This 20 minute, Mediterranean inspired chickpea pasta salad recipe is loaded with tomatoes, cucumber, and tangy feta cheese. Dressed with a vibrant lemon garlic vinaigrette, this pasta salad is perfect for your next picnic, party, or meal prep!
This salad is a refreshing taste of the Mediterranean. It’s also perfect for weekly meal prep, picnics, and cookouts. It’s that pasta salad your friends will be asking you to bring to the next movie night! Best of all, this filling and flavorful salad comes together in less than 20 minutes!
How to make a good pasta salad
- Salt the pasta water. This is your chance to season the base of the salad. You want the pasta water to be as “salty as the sea.” Yes. You’ll add more salt here than would seem healthy. But I promise the pasta won’t absorb most of the salt.
- Seed the cucumber. Either use seedless cucumbers or use a spoon to scoop the seeds out of the cucumber before dicing. This is a major key to avoid a watery pasta salad. Need help? Check out this How to Seed a Cucumber video.
- Use a homemade vinaigrette. Sure. You can use a bottled dressing. But the salad dressing will make or break this recipe so keep this in mind.
- Dress the salad while the rotini is still warm. This will help the pasta soak up all of that lemon garlic goodness.
If you’re looking at this picture and wondering… hey wait, where are the chickpeas? They are in there. This pasta salad is made with chickpea pasta.
Is chickpea pasta healthy?
I’d say yes. It’s got more fiber and protein than regular pasta which can help you feel full and keep blood sugars steady. Chickpea pasta is a pasta alternative that actually tastes good. It’s made from chickpeas and sometimes a few other ingredients.
When I first started as a dietitian, it was common to recommend whole wheat pasta or possibly quinoa pasta for anyone avoiding gluten. But things have come a long way.
Chickpea pasta is easily my favorite alternative pasta. And actually, I’m a fan of most of the legume pasta options versus grain-based ones. A red or green lentil pasta would be equally delicious in this recipe.
I first shared a chickpea pasta recipe with this Vegan Chickpea Pesto Pasta.
And in case you’re wondering… Yes. You can still eat regular pasta. I definitely do. I will be making a batch of my Slow Roasted Tomato Basil Linguine later this summer. And this Mediterranean Salmon Orzo Salad has lots of the same flavors as this one but with salmon for a big protein boost!Mediterranean-inspired Chickpea Pasta Salad for all of your pasta salad needs!
How to find the best chickpea pasta
Look for chickpea pastas with a simple ingredient list. I used Barilla’s Rotini Chickpea Pasta for this recipe. I love that the only ingredient is chickpea flour. (Yes!)
There are plenty of other brands. So experiment to find one you like. And follow the cooking instructions for the best results. Cooking times can vary and some will require rinsing after cooking to prevent the pasta from becoming gummy. This is necessary for the Banza brand pasta I’ve used, for example.
Alright… enough chatting. Let’s get to the recipe!
Mediterranean Chickpea Pasta Salad
Pasta salad ingredients
- ½ lb. chickpea pasta I used rotini
- 2 cups diced cucumber seeds removed
- 2 cups halved grape tomatoes
- ½ cup sliced black olives
- ½ cup thin red onion slices a small red onion
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- handful fresh basil, torn or shredded
Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette
- 1 large lemon, juiced
- 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- 2 tsp raw sugar
- Cook the chickpea pasta according to package directions, in salted water. Allow to cool slightly. Toss with a little oil to prevent sticking if needed.
- Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. Add all vinaigrette ingredients to a mason jar with a lid and shake until blended or whisk in a medium bowl.
- Assemble the salad. Add the warm chickpea pasta, vegetables, and feta to a large mixing bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat. Top with the torn basil. Serve.
Chickpea pasta salad tips
- Cook the chickpea pasta according to package directions, in salted water. The cook time will vary by brand and pasta shape. I cooked this chickpea rotini for 8 minutes to keep it al dente.
- Add the vinaigrette while the pasta is still warm. This salad tastes better the next day because the vegetables and pasta have time to almost marinate in the vinaigrette for maximum flavor in each bite.
- Keep this salad in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This pasta salad is perfect for meal prep.
Recipe by Marisa Moore, RDN | Marisa Moore Nutrition: https://marisamoore.com
All images and content are © Marisa Moore. Please do not republish or reprint anything without prior consent.