Plant-Based Chickpea Pasta Salad


This post is in partnership with Barilla® but all opinions are my own.

If you’ve been reading here for a while, you know that I’ve been a vegetarian for most of my life. And while simple vegetarian recipes are my cooking love language (key word: simple), I like to take things a step further and create meals that are totally plant-based as well. One of my favorite plant-based recipes that everyone in my house loves is a truly mouth watering (yet still simple!) chickpea pasta salad made with Barilla® Chickpea Rotini.
I love using Barilla® Legume pasta – specifically Barilla® Chickpea Rotini – for this recipe (and for many of favorite pasta dishes) because it is made with one simple ingredient (in this case, chickpea flour) and nothing else. A bonus is that swapping out regular pasta with Barilla® Chickpea Rotini adds fiber and plant-based protein to the dish. Did I mention it tastes exceptionally good too?

I think most people envision summertime when they think of pasta salad, but this particular pasta salad really makes for a delicious fall and holiday side dish. It’s perfect for gatherings because so many people can eat it (it’s vegan and gluten-free), it pairs well with a wide variety of main dishes, and you can easily make it ahead of time. Did I mention it tastes exceptionally good too?

Plant-Based Chickpea Pasta Salad
Plant-Based Chickpea Pasta Salad
Plant-Based Chickpea Pasta Salad
Serves 4-6
MAIN INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes (halved)
1 cup canned chickpeas
1/2 cup canned black olives (sliced)
1/2 cucumber (sliced)
DRESSING INGREDIENTS
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Boil Barilla® Chickpea Rotini according to directions on package. While pasta is cooking, cut tomatoes in half, slice black olives, and thinly slice cucumbers. Drain and rinse chickpeas. Combine all dressing ingredients and mix well. Drain and rinse pasta and allow to cool. Pour cooled pasta into a large bowl, add all ingredients, and stir. Add dressing and toss until thoroughly combined. Cover and refrigerate. Keeps for up to 5 days. (Tip: Double the recipe for larger gatherings.)
Plant-Based Chickpea Pasta Salad
Plant-Based Chickpea Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is so tasty (and full of plant-based protein!) that we sometimes eat it as a meal rather than a side dish. I always keep several boxes of Barilla® Chickpea Rotini on hand, both to make this and to make other recipes – including traditional Italian meals like spaghetti and (veggie!) meatballs. Barilla has been around for more than 140 years, and it was this long-time experience that ultimately led them to make a delicious pasta with just one simple ingredient – chickpea flour (as seen here) or red lentil flour. (So cool, right?) Each of their Legume pasta varieties is full of flavor, cooks perfectly “al dente,” and provides lots of plant-based protein (19g of protein per 3.5oz serving) and fiber. Barilla® Legume pasta is also certified gluten free and non-GMO Project Verified, and gives those of us who love food but also want to be health conscious a versatile, nutritious way to create all sorts of yummy meals. You can find it in the pasta aisle at your local Mariano’s or other Kroger owned store. 
Plant-Based Chickpea Pasta Salad

One last thing: My daughter wanted me to tell all of you that she likes this heated up too. And she’s not wrong. It tastes delicious warmed as well. Enjoy!

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