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.
zero oil chickpeas pesto pasta salad
- 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 vegan yogurt of your choice
- 2 teaspoon Tahini optional
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice/ mild vinegar
- 2 tablespoon pine nuts/ walnuts
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard 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.
Check out more salad recipe here
Check out more instant pot recipes 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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Thanks for stopping by.
So, you soak the chickpeas over night, then cook them twice in the IP? Do you drain and rinse before the second cooking?
Hello Sarah, I cook them just once. if soaked then only manual 12 minutes high . NPR.
I am looking forward to making this soon! I am wondering what the mustard sauce is from your ingredient list. Is that just basic mustard or an actual sauce made from mustard?
It’s basic mustard .
What can I replace the yogurt with? I am vegan and I don’t have any vegan yogurt.
You may use vegan mayo. Many grocery stores do carry vegan yogurt, you might want to look around. Good luck!
Lovely salad. My husband is not into salads but loved this one. Thank you!
Wow that’s great Dayna, I am happy that you guys liked it 🙂
Not really vegan if you add plain yogurt. It was a little too much for us with just arugula. I’ll try it again with different greens.
Hello Tori , I have used almond yogurt alternative as I have already mentioned in the post. I write yogurt of your choice mainly because I have varied reader’s some consuming dairy , some with nut allergies so it gives them a clear idea to use the yogurt of their choice. Add enough dressing as you like 🙂
Was my lunch today.My daughter loved it too.we will be making it all summer long.Thank you.
Thank you for a lovely feedback Alice! We feel the same about this salad.
Tried it for lunch yesterday. Packed it for office. It was so good! The dressing is yum.
Glad you liked it Stacey. I can have this one all summer long!
looks so refreshing,..and i am sure the pesto dressing will make salad taste divine:)
Thank you Shubha , yes it does!
Am surely trying this yummy healthy salad …
Niyati , you definitely should!
What is the green creamy thing you have added.. is this the yogurt ?
Bhavna it’s basil , mentioned in the recipe 🙂