Chickpea pasta salad is one of the quickest, tastiest, and most fulfilling meals you can make when you want something healthy and satiating but don't have much time to cook.
You can make this recipe in about the time it takes to boil the pasta. It's packed with crunchy veggies, a delicious mustard dressing, and plenty of fiber and protein to keep you full and nourished.
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It's excellent for meal prep, potlucks, and picnics, and you can have it for a quick lunch or a healthy dinner. The other day I even had it for breakfast; I craved it so badly!
The recipe is perfect for spring, summer, and early autumn. It's versatile, tasty, and packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and plant-based protein from wholesome ingredients.
From a nutritional standpoint, mixing pasta (good quality Italian 100% semolina/durum wheat pasta - not white flour noodles) with chickpeas is the perfect combination to make you feel satiated and nourished.
Those two ingredients provide complete high-quality protein, healthy carbs, plenty of fiber, and a modest fat content - all in the same bowl!
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.
We like to use rotini pasta, fusilli, or farfalle, but feel free to use any short pasta type, like elbows and penne.
For a gluten-free option, use gluten-free pasta.
You can even replace regular pasta with chickpea pasta, lentil pasta, whole wheat pasta, or protein pasta.
However, we don't think that's necessary as regular Italian pasta made with 100% semolina/durum wheat contains plenty of protein.
As a guideline, to cook 8 ounces of pasta (230 grams), you'll need 2 quarts of boiling water (8 cups or 2 Liters) with 1 tablespoon of salt (15 grams).
They are also known as garbanzo beans. We use chickpeas in glass or in cans to save time.
You can also use dry chickpeas, but you must first soak them in a large pot with cold water and a teaspoon of baking soda for 12 hours and then boil them until tender - about 2 hours.
For this chickpea pasta salad recipe, we use cherry tomatoes, cucumber, kalamata olives or black olives, red onion or spring onions, 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.
We also like to add avocado to this recipe if we have one in our pantry.
Add avocado shortly before serving the salad, as it turns brown quickly once it's out of its shell.
Fresh parsley is our fresh herb of choice.
Other herbs that work well in this recipe are mint, fresh basil, dill, cilantro, and chives. You can even add a sprinkle of dried oregano.
Our mustard dressing is perfect for this recipe because its creaminess makes it stick to the pasta and chickpeas.
You'll need extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard or American mustard, maple syrup or honey, salt, and black pepper to make it.
Optionally, add garlic powder or ground cumin to make the dressing more aromatic.
These are ingredients that are not in the base recipe, but you are welcome to add them to make your salad even richer:
- green, yellow, or red bell peppers
- crumbled feta
- fennel or celery
- red cabbage (thinly sliced)
- eggplant (diced and roasted)
- sun-dried tomatoes in oil (chopped)
- artichoke hearts in oil (chopped)
- lettuce or arugula
1. Boil the pasta
Cook the pasta per package directions in a large pot with plenty of salted boiling water. When cooked, "al dente," drain, and cool down under cold water.
We do this to prevent the pasta from overcooking. While the pasta cooks, make the dressing and prepare the vegetables.
2. Make the dressing
Add extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, maple syrup, salt, and black pepper to a small jar. Optionally, you can add garlic powder or ground cumin.
Close and shake the jar until the ingredients are well combined.
Alternatively, you can make the dressing by whisking the ingredients in a bowl.
3. Chop and mix the veggies
To a large serving bowl, add the following:
Drained and rinsed chickpeas and canned corn kernels.
Diced cucumber (we keep the peel on).
Halved cherry tomatoes and olives.
Finely chopped onion and parsley.
Add the cooked pasta to the bowl. Pour the dressing, mix well, taste, adjust for salt, and serve this delicious and healthy chickpea pasta salad.
Tip: if you want to make this healthy pasta salad extra creamy, add a diced, ripe avocado before serving it.
Mix with a spoon, and you'll see how the avo will mash in the pasta, turning into an irresistible creamy coating. Do not add the avocado if you are not eating the pasta immediately.
