Healthy Pasta Salad


This healthy pasta salad was inspired by one our rawkstars, Jennifer and her daughter. They wanted easy + healthy lunches so we made this for them (and us) to enjoy.

The post Healthy Pasta Salad appeared first on Simple Green Smoothies.


Table of Contents
  1. How to Make Healthy Pasta Salad
  2. Meal Prepping Tip
  3. Pasta Salad Ingredient Swaps
  4. Storage Tips
  5. More Healthy Pasta Recipes
  6. Healthy Pasta Salad Recipe
  7. Top Healthy Pasta Salad Questions

I have a hard time eating leftovers for lunch every day. Instead, I’m always hunting easy yet tasty lunches that don’t take much prep work. I know that sounds like a unicorn, but it’s not! My healthy pasta salad checks all the boxes (and has a good amount of protein as well). Feel free to keep it a vegan with the vegan feta or toss in your favorite cheese if you can tolerate it.

While I created this healthy pasta salad with lunch in mind, it works great as a shareable side at as a healthy BBQ side dish, potluck or family meal.

large glass bowl of healthy pasta salad with 3 glass containers for left overs and a container of vegan feta.

How to Make Healthy Pasta Salad

I set out to create this healthy pasta salad after Rawkstar Jennifer told me she was looking for quick and healthy recipes that her high schooler could take to school. I love how the different flavors mix in this recipe without meat or dairy.

Cook the pasta

Follow cooking directions on the pasta package, allowing the pasta to remain slightly undercooked. This will help keep the pasta from falling apart in the salad. Drain and rinse with cold water until pasta is completely cool, then drain well again.

bowtie pasta in a stainless steel pot then a glass bowl, ready to be mixed together.

Prepare the vinaigrette

While the pasta is cooling, mix all the Basic Vinaigrette ingredients in a bowl until combined.

mixing ingredients for delicious meal including white beans, sun-dried tomatoes and green onions.

Mix in vegetables

Place cooled pasta into a large bowl and add the vegetables and herbs. Gently toss.

pouring homemade dressing over vegan pasta salad, then tossing the salad to incorporate.

Add dressing and mix well

Drizzle Basic Vinaigrette over the pasta salad and gently toss again. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

6 glass containers of pasta salad.

Meal Prepping Tip

Transfer the salad to airtight containers and store it in the refrigerator until ready to use. Follow my Meal Prep Salad tutorial to get the best containers and more in-depth tips.

table full of ingredients for healthy lunch including red bell pepper, arugula, white beans, green onions, pasta, black olives, dressing and vegan feta cheese.

Pasta Salad Ingredient Swaps

Probably my favorite part about this healthy pasta salad lunch is how much you can customize it to your taste preferences! Here are a few swaps I suggest if you want to try them:

  • Swap olive oil with avocado oil.
  • Swap red wine vinegar with the vinegar of your choice.
  • Use your preferred pasta type, or use gluten-free.
  • Cannellini beans can be swapped with another kind of legume (black beans, kidney beans or chickpeas are great swaps).
  • Add the veggies of your choice! Radishes or cucumbers are great additions.
  • Feel free to add nuts or seeds for an extra crunch.

I have a hard time eating the same thing over again, even when it’s as delicious as this vegan pasta salad. So you’ll find mine with a slight variation every time I make it, and that’s fine.

Storage Tips

Toss the salad well in the dressing as this helps it keep well in the fridge. Store in individual serving airtight containers to grab when you need to quickly. If you like your greens extra fresh, then wait to add those until you’re ready to eat, so they don’t wilt.

More Healthy Pasta Recipes

If you don’t use leftovers to fuel your lunch, you need to make or buy them every day. I love batching easy recipes for lunch that we can grab throughout the week. Here are a few more pasta recipes:

  • Vegetable Noodle Soup: Instead of suffering through your next cold, turn to my vegetable noodle soup for the best home remedy recipe to kick that cold to the curb.
  • Vegetarian Noodle Salad– toss together and enjoy throughout the week.

Take the guesswork out of lunch when you double or triple a recipe, then save it for the days ahead. The vegan pasta salad below is filling and doesn’t even need to be heated up to enjoy.

healthy pasta salad

Healthy Pasta Salad

Whether you're in need of an easy week of lunches or a delicious potluck recipe to share, this vegan pasta salad is for you!
Course Entree, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine dairy-free
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 273kcal


  • ½ cup farfalle pasta
  • ¾ cup arugula pre-washed
  • ¾ cup cannellini beans canned, drained and well rinsed
  • ¼ red bell pepper diced
  • 1 green onion diced
  • 2 tbsp black olives sliced
  • 2 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes in oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, mint and parsley chopped
  • ¼ cup vegan feta optional

Basic Vinaigrette

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ garlic clove finely minced
  • tsp sea salt
  • tsp ground black pepper


  • Follow cooking directions on pasta package for "al dente" (which allows pasta to remain slightly undercooked). This will help keep the pasta from falling apart in the salad. Drain and rinse with cold water until pasta is completely cool.
  • While the pasta is cooling, mix all the Basic Vinaigrette ingredients together in a bowl until combined.
  • Place cooled pasta into a large bowl and add the vegetables and herbs. Gently toss. Drizzle Basic Vinaigrette over the pasta salad and gently toss again. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • If meal prepping, transfer the salad to airtight containers and store in refrigerator until ready to use.


  • Use the pasta of your choice: bowtie, fusilli, shells, etc.
  • Arugula has a strong, peppery flavor. You can swap with kale or spinach.
  • Cannellini beans can be swapped with the legume of your choice.
  • I love using basil, oregano and chives yet you can any fresh herbs. 


Calories: 273kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Sodium: 439mg | Potassium: 301mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 780IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 3mg

Top Healthy Pasta Salad Questions

Is pasta salad bad for you?

It doesn’t have to be! Ditch the store-made pasta salads made with additives and processed ingredients. Home make one instead with loads of fresh greens and a light, oil-based dressing.

How long does pasta salad stay fresh?

This pasta salad should stay fresh in the fridge for up to five days since it is oil-based. Dairy or mayo-based salads will keep fewer days.

What is the best healthy pasta salad?

Choose a pasta salad that is oil-based (using healthy fats like olive oil or avocado oil) instead of dairy or mayonnaise-based, has plenty of fresh veggies and leafy greens and a good protein source like beans or tofu. This recipe’s got it all!

The post Healthy Pasta Salad appeared first on Simple Green Smoothies.

Best Vitamix Blender Sales


Discover the best Vitamix sales and deals throughout the year, including Black Friday, Vitamix Days Prime Day and more! Free shipping, huge discounts and bonus gifts, too. I update this article constantly so bookmark this page for new deals.

The post Best Vitamix Blender Sales appeared first on Simple Green Smoothies.


