Sweet Miso Pasta Salad

After all the Memorial Day BBQs and get togethers you may have attended this past weekend, did you see your share of pasta salads on the table? I typically pass on pasta salad unless it is one I make (or my mom makes!). I’m just not a fan of cold pasta that is usually coated with some creamy dressing, or laced with feta cheese or cured meat bits. But this past weekend, I knew I needed to get my fill of carbs at a friends’ BBQ since I was running a half marathon the next day. So, I took matters into my own hands and kitchen and made my own pasta salad!

I used a box of spiral whole wheat pasta and cooked it according to the package directions. Once it was cooked and rinsed with cold water, I added to the pasta:
2 diced peppers – one red, one orange
1 can of corn
A container of pre-cooked, shelled edamame. If you can’t get edamame, peas will work great.

The colors from the veggies made for a really beautiful pasta salad!

I had been hanging onto this Sweet Miso Salad Dressing recipe from Vegan Yum Yum for some time now. I have a huge container of Miso in my fridge that only gets used when I make miso soup in the winter. I decided to try the dressing on this pasta salad, since the miso and edamame would give the traditional American pasta salad an Asian twist.

This dressing made the salad. It is incredible! Head out to a specialty store or Asian grocery and get yourself some miso (in the refrigerator section) just to make this dressing, for salad, tofu or fish marinades, pasta salad, or just to dip some carrot sticks. It’s that good. I doubled the recipe below and shook it up in a jar (no whisk in my kitchen!). Then I poured about 80% of the dressing into the salad and mixed it well, and added the remaining dressing before serving the next day.

We devoured the pasta salad before we even fired up the grill for the rest of the BBQ foods. Everyone loved it and I’m happy to say I have a new favorite pasta salad. Funk said it was the best pasta salad he had ever tasted. Good thing, since I have enough miso to make this recipe over and over and over.

Sweet Miso Salad Dressing
Dresses one head of lettuce. Doubled the recipe for pasta salad.

1 tsp. Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tbs Sweet White Miso (heaping)
1 Tbs Dijon Mustard (heaping)
1 Tbs Granulated Sugar
2 Pinches Salt
Fresh Cracked Black Pepper, to taste
3-4 Tbs (approx) Peanut or Veg Oil – I used canola
1 Tbs Hot Water

Add balsamic vinegar, miso, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper into a bowl. Use a whisk to mix ingredients thoroughly. Slowly drizzle in the oil while whisking constantly, creating an emulsion. Dressing should turn shiny and thick. Taste and re-season if necessary. Whisk in hot water to thin.
Let stand for a few minutes and whisk again before serving


  1. cheryl ray
    Posted June 15, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    where can i find that white miso? i have never heard of it.this salad looks so good i want to try it at my cookout july 11

  2. Janel
    Posted June 15, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    I found my miso at a specialty grocery store, but you could try an Asian grocery store or even get it online! I just found it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/White-Miso-Paste-2-2-lb/dp/B002GC3D8Q That big container will last you a LONG time. I’ve had mine in the fridge for over a year. All that sodium acts as a great preservative! Let me know if you can find it. You’ll love this recipe!

  3. Posted July 1, 2011 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    This recipe looks awesome Janel!

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  1. […] salad: I can’t imagine a barbecue without any pasta salad and my Sweet Miso Pasta Salad is a tried and true crowd pleaser. It’s got great color and crunch from the red and orange bell […]

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