Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pasta Salad with Tofu

Here's a very simple dish that I make several times a year that offers just a small twist for fun. I like to see where I can add tofu in dishes for variety and a little extra protein. Tofu works very well in pasta salads and soaks up some of the flavor of the dressing. I also like it here because it shows how my children don't always need to eat their tofu cooked; they actually love it raw and sometimes eat it straight off the cutting board before it goes into the bowl. If you toss the veggies into the bowl with freshly cooked pasta, the heat from the noodles will actually soften the veggies enough to imitate blanching. If you wait until the pasta is cold, I would suggest blanching the firmer veggies before adding to the bowl.

Pasta Salad with Tofu

1 lb. of medium pasta (I used rigatoni)
1 pkg. of extra-firm tofu, drained and diced small
3 - 4 cups of veggies - we used:
1 tomato, diced
2 cups of broccoli, diced small
1 cup of asparagus, sliced into one inch diagonals
1 cup of your favorite salad dressing
Salt and Pepper to taste


Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, prepare your tofu and veggies. Put into a bowl. Drain pasta and add to bowl. Add the salad dressing and salt and pepper and toss well. Chill for at least two hours before eating, although I've eaten warm pasta salad on occasion, and it's tasty as well. Before serving, taste and adjust dressing and salt and pepper, if necessary. Feeds five hungry vegans.


  1. Yum! Sometimes simple is better :) This is a nice healthy meal. The only time I like italian salad dressing is on this type of salad. I hope you are having a good sunday!

  2. I like this because it is simple and yummy, Carissa. Good stuff. Having a great day - hope you are too.

  3. Good tip about the hot pasta blanching the veggies. Salads like these, where things get tastier as they marinate are so yummy! I love the addition of the tofu too! Broccoli, tomato, and asparagus...big yum.

  4. i love cold veggie/pasta salads. but i dont know if i could eat tofu of the chopping block like your took me a long time just to get comfortable with COOKED tofu:)ttysoon BM

  5. Congratulations on your new dogs! I'm so sorry for the loss of your boy.. My heart really goes out to you.

    My kids always loved ( and still do ) cold, raw tofu! When they were little they would eat it with braggs and dipped in ketchup.

    Re: your comments..
    Melo was my nickname growing up. My name is Melody.

    I have budgeted 100 bucks a month which works out to approximately 3.33 a day ( based on a 30 day month ).. I have tried doing one big shop a week, but I find I get a better variety of food when I do it daily or every couple days.

    The burger base is the burger recipe I shared in the post.

  6. I love cold tofu with just a little salt - or Old Bay!

  7. Another great salad...I love it.

  8. I second Rose: great tip on blanching the veggies via the hot pasta. Great job keeping the food fun as always.

  9. Your pasta salad looks and sounds yummy! I haven't tried tofu raw yet. I guess I need to get the ball rolling...huh? I'll have to make this for my first try! I love simple! :o)

  10. Hello, Everyone!

    Rose, thanks, I found that out accidentally by my mom years ago. The broccoli in her pasta salad was tender, and I asked her if she blanched it. But, she said she just added it right away. Thanks, Mom!

    Come on, Michelle (DD), you can do it! It won't bite back - you're biting it!

    Melody, thank you so much for coming here to be sure I could get all your thorough answers! Thank you for the comment on our sweet doggie. I think it's fun that you worked your name right into your title. I think it's great that you've budged $100 a month. With a family of five, we are much higher than that!

    Susan, Old Bay? I'll have to look that up.

    Thank you, Millie. :-)

    S.V., Just for you, baby!

    Yes, Michelle (LLV), give it a try. The two Michelles can eat raw tofu and love it! Yay!

  11. My family didn't real grow up eating traditional American dishes like this so I rarely do, but I do love pasta salad once a year - when baseball season starts! My bf had to teach me to put dressing on pasta salad...I had been winging it until then.
    I'll keep this recipe in the wings; I never thought to add tofu and I love the asparagus addition!

  12. Hi, FoodFeud! What kinds of dishes did your family eat normally? Let us know if you give pasta salad a try more than once a year. :-)

  13. Just looking at your salad makes me hungry. What dressing did you use?

  14. Well, pull up a chair, Brandi! I forget the dressing right now - it was lime-based and good, though.