Table of Contents
  1. $125 Off Vitamix A3500 Black Stainless w/ Stainless Steel Container
  2. $60-$130 Off Vitamix A3500 Bundles
  3. $50-$150 Off More Vitamix Blenders and Bundles
  4. Reconditioned V1200 Venturist: $100 OFF
  5. Bundle and Save Vitamix Deals
  6. Vitamix Blender Buying Guide
  7. Vitamix Sales Promotion Schedule
  8. Best Places to Buy a Vitamix
  9. Common Vitamix Questions

As one of Vitamix’s top influencers, I have access to the latest Vitamix deals to save you hundreds of dollars on their professional-grade blenders. No joke, the most-used appliance in my home is my Vitamix Ascent A3500 blender. I blend more than I vacuum, bake and brew coffee. My Vitamix blender is used multiple times a day for smoothies, protein shakes, pancake batter and vegetable soups.

Woman in kitchen using the Vitamix Ascent A3500 with a green smoothie

I also know how insane it can seem to spend $500+ on a blender. (That’s why you’re here.) So, let’s get you the best Vitamix deal so you can blend with me! Yes, you can get the #1 high-powered blender in your kitchen and save money, too. Everyone who has a Vitamix, loves it. So let’s go shopping for the perfect one for you!

$125 Off Vitamix A3500 Black Stainless w/ Stainless Steel Container

Price: $624.95 $749.95 | Blend hot, cold, acidic and more with the stainless steel container paired with the A3500 base which can read the container size of your choice and adjust the blend accordingly. It’s the blender I use daily and believe it’s the best one to invest in for your health.

Vitamix A3500 blender with clear container on a counter next to several small blending containers.

$60-$130 Off Vitamix A3500 Bundles

Price: $724.95 $849.95 | A3500 Entertainment Bundle: Entertain with ease using the power of the A3500 base along with a blending container and the Aer Disc container to assist in making cocktails, cold foam for cold brew and gorgeous whipped cream.

Price: $724.95 $849.95 | A3500 Food Sensitivity Bundle: This bundle provides all the benefits from the powerful A3500 base along with a color-coded blending container to help avoid cross contamination during meal prep.

Price: $699.95 $829.95 | A3500 Baker’s Bundle: Whip up dishes using both the standard container as well as the dry grains container which allows you to grind up fresh grains into flours for all manner of baked goods.

Price: $329.95 $389.95 | Ascent Essentials Bundle: If you currently own the powerful Ascent Series base then this bundle is for you. Turn your Vitamix into the most used appliance in your kitchen with the 48-oz container, 12-cup food processor + accessories and the silicone blender spatula.

Price: $619.95 $749.95 | A2500 Home Chef Bundle: This incredible bundle includes the standard blending container as well as the sleek, 48-oz stainless steel container that is able to blend both hot and cold dishes.

Price: $874.95 $999.95 | A3500 Deluxe SmartPrep Kitchen System: The ultimate home prep system comes with both the standard blending container and the 48-oz container to fit whatever size you need. It also comes with the 12-cup food processor container and accessories so that you can switch from blending to chopping in an instant.

$50-$150 Off More Vitamix Blenders and Bundles

Price: $654.95 $779.95 | Propel 750 Classic Bundle: The containers and lids in this classic bundle are dishwasher safe, making clean up a breeze. Use the 48-oz container for smaller batches, saving the 64-oz container for larger quantities to serve your whole family.

Price: $374.95 $499.95 | E310 + Personal Cup Adaptor Bundle: A great bundle if you are prepping personal portions on a regular basis. This bundle comes with a 48-oz container as well as 2 personal size blending containers with lid.

Price: $209.95 $269.95 | Immersion Food Blender Complete Bundle: I use my immersion blender for so much prep during meal time! It can whip up sauces and puree soups in no time.

Price: $299.95 $249.95 | Food Processor Attachment + Accessories Bundle: If you’re sick of having to grab multiple appliances throughout your meal prep then this bundle is for you. You can use your Vitamix motor base with this full-feature food processor.

Price: $249.95 $349.95 | Reconditioned Standard: If you are new to blending a daily smoothie yet ready to upgrade your current $50 machine then this is the blender for you. Vitamix certified reconditioned blenders work incredibly well and this great machine can bring you your daily smoothie as well as turn all kinds of vegetables into creamy soup with its high-powered motor.

Reconditioned V1200 Venturist: $100 OFF

Price: $299.99 $399 | Explore how easy it is to make healthy, whole-food recipes at home with this under $300 Vitamix blender deal. From appetizers to dessert, the 64-ounce container is ideal for blending large batches. This blender is that it’s compatible with the Ascent blending cups & bowls, food processing attachment and the 48 oz stainless steel container.

Bundle and Save Vitamix Deals

$100+ in savings | Bundle and save on the top-of-the-line blender and food processor attachment to speed through tedious food prep tasks, while the standard blending container makes everything from smoothies to soup to nut butter.

Vitamix Blender Buying Guide

Deciding which type of Vitamix to purchase can be tough— there are over 12 models with a variety of features that I can recommend for a variety of reasons. All have a powerful motor base and self-cleaning capability (which is awesome). I broke my recommended products down below based on my own research and opinions in hopes it can help you decide which one to purchase.

Since 2013, I’ve bought over 20 Vitamix blenders for myself, friends, parents, and my sister. These high-speed blenders make great birthday, college, wedding or baby shower gifts.

Ascent Series Smart Blender

2.2 horsepower | 10-year warranty

Top of the line with 64-ounce container, built-in timer, variable speed controls and touchscreen interface. Good option with a large accessory line (blending bowls, single serve cups, and a food processor.)


3 Vitamix Venturist 1200 machines, one in red, one in white and one in grey, each with food in them.


2.2 horsepower | 5-year warranty

Blender series made for Costco, yet sold online through as the Reconditioned Venturist. Features and accessory line are similar to the Ascent blender (has a pulse feature).

$299.95 $449.50

750 Pro Legacy Series

2.0- 2.2 horsepower | 7-year warranty

Classic Vitamix blender line with stainless steel blades and some of the highest-rated blenders of all time. Container size and program settings vary depending on the blender model. Has very few accessories.


Explorian Series: E310

2.0 horsepower | 5-year warranty

Entry level blender with compact container, very few features and just a couple of accessories like a personal cup adaptor.


Certified Reconditioned

3-year warranty

All types of blenders that have been returned for a variety of reasons, inspected by the manufacturer with a 17-point checklist and repackaged at a fraction of the price. This is where you get the crazy good deals if you’re open to versatility.

Vitamix Sales Promotion Schedule

While Vitamix Flash Sales are lightening fast, you can save BIG on a specific blender or accessory only while supplies last (they don’t last long). Look for a flash sale in the summer and also in early spring. You can always blender up smoothies and freeze into summer popsicles (or evening desserts). We’ll send emails when these awesome sales happen— make sure you’re on my newsletter list!

Spring Sale

This month-long event that takes place in April. This could be a great time to look for a new blender for you or a family member for Mother’s Day, wedding showers, baby showers, birthdays and more.

Vitamix Days

Vitamix hosts a Vitamix Days sale towards the end of September each year. This big sale includes several blenders, the Food Cycler, Immersion blender, several containers and more in this big sale.

