Uncle Jon’s Pasta Salad is soon to be your new go to summer BBQ recipe. Naturally vegan, and packed with flavor and veggies, it’s a standout at any potluck picnic!
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When Irving and I got married my mom put together a scrapbook cookbook for us, filled with old family recipes. They ranged from staples that my family practically lived on, to funny recipes for cool whip marshmallow salads that I don’t ever remember eating. Each recipe was accompanied by some notes about the person who passed on the recipe. I’ve spent years working through the recipes, trying to veganize the recipes of my childhood. I would love to someday put the entire collection in a book. But for now, they go to the blog!
Today’s recipe comes from my Uncle Jon. My Uncle Jon is not actually related to me, but he and my dad have been best friends since they went to kindergarten together when they were 5 years old. And even though Jonny is not truly named after my Uncle Jon, it’s fun that they share a name! I still remember my Uncle Jon teaching me how to roll meatballs, the time he called to wish me a happy “double digits” when I turned 10 years old, and the time when he and my dad tried to do push ups while clapping in between! I remember him, and his very cool wife-my Aunt Joanna, randomly showing up on our family vacations, and how much fun we had, and still have, when we all get together! And, of course, I remember Uncle Jon’s Pasta Salad, that remains a summer time staple in my family to this day.
Uncle Jon, and then my mom, always made this pasta salad with linguine. And that’s what we called it—linguine salad. But linguine is hard for kids to eat, with all that twisting and twirling. And it’s also challenging to get the veggies scooped up on your fork when they are such a different shape than the pasta. So I’ve taken some artistic license here and use a short cut pasta when I make Uncle Jon’s Pasta Salad. If you’re feeling adventurous you can certainly opt for the original linguine—I promise it will taste just the same!
Packed with Flavor!
Uncle Jon’s Pasta Salad is packed with flavor. Instead of the typical mayo laden dressing, or even an Italian dressing, this salad gets its flavor from a soy sauce based dressing. In addition to soy sauce, the dressing has lemon juice, hot sauce, and garlic. And I’ve reduced the oil by half in this newer version, and added a bit of sesame oil for yummy flavor! Despite all of these Asian sounding ingredients, the salad itself is not really Asian. Just packed with good flavor! And….one of the things I love about this salad is that the flavor gets better while it sits, and with a lighter dressing it keeps well, so it’s a great option for a summer BBQ.
Make it a Meal!
This pasta salad is great on it’s own! But when I’m feeling extra hungry I might add some baked tofu on the side. Or a bean salad. It also makes a perfect side for a grill night, with burgers or hot dogs!
More Summer BBQ Foods you will Love!
- Elote Salad
- Watermelon Gazpacho
- Balsamic Bean Salad
- Muhammara — Roasted Red Pepper Dip
- Vegan Chicken Salad with Pickles
- Charred Tomatillo Salsa Verde with Avocado
- Smoky Skillet BBQ Baked Beans
I’m starting to put a dent into veganizing my collection of family recipes! Which ones have you tried?
- Sugar and Spice Cookies
- Classic Vegan Sugar Cookies
- Grandma Henrietta’s Bourbon Balls
- Aunt Betty’s Vegan Apple Pie
- Grandpa Joel’s Vegan Ham Hocks and Beans
- Lemon Jello Salad
- Cream Cheese Peppermint Patties
- Cranberry Beefless Stew and a Happy New Year!
- Classic Vegan Pesto
- Vegan Eggnog Punch with Candy Cane Ice Cream
- Vegan Steak Salad with Seitan
- Stuffed Squash with Curried Lentils
- Grandpa’s Potato Pancakes
- Vegan German Potato Salad with Bacon
- Festive Cranberry Torte
Let’s make Pasta Salad!
Alright, ready to try this pasta salad for yourself? Just a handful of easy ingredients, and you’ll be ready for a picnic! Leave me a note and a star rating in the comments letting me know how you like my Uncle Jon’s Pasta Salad!
Uncle Jon's Pasta Salad
For the Pasta:
- 12 ounces cut pasta (see notes)
- 1 Tablespoon salt (to add to pasta cooking water)
For the Dressing:
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 lemons juiced
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce (I like to use Sriracha)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
For the Salad:
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes (sliced in half)
- 1 cup broccoli florets (cut small)
- 4 green onions sliced
- 2 carrots (grated or peeled in ribbons)
- 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds (toasted)
For the Pasta:
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add salt and pasta, and cook according to package directions. Drain, give a rinse to cool, and set aside.
For the Dressing:
- Add all of the dressing ingredients into a small bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
For the Salad:
- Prepare all of the veggies while the pasta is boiling. Set aside.
- When the pasta is cooked add it to a large bowl and top with dressing. Stir to coat.
- Add all of the veggies to the slightly cooled pasta and give it a good stir.
- Pasta salad is best eaten within a few hours of making it, but will keep in fridge for several days! Enjoy!