This vegan zero oil chickpeas pesto pasta salad screams healthy summer in a bowl . And you heard it right “Zero Oil”. This summer salad is light , refreshing and at the same time is filling . With the combination of greens, tomatoes, grains , protein and to die for dressing you can call it a complete meal. Best part , it can be prepared ahead of time making it a great option for busy day lunch, summer picnics and potluck.
I just can’t survive on leafy greens for a meal. My tummy will start rumbling and crave for real food. With the rise in temperature I am leaning more towards salads that are kind of a complete meal . And this one here is making rounds on my dinner table regularly. What I love about this salad is everything can be prepared ahead of time . This salad tastes delicious straight out of the fridge. Eat it at home or mix it up and enjoy in the park . My son loves it as lunch in school too.
The star of any salad is the dressing. I love to keep dressings interesting and offer variety so that we aren’t bored eating the same thing again. But this creamy pesto dressing here, Oh boy!!! I can eat it everyday. As I said it doesn’t have oil . I have nothing against adding oil . I love it in my salad ,but when it comes to traditional pesto a lot of oil goes into making it. So this time I decided not to add any. Furthermore this salad is very creamy without any mayonnaise . I have used vegan yogurt for that. Feel free to use yogurt of your choice. For some earthy flavor and keeping it healthy I have used tahini ( sesame seed paste ) . Tahini is good stuff guys! but if you don’t have it simply skip it.
This zero oil chickpeas pesto pasta salad is very customisable. You may use your choice of veggies , leafy greens and grains to go with it. You can opt for gluten-free or whole grain pasta . Quinoa and barley tastes delicious too. You may sub chickpeas with your choice of beans . A healthy and balanced meal for your entire family.
We love this recipe because –
It can be made ahead of time.
Gluten free options
Indoors or outdoors
Flavorful balanced meal
Great for potlucks and parties
For this recipe I have used home-made garbanzo beans/ chickpeas / cholay . I have pressure cooked it in my Instant pot . After getting my instant pot I have developed a ritual of boiling one kind of bean and lentil that will last me the entire week . This has immensely helped me to include protein in our diet with ease and on everyday basis. I just pressure cook a batch once or twice a week and keep adding to various recipes. How easy it is to get your daily dose of protein !
You may use you traditional stove top pressure cooker for the same or use the store-bought cans. Whatever works.
Recipe for garbanzo beans/ chickpeas in instant pot- (with and without soaking )
Rinse 1 cup garbanzo beans and soak in 2 cups water 8-10 hours or overnight.
2 cups water for cooking
piece of ginger ( optional)
After the beans are soaked overnight discard the water and add 2 cups of fresh water.
Switch on your ip.
Place everything above and close the lid, sealing position.
Manual high pressure for 12 minutes .
Natural pressure (NPR) release.
Discard the ginger .
PS- As beans can be gastric for many, adding ginger helps minimize it. Do not forget to discard it.
Forgot to soak beans?
Just rinse chickpeas 2-3 times in a colander with running tap water .
For every 1 cup chickpeas add 3 cups of water to the IP.
Close lid , sealing position.
Cook on high pressure for 35 minutes.
Natural pressure release.
Given below is the recipe followed by storing tips, substitutions in the notes.
- For the salad
- 1 cup Arugula / leafy greens of your choice
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes or veggies of your choice
- 1 cup boiled chickpeas ( cooked fresh or canned)
- ½ cup desired uncooked pasta
- For the dressing
- 1.5 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
- ¼ cup plain yogurt of your choice
- 2 teaspoon Tahini (optional)
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice/ mild vinegar
- 2 tablespoon pine nuts/ walnuts
- 1 teaspoon mustard sauce(optional)
- 2 cloves of minced garlic
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano (optional)
- ¼ cup or more almond milk/ milk of your choice to thin down the dressing as needed.
- Sat to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Bring a pot of water to rolling boil and add some salt.
- Cook the pasta al dente according to the package.
- Drain and keep aside.
- When the pasta is cooking , blend all ingredients called for the dressing and keep aside .
- Place all ingredients called for the salad in a bowl.
- Just before eating toss it in the dressing until well coated.
- Start with half cup of dressing first and add more if desired.
- Taste test and make any adjustments if needed.
Sub Arugula with spring mix or your favorite leafy greens .
Sub tomatoes with chopped cucumber, celery, bell peppers, steamed broccoli , cauliflower or peas.
Use pasta of your choice or grains like quinoa / barley.
Use your choice of beans. Preferably home cooked but canned is fine too.
Sub almond milk with milk of your choice.
I have used Silk non dairy yogurt alternative – Plain almond yogurt. Use yogurt of your choice.
You may add a dash of hot sauce or chili flakes for some heat.
Skip mustard sauce if unavailable.
Any leftover dressing will keep well in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Pasta and chickpeas can be prepared up to 5 days ahead of time . Store it in the fridge until use.
This recipe serves 2 . But the quantities can be easily increased .
Check out more salad recipe here
Hope you like this recipe and do give it a try. I would love to hear from you. Do leave me your valuable comments and suggestions below . You can even leave me a message on my Facebook page Carveyourcraving.
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