Chickpea Pasta Salad with Balsamic Dressing

I’ve been hired to cook vegetarian lunches and dinners for a family summer camp for a week. It has been difficult to find good ways to add enough protein to the meals. I had the idea of adding chickpeas to cold pasta salad, so I tried it today and it was very good. This salad can be made gluten free if you use gluten free pasta instead of wheat pasta.

Chickpea Pasta Salad with Balsamic Dressing


  • 12 oz uncooked penne or bowtie pasta
  • 1/2 cup dry chickpeas, soaked overnight and cooked (see my post on how to cook dry beans)
  • 8 oz. cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 carrot, split lengthwise and sliced into thin half moons
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2/3 cup olive oil

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse to cool. Meanwhile, prep the vegetables. Combine the chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, scallions and olives in a large serving bowl.


Next, make the dressing. Mix the balsamic vinegar, pepper, salt and Italian seasoning in a jar. Add the olive oil and shake well to combine.


Add the cooked and cooled pasta to the vegetables and toss to combine. Add the dressing (add less if you want, and save the extra dressing for green salads) and toss again. Serve.



Ingredients that were free of packaging

  • Pasta – Bulk
  • Chickpeas – Bulk
  • Cherry Tomatoes – Surprisingly, I found these sold loose in a bin instead of in plastic clamshells.
  • Carrot
  • Cucumber
  • Kalamata Olives – I bought these at the olive bar at the grocery store with a reusable container I brought with me
  • Pepper – I refill the lovely pepper mill in the photo (a gift my mom received) with bulk peppercorns.
  • Salt – Bulk
  • Italian seasoning – Bulk
  • Olive oil – Bulk

Ingredients that had packaging

  • Bell pepper – Plastic fruit sticker
  • Scallions – Rubber bands
  • Balsamic vinegar – This came in a glass bottle with a plastic seal, unless this is an old bottle that my mom refilled at the bulk store. Not sure about that one.

2 thoughts on “Chickpea Pasta Salad with Balsamic Dressing

  1. Hi Mary Kat, how are you? I just recommended you for the Liebster Award! By being recommended you are already a winner. Check out my latest post for more information. It’s in Portuguese, so, if you have any doubts about it (e.g. google translator not working very well), you can ask me! See ya! 😉

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