Black Friday Deals

Vitamix sales are on steroids when their Black Friday sale begins on Thanksgiving Day and runs all weekend. It’s often called a “cyber weekend sale…” yet the reality is the great Vitamix deals continue for the entire holiday season. You might see $50-$75 off new blenders as well as specific blender sales at steeper discounts. Flash attachment + accessory sales happen throughout the month, too.

Container Sale

All full-sized containers go on sale during this annual two-day sale, including my favorite Stainless Steel Container (it was $50 off last year!). This sale usually takes place in early December.

male in black shirt pouring a green smoothies from a Vitamix blender into four glasses in modern kitchen.

Best Places to Buy a Vitamix

Vitamix sales happen through a variety of online retailers and physical stores. Here’s my top recommendations for stores that most often have special deals and great return policies as well:

  • is the best place to get a deal… and all the accessories to go with it. They offer stellar support answering all your questions, have a great warranty and even have their own rewards program.
  • Costco sells a variety of Vitamix blenders online and in stores. You can shop online and also see when a Vitamix Live Demonstration is coming to a warehouse near you.
  • Williams-Sonoma has the latest and greatest from Vitamix, plus occasionally releases limited edition colors and styles.
  • Amazon puts different Vitamix blenders on their Daily Deals page for flash sales throughout the year. It’s pretty random and won’t necessarily be the exact machine you want, but you can check on a regular basis to snag a Vitamix blender.

Common Vitamix Questions

Does Vitamix ever have sales?

Vitamix has sales throughout the year on their high-speed blenders, containers and accessories. Be on the lookout for their flash sales that pop-up occasionally, or mark your calendar for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and even Vitamix Days (which happens around Amazon’s Prime Day). If you can’t wait for a big sale, save $100+ by purchasing a Vitamix Recon Venturist V1200 blender.

Is the Costco Vitamix different?

Vitamix collaborate with Costco to create an exclusive blender only sold in Costco locations, the Venturist 1200. It’s essentially an Ascent-series blender at a lower price and comes with a blending cup. It’s truly the best VItamix deal out there if functionality is your #1 goal. If you don’t have a Costco close by or want to save even more money, you can purchase a Recon Venturist 1200 directly through Vitamix. Recon Venturist 1200 blenders are those that were returned at Costco… and now are able to be sold online at

What is better than a Vitamix?

I haven’t found any blender that’s better than a Vitamix. I’ve spent 10 years blending daily smoothies with a variety of blenders and have never found one that blends as quick, as well and lasts as long. The high-performance 2.2 HP motor, smart design and quality parts are what makes Vitamix stand apart. Consumer Reports also rates Vitamix as the best blender. Other blenders are more affordable, yet you’ll get what you pay for. They don’t blend as well, aren’t as easy to clean and the motoro usually burns out within a few months of daily use.

Is Vitamix better than Ninja?

The Ninja blender is an affordable entry-level blender for new food enthusiasts, that has a weak warranty and short lifespan. You get what you pay for. The Vitamix blender is what at-home chefs, food bloggers and anyone serious about eating better uses because of it’s powerful motor, 10-year warranty and quality parts. The Vitamix blender is made in the USA, whereas the Ninja is made in China. Repairs and customer service greatly differ because if the difference in location— I know from experience.

The Vitamix can do everything better than the Ninja can, plus it can be used as a food processor, milk frother, lemon meringue maker and soup heater. The SmartDetect accessories line Vitamix released in 2021 has taken this high-speed blender to a level that Ninja cannot match.

How can I get a discount on a Vitamix?

When you purchase a blender through, use promotion code 06-110 to unlock additional discounts and free shipping. Discounts on a Vitamix range from $25-$250 on blenders, containers and accessories. Check back here often for the latest sales if there’s a certain Vitamix you want to buy.

Does Vitamix have a payment plan?

In 2023, Vitamix partnered with Affirm to offer flexible payment plans so you can buy what you love and split up the cost. Learn more about Affirm through the “learn more” link on an eligible product like the Certified Reconditioned Venturist V1200.

What’s the lifespan of a Vitamix?

Vitamix blenders should last 10 years or more with proper care. It’s not uncommon to find a Vitamix from the 1970’s still working in grandma’s kitchen. If something does go wrong, most Vitamix blenders have a warranty between 5-10 years, allowing you to send it back in for repair. Vitamix has been privately operated by the Barnard family since 1921 and based in Olmsted Township, Ohio.

The post Best Vitamix Blender Sales appeared first on Simple Green Smoothies.

Strawberry Arugula Salad


This strawberry arugula salad is as delicious as it is beautiful. Topped with a lemon poppy seed vinaigrette, this rawkstar salad is a winner!

The post Strawberry Arugula Salad appeared first on Simple Green Smoothies.


Table of Contents
  1. Special Salad Ingredients
  2. Strawberry Arugula Salad Tips
  3. Helpful Ingredient Swaps
  4. Strawberry Arugula Salad Recipe
  5. Strawberry Salad FAQs

Nothing rings in Springtime like strawberries, fennel and arugula. I originally created this strawberry arugula salad for my cookbook, Simple Green Meals, and it is definitely a favorite. The toppings are my favorite, yet I constantly get emails about the lemon vinaigrette I created for it, too.

While this salad recipe may contain a few plants you aren’t familiar with, give it a try! These were new to me at one time too, and I got to discover just how incredible they are. Trust me.

ingredients for strawberry lemon arugula salad in black writing and white text boxes including arugula, lemon, orange, almonds, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and fennel.

Special Salad Ingredients

This strawberry arugula salad will leave you feeling great inside and out. The rawkstar ingredient list includes antioxidant-rich fruits, peppery leafy greens and a beautifully creamy salad dressing.

  • Arugula– This leafy green is in the same family as kale, broccoli and brussels sprouts, with the same powerful health benefits.
  • Fennel– A super-fiber bulb that is lightly licorice-flavored and crunchy.
  • Orange– A vitamin C powerhouse.
  • Berries– All the berries in this arugula salad are bursting with antioxidants that fight cancer, aid in cell repair and taste heavenly.
  • Meyer lemon– Lemons can help lower blood sugar through their pectin.
fresh, homemade dressing to top a homemade salad on a white plate.

Strawberry Arugula Salad Tips

  1. For an extra creamy dressing, combine all dressing ingredients (except for the poppy seeds!) in a blender or food processor. Blend until creamy. You may need to add a bit of water to help it blend well. Hand mix in the poppy seeds, then store in the fridge until ready to serve.
  2. Slice the fennel bulb, Meyer lemon, strawberries, almonds and orange, then toss with the arugula and berries. Once you’re ready to eat, shake up that homemade vinaigrette and pour over the salad.
  3. I won’t judge if you lick the bowl on this one. It’s ridiculously good. I love Meyer lemons so much I started growing them in my yard and eating them like apples. If this is your first time trying one then I dare you not to immediately fall in love :-).
fennel, lemon and arugula in white bowls.

