Healthy chickpea and vegetable pasta salad is light, but packed with flavor and protein. This dish features protein pasta, chick peas, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red onion and fresh herbs. The flavorful vinaigrette features olive oil, red wine vinegar, fresh lemon juice, fresh garlic, fresh herbs and oregano. This meal is entirely vegetarian and filling on it’s own because of the protein from the chick peas and protein pasta. You can also pair it with a lean protein like chicken or shrimp, if you prefer.
A healthy vegetarian dish
This dish is completely vegetarian, but gets its protein from the protein pasta used as well as the chick peas. Otherwise, this dish is packed with vegetables and other healthy additions to make this salad filling and delicious. The flavor profile is bright and crisp, making it an ideal summertime dish, or a perfect dish if you want to meal prep a lunch that doesn’t require reheating during the week. This dish keeps really well covered in the fridge.
Since this dish is vegetarian, it is great on its own as a meal, or you can also add a protein to bulk it up. This salad pairs well with a light grilled chicken breast or shrimp for a well-balanced meal.
Using a protein pasta
Since the meal is vegetarian, I chose to use the Protein+™ Farfalle | Barilla pasta. It tastes just like regular pasta, but is multi-grain and features plant-based protein in the form of lentils, peas and chickpeas. You do not taste any difference in this pasta, but as a result of the additional plant-based protein, each serving contains more protein and fiber than traditional pasta.
What you will need to make this pasta salad
- protein pasta
- I used the Farfalle shape since it is fun for a pasta salad, but any shape will work.
- You can also use regular pasta, but the macros will change.
- Using a protein pasta like this gives you the opportunity to add additional protein, fiber and other nutrients to this dish, since there is no meat protein used here.
- vegetable broth
- For this recipe, the pasta is cooked in flavorful vegetable broth, which ensures that the pasta is flavored without the addition of calories.
- cherry tomatoes
- red onion
- Canned chickpeas work best; drained and rinsed.
- English cucumber
- I like this variety of cucumber since the skin is not tough, so it requires no peeling.
- One large cucumber works best well, or two smaller ones.
- fresh basil, chopped
- fresh mint, chopped
- This is optional since it is a specific flavor profile, but recommended.
- olive oil
- red wine vinegar
- lemon juice
- This adds a touch of sweetness to the vinaigrette.
- kosher salt
- garlic cloves
How to make healthy chickpea and vegetable pasta salad
Start out by boiling the pasta in the vegetable broth (this will ensure that the pasta gets great flavor from the start!). Bring the vegetable broth to a boil in a small saucepan, and then add the pasta. Cook the pasta until tender. Drain the pasta and set aside.
In the meantime, chop the cucumber, tomato, red onion, and herbs. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. In a large bowl, add the cooked pasta, the drained and rinsed chickpeas, and the chopped vegetables and herbs. In a small bowl, combine the vinaigrette ingredients, and pour it over the other ingredients. Toss to combine, and taste for seasoning.
Store covered in the fridge. Serve cold or room temperature. The flavors will develop more while the salad sits in the fridge and the ingredients marinate with the vinaigrette.
Healthy Chickpea and Vegetable Pasta Salad
- small sauce pan
- large mixing bowl
- 4 oz protein plus pasta can use: regular pasta, chick pea pasta, gluten free pasta, or whole wheat pasta
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup chickpeas canned, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups cucumbers chopped
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/2 cup red onion chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh basil chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh mint chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 2 tsp honey
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1.5 tsp kosher salt
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- fresh cracked pepper
- Add the broth to a small sauce pan and bring it to a boil.
- Add the pasta and cook until tender.
- Drain the pasta and set aside.
- In the meantime, chop the cucumber, tomatoes, and red onion. Chop the herbs.
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas.
- Combine the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl.
- Add the cooked pasta, chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and herbs to a large mixing bowl.
- Add the vinaigrette and toss to combine. Taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper as desired.
- 6 WW points (green plan)
- 5 WW points (blue plan)
- 3 WW points (purple plan)
I love preparing flavorful pasta salads for meal prep, since they don’t require reheating throughout the week, and they hold up really well. If you enjoy this recipe, you might also enjoy these other similar dishes:
This pasta salad pairs well with flavorful marinated grilled chicken or shrimp to bulk it up.
This pasta salad works well as a side dish for a barbeque, alongside your favorite barbeque dishes.
This makes a great meal prep, perfect when paired with some rotisserie chicken breast for additional protein.