This Vegan Pesto Pasta Salad with Chickpeas uses just a few simple ingredients to make a flavourful, healthy dish that’s perfect for lunch or dinner!
When I think of summer, my mind automatically goes to fresh tomatoes and basil. Planting a vegetable garden is one of the highlights of every summer for me, and I’m constantly thinking of new ways to use my abundance of veggies. This Vegan Pesto Pasta Salad with Chickpeas uses two of my garden staples- tomatoes and basil- to create a delicious, healthy vegan pasta that’s so easy to throw together.
While I’ve shared vegan pesto pasta recipes before, this one is different because it’s a cold pasta salad, which is very important to me during the depths of summer heat waves. Not to mention that it’s a quick and easy lunch recipe that’s perfect for school or work.
I’ve used chickpeas in this recipe, but any white beans or lentils would be delicious! Beans are a great source of plant-based protein, iron and fiber, which are all important to make sure you’re getting enough of. If you ever aren’t sure that you’re meeting your nutrient needs on a total or partial plant-based diet, feel free to reach out to work together or take my online program, Thriving on Plant-Based Fundamentals!
When making a vegan pesto, the only ingredient that we really need to find an alternative for is parmesan. I’ve used nutritional yeast for this since it has a cheese-like, umami flavor. I’ve also chosen to use sunflower seeds in this recipe as a cheaper alternative to pine nuts, but pumpkin seeds, walnuts, or almonds would also work well!
Why I love this Vegan Pesto Pasta Salad with Chickpeas
- It comes together in just 20 minutes, making it a super fast and easy lunch or dinner option!
- There’s not a hint of dairy in sight since we use nutritional yeast instead of parmesan.
- It can easily be made gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta.
- It’s a great source of plant-based protein, fiber and healthy fats.
- This pesto pasta salad can easily be packed for work or school!
- It’s absolutely delicious.
How to make this Pesto Pasta Salad
- Cook pasta as per package instructions.
- Meanwhile, add all pesto ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend on medium speed until just combined.
- Once pasta has cooked, mix in a large bowl with pesto, sliced cherry tomatoes, cucumber, chickpeas, and red onion. Top with additional basil or nutritional yeast (optional) and enjoy!
- I used sunflower seeds in this recipe to replace pine nuts, but pumpkin seeds, cashews, walnuts or even almonds would also work well!
- Feel free to use any bean or lentil of your choice in this recipe.
- You can add any vegetable that you like- Chopped spinach, kale, and peppers would also be delicious.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Feel free to save any extra pesto for sandwich, bowls or salads!
I hope you love this Vegan Pesto Pasta Salad with Chickpeas recipe as much as I do! Make sure to leave me a rating and review, and don’t forget to check out my Pinterest page for even more recipes like this! Tag me on Instagram if you try it out, I’d love to see a photo!
Vegan Pesto Pasta Salad with Chickpeas
This Vegan Pesto Pasta Salad with Chickpeas uses just a few simple ingredients to make a flavourful, healthy dish that's perfect for lunch or dinner!
- 20 g basil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup hulled sunflower seeds raw, unsalted
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2-3 tbsp lemon juice or to taste
- 2 tbsp water or enough to blend
Pesto Pasta Salad Ingredients
- 250 g pasta of choice I used fusili
- 1/4 red onion diced
- 540 g chickpeas I used canned, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cucumber sliced and halved
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced
Cook pasta as per package instructions.
Meanwhile, add all pesto ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend on medium speed until just combined.
Once pasta has cooked, mix in a large bowl with pesto, sliced cherry tomatoes, cucumber, chickpeas, and red onion. Top with additional basil or nutritional yeast (optional) and enjoy!
Other recipes you’ll love
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