This chickpea pasta salad is a quick and healthy recipe made with fresh and nutritious ingredients in less than 20 minutes.
You'll love this healthy pasta salad recipe because it's tasty, nourishing, and fulfilling, with wholesome plant-based protein, vitamins, and antioxidants.
Check out our best vegan salad recipes collection!
Pasta salads are the perfect spring and summer meal for busy and health-conscious people as they are quick to make and packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and plant-based protein from wholesome ingredients.
Pasta with chickpeas together is the perfect combination to make you feel satiated and nourished. Those two ingredients provide you with complete protein, healthy carbs, plenty of fiber, and a modest fat content.
Add fresh seasonal vegetables, and you'll pack even more flavor, vitamins, and antioxidants in a single bowl of this delicious and nourishing chickpea pasta salad.
This chickpea pasta recipe is mediterranean in flavor, fresh, colorful, crunchy, and a little zesty, thanks to an easy lemon dressing. Enjoy it as an easy lunch, snack, or quick dinner.
It's also suitable for meal prep, as you can make it in advance and have it ready for those busy days when you have no time to cook.
Pasta: we like to use rotini or fusilli. Feel free to use any short pasta type, like bow-ties, elbows, and penne. For a gluten-free option, use gluten-free pasta. You can even replace regular pasta with chickpea pasta, lentil pasta, or protein pasta. Boil the pasta in plenty of water, seasoned with coarse sea salt or kosher salt.
Chickpeas: also known as garbanzo beans. We use chickpeas in glass or in cans to save time. You can also use dry chickpeas, but you've got to cook them yourself first.
Fresh vegetables: for this pasta salad recipe, we use cherry tomatoes, cucumber, kalamata olives or black olives, red onion, and canned corn, but feel free to use your favorite seasonal veggies. Good alternatives are yellow or red bell pepper, lightly boiled or air-fried asparagus, and artichoke hearts.
Fresh herbs: fresh parsley is our fresh herb of choice. Other herbs that work well in this recipe are mint, fresh basil, dill, and chives. You can even add a sprinkle of dried oregano.
Dressing: we use a simple lemon vinaigrette made with fresh lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and black pepper. To make the dressing extra special, add Dijon mustard, maple syrup (or agave syrup), and a grated clove of garlic. If you don't have fresh lemon juice, you can use red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
Tip: want to make this pasta salad super creamy? Mix in a ripe, diced avocado just before serving it.
Note: we like to keep this salad vegan, so we don't add feta cheese or any other cheese to it.
Cook the pasta as per package directions in a large pot with plenty of salted boiling water. When cooked, "al dente," drain, and cool down under running cold water. We do this mostly to prevent the pasta from overcooking. No one likes mushy pasta. While the pasta cooks, prepare the vegetables.
Make the lemon vinaigrette: to a small bowl add olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Optionally you can add mustard and maple syrup. Whisk well till combined.
Rinse and drain the chickpeas and add them to a large bowl. Add chopped tomatoes, chopped cucumber, sliced olives, drained canned corn, finely chopped onion, and finely chopped parsley.
Add the cooked pasta to the bowl. Pour in the lemon vinaigrette, mix well, taste, adjust for salt, and serve this delicious and healthy pasta salad.
Tip: if you want to make this healthy pasta salad extra creamy, add a diced, ripe avocado just before serving it. Mix with a spoon and you'll see how the avo will kind of mash in the pasta, turning into an irresistible creamy coating. Do not add the avocado if you are not eating the pasta immediately.
You can enjoy this pasta salad as is as a main meal. It's perfect as a quick lunch or for an easy dinner. From a nutritional point of view, you don't need to serve anything else next to it. The pasta, chickpeas, vegetables, and the extra virgin olive oil provide you with all the necessary nutrients to keep you full and healthy.
We especially love this for picnics and get togethers as you can make it ahead of time and bring it with you. Plus, everyone will like this, vegans and non-vegans alike. It really is the perfect summer recipe.
If you want to make this recipe even more protein-rich, then try adding our delicious pan-fried tofu. It only takes 15 minutes to make with really simple ingredients. I love it with this salad.
Change up the veggies: don't like our selection of vegetables? No problem. Change them up with your favorite vegetables. You can add roasted eggplant, celery, carrot, and even zucchini noodles. If you are into stronger flavors, try adding chopped-up sun-dried tomatoes in oil. In spring, try lightly boiled asparagus or artichoke hearts. In autumn, go all-in with diced roasted pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, or butternut squash.
Add more protein: this chickpea pasta salad already packs plenty of protein, more than enough for anyone with about 14 grams per serving. If, however, you are working out hard in the gym and want even more protein, one option is to add some chopped nuts. Try almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pinenuts. Another option is our super tasty pan-fried tofu. So delicious.
Make it oil-free: we know some of you might want to reduce or avoid oil. In this case, don't use oil in the dressing. Then if you want to add some unrefined fats to make the pasta salad more delicious, mash up a ripe avocado, and mix it in. It's just perfect with chickpeas and pasta.
More salad recipes
Yes. Pasta salad can have plenty of protein. Our chickpea pasta salad recipe packs an impressive 14 grams of protein per serving. And you can easily add more protein. Check out our "variations" chapter for more info.
Yes. It's easy to make pasta salad gluten-free. You just need to pick a pasta type that is free of gluten. There are many options on the market these days.
Yes. You can make an oil-free pasta salad by removing the oil from our lemon dressing. Optionally you can add mashed avocado to make the pasta creamy.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for up to 3 days. We do not recommend freezing this pasta salad.
For many more salad ideas, check out our salads category page.
Chickpea Pasta Salad
For the salad
- ½ pound pasta rotini, fusilli, penne, bow-ties*
- 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas or 1½ cups of cooked chickpeas (drained)
- 1 cup tomatoes cherry, Roma, or plum (chopped)
- 1 cup cucumber (diced)
- ½ cup olives (sliced)
- ½ cup red onion (chopped)
- ½ cup canned corn (drained)
- ⅓ cup parsley (finely chopped)
For the lemon vinaigrette
- 3 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt or more to taste
- 4 twists black pepper
- 1 clove garlic grated (optional)
- ½ teaspoon mustard (optional)
- ½ teaspoon maple syrup (optional)
- Cook the pasta in plenty of salted boiling water. When cooked "al dente", drain, and cool down under running water to prevent the pasta from overcooking.While the pasta cooks, prepare the vegetables.
- Make the lemon vinaigrette by mixing together olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Optionally you can add mustard and maple syrup.
- Rinse and drain the chickpeas and add them to a large mixing bowl. Add chopped tomatoes, chopped cucumber, sliced olives, corn, finely chopped onion, and finely chopped parsley.
- Add the cooked pasta and the lemon vinaigrette to the bowl, mix well, taste, adjust for salt, and serve.
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