This fresh, easy Greek chickpea pasta salad recipe is healthy, gluten-free, high in protein, and comes together in under 30 minutes! It’s tossed in a tangy, light vinaigrette, filled with fresh veggies, and made with Banza chickpea pasta for extra protein.
Best healthy Greek chickpea pasta salad
As a healthy food blogger, pasta salads are a must! They are the perfect balance of protein, carbs, and healthy fats. I promise that both this Greek chickpea pasta salad recipe and this pesto tuna pasta salad will be your family’s favorite dishes this Summer.
This Greek Banza pasta salad was one of my blog’s first and most popular. The recipe is the same, but I updated the pictures and added process shots so you can see step-by-step photos on how to make this easy pasta salad.
This pasta salad is so easy to make that any level cook can do it! It is the best meal prep since you can keep this Greek pasta salad stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. I love making a big batch on a Sunday and enjoying it throughout the week for lunch – easy, healthy, high protein, and delicious!
Best of all, you only need a hand full of fresh vegetables and ingredients for this Greek chickpea pasta salad. I used Banaza chickpea pasta for this salad which makes this pasta salad high in protein with 15 grams per serving. This healthy pasta salad is fresh, healthy, and tossed in a light and tangy homemade Greek vinaigrette.
Why you’ll love this gluten-free recipe:
- Greek chickpea pasta salad is light, fresh, and high in protein.
- Filled with fresh veggies and Mediterranean flavors.
- Made without mayo!
- Made with high-protein chickpea pasta.
- Over 15 grams of protein per serving.
- You can use gluten-free or regular pasta too.
- This recipe is very customizable.
- Add grilled chicken, salmon, shrimp, steak, or meatballs.
- The perfect healthy meal prep lunch.
- This recipe is 100% gluten-free.
- You can make it dairy-free and vegan with one ingredient swap.
- Try this healthy tuna pesto pasta salad or healthy chicken caesar pasta salad next!
Ingredients and substitutions
This no-mayo Greek pasta salad recipe is the perfect healthy lunch, dinner, or side dish! It’s packed with flavor, protein, and vegetables. Here is a list of everything you need so you are prepared:
Chickpea Pasta Salad:
- Pasta: Use a shaped pasta like fusilli, farfalle bowtie, rotini, or penne so the vinaigrette can get into all the little cracks, and the pasta salad will be extra flavorful. My favorite pasta is Banza pasta which is made out of chickpeas, gluten-free, and very high in protein. You can use any gluten-free or regular pasta too.
- Red Onion: This adds the perfect sharpness.
- Sweet Cherry Tomatoes: I just love tomatoes, especially cherry ones, since they are sweet and crunchy. You can use grape tomatoes too.
- Arugula: This adds a wonderful “peppery” flavor and is a great way to sneak in some veggies. If you don’t like arugula, try using baby spinach.
- Bell Peppers: They add the perfect fresh crunch to this recipe. You’ll need a red, yellow, and green bell pepper. Plus, they are packed with vitamins.
- Cucumber: Fresh cucumber adds a wondering texture and crunch to this pasta salad. I use English cucumbers, but you can also use 3 – 4 mini Persian cucumbers.
- Kalamata Olives: I love olives! They add the best salty flavor to this Greek salad. Make sure you use pitted kalamata olives.
- Feta Cheese: Finally, a Greek Banza pasta salad is incomplete without feta cheese. It is salty, with a great flavor.
Light Greek Vinaigrette:
- Olive Oil: We use a tad of olive oil as the base of our homemade Greek vinaigrette. You can also use avocado oil.
- Lemon: This adds acidity and flavor!
- Red Wine Vinegar: I love red wine vinegar. It has a great flavor to this Greek vinaigrette. If needed, you can use white wine vinegar.
- Dijon Mustard: You can’t taste the mustard, I promise! It adds a depth of flavor and tanginess to this Greek vinaigrette.
- Garlic Cloves: Garlic honestly makes everything taste better! I used freshly minced garlic, but you can use pre-minced or 1 tsp of garlic powder.
- Dried Oregano: For that classic Greek dressing flavor.
- Salt & Pepper: Add to your liking for seasoning.
