Vegan Mayonnaise with Layered Pasta Salad

By Jacqueline Meldrum •

Salads are so versatile. They are a meal by themselves and a great way of getting your five-a-day. Jacqueline shares one of her favourites and a tasty vegan mayonnaise dressing which is low on calories too.



Salads come in many forms and with a bit of imagination you could eat a different salad each day of the year. The first thing to decide is your base. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Types of salad base:

  • Potatoes
  • Salad leaves
  • Eggs
  • Roast vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Quinoa
  • Grated vegetables
  • Pasta
  • Cheese
  • Couscous
  • Noodles
  • Chickpea
  • Rice
  • Bulgur wheat

Then there’s the dressing. You can dress your salad with a simple vinaigrette, a creamy dressing, pesto, hummus, mayonnaise, an Asian style dressing or simply some freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice.

To finish your salad and give it a bit of crunch, why not top it with some nuts, seeds or croutons.

I decided to make showstopper.

A layered salad


These can be layered in individual dessert glasses, jam jars or large glass bowls.

I used my glass trifle bowl and started with a layer of bow pasta coated in a dairy free pesto. My next layer was salad leaves, then chestnut mushrooms gently cooked in some olive oil and garlic with a generous seasoning of black pepper, then a layer of grated carrot, then cucumber, before a layer of tomatoes, topped with salad leaves and then more grated carrot.


I finished my salad with vegan mayonnaise. You could use regular mayonnaise, but this vegan mayonnaise is much nicer and not quite as calorific. It’s a simple dressing to make. You start with unsweetened soya milk, wholegrain mustard, some lemon juice and black pepper in a blender. Whizz these up, while slowly drizzling in some olive oil. Once you have tried this, you will be loath to buy mayonnaise again.

Layered Salad with Vegan Mayonnaise

Serves 6




100ml olive oil

30g basil leaves

60g salted cashew nuts

1 clove garlic

a good grinding of black pepper

250g bow pasta


1 tbsp olive oil

250g chestnut mushrooms

a good grinding of black pepper


3 large carrots, grated

125g salad leaves

2 large beef tomatoes, sliced

1 cucumber, sliced

Vegan Mayo

50ml unsweetened soya milk

2 tsp wholegrain mustard

1 tbsp lemon juice

a good grinding of black pepper

150ml olive oil



  1. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions until al dente. When it is cooked, rinse under cold water until the pasta is cold. This is important when adding pasta to a salad, as it stops the pasta cooking and keeps it from going claggy.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, sauté the mushrooms in the olive oil with the garlic until tender. Season well with black pepper and set aside.
  3. Whizz up your all your pesto ingredients in a blender or food processor until almost smooth. A little bite is nice in a pesto. You can also grind a pesto in a pestle and mortar.
  4. Time to layer the salad. Mix the pesto through the pasta and add to your bowl, then a layer of salad leaves. Place your mushrooms on the salad leaves, then top with grated carrot. Next is a layer of cucumber, then a layer of tomato, followed by salad leaves and finally a layer of grated carrot.
  5. To make the mayonnaise dressing, add the soya milk, mustard, lemon juice and black pepper to a blender or food processor and whizz. While it’s blending, gradually drizzle in the olive oil which will emulsify the dressing into a thick, unctuous mayonnaise.
  6. Pour your mayonnaise on top of your salad and tuck in.
  7. Enjoy!

Notes: You may need 2 bowls for this salad, unless you have a large bowl


For more vegan recipes visit Great British Chefs collection.


They are fun and so easy to make. They definitely make salads look more appealing.
4 October 2013
Your salad and dressing look great. I really don't know why I don't make layered salad at home as it's so delicious and pretty. You can buy them in the supermarket and they are so expensive, you've inspired me to make my own as my daughter loves them especially with a layer of pasta in there:-)
29 September 2013

Jacqueline Meldrum

Jacqueline Meldrum is a food writer and recipe developer from bonnie Scotland. As well as creating easy veggie and vegan recipes for readers of her award winning blog Tinned Tomatoes, she also writes for BabyCentre UK and Readers Digest as well as developing recipes for top UK brands.

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