle that’s short with some ridges that dressing can hold onto – prime examples being macaroni, fusilli, and farfalle (the bow-shaped pasta shown here). Aside from that, this recipe is:

  • Straightforward, easy to make, and requires little prep
  • Great for leftovers & meal prep
  • Smoky, tangy, sweet, and fresh
  • Tender, creamy, crisp, and chewy


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Photos by Kim-Pastable


Smoky Mayo Pasta Salad with Crisp Vegetables (vegan)

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Sweet & savory dressing coats al dente farfelle noodles along with spicy red onion, crisp red pepper, and fresh cucumber.


  • 1/2 lb dried pasta, such as fusilli, farfalle, or macaroni
  • 1/2 c peeled, seeded, and diced cucumber (~1/2 small cucumber)
  • 1/3 c finely chopped red onion (~1/8 medium onion)
  • 1/3 c finely chopped red bell pepper (~1/2 medium pepper)
  • 3/4 c (168 grams) vegan mayonnaise (Just Mayo is our favorite)
  • 1 tbsp (21 grams) agave
  • 1 tbsp (½ oz) lime juice
  • 1 tbsp (½ oz) soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 ½ tsps (¼ oz) liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard


  1. Add 6 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon of salt to a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, cook pasta according to package’s instructions, or until it’s tender with a little bite. Drain through a colander and rinse thoroughly with cold water.
  2. Whisk together mayonnaise, agave, lime juice, soy sauce, liquid smoke, and mustard in a large bowl until smooth.
  3. Add drained pasta to dressing along with cucumber, onion, and pepper. Fold with a spatula until everything’s evenly coated.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least two hours before serving. Store for up to 4 days.
  5. After 6 hours, the pasta will start to absorb some dressing, making for a thicker sauce. However, if you prefer it on the saucy side, add a little bit of mayo (~2 tbsps), agave (~1 tsp), and soy sauce (~1 tsp) to loosen it up.


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