Kitchen tools required
Here is a list of kitchen utensils you will need to make this easy and healthy Mediterranean Banza chickpea pasta salad.
- Cutting Board
- Kitchen Knife
- Mixing Bowl
- Mixing Spoon
- Measuring Tools: 1/4 teaspoon, 1 teaspoon, 1 Tablespoon, and 1/3 cup.
How to make Greek chickpea pasta salad
This is the best healthy Greek chickpea pasta salad recipe. It’s easy to make and very high in protein and flavor. Here are detailed step-by-step instructions with pictures for visual reference so any level cook can make it. The full recipe and ingredient measurements are at the bottom of this page in the recipe card.
First, boil a large pot of salted water and add pasta. Cook according to the package until pasta is al dente. When the pasta is cooked, strain it and run it under cold water to cool it. Then, set it to the side.
Meanwhile, make the dressing by whisking all the ingredients in a small bowl or cup. Taste it and adjust the seasonings to your liking.
Add the cooled pasta to a large mixing bowl with the red onion, tomatoes, arugula, bell peppers, cucumber, olives, and feta cheese.
Finally, pour the dressing on top and gently toss to coat. Then, taste and adjust the seasoning by adding more lemon, salt, pepper, and/or olive oil, if desired.
For best results, place the Banza chickpea pasta salad in the refrigerator for a least 30 minutes to marinate so all the Greek flavors develop. If you don’t have time, you can serve immediately.
My best pasta salad tips:
- Cook pasta to al dente. Trust me, al dente pasta is BEST for pasta salad. I like subtracting 1 minute from the lower range of what the box says. If you overcook your pasta, it will be mushy.
- Let your pasta cool completely before tossing it with the other ingredients. If it’s still warm, the hot pasta will start to cook and wilt the veggies. No one’s a fan of warm cucumber and wilted arugula, so make sure you’re tossing cold pasta into this dish.
- Taste and adjust seasonings. Everyone has different tastes and preferences, so that is why I recommend tasting the pasta salad after you have dressed it and adjusting the flavors to your liking. You can add more red wine vinegar or lemon if you want a tangier salad, salt, and pepper, or even more garlic!
- Enjoy cold. DO NOT heat your pasta salad. Pasta salad is meant to be enjoyed chilled or at room temperature.
- Let pasta salad marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, if not up to 2 hours. This is KEY for the flavor. If you do not have time, you can enjoy it right away.
- Add extra protein. Feel free to add chopped-up grilled chicken, shrimp, or salmon bites to this pasta salad for extra protein.
- Use chickpea pasta. Use high-protein chickpea pasta to make this pasta salad even higher in protein. This Banaza pasta salad is so flavorful and has 15 grams of protein per serving!
Chickpea pasta salad variations:
- Add Chicken. Add in 1 -2 cups of cooked and cubed grilled or baked chicken.
- Add Shrimp. Add in 1 pound of cooked, grilled shrimp without tails.
- Add tofu. If you are vegan and want to add extra protein to this Greek pasta salad, try adding crispy tofu.
- Make it vegan. Use sun-dried tomatoes or extra olives in place of the feta in the Banza pasta salad.
- Caprese. Use halved mini pearl mozzarella balls instead of the feta and balsamic vinegar instead of red wine vinegar.
- Balsamic Dressing. If you love balsamic dressing, substitute the red wine vinegar with balsamic vinegar.
- Swap out the arugula for spinach. If you don’t like the flavor of arugula, you can also use baby spinach.
- Add cooked chickpeas. I used chickpea pasta for this recipe, but you can also add 1 cup of rinsed and dried cooked chickpeas for additional protein.
How is the chickpea pasta salad healthy?
This Greek pasta salad is healthy for a ton of reasons. Here are five:
- No Mayo. Many pasta salads have mayo in them. Don’t worry, there is no mayo in this one!
- A Lot of Veggies. We add bell pepper, tomato, cucumber, arugula, and onion to this Greek pasta salad. This adds lots of vitamins!
- High Protein. There are over 15 grams of protein per serving of this Greek pasta salad made with chickpea pasta.
- Low Calorie. This healthy pasta salad is not only high-protein, but it only has 250 calories per 1 cup serving.
