Chickpea Pasta Salad
Pasta Salad with chickpeas, cherry tomato, artichoke, avocado coated in delish Italian Vinaigrette dressing. This salad is protein-packed, filling and easy to put together. You will love the flavors!
This Pasta Salad with Chickpeas is quick, versatile, and delicious take on Italian Pasta Salad. Its loaded with flavor, also loaded with few of the most loved and healthy vegetables on the planet - chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, avocados, black olives dressed in Red Wine Vinaigrette dressing. So so good!
You can also make this salad vegan! To make vegan salad, simply skip the feta cheese.
Let's get cooking!
Every ingredient in today's recipe contribute to the flavor of salad. Starting from herbs, olives to red wine salad dressing. I highly recommend trying the salad with all ingredients. But like I mentioned, skip feta cheese to make vegan pasta salad. Likewise, I would skip avocado or reduce pasta to half when counting calories.
The dressing for this salad works double duty. 1) as salad dressing; 2) as marinade for red onions.
I whisk the dressing while pasta cooks. Then, add diced red onions into the dressing to let onions marinate while I ready the rest of ingredients for salads.
Marinating red onions reduces the sharpness of onions. This way onions taste sweet and subtle in salad.
You can also replace red onions with shallots or green onions. Both will work. I only recommend to let onions marinate in the dressing before mixing in the remaining ingredients.
Chickpeas for Chickpea Pasta Salad:
Whenever possible, I cook chickpeas from scratch for this pasta salad. When in hurry, use canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans) with no salt added. Rinse the chickpeas before adding in the salad.
Tip: To refresh the canned chickpeas, add drained chickpeas into the hot pasta water and drain again.
To cook chickpeas at home:
- Soak 1 cup dried chickpeas overnight.
- When ready to cook, rinse chickpeas. Discard the soaking liquid.
- To cook on stove top, add dried chickpeas to a pot with 4 cups of water. Boil for 20-25 minutes or until chickpeas are tender per preference.
- To cook in instant pot, add dried chickpeas with 2 cups of water to the pot. Pressure cook on high for 14 minutes.
Drain cooking liquid before using chickpeas for the pasta salad.
Making Chickpea Pasta Salad
Once chickpeas, pasta and dressing are ready. Assembling salad is very easy.
To assemble, add diced avocado, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olives, pasta, chickpeas, herbs, and feta (if using) into the bowl with dressing. Toss salad to coat everything in the dressing.
When making ahead for a potluck or weekly meal plan:
- For best flavor, add avocado just before serving. (Avocado will discolor and loose flavor if sitting cut for long time.)
- Make some extra dressing. Reserve extra dressing in a separate container. Mix into the salad just before serving.
If you love salads like I do, I'm sure you will also enjoy my Vegan Taco Salad.
This Chickpea Pasta Salad is our family's favorite lunch salad! I specially cook fresh chickpeas over the weekend to make Chickpea Pasta Salad for lunch 1-2 times on weekdays. I love the fact that its filling which means no afternoon snack cravings. Its vegetarian so work for our meat-free days. Yet its protein packed and healthier. A perfect win-win for pasta and salad lovers!
I hope you get chance to try it soon! Happy cooking.
Chickpea Pasta Saladreviews) (4
- 1. Cook Pasta: Bring a small pot of water to rolling boil. Season with salt. Cook pasta according to package directions. Once cooked, drain and set aside.
- 2. Make Salad Dressing: In a bowl, add ingredients for the dressing. Whisk to emulsify oil with mustard and wine vinegar until dressing thickens. Add diced red onions into the dressing. Mix well and set aside.
- 3. Prepare Salad: In bowl with dressing, add drained chickpeas, pasta and remaining salad ingredients. Toss to coat everything in the dressing. Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve room temperature or chilled. Enjoy!
- For vegan Chickpea Pasta Salad, simply skip feta cheese.
- You can also use different legume for this recipe. E.g. Cannellini beans are great substitute for chickpeas.
- Add cooked chicken or double the amount of chickpeas to make a filling dinner salad.
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