Helpful Ingredient Swaps

  • While Meyer lemons are definitely preferred (they have the best flavor) in this strawberry arugula salad, you *can* swap them out for regular lemons. Just know they will be tarter and smaller.
  • You can swap fennel for white onion as well as the berries for any berries you have on hand.
  • If you need this salad to be nut-free, then swap the almonds with hemp hearts or sunflower seeds, and swap the cashews in the lemon vinaigrette with the same.
fruit and fennel salad with raspberries, strawberries, lemon, oranges and sliced almonds.

Strawberry Arugula Salad

This gorgeous strawberry arugula salad is as delicious as it is beautiful. Topped with a flavorful Meyer Lemon vinaigrette, this salad reminds me of a bright sunshiny day.
Course Entree, Salad
Cuisine Plant-Based
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 488kcal


  • 4 cups arugula
  • ½ fennel bulb very thinly sliced
  • 1 orange peeled and segmented
  • ½ cup strawberries sliced
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • ½ cup raspberries
  • ½ Meyer lemon seeded and very thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds

Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 2 tbsp raw cashews soaked
  • 2 tbsp Meyer lemon juiced
  • 1 tsp honey
  • tsp sea salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds


  • Combine the cashews, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Add a teaspoon of water if needed. Mix in poppy seeds and set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the arugula, fennel, oranges, berries, lemon and almonds.
  • When ready to serve, drizzle dressing on top.


  • If you have time, soak cashews in water for 2+ hours to get creamiest result. You can also “flash soak” by putting cashews in a bowl with boiling water. Cover with a plate for 10 minutes, then rinse and drain.
  • Store dressing in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. 
  • Swap in whatever berries you have on hand.
  • Hemp hearts or sunflower seeds can be swapped in for almonds in the salad and for the cashews in the dressing.
  • Meyer lemons are less tart and much sweeter (and larger) than regular lemons. You can swap in regular lemons if you can’t find Meyer lemons, yet it will change the flavor of the salad and vinaigrette. 


Calories: 488kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 22g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 336mg | Potassium: 952mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 1213IU | Vitamin C: 89mg | Calcium: 253mg | Iron: 4mg

Strawberry Salad FAQs

What goes well with arugula?

Arugula typically has a stronger, peppery flavor. I like to pair it with lighter, sweeter ingredients like berries as well as tangy fruit like oranges.

What dressing is best on a strawberry arugula salad?

My Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette is the perfect pairing for this salad. It’s sweet, tangy and creamy.

How long does a strawberry arugula salad stay fresh?

If you mix up this salad without the dressing it can keep up to 48 hours in the fridge. For the best results though, I recommend eating it right away.

The post Strawberry Arugula Salad appeared first on Simple Green Smoothies.

Mediterranean Falafel Bowl


Dive into this Mediterranean Falafel Bowl for a protein-rich, tasty meal with a colorful array of veggies, hummus and crispy falafel.

The post Mediterranean Falafel Bowl appeared first on Simple Green Smoothies.


Table of Contents
  1. Mediterranean Falafel Bowl Ingredients
  2. How to Make a Falafel Bowl
  3. Easy Falafel Bowl Additions
  4. Common Questions about Falafel Bowls
  5. More Mediterranean Recipes
  6. Mediterranean Falafel Bowl Recipe

In my continued quest to find protein-rich, plant-based meals to fuel my runs, I picked up a bag of frozen falafel and turned it into a ridiculously good Mediterranean Falafel Bowl. It’s extremely filling, flavorful, has texture perfection (crispy + cozy) and loaded with fresh vegetables for the perfect lunch.

As you may have noticed by the amount of vegetarian Mediterranean recipes I’ve shared over the years, I love Mediterranean-inspired recipes. Whenever I think of “eating the rainbow” or eating for longevity, I gravitate towards this style of eating.

This Mediterranean Falafel Bowl hits all those goals while giving you a super filling and tasty meal in minutes.

a bowl full of vegan falafel, couscous, red onion, radishes, pita, olives and other Mediterranean-inspired ingredients.

This dish is vibrantly colored and flavored as it features a variety of veggies, sauces and even some vegan feta. It’s also packed with protein and will keep you energized throughout the afternoon. It’s loaded yet won’t leave you feeling bloated or tired.

A friend recently recommended the restaurant Cava to me, and it might just be my new fav lunch spot when I’m in Oklahoma City. It’s like a Chipotle-style restaurant dedicated to Mediterranean-inspired salads, protein bowls and more. I can easily eat plant-based here and the ingredients are clean and flavorful—it’s addictively delicious.

This is my homemade version of my fav protein bowl from Cava—loaded with a gorgeous array of ingredients to fuel your day.

labeled ingredients for a Mediterranean Falafel bowl including sea salt and black pepper, olive oil, cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives, lemon juice, lemon, hummus, falafel, whole wheat pita, couscous, radishes, cucumber, spinach, onion and herbs.

Mediterranean Falafel Bowl Ingredients

To get a rainbow veggie bowl, you need a few ingredients. This list may seem long yet trust me… you’re not gonna want to miss out on the flavor explosion of all these rich, nutrient-packed ingredients when they’re mixed together.

  • Couscous: This is a grain that contains the antioxidant selenium that can help decrease inflammation. Since this does contain gluten, swap with brown rice to make this dish gluten-free.
  • Falafels: I fell in love with these tasty, fried balls and like to keep a bag on hand to toss into pitas and in bowls like this one.
  • Spinach: My base of choice for a salad-style dish is spinach since it’s mild and not as watery as lettuce. Feel free to use the leafy greens of your choice!
  • Herbs: fresh basil and mint are chopped up into this dish and provide great flavor. 
  • Lemon juice: Fresh squeezed lemon juice helps brighten up the whole recipe.
  • Olive oil: Feel free to use your fav extra-virgin olive oil or even a fun infused one.
  • Sea salt and black pepper: Add these to taste. If you struggle to eat salad then try this tip—toss your leafy greens in olive oil, salt and pepper before adding anything else. This help flavor those greens in a much more palatable way.
  • Hummus: Falafel is made from chickpeas and is a great plant-based protein. Add even more protein through a delicious homemade hummus and let it double as a sauce as well!
  • English cucumber: I love the crunch that cucumber provides without being overpowering. It also pairs well with fresh mint.
  • Kalamata olives: You should know my love for olives by now. I won’t judge how many you toss in if you don’t judge me, either!
  • Red onion: This helps bring a sharpness to all the chickpeas and herbs. It’s also colorful… bonus.
  • Radishes: Bring even more crunchy veggies with some fresh, quartered radishes. Most grocery stores actually sell already sliced radishes so that can save you a bit of time if you need it.
  • Vegan feta: Feta was one of the easiest plant-based switches I’ve made. Vegan feta has a taste and texture so similar to the dairy-filled version that if you served it, people might not know the difference. It adds some creaminess to this dish. If you’re not vegan, feel free to use traditional feta to get some additional protein.
  • Whole wheat pita: If you want, add in some slices of pita bread to act as dippers or just to enjoy alongside your falafel bowl. 
  • Lemon wedges: There is always room for more lemon! Once you are ready to dive in, squeeze a lemon wedge over the whole bowl for a final little pizazz.

