Easiest Cold Pasta Salad with Chickpeas and a simple lemon vinaigrette dressing. This Chickpeas and Pasta Salad is a great way to whip up a quick, light and satiating meal within no time.
Video Recipe Included
Filling and so delicious this summer salad will become one of your favourite meal and even your kids are going to love it. It has plenty of fibre, protein and other health friendly ingredients to keep you full and nourished.
- About the Recipe
- Why you should make this easiest Chickpeas and Pasta Salad
- Ingredients to make Cold Pasta Salad with Chickpea
- Ingredients for Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing
- Substitute for Dijon Mustard
- Boil Pasta
- Tips to make the best Pasta Salad with Chickpeas
- Other ingredients which you can add to your salad for variations
- Recipe Card
- Chickpea Pasta Salad
About the Recipe
Hot and humid summers are the time when we all want to spend minimum time in kitchen. Perfer light and nourishing meals. This cold salad with pasta and chickpeas is a filling light meal with Lemon Vinaigrette in Mediterranean style.
Though not only in summers you can even enjoy it in spring, beginning of fall, so perfect for your Thanksgiving menu.
The recipe is so versatile that you can add or substitute ingredients as per the availability.
Why you should make this easiest Chickpeas and Pasta Salad
- From start to finish the recipe takes all 30 mins. to pull together. So perfect for the last minute meal get togethers or a quick meal on busy day.
- It is Vegan, no cheese or cream and Mayo-free.
- It can be made Gluten-free( using gluten-free pasta).
- It is loaded with chickpeas which suffice to protein part of your meal.
- The dressing is made with simple ingredients and can be refrigerated and used for at least 2-3 weeks.
- Even your kids are going to love this cold salad with citrus dressing.
Ingredients to make Cold Pasta Salad with Chickpea
Pasta- I prefer Spiral shaped pasta(Fusilli or Rotini) for salads, as it holds the dressing better. Penne and farfalle are also great choices if you don't have the spiral one.
Chickpeas- Cooked Chickpeas. Use the canned or homemade. Most of the times I have a bowl of boiled chickpeas in my refrigerator. Pre-boiled chickpeas are so handy in packing lunch boxes for kids (like chickpeas pulao, smashed chickpeas in wraps etc.) and are great for snacking.
Vegetables- My all time favourite ingredients whenever I make salads are Cherry Tomatoes, Red Onions,Red Bell Peppers, English Cucumbers. You can add other veggies like lettuce, boiled sweet corn kernels, colored bell peppers, boiled or roasted asparagus, steamed broccoli etc.
Herbs- Fresh parsley is my first choice but many times I don't get it at my place so I add cilantro and mint. It adds a refreshing taste to salad. Freshly minced garlic cloves are a sure shot flavour enhancer. Fresh Basil, Dill, Chives are another great options to add in this cold pasta salad.
Dressing- Lemon Vinaigrette with fresh herbs. Make your own (I prefer that) or use any store bought.
Ingredients for Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing
Fresh Lemon Juice, EVOO, Raw Sugar/Maple Syrup/Honey, Red Wine Vinegar, Chilli Flakes, Oregano/Mixed herbs, Mustard Paste or Dijon Mustard, Black Pepper, Salt. You can add any good vinegar, I have used pomegranate vinegar.
Substitute for Dijon Mustard
There are many places where my Indian readers are not able to source Dijon Mustard or many times we run out of it.
I use my homemade substitute for Dioj mustard the Indian Mustard sauce, Kasundi or simply any good mustard sauce. Kasundi is an Indian Mustard Sauce prepared by fermenting mustard paste with various spices and vinegar. Since Kasundi has a very strong pungent taste I use it a little bit of it. Will soon update a simple recipe for Mango Kasundi.
How to make Cold chickpeas and Pasta Salad
You can boil pasta in a pot on stove top or in Instant Pot. The pasta should be cooked a little more than al-dente. Also, always give cold water shock( immerse hot pasta for few seconds) to take away the extra starch and this also prevents further cooking of pasta.
Make Salad Dressing
Add all the ingredients for dressing in bottle or jar with an airtight lid and shake the bottle vigorously, Or like me, prepare in a bowl or mug. Mix everything using a small balloon whisk.
Chop and mix the vegetables
English cucumbers have thin skins , so there is no need to peel. Dice cucumbers. If cucumbers have thick skin especially the Indian variety then you can peel off the skin. Also, cut the tops at both the ends and rub a little salt. This takes ways the bitterness in cucumbers if any.
Halve cherry tomatoes and chop onions finely. You can also chop olives in halves or small bits if your want. Dice bell pepper in bite size pieces.
Now in a salad bowl or any dish, add pasta and chickpeas fist and add 1-2 tsp of dressing and mix. Then add all the other veggies and add dressing.
Mix with light hands.
Chill for at least 1 hr before serving.
If you feel pasta has dried a bit on refrigeration then add some more dressing and also grind black pepper just before serving.
Tips to make the best Pasta Salad with Chickpeas
- Boil Pasta a bit more than al-dente. Also, add some salt while boiling pasta.
- do not undercook or overcook the pasta.