- Gluten-free. This Banza pasta salad is 100% gluten-free.
What to serve with pasta salad:
The options are endless! Pasta salad goes well with so many dishes. Here is a list of what to serve with pasta salad:
- Chicken – try this classic grilled chicken, this balsamic feta stuffed chicken, or these air fryer chicken sausages.
- Salmon – you have to serve pasta salad with this everything bagel crusted salmon, crispy pesto salmon, or this blackened salmon.
- Shrimp – try this grilled bbq shrimp or these baja shrimp tacos.
- Tofu – You have to try pasta salad with this crispy vegan tofu schnitzel or these super crispy tofu bites.
- Burgers – It’s Summer, and pasta salad is perfectly paired with burgers. Try these grilled turkey burgers (keto), these air fryer chicken burgers, these cilantro lime chicken burgers, or these vegetarian no-bean veggie burgers.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Banza pasta?
Banza pasta is a brand of chickpea pasta. It is gluten-free and high in protein, with 11 grams per serving. Regular pasta has 2 grams of protein per serving.
Can I use regular pasta?
You can use regular or gluten-free pasta for this pasta salad recipe.
Is this recipe gluten-free?
Yes, this Greek pasta salad is 100% gluten-free.
How many calories are in Greek pasta salad?
There are only 250 calories per 1 cup serving of this Greek pasta salad.
Is Greek food gluten-free?
Not all Greek food is gluten-free since pita bread, bread crumbs, and flour for bread are very common. However, most of my recipes are gluten-free, and this Greek pasta salad, homemade hummus, easy tzatziki, and these Greek halloumi gyros are gluten-free!
Can I make this pasta salad vegan?
You can make this recipe vegan by substituting the feta cheese with extra kalamata olives or sun-dried tomatoes.
Can I make it dairy-free?
Remove the feta cheese to make this pasta salad dairy-free.
Does it keep well?
Greek pasta salad keeps very well in the fridge for up to 5 days. Make sure to store it in an airtight container.
Can you freeze pasta salad?
You can freeze pasta salad with a dressing for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container. Let the pasta salad defrost in the fridge for up to 6 hours and then serve chilled.
How to store leftovers:
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. DO NOT heat it; enjoy pasta salad cold.
If you love this recipe, try these next!
- Tuna Pesto Pasta Salad
- Healthy Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
- Orzo Pesto Salad Recipe
- Greek Chicken Meatballs Bowl
- Greek Spinach Salad
Did you make this recipe?
If you make this recipe, be sure to comment and rate it down below. Also, don’t forget to tag me @healthfulblondie on Instagram and use the hashtag #healthfulblondie so I can see your delicious creation and share it with my followers!
Greek Chickpea Pasta Salad (Gluten-Free)
- 8 oz dried chickpea pasta, (fusilli, farfalle bowtie, rotini, or penne), I used Banza fusilli
- ⅓ cup red onion, finely diced
- 1 cup sweet cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 – 3 cups fresh arugula
- 1 medium red bell pepper, de-seeded & chopped
- 1 medium yellow or orange bell pepper, de-seeded & chopped
- 1 medium green bell pepper, de-seeded & chopped
- 1 ½ cups English cucumber, sliced into quarter-moons (about 1 cucumber)
- ½ cup kalamata olives, no pits & sliced
- 4 ounces feta cheese, cut into ½ inch cubes or ½ cup crumbled
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large lemon, juiced (~3 – 4 Tablespoons)
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp salt, more to taste
- ¼ tsp black pepper, more to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add pasta. Cook according to the package until pasta is al dente. When done, strain the pasta and run it under cold water to cool it. Set it to the side.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing by whisking all the ingredients in a small bowl or cup. Taste it and adjust the seasonings to your liking.
- Add the cooled pasta to a large mixing bowl with the red onion, tomatoes, arugula, bell peppers, cucumber, olives, and feta cheese.
- Pour the dressing on top and gently toss to coat. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking by adding more lemon, salt, pepper, and/or olive oil, if desired.
- For best results, place the pasta salad in the refrigerator for a least 30 minutes to marinate. If not, serve immediately and enjoy!
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