Vegan BLT Pasta Salad with Almond Cream Aioli

28 Jun

Ever since becoming vegetarian, the culinary world has introduced me to so many foodstuffs and dishes. Ideas are plentiful and rarely do I miss anything to do with meat.

Except when it comes to bacon. The smoky smell, the sound of it in the frying pan, the savory, salty flavor it can lend to just about anything…yeah, I miss bacon sometimes 🙂 And then I found bacon-flavored seitan! I was intrigued – I had only ever had vegan “bacon” at the local healthy eatery, Beans & Barley, in their version of a vegan BLT sandwich, which was truly delicious. “Why couldn’t I make something similar at home,” I thought.

I wanted to create something cookout-worthy with this miracle faux-meat. And thus, this pasta salad was born!

Vegan BLT Pasta Salad with Almond Cream Aioli |

Bacon seitan is sauteed with a bit of onion and olive oil and then mixed together with pasta and tomatoes. Not forgetting the creamy dressing that brings it all together, I made an almond cream aioli to coat the salad.

The result? A salty, savory and tangy pasta salad that’s sure to please everyone, vegan and meat-eater alike. This would go great with a roasted strawberry margarita 🙂

Save the extra aioli to slather onto sandwiches, mash with chickpeas for faux-tuna salad, or just serve as a dip with crudites – I won’t judge!

Vegan BLT Pasta Salad with Almond Cream Aioli |

Vegan BLT Pasta Salad with Almond Cream Aioli

Serves 4

Almond Cream Aioli

  • 1 cup raw almonds + water to soak
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 C water

Soak almonds 4 hours or overnight in enough water to cover.Puree and add water as necessary. Refrigerate in an airtight container.

Drain almonds and puree with the rest of the ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender. Scrape down the sides periodically to create the creamiest sauce possible. Refrigerate in an airtight container.

Vegan BLT Pasta Salad

  • 8 oz whole wheat or 100% semolina pasta, preferably a small shape like mini shells or elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • 1 5-oz package bacon-flavored seitan, chopped
  • 2/3 C almond aioli
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 block frozen chopped spinach, thawed

Boil pasta, drain and cool in the fridge in a large mixing bowl.

Meanwhile, in a small frying pan, heat the olive oil and saute the minced onion and chopped bacon seitan for 5-7 minutes over medium heat. Transfer mixture to the cooling pasta along with the cherry tomatoes and thawed spinach. Chill in the fridge at least two hours.

Mix in 2/3 cup prepared aioli and stir to coat. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.

Serve into bowls and enjoy chilled.

This post was part of #CookoutWeek. Take a look at the other cookout recipes:

15 Responses to “Vegan BLT Pasta Salad with Almond Cream Aioli”

  1. Wendy Klik June 28, 2016 at 11:29 am #

    I am not vegan but have friends and guests who are so I am always interested in finding dishes that will please everyone. This fits the bill. Thanks.

    • xtinaluvspink June 28, 2016 at 11:47 am #

      Fantastic! My meat-eating boyfriend seemed to like this dish almost ad much as I did 🙂

  2. carmyy June 28, 2016 at 11:59 am #


  3. Enna June 28, 2016 at 12:35 pm #

    I’ve been vegetarian for 10years now and still haven’t tried the Bacon Seitan. Oh, how I do miss bacon. I’ll have to try it now.

    • xtinaluvspink June 28, 2016 at 1:08 pm #

      You’re gonna love it! Uptons Naturals is the brand I used, which I found at Whole Foods.

  4. Melissa (@melissagabbs) June 28, 2016 at 12:48 pm #

    Love the sound of the almond cream aioli! Sounds really easy to make too!

    • xtinaluvspink June 28, 2016 at 1:09 pm #

      It is SO GOOD! I’m glad there’s leftovers… Perfect for a nice sandwich!

  5. khenricks June 28, 2016 at 1:02 pm #

    Oh my … I totally want to try your almond cream aioli! We skip dairy often and am always on the lookout for delish substitutes … I think this will be one! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  6. Strength and Sunshine June 28, 2016 at 3:28 pm #

    That aioli totally wins! YUM!

    • xtinaluvspink June 28, 2016 at 3:30 pm #

      Thanks!! I was pretty psyched that it turned out so yummy 🙂

  7. ilkasblog June 28, 2016 at 8:47 pm #

    Looks delicious!

  8. GiselleR June 29, 2016 at 4:12 pm #

    Oh my yum, this sounds amazing. Definitely making that almond cram aioli soon!

    • xtinaluvspink June 29, 2016 at 4:20 pm #

      Thank you!! I’m excited there’s Aioli leftovers 😀


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