How to Make a Falafel Bowl

Use this recipe for a filling lunch or as a fun, family dinner that each member can customize as they want. This is a way for you to eat the rainbow with ease, and enjoy doing it! I wanted something easy yet satisfying so I opted for already cooked + frozen falafel. If you have the time to prep your own then go for it! I recommend making Yumna’s homemade Lebanese falafel from her blog, Feel Good Foodie. 

Whether you make your own or grab some from the store, they will fit right into this recipe:

bowl of baked falafel.

Step 1: Start by preparing the couscous and bake the falafel according to the directions on their packages. 

glass bowl of herbs, spinach and couscous.

Step 2: Toss the prepped couscous with fresh spinach, herbs, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. 

spooning herbed couscous onto a place next to some hummus.

Step 3: Since this recipe makes 4 servings if you follow it as-is, divide the herbed couscous mixture evenly between 4 bowls then equally divide up the toppings. I’m using hummus, cucumber, olives, onion, radishes and falafel.

Mediterranean falafel bowl with a rainbow of vegetables, vegan feta and herbed couscous.

Step 4: Sprinkle with feta cheese (vegan or not) and serve with a lemon wedge + pita bread, if desired. This honestly works great without the pita, yet can be more filling with it if you want to go that route. 

I love serving this as falafel salad bowls yet if you want a hand-held version then open up some pitas or grab some flat bread and turn these into falafel wraps. 

This is an easy recipe to prep ahead of time as the lemon juice and olive oil tossed around everything will help it stay fresh in that lunchbox until you’re ready to enjoy it.

Easy Falafel Bowl Additions

  • Use pickled veggies: Take your red onions up a notch and make some quick pickled red onions from Kate over at Cookie + Kate. I also buy a big bucket of them at Costco because they’re pickled with jalapenos (and you know I looove the heat!). Swap plain cucumbers for pickled cucumbers. This will create a brighter flavor— and the more flavor the merrier! You can also try pickled radishes or carrots. The options are truly endless!
  • Pile on the sauces: If Cava can do, so can we! Try adding a scoop of whipped labneh (not vegan), tahini sauce, tzatziki sauce and hummus to create a flavor explosion.
  • Load up on veggies: Add other vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli or roasted sweet potatoes can be a great way to clean out the fridge.
  • Use an infused olive oil: I just got some as a Christmas gift from a friend and I plan to drizzle it on everything.
  • Add a protein boost: The falafel already has some protein, yet you can always increase by adding Roasted Chickpeas, sesame seeds, pepitas or even some tofu, if you want. You… do you.
Mediterranean falafel salad bowl with vegetables and pita, sitting on a dining table.

Common Questions about Falafel Bowls

What is in Falafel?

These fried balls are typically made with chickpeas or fava beans mixed with spices and herbs then fried in oil.

Why is falafel not vegan?

Falafel itself is vegan, yet it may be fried in a non-vegan oil or served with a dairy-based yogurt sauce.

What pairs well with falafel?

Falafel is a protein-packed addition that works great in a Mediterranean-inspired bowl with hummus, fresh herbs and fresh veggies. Or toss them into a salad, stuff them into a pita, or eat as a snack with a yogurt-based sauce.

More Mediterranean Recipes

If you love vegetarian Mediterranean recipes like I do then try a few more of my favs from warming entrees like this vegan pumpkin soup and oven-roasted spaghetti squash to marinated celery salad or Greek salad paired with a layered Greek dip.

Take your next gathering up a notch by perfecting a vegan charcuterie board complete with homemade hummus and a gorgeous green olive tapenade served with bright fruits and veggies.


Mediterranean Falafel Bowl

Dive into this Mediterranean Falafel Bowl for a protein-rich, tasty meal. It's got a colorful array of veggies, hummus and herb-y falafel that is best when crisped to perfection. I can't wait for you to enjoy this meal!
Course Entree, Salad
Cuisine Mediterranean-Inspired
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 488kcal


  • 1 cup couscous uncooked
  • 16 falafel frozen
  • 1 cup spinach chopped
  • 2 tbsp basil leaves chopped
  • 2 tbsp mint leaves chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juiced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • tsp sea salt
  • tsp black pepper ground
  • ½ cup hummus
  • 1 cup English cucumber sliced
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup Kalamata olives
  • ¼ cup red onion thinly sliced
  • ½ cup radishes quartered
  • ½ cup vegan feta
  • 4 pita bread cut into wedges
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges


  • Prepare couscous and falafel according to their packages.
  • Toss cooked couscous with spinach, herbs, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Divide herbed couscous mixture, hummus, prepped vegetables and falafel evenly between all bowls.
  • Sprinkle vegan feta on top and serve with a lemon wedge and some pita bread.


  • Feel free to prep the couscous ahead of time, up to 2 days in advance. 
  • If you want to try homemade falafel, check out the Lebanese falafel recipe by Feel Good Foodie.
  • Swap out any veggies listed for ones you have on hand. Tomatoes, other leafy greens, bell peppers or cooked sweet potato all works great in this bowl as well.
  • Instead of eating it bowl-style, cut a pita in half and stuff with the couscous mixture + all the vegetables and falafel for a great hand-held option.


Calories: 488kcal | Carbohydrates: 82g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 884mg | Potassium: 625mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1402IU | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 132mg | Iron: 4mg

The post Mediterranean Falafel Bowl appeared first on Simple Green Smoothies.

Healthy Pomegranate Smoothie


This pomegranate smoothie recipe is loaded with healthy benefits that will leave you glowing from the inside out. Antioxidants galore!

The post Healthy Pomegranate Smoothie appeared first on Simple Green Smoothies.


Grab this Pomegranate Smoothie for a ruby red beverage loaded with potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C. It’s the perfect antioxidant-rich drink that you can sip this season to ward off the sniffles and capitalize on some seasonal ingredients.

two glass jars full of pomegranate smoothies topped with pomegranate arils and raspberries, sitting on a wooden cutting board.
Table of Contents
  1. Pomegranate Smoothie Ingredients
  2. How to Cut a Pomegranate for a Smoothie
  3. How to Blend a Pomegranate Smoothie
  4. More Ways to Use Pomegranate
  5. Healthy Pomegranate Smoothie Recipe
  6. Pomegranate Smoothie FAQs

I live for pomegranate season, like buy Costco-sized boxes every time I see them in stores kind of living. My family loves them as well!

I’m sure it’s the burst of juice you get when you bite into the arils as well as how versatile they are as a topping for a Fall salad, a bright addition to a vegan charcuterie board or a lovely flavor mixed into berry sangria. They are perfect for this Pomegranate Smoothie and I hope you get to enjoy this recipe at least once this year.

Today’s smoothie recipe is loaded with healthy benefits that will leave us glowing from the inside out. These antioxidant gems make an energizing pomegranate smoothie in just minutes.

labeled ingredients for a red fruit smoothie including frozen berries, red cabbage, pomegranate arils and goji berries.

