I love summery cold pasta salads. When I plan a menu for a BBQ or picnic I love to mix things up. So, instead of making my famous Vegan Macaroni Salad, today I decided to try a cajun pasta salad. My family loves a little spice, so today, I'm spicing up our dinner with my cajun pasta salad recipe.
One of my favorite seasonings of all time is Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning Blend. Although the name makes me laugh every time I use it, this Louisianna spice is something special.
I also use this seasoning in my Vegan Cajun Pasta, a one-pot recipe. I just love it! But, no worries; you can use any cajun seasoning for this recipe.
WHAT OTHER INGREDIENTS ARE IN CAJUN PASTA SALAD RECIPE?
First and foremost, you need to decide what kind of vegan mayo recipe you want to use as the base for the cajun pasta salad. For instance, I suggest using my Vegan Cashew Mayo recipe, but feel free to use a store-bought vegan mayo like Vegenaise or your personal favorite.
In order to eat healthier, making your own condiments at home is not only simple, but it’s also beneficial to your overall health. For example, this homemade vegan cashew mayo recipe takes 5 minutes to make and only has a few ingredients.
Although store-bought vegan condiments are readily available, store-bought condiments are processed. For instance, Vegenaise is a very popular plant-based mayonnaise, which I used often when I first transitioned to plant-based eating.
When I first started eating plant-based, I embraced anything with a vegan label, but later realized vegan processed food is not much different than other processed foods. Similarly, all processed food is created equal regardless if it’s vegan or not.
VEGAN CASHEW MAYO INGREDIENTS
- Raw cashews
- Apple cider vinegar
- Dijon mustard
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
Often, people question if raw cashews need to be soaked overnight or boiled before making a cashew-based sauce or dressing. And, the answer is simple; if you have a quality, high-speed blender, you don't have to soak the cashews. For instance, I have a Nutri-bullet blender, so I never soak my cashews.
Once the vegan mayo is made, to make a dressing for the cajun pasta salad, simply add liquid smoke and Slap ya Mama Cajun Seasoning (or any cajun seasoning). I must stress, however, that you add a little cajun seasoning at a time. Even though I like it spicy, everyone has their own heat preferences, and it is possible to make this cajun pasta salad recipe hotter or very mild.
For that reason, start with a half a teaspoon and add until you reach the heat level you like. Also, be aware, as the dressing sits on the salad, the flavors stregthen, so you can always add more seasoning later as well.
WHAT OTHER INGREDIENTS DO I NEED FOR CAJUN PASTA SALAD?
- Elbow macaroni (I used whole-grain, but you can use gluten-free or another shaped pasta)
- Red onion
- Red bell pepper
- Grape tomatoes, sliced in halves
If you want to prepare all the ingredients in advance, I suggest adding the dressing right before you serve the cajun pasta salad. But, you can also dress it in advance. Or, you can add half the dressing, and add more right before serving.
So, when you plan your next BBQ and you are looking for an interesting take on a typical macaroni salad, give your salad a little kick! Try cajun pasta salad recipe today!
HERE ARE SOME OF MY FAVORITE SALAD RECIPES FOR A BBQ
- Bean Salad
- Healthy Greek Pasta Salad
- Antipasto Salad
- Asparagus Salad
- Spinach Pasta Salad
- Roasted Vegetable Salad
- Watermelon Cucumber Salad
- Greek Orzo Salad
- Grilled Caesar Salad
- Vegan Potato Salad
Cajun Pasta Salad
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni or your favorite pasta shape gluten-free works as well
- ½ cup red onion diced
- ½ cup celery diced
- ½ cup red bell pepper diced
- ½ cup grape tomatoes cut in halves
Cajun Pasta Salad Dressing
- 1 cup vegan cashew mayo recipe or vegan mayo of choice
- 2 teaspoons liquid smoke I used hickory flavor
- 2 teaspoons Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning or cajun seasoning of choice
- Cook pasta according to package instructions.
- In the meantime, cut vegetables and make the cajun pasta salad dressing. REMEMBER TO ADD CAJUN SEASONING in small amounts to adjust to your specific tastes.
- Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender.
- Blend on high until smooth.
- Drain pasta and run cold water over the hot pasta until the pasta is room temperature.
- Then, transfer pasta and diced vegetables to a large bowl.
- Add a half a cup of dressing and mix well.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Right before serving, add the remaining dressing and stir again.
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