20 minute vegetarian avocado tomato chickpea pasta salad with mediterranean flavors and a bold lemon basil dressing. Refreshing and perfect for parties or meal prep!
Today’s recipe is all about ZE PASTA. Don’t be afraid of the noodle people; we’re way past those days. In fact, I’m starting to think that pasta is making a big comeback and I’m not mad about it. Tony’s probably even more excited because he always says that I don’t make enough pasta.
But when I do finally whip up some noodles, I can tell you that I ain’t making no basic chicken alfredo for dinner. (Even though chicken alfredo is actually delicious.)
Instead I’m making pasta with allllllll the veggies, heart-healthy avocado and of course, some jazzy vinaigrette I dreamt up.
This pasta salad is nutritious, full of plant based protein (hi chickpeas) and one of my favorite recipes to bring to a party because it has SO much flavor. It’s also an amazing way to fuel up pre or post workout and makes the best lunch because the leftovers keep well.
So what’s in this magical, less than 30 minute meal?
YOUR FAVORITE PASTA.
CUTE JUICY CHERRY TOMATOES.
FETA OR … GOAT CHEESE!
AND A WONDERFUL LEMON BASIL VINAIGRETTE.
If you want to make it gluten free, simply use a gluten free pasta of choice. It’s going to be FANTASTIC anyway you do it up.
Serve it cold and garnish it with some extra basil. Everyone’s going to be asking you for the recipe!
Tony just asked me for another serving so now you know it’s a winner. Enjoy!
SEE HOW TO MAKE THE PASTA HERE:
If you make this recipe, be sure to tag #ambitiouskitchen on Instagram or leave a comment below letting me know how you liked it. Enjoy — xo!
- Serves: 6 servings
- Serving size: 1/6th of recipe
- Calories: 332
- Fat: 12.3g
- Saturated fat: 2.6g
- Carbohydrates: 47.7g
- Sugar: 3.5g
- Fiber: 8.3g
- Protein: 10.4g
- For the pasta
- 8 oz whole wheat or gluten free pasta (I like Orecchiette)
- 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (about 1 pound)
- ½ cup feta crumbles
- 1 avocado, pitted and diced
- ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
- Optional: 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
- For the vinaigrette:
- 1 lemon, juiced (about ¼ cup)
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
- 1/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- To garnish:
- Torn basil leaves
- First make the dressing by adding all ingredients to a blender. You can also whisk them together in a medium bowl, but you'll need to make sure that the basil is finely diced. I prefer the blender method because it minced the garlic for you. Set aside the dressing until pasta is ready.
- Next cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Al dente is best here. Once pasta is done, rinse with cool water and drain, then add to a large bowl. Stir in chickpeas, tomatoes, feta, avocado, red onion and optional olives. Fold in dressing and gently stir until pasta is well combined. Season with freshly ground black pepper and torn basil leaves. Serves 6.
TO MAKE GLUTEN FREE: Use a GF pasta such as brown rice pasta or chickpea pasta.
FOR A FULL MEAL: Add 1 pound diced, cooked chicken breast.
TO MAKE VEGAN: Leave off the feta and use almond milk feta or a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast instead, or just leave out cheese completely.
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