Pomegranate Smoothie Ingredients

I added as many red ingredients as I could fit into this smoothie recipe resulting in a delicious, gorgeous red beverage that’s loaded with vitamins and minerals. Here’s what I’m blending today:

If you want to boost your smoothie and turn it into a meal replacement then add in 1 serving of homemade protein powder. It takes this smoothie from 5g of protein to 15g of protein as well as thickens the final product up a bit.

How to Cut a Pomegranate for a Smoothie

While we LOVE this great fruit and all the incredible benefits, how the heck do you get it open?! Pomegranates are a little weird in that we can’t just peel or slice to get to the juicy good parts.

Here is a short tutorial on how to de-seed a pomegranate:

Follow these steps for the least amount of mess and the biggest yield:

  1. Cut the fruit directly in half ‘hamburger style.’
  2. Holding the fruit seed side down over a bowl, use a wooden spoon or flat, sturdy spatula and whack the fruit.
  3. Repeat with the other half.
two glass jars of red fruit smoothie topped with raspberries and pomegranate arils.

How to Blend a Pomegranate Smoothie

While this smoothie may not have “leafy greens” it does have some leafy reds, so we’re going to do the 2-step blending method to get the best result:

  1. Blend cabbage, water, pomegranate arils and goji berries until smooth. If you aren’t using a high-powered blender then soak the goji berries first to soften them up a bit.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and blend again until smooth. Since the berries have seeds you may need a longer blending time than normal. Stop and scrape down the sides of the container as needed.
  3. Pour into your fav glass and enjoy!

If you’re adding protein powder to this recipe then add it during step 2. You can also add in some yogurt (greek yogurt or vegan yogurt) to turn this smoothie into a meal replacement.

glass jar full of fruit smoothie topped with red fruits.

More Ways to Use Pomegranate

Since pomegranate has a lot of the same nutrients that berries do, you can swap them into any smoothie recipe that calls for berries: my raspberry smoothie would be a great one. You could also add them to this mixed berry smoothie with ease.

Pomegranate isn’t just good for smoothies; toss it into this mason jar salad or even use it as a delightful vegan pumpkin soup topping.

Don’t forget to rate + review this recipe once you blend it up!

pomegranate smoothie recipe

Healthy Pomegranate Smoothie

Try this pomegranate smoothie recipe to give your body an immunity boost and some great energy for the busy day ahead. It's loaded with antioxidant-rich ingredients like red cabbage, raspberries, pomegranate arils, strawberries, cherries and superfoods to bring you the best flu-fighters in one serving.
Course Smoothie
Cuisine Plant-Based
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 310kcal


  • 1 cup red cabbage chopped
  • ½ cup water chilled
  • ½ cup pomegranate arils
  • ½ cup strawberries frozen
  • ½ cup raspberries frozen
  • ½ cup cherries frozen
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp goji berries optional


  • Place cabbage, water, pomegranate arils and goji berries (if using) into a blender.
  • Puree until smooth.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and blend again until smooth.


  • Can substitute pomegranate arils with 1/2 cup pomegranate juice.
  • Use at least 1 frozen fruit for a refreshingly cool smoothie.
  • Swap out the cabbage for the leafy greens of your choice.
  • Feel free to add in some Antioxidant Smoothie Cubes for even more red foods.


Calories: 310kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Sodium: 38mg | Potassium: 861mg | Fiber: 20g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 1079IU | Vitamin C: 122mg | Calcium: 239mg | Iron: 4mg

Pomegranate Smoothie FAQs

What fruit mixes well with pomegranate?

Pomegranate mixes well with so many fruits. You can pair it with citrus, berries, bananas and more! It also pairs well with a variety of squashes, so don’t be afraid to toss some pomegranate arils in your next dish.

Is it safe to blend pomegranate?

It is safe to blend pomegranate arils. If you aren’t using a high-powered blender then you may still get a few gritty pieces after blending, so feel free to pour it through a mesh sieve into your glass. If you are using a high-powered blender then there shouldn’t be any grittiness leftover from the arils.

Can we mix banana and pomegranate together?

Pomegranate goes well with a variety of fruits, including bananas. Toss some arils on your next salad, fruit salad or citrus platter. Mix it in with some butternut squash. Blend some in your next smoothie, or enjoy fresh and by itself!

The post Healthy Pomegranate Smoothie appeared first on Simple Green Smoothies.

Yogurt Persimmon Smoothie


Try this creamy, refreshing Yogurt Persimmon smoothie to add a new, fun Fall fruit to your smoothie list. Delightfully festive and tasty!

The post Yogurt Persimmon Smoothie appeared first on Simple Green Smoothies.


This easy smoothie will brighten your day! It’s made with just 4 ingredients + a dash of cinnamon at the end, and it uses a fun seasonal fruit called a persimmon. Try my Yogurt Persimmon Smoothie for a creamy snack. A smoothie like my Vanilla Bean Yogurt Smoothie or this lovely persimmon one is a great way to add extra protein to your day!

My son introduced me to persimmons after we found some at Trader Joes. He thought they were so bright and fun so we just had to try them. Once we figured out how to tell when they’re ripe (when the skin is almost translucent), we gave them a try… and were immediately impressed! They are creamy, super sweet and easy to eat.

glass full of orange smoothie topped with orange fruit, cinnamon and 2 paper straws.

Naturally I had to come up with a fruit smoothie recipe to showcase this incredibly beautiful fruit, so I paired it with a bright orange, some coconut yogurt and a bit of honey for a filling snack. This no banana smoothie recipe is a great option to blend this time of year.

Table of Contents
  1. Ingredients in a Persimmon Smoothie
  2. How to Make a Persimmon Smoothie
  3. Common Questions ABout A Persimmon Smoothie with Yogurt
  4. More Fruit Smoothie Recipes for Winter
  5. Yogurt Persimmon Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients in a Persimmon Smoothie

labeled ingredients for a persimmon smoothie including cinnamon, honey, vegan yogurt, orange and Fuyu persimmons.

This 4-ingredient smoothie with a dash of cinnamon is such a satisfying pairing of sweet, citrus and a bit of deep flavor from the honey and spice.

  • Vegan yogurt: I’m keeping this smoothie dairy-free with some coconut yogurt. Grab your fav version from the store or try making your own.
  • Orange: A lightly peeled orange adds a juicy, citrus flavor to this blend while also giving it vitamin C.
  • Fuyu persimmons: This type of persimmon should be fairly easy to find at the grocery store starting in October.
  • Honey: I love pairing honey with these sweet persimmons. Feel free to use the natural sweetener of your choice; maple syrup is a great vegan option.
  • Cinnamon: A dash of cinnamon at the end is the perfect way to finish off this festive drink. If you aren’t a fan of smoothie toppings then feel free to add it right into the blender to mix in with the other ingredients.

You can swap the yogurt with canned coconut milk and add in a dash of vanilla for a bit of warmth.

Pro Tip: Make sure those persimmons are ripe before you blend, as they won’t be flavorful and creamy if they aren’t!