- Add some dressing to pasta and chickpeas before adding veggies. This coats them nicely.
- Soak chopped onions in water for about 5 mins then drain water completely. You can dry using a paper towel. This removes the pungency and softens the flavour. do not soak it for more than 5 mins.
- Pasta Salad gets better with time so you can make it a couple of hrs in advance or a day. But do not keep it for long as pasta may lose it's shape due to the moisture in salad.
Other ingredients which you can add to your salad for variations
Avocado- Add some avocado and mash it lightly it will make the salad creamy witout any cream or mayo.
Cheese- Feel free to add cheese of your choice. Mozzarella Pearls or Feta are the best add ins.
Protein- Add more protein like grilled paneer(Indian cottage cheese) or tofu.
Flavour Variations- Sun dried tomatoes(in oil) or roasted peppers.
Dressing with the salad- Try out different dressings like Lemon Basil dressing, Italian, Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing or simple Indian Chaat masala and lemon dressing.
No, I won't recommend on freezing the salad. I once did and it did not taste good. You can refrigerate it in an container with airtight lid for 4-5 days. Add some more dressing just before serving as pasta may soak the moisture.
White beans like navy beans,cannellini beans, black eyed beans(not considered as white beans) and red kidney beans can be added instead of chickpeas.
Yes pasta salad is loaded with health friendly ingredients. Fresh vegetables, herbs, EVOO, and protein rich chickpeas. Choose your pasta wisely. Nowadays we get so many healthy options like Chickpeas pasta, Millets Pasta and many more.
Try some more Healthy Salad Recipes from the blog
Instant Pot Chole Masala, Chole/Chana Masala(Stove-top Pressure Cooker Recipe), Dhaniya Chole(Chickpeas cooked in Cilantro based gravy), Pindi Chole(traditional rustic no onion garlic chickpea curry from the Indian cuisine), Hummus, Sweet and Spicy, Carrot Hummus, Falafels, Chickpea and Sweet Potato patties, Vegan Chickpea Salad,, Baked Chickpeas, Chickpea Sundal(South Indian style chickpeas with coconut)
Delicious Pasta Recipes from Blog
Chickpea Pasta Salad
- Mixing Bowl
- Chopping Board
- Pan to cook pasta
- Ladle or Salad mixing spoons
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- 1 cup Dry Pasta (any spiral or farfalle) or 1½ cooked pasta
- 1½ cup Cooked Chickpeas or canned (15 Ounce can)
- 1 medium Red Onion
- 10-12 Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 English Cucumber
- ½ Red Bell Pepper
- Handful of Coriander/Cilantro
- 10-12 Fresh Mint Leaves or 1 tsp dried Mint
- ¼ Cup Olives
- ¼ cup EVOO
- 2 tbsp Fresh Lemon juice
- 1 tbsp Pomegranate Vinegar or Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 tsp Mustard Paste
- 1 tsp Chilli Flakes
- 1 tsp Dried Oregano or Dried Herbs
- 1 tsp Sugar
- ½ tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Garlic Powder optional
- 2 Fresh Garlic Cloves minced
- In a pan take water. When the water starts boilng, add ½ tsp salt.1 cup Dry Pasta (any spiral or farfalle)
- Add pasta and cook a little more than al-dente.
- When done drain the water and immediately transfer it to a pan with cold water. Then drain the water and leave pasta on colander for few mins.
- You can add 1 tsp oil if going to use it later. This will prevent sticking of pasta if you are not going to use it immediately.
Prepare the Veggies
- Finely chop onion. Halve the cherry tomatoes.1 medium Red Onion, 10-12 Cherry Tomatoes
- Cut cucumbers and red bell pepper in bite sized cubes. You can also chop olives in half or small pieces or use whole.1 English Cucumber, ¼ Cup Olives, ½ Red Bell Pepper
- Finely chop fresh coriander/cilantro.Handful of Coriander/Cilantro
- In a cup/jar or bottle, add all the ingredients for dressing. You can grind fresh black pepper, on pasta before serving.¼ cup EVOO, 2 tbsp Fresh Lemon juice, 1 tbsp Pomegranate Vinegar, 1 tsp Mustard Paste, 1 tsp Chilli Flakes, 1 tsp Sugar, ½ tsp Salt, ½ tsp Garlic Powder, 2 Fresh Garlic Cloves, 1 tsp Dried Oregano
- If using a bottle, close the lid and shake it vigorously. Or, mix everything it with a small whisk.
- You can also make the dressing in small blender jar.
- When done keep aside.
- When using canned chickpeas, drain the liquid and then rinse chickpeas in water. Drain the water completely. You can dry chickpeas using a paper towel.I used pre-boiled Chickpeas done in my Instant Pot.1½ cup Cooked Chickpeas
- In a mixing bowl, add pasta and chickpeas and add 1 tsp of dressing. Give a light toss.
- Now add all the other chopped vegetables and herbs.
- Add dressing, and lightly mix and toss the salad. Add more salt if required.
- Chill the salad for at least 1 hr and then serve.
Do try this light and filling Pasta salad with chickpeas and fresh vegetables. The Lemon Mustard Dressing adds on to so much of flavour and everyone in your family is going to love it.
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