This pasta salad is incredibly easy, quick, and fun to make! It’s so easy because I don’t require you to make a sauce, yet it’s saucy and slightly creamy. All of the creaminess comes from a block of melted vegan feta cheese, a little food hack. This vegan pasta salad is cheesy, garlicky, and herby, AKA delicious, and I’m positive you will love it!
This vegan pasta salad takes me less than 10 minutes of prep work!
I toss cherry tomatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper, and oregano, and then I plop them into a baking dish. Then I set a block of vegan feta cheese in the center of the dish, and into the oven, the dish goes! While baking, the feta cheese melts entirely. This is what gives the salad its creaminess. It’s a fun little hack for those days that you’re feeling lazy.
After the dish has finished baking, I add fresh garlic, fresh basil leaves, and cooked pasta. Then I finish it off by seasoning it with a bit more salt and pepper. This vegan pasta salad is nearly effortless to make.
I first saw this recipe on TikTok . . .
People went crazy over the idea of baking an entire block of feta cheese to make creamy pasta. So much so that it APPARENTLY caused a feta cheese shortage in Finland around the time. Now that is crazy, haha. So, it piqued my interest, and I decided to give it a try, vegan-style!
I discovered that the vegan feta baked utterly different from how I saw the dairy feta bake. In the TikTok video I watched, the dairy feta stayed almost entirely intact and got brown and bubbly on top. Whereas, when I played around with the recipe, the vegan feta completely melted. The vegan feta was much less thick and creamy, but it still worked out in the end! On another note, once the pasta salad is chilled, it thickens due to the fat solidifying from the feta cheese. Oh, and if you’re wondering… yes, this pasta salad does taste yummy cold, too!
I filmed my first attempt at this recipe in my own TikTok video!
Because, as I said, the whole “feta cheese block thing” really piqued my interest. The person’s video I watched didn’t provide any ingredient measurements, so I created a recipe as I went along and then made adjustments after filming the video. Doing so was nothing new to me, as I literally develop recipes for a living, haha. With that being said, watch my TikTok video below if you want to see the recipe initially unfold!
If you like pasta, check out these other two popular recipes!
If you make this creamy vegan pasta salad, don’t forget to post a picture to Instagram, tag me @chefsummerstorm, and #gardengrub so I can see your recreation!
Quick and Easy Cheesy Vegan Pasta Salad
- 3 to 4 cups pasta shells, UNCOOKED (I used Banza's chickpea pasta shells. See "tiparooskis," below recipe, for an important tip.)
- 1 1/2 pints cherry tomatoes
- 1 tsp kosher salt, split in half
- 1/2 tsp black pepper, split in half
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 block favorite vegan feta cheese (I used Violife's)
- 1 tbsp fresh garlic, peeled and minced
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
- *Optional: shredded vegan parmesan, amount is personal preference
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the cherry tomatoes in a 9×9 inch baking dish.
- Drizzle the olive oil over the tomatoes and toss to coat them evenly.
- Sprinkle half of the salt, half of the pepper, and all of the dried oregano over the tomatoes.
- Now, place the block of vegan feta cheese into the center of the tomatoes.
- Place the baking dish on the middle oven rack and bake it for 30 minutes.
- While the dish is baking, cook your pasta according to its package instructions. Make sure to season the pasta water with salt! If the pasta finishes cooking before the feta and tomatoes, rinse the pasta under cold water to stop it from cooking.
- After the dish has finished baking, add the minced garlic, shredded basil leaves, pasta, and the other half of the salt and pepper. Stir well. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if desired. *If you'd like the pasta salad to be creamier and cheesier, stir in a small handful of shredded vegan parmesan!
Welcome to my tip section of the vegan pasta salad recipe! Here I provide my top tips to help you perfect the recipe. Sometimes, I also give substitute suggestions that I think you may find helpful.
- When I created this recipe, I used Banza’s chickpea pasta. This specific pasta didn’t grow in size once it was cooked. If you use a standard, wheat-based pasta, you might need to adjust the amount you use slightly. You may need to use a bit less than four cups of uncooked pasta because regular pasta tends to grow in size when cooking. Then make sure also to cut back the salt and pepper a tiny bit.