How to Make a Persimmon Smoothie

Since persimmons may be a new-to-you fruit, especially if you aren’t used to tossing them into a smoothie, I added a recipe step on how to prep them (spoiler alert, it’s super easy). Here’s how I’m blending this 5-ingredient smoothie:

white bowl of persimmon slices on a white countertop next to whole persimmons.

Step 1: Since the skin of a persimmon is edible, start by washing the fruit well. Then remove the top stem and you’re ready to toss them into the blender along with the yogurt, orange (peeled) and honey.

blender container of orange smoothie sitting on a white countertop surrounded by fresh persimmons, a tea towel and a jar of ground cinnamon.

Step 2: Blend this mixture until smooth. Stop and scrape down the sides as needed to get the smoothest result.

pouring an orange fruit smoothie from a blender container into a glass sitting on a white countertop.

Step 3: Pour into a glass and sprinkle cinnamon on top. Enjoy!

If you thought the liquid was missing, it’s not. Oranges and persimmons are super juicy fruits so they act as both the liquid and the produce in this recipe. If you want to add in a few tablespoons of water to help your blender then go for it.

You can also add in a bit of coconut milk for a tropical tasting result.

Common Questions ABout A Persimmon Smoothie with Yogurt

What fruits go well with persimmon?

Persimmon tastes great alongside oranges, pomegranate seeds, grapes and apples. Since these are all rip in the same season, you should be able to easily find them all to toss into a fruit salad or smoothie!

What are the health benefits of persimmons?

Persimmons are great sources of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin B6. They are full of antioxidants and can help boost heart health.

Can you eat the skin of a persimmon?

The skin of a persimmon is definitely edible! The skin is just a bit tougher than that of a plum, and tastes just like the custard-like flesh inside.

glass of yogurt persimmon smoothie topped with fresh persimmons and 2 paper straws, on a white counter surrounded by persimmons.

More Fruit Smoothie Recipes for Winter

I know it might be hard to think about sipping an icy cold smoothie during the Winter months yet hear me out. You might be surprised how much of a difference using room temp ingredients (aka no frozen fruits) or blending up some warm smoothies can make.

Seasonal ingredients make smoothies like this butternut squash smoothie or an apple pie smoothie taste heavenly, even warm! My kids love sipping a hot chocolate smoothie on a cold morning.

Or if you do just fine with cold ingredients then give a refreshing pomegranate smoothie or a festive fig smoothie a blend. Lean into the flavors of the season and have fun with your daily beverage!

Don’t forget to rate + review this recipe once you’ve made it; I can’t wait for you to try it!


Yogurt Persimmon Smoothie

I'm turning to persimmons this year for a festive, in-season persimmon smoothie that's ultra creamy and tasty. Just 5 simple ingredients— yogurt, orange, persimmon, honey and cinnamon,— to create a delicious drink that will help fuel your day.
Course Smoothie
Cuisine dairy-free
Diet Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 402kcal


  • high-powered blender


  • ½ cup vegan yogurt
  • 1 orange peeled
  • 2 fuyu persimmons ripe
  • 1 tsp honey
  • tsp cinnamon ground


  • Wash persimmons and remove stems.
  • Blend yogurt, orange, persimmons and honey until smooth.
  • Pour into a glass and sprinkle cinnamon on top. Serve immediately.


  • To make this recipe vegan, swap honey with maple syrup or the natural sweetener of your choice.
  • Since oranges carry so much water, you don’t need to add liquid to this smoothie. Yet if your blender blades have a hard time getting this smoothie liquified, then add just a bit of water to facilitate the blending process.
  • Use frozen persimmons or add ice to your glass for a refreshingly cool smoothie.
  • Feel free to add up to a cup of leafy greens.


Calories: 402kcal | Carbohydrates: 92g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Sodium: 39mg | Potassium: 782mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 295IU | Vitamin C: 292mg | Calcium: 566mg | Iron: 9mg

The post Yogurt Persimmon Smoothie appeared first on Simple Green Smoothies.

Vegan Mexican Pizza (Taco Bell Copycat)


Bring Taco Bell comfort food home with this dairy-free, Vegan Mexican Pizza. It might not always be on their menu, yet it’s always on mine!

The post Vegan Mexican Pizza (Taco Bell Copycat) appeared first on Simple Green Smoothies.


After Taco Bell took away my fav menu item, I knew I had to make my own version. This Vegan Mexican Pizza is similar to how I order it at the actual restaurant and yet it tastes even better! Make a homemade Mexican pizza right in your kitchen.

Tex-Mex is one of my fav food groups and works its flair into a lot of the recipes I share. You’ll often find my family dining on dairy-free options like Tacos de Papa or my Austinite Vegan Tacos.

I keep the chickpea mixture for these Chickpea Tacos in my freezer for whenever the mood strikes (it warms up so well in the toaster oven!). So naturally I had to make a version of my fav fast food order!

stack of vegan Mexican Pizza slices on a stone plate, topped with hot sauce and a lime wedge.
Table of Contents
  1. Ingredients in a Vegan Mexican Pizza
  2. Vegan Mexican Pizza Meat Substitutes
  3. How to Create a Vegan Mexican Pizza
  4. Homemade Mexican Pizza FAQs
  5. More Vegan “Fast Food” Ideas
  6. Vegan Mexican Pizza (Taco Bell Copycat) Recipe

Ingredients in a Vegan Mexican Pizza

labeled ingredients for vegan Mexican pizza including flour tortillas, tomatoes, vegan shredded cheddar cheese, refried beans, Taco Bell hot sauce, onion, taco seasoning, green onions, black olives and jalapeño.

This recipe is fun to make and so good; you’re family may start requesting it on a regular basis. They don’t need to know it’s vegan or plant-based… it’s just so good! Here’s what I’m putting in mine:

  • Yellow onion: This is the base of flavor in this recipe and easy to sauté for the exact right flavor.
  • Jalapeño: Remove the seeds when chopping for less spice, or keep them in for the full experience. If you can’t handle spicy peppers then swap for green or red bell peppers.
  • Taco seasoning: I make my seasoning and keep it in a jar in my spice cabinet. That way I can grab it whenever the mood strikes. You can also use premade seasoning and measure it out.
  • Refried beans: Double refried pinto beans is how I replace the meat in the real deal, so it’s going into my homemade version, too.
  • Flour tortillas: Taco Bell uses corn tortilla shells in their recipe yet I wanted a slightly bigger surface so swapped them for flour in my version.
  • Taco Bell Hot Sauce: To really achieve the authentic flavor, you gotta go with the authentic sauce. Yet feel free to use red enchilada sauce if that’s more your style.
  • Vegan shredded cheddar cheese: If you’ve never tried vegan cheese before, cheddar is a great place to start! It’s got a distinct flavor and most shredded varieties I’ve tried seem to melt which is what we want.
  • Tomatoes: Diced tomatoes are the only veggie topping on the original version, so I include them on mine… along with some other fabulous additions you’ll love.
  • Green onions: I ask for green onions when I order the Mexican Pizza so you better believe I’m adding them to this homemade recipe as well.
  • Black olives: My love for black olives has me putting them on a wide variety of dishes and they pair perfectly with this pizza as well!

