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Meatless Monday: Spinach pesto pasta salad with chickpeas

Patricia Conte has a background in marketing communications and works as an independent writer. In 2010, she was given the opportunity to combine her love of writing and food when she started as a contributing writer for the Food channel...

Toss in vibrant colors

Now that the temps are rising, break out a tasty and colorful pasta salad for a satisfying meal. Go colorful with green, red and orange.

Pasta salad with chickpeas and spinach pesto

Not only is this Meatless Monday recipe for pasta salad with chickpeas and spinach pesto colorful, but it's a healthy dish too. If you're like me, you might get caught in the same old, same old pasta salad rut. Since this dish is so easy to make, it's the perfect recipe for you to try your hand at something a little different.

Pasta salad with chickpeas and spinach pesto

I used spinach to make the pesto sauce to pack an iron and fiber punch, then tossed in chickpeas, red cherry tomatoes and some carrots too. The colors and flavors of this dish will make mealtime interesting.

Pasta salad with chickpeas and spinach pesto

Pasta salad with chickpeas and spinach pesto recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the pesto

  • 4 cups (packed) baby spinach leaves
  • 3-4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Zest from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the pasta salad

  • 8 ounces uncooked small pasta, like bow ties
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup shredded carrot

Directions:

For the pesto

  1. Add all the ingredients to a food processor. Blend until smooth.
  2. Push down the pesto from the sides of the processor. Taste, adjust the seasoning as needed, and blend again until mixed.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the pasta salad

  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain well when done.
  2. To a large bowl, add the cooked pasta, chickpeas, tomatoes, carrots and pesto.
  3. Toss all the ingredients together until they are well coated with the pesto.
  4. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Toss together a colorful pasta salad.

More Meatless Monday recipes

Avocado and black bean enchiladas
Mustardy mac 'n' cheese with peas
Spanish omelet sandwiches

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