Eggplant pasta salad is an easy and delicious recipe made with roasted or air-fried eggplant, chickpeas, favorite pasta, and other crunchy seasonal vegetables.
It's perfect as a make-ahead meal for potlucks and picnics.
Check out our eggplant pasta salad recipe.
Vegan pasta salad is the ideal lunchtime meal because it's quick to prepare and delicious. It's also great to make in advance to have as a ready-to-go meal to eat at any time.
In our how-to guide, you'll find everything you need to know to make the best vegan pasta salad.
Check out our guide on how to make vegan pasta salad.
We make a tasty chickpea salad and add avocado because it adds creaminess and healthy fats.
Add avocado shortly before serving the salad, then give it a quick toss and serve.
Check out our avocado salad recipe.
Yes, you can make this salad without the pasta. You are left with a delicious chickpea salad, terrific for potlucks, work lunches, and healthy dinners.
It's made with the same creamy mustard dressing that coats the chickpeas, making them taste delicious.
Check out our chickpea salad recipe.
Change the veggies
Take our recipe as a guideline and change the veggies based on what's available in your area.
In spring, try lightly boiled asparagus or marinated artichoke hearts.
Add extra protein
This chickpea pasta salad already packs plenty of protein, more than enough for most people, 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 toasted almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pinenuts.
You can enjoy this pasta salad as a main meal. It's perfect for a quick lunch or 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 extra virgin olive oil provide all the necessary nutrients to keep you nourished and satiated.
We especially love this for picnics and potlucks, as you can make it ahead of time and bring it with you. Plus, everyone will like this, vegans and non-vegans alike. It is the perfect summer recipe.
To make this recipe with even more protein, try adding our delicious pan-fried tofu. It only takes 15 minutes to make. We love it with this salad.
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 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.
Yes! Pasta with chickpeas is an excellent combination for both flavor and nutrition.
Make Ahead & Storage
Make ahead: our chickpea pasta salad is an excellent recipe to make in advance and for meal prep, as it keeps well for several days. I'd say that a few hours up to a day after it's made, it tastes even better as the flavors have time to meld.
Refrigerator: keep the salad in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Take it out of the fridge 15 to 30 minutes before serving it, as the veggies taste better at room temperature.
Freezer: this recipe is not suitable for freezing.
More Salad Recipes
If you love salads, you might also like some of our other delicious salad recipes:
- Couscous salad with fresh crunchy vegetables.
- Chickpea quinoa salad for a boost of plant-based energy to fuel your day.
- Winter fennel and orange salad, just like they do in Sicily.
- Healthy and tasty tofu salad with creamy tahini dressing.
- Green Bean Salad with mustard dressing.
- Juicy tomato salad.
- Roasted sweet potato salad.
- Incredible watermelon salad.
More Chickpea Recipes
More Pasta Recipes
Chickpea Pasta Salad
For the salad
- ½ pound pasta rotini, fusilli, penne, farfalle
- 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas or 1½ cups of cooked chickpeas (drained)
- 1½ cups cherry tomatoes
- 1½ cups cucumber
- ½ cup olives
- ⅓ cup red onion
- ½ cup canned corn
- ½ cup parsley
- 1 ripe avocado optional
For the dressing
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice sub apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup sub honey
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin optional
- Cook the pasta in plenty of salted boiling water. When "al dente" drain it and cool it down under cold water to prevent the pasta from overcooking.
- Add all dressing ingredients to a small jar. Close and shake until well combined.Alternatively, you can make the dressing by whisking the ingredients in a bowl.
- To a large serving bowl, add:Drained and rinsed chickpeas and canned corn kernels.Diced cucumber (we keep the peel on).Halved cherry tomatoes and olives.Finely chopped onion and parsley.
- Add the cooked pasta to the bowl. Pour the dressing, mix well, taste, adjust for salt, and serve.To make chickpea pasta salad extra creamy add a diced avocado shortly before serving.
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