I like to serve mine with either guacamole or vegan avocado crema and some cashew cream. All these options make for great dipping or drizzling over the pizzas.

Vegan Mexican Pizza Meat Substitutes

If you want the texture of meat or the flavor it adds to your pizza without the real thing then I’ve got some options for you to try.

Walnut Taco Meat

Honestly while the walnut might throw some people, my vegan walnut taco meat is a great sub in any recipe that uses ground beef. It magically has the texture and weight of beef without any animal products in it.

Toss it with your fav taco seasoning and you’ve got the perfect substitute.

Tofu Taco Crumbles

If you want a nut-free option then try the tofu taco crumbles from Make it Dairy Free. I’ve made this version, too and its great!

Layer either one of these options in on top of the refried beans when assembling your homemade Mexican pizzas, just like Taco Bell does.

How to Create a Vegan Mexican Pizza

This may sound like a lot of steps yet it’s really just making sure all the components are heated properly before assembling for the final bake. Not hard!

Step 1: You’ll use both the stovetop and the oven for this recipe so go ahead and preheat the oven to 400°F while you also heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add avocado oil to the skillet, just enough so the diced onions won’t stick.

stainless steel skillet and slotted spoon with sautéd vegetables.

Step 2: Sauté the onions and jalapeños for 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent and golden brown.

pouring taco seasoning from a small blue bowl into a stainless steel skillet of sautéd vegetables.

Step 3: Stir in the taco seasoning with a bit of water and the refried beans. Depending on how dried out your beans are, you may need to add a bit more water to get a creamy consistency. Remove this mixture from the heat.

brushing tortilla shells with oil.

Step 4: Brush avocado oil on both sides of all your tortilla shells then place each shell in the prepared baking trays. They should be split between the 2 trays evenly and arranged in a single layer so they can crisp equally.

2 crispy tortilla shells on parchment lined baking sheet.

Step 5: Bake the tortilla shells for 5 minutes then flip and bake for 3 more minutes, or until all the shells are toasted.

spreading refried beans with a black spatula onto crispy tortilla shells.

Step 6: Spread the refried bean mixture over the tops of half the toasted shells then cover the beans with the other toasted shells.

sprinkling vegan cheddar cheese on top of hot sauce on tortilla shells.

Step 7: Layer on the sauce, cheese, tomatoes, green onions and olives. Bake again in oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Since vegan cheese varies from brand to brand, your melting time will also vary.

finished vegan Mexican Pizzas on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Step 8: Remove the pizzas from the oven and cut each one into 4 slices. Enjoy!

Homemade Mexican Pizza FAQs

Can the Mexican Pizza be vegan?

If you are at Taco Bell and want vegan version of the Mexican Pizza then swap the meat for refried beans and omit the dairy. Yet if you want an even better version that is completely animal-free then give my Vegan Mexican Pizzas a try. They use refried beans and vegan cheddar cheese. You can even use cashew cream as a vegan sour cream dipping sauce.

What are the Taco Bell Mexican pizza shells made of?

The Taco Bell Mexican pizzas are made using corn tortilla shells. You can use these in your homemade version, or swap them with toasted flour tortilla shells, whatever your preference.

Is Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza vegan?

No, Taco Bell’s Mexican pizza isn’t vegan. If you omit the meat for refried beans then you still have the cheddar cheese on it. Omit the cheese if you’re at the restaurant, or consider making your own version using a vegan cheddar cheese.

homemade Mexican pizza slices on a parchment lined baking sheet.

More Vegan “Fast Food” Ideas

I enjoy eating plant-based meals yet that often means more prep time. While I love calling green smoothies the best fast food since most of them take 5 minutes or less to throw together, I also wanna get down with some comfort food from time to time.

That’s when I turn to my Vegetarian Ramen recipe, or this Chipotle Veggie Bowl. They’re both fast and delicious! I’ve also got a freezer stash of the filling for these Thai Lettuce Wraps so I can grab a serving whenever I want PF Changs to-go.

What other fav menu items do you have from Taco Bell, or want as a vegan version? After rating this recipe, drop a comment and let me know!


Vegan Mexican Pizza (Taco Bell Copycat)

If you love the idea of the Taco Bell Mexican Pizza yet want to make it vegan then try this fabulous version! It's got all the layers you want yet uses refried beans instead of meat and vegan shredded cheese. Top with tomatoes, green onions and olives and you'll feel just like you're eating fast food!
Course Entree
Cuisine Mexican-Inspired, Vegan
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 547kcal


  • stove
  • oven


  • 3 tbsp avocado oil
  • ½ yellow onion chopped
  • 1 jalapeño chopped
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1 ½ cups refried beans
  • 8 flour tortillas
  • ¼ cup Taco Bell Hot Sauce
  • 2 cups vegan shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup tomatoes chopped
  • ¼ cup green onions sliced
  • ¼ cup sliced black olives


  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Heat skillet over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon avocado oil.
  • Sauté chopped onion and jalapeño for 5 minutes or until onions are lightly golden.
  • Stir in taco seasoning and refried beans. If it's really thick then add a little water and stir until the mixture reaches a creamy consistency. Remove from heat.
  • Brush avocado oil on both sides of each tortilla shell. Split the shells between the 2 prepared baking sheets and bake for 5 minutes (there should be 4 shells on each sheet in a single layer; if you double or triple the recipe, you'll need to bake the shells in batches). Flip and bake for 3 more minutes, or until tortillas are toasted. Remove from oven.
  • Spread the refried bean mixture on the tops of half of the baked tortilla shells. Place the remaining plain tortilla shells on top of the beans. Each one be tortilla shell, refried beans then tortilla shell.
  • Layer the Taco Bell Sauce, shredded cheese, tomatoes, green onions and olives on the tops of the tortilla shells. You should end up with 4 total pizzas.
  • Return the baking sheet full of layered pizzas to the oven for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and golden. Depending on the vegan cheese you use, the melt time may vary. Remove from oven and cut each pizza into 4 wedges to serve.


  • Swap fresh jalapeños with pickled jalapeños or for a no-spice option, green bell pepper.
  • Swap yellow onion with purple onion for sharper taste.
  • You can use enchilada sauce instead of Taco Bell Sauce, or your fav sauce for tacos.
  • Swap refried pinto beans with cooked black beans.
  • If you still want that “meat” texture then feel free to add some Walnut Taco Meat instead of or alongside with the refried beans.
  • You can use corn tortilla shells instead of flour, yet they will be smaller so you’ll make a few extra “pizzas”.
For Serving
  • If you want a dairy-free sour cream option then use my Cashew Cream to dip/drizzle when serving.
  • Vegan Avocado Crema also works as a delicious dipping sauce.


Calories: 547kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Sodium: 2101mg | Potassium: 234mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 601IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 175mg | Iron: 4mg

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