Every Spring, we get on a pasta salad kick. We’ll eat it for lunch and dinner, at least 3 times a week. And I will keep that going as long as possible before everyone gets sick of it because it’s so insanely easy to make. It covers carbs, protein, and veggies. Pasta is always a winner with the kids. And it’s easy to customize to whatever veggies we happen to have on hand that day. It’s also perfect to make ahead. I love that dinner can be served straight from the fridge whenever they all come in from riding bikes and splashing in puddles, and all I need to do is dish it up! Maybe we all aren’t doing quite as many potlucks as we once did. But when you need to feed a crowd this Mediterranean Chickpea Pasta Salad is a winner.
As far as veggies go, you can’t really go wrong with any of your favorites. I’ve made this Mediterranean Chickpea Pasta Salad with broccoli, cauliflower, corn, sweet onion, kale, and more. It has always tasted amazing because we’ve always just thrown in whatever our favorite veggies are on hand. This particular mix is our go-to because these are the main veggies that everyone agrees on in our house, so we always have them around!
If you have fresh herbs on hand – go, you! The rule of thumb is to substitute a tablespoon of fresh herbs for every teaspoon of dried herbs in a recipe. I have tried this with fresh basil in this recipe and it’s delicious. Fresh oregano (I bet) would also be amazing, but I never seem to have it around. Maybe I should start. Granulated garlic also works here in place of fresh garlic. Use 2 tsp plus more to taste to sub out the fresh garlic for granulated.
When it comes to the dressing, I have tried subbing out the red wine vinegar with less than stellar results. I highly recommend sticking to red wine vinegar for the best flavor here. When I was making this salad for a get-together, I realized too late that I was out of red wine vinegar and had to improvise. I tried a mix of apple cider and white wine vinegar but it was bland and lackluster. I added extra lemon juice and that wasn’t working as well as I had hoped, so I tried a bit of extra salt and garlic, too. It all ended up being edible and fine, but definitely nowhere near the tasty original version.
What type of pasta to use
I love the GoGo Quinoa Macaroni noodles in our pasta salads. They have variety in the colors of their noodles so they look appetizing and fun, and they have 8g of protein per 3/4 cup serving. They’re a mix of rice and quinoa flours, so they’re gluten-free (certified) and also certified vegan.
That being said, almost any pasta will work. I like macaroni and fusilli noodles for pasta salad because their little pockets soak up the delicious dressing (plus they look the best in my opinion!) Gluten-free pasta noodles work just as well as regular pasta, and I’ve tested with 3 different types of mainstream GF noodle brands. I always leave a batch overnight too, so that I can see how the noodles hold up when soaking in dressing for 24 hours and all were totally fine and really delicious the next day.
This Mediterranean Pasta Salad is
- Perfect for meal prep
- A full delicious meal!
More delicious vegan recipes
- Vegan Breaded Lemon Chickpeas – Asian Inspired
- Easy Classic Vegan Tacos
- Vegan Buffalo Chickpea Wraps
- The BEST Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment or rating below, and check us out on Instagram #plantednoshery. However you found our little slice of the internet, we’re so glad you’re here and we hope you love this pasta salad just as much as we do – Enjoy!
Mediterranean Chickpea Pasta Salad
- 2¼ cups Quinoa macaroni pasta (227g – dry weight) can substitute any pasta of choice by dry weight
- 2 cups Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 3 Large carrots, peeled and chopped ~3 cups
- 1 Cucumber, chopped ~2¼ cups
- 1 Yellow, red or orange bell pepper, deseeded and chopped ~1 cup
- 1 Red onion, finely diced ~1 cup
- ½ cup Red wine vinegar
- 6 tbsp Lemon juice
- 5 tbsp Olive oil
- 4 Large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 4 tsp Oregano, dried
- 2 tsp Basil, dried
- 2 tsp Paprika
- 1-2 tsp Sea salt to taste
- Prepare your pasta of choice according to the instructions on the box. When it has finished cooking, drain and rinse the pasta in cold water until all of the noodles are cool to the touch. Let the pasta sit in a strainer while you prepare the rest of the salad, so that the noodles dry to the touch before adding them to the salad. Excess water on your pasta will water down your salad dressing. If using fresh pasta, cook for 1-3 minutes and then follow the above steps for straining.
- Prepare the salad dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a bowl, and whisking well to combine. Let the dressing sit while you prepare the vegetables.
- Prepare the cucumber, carrots, red onion and bell pepper by chopping and peeling as necessary. Add them to a large salad bowl, along with the chickpeas and pasta. Then add the salad dressing and stir well to evenly coat all of the salad. Serve immediately, or place in the fridge in an air tight container for up to 3 days. This salad can be best when prepared earlier in the day for a later meal, as this allows the salad to marinate in the dressing for a more intense flavor. Enjoy!