Chickpea Pasta Salad is a Picnic Season Winner

Chickpea Salad

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Is it too early to break out the picnic salads?

Most of you would probably tell me {or shout, rather} that yes, it’s way too early as there’s snow covering a large portion of the nation right now. And I hate to rub it in…really, I do…but it’s been gorgeous in California and all I’ve been craving lately are lighter, portable salads for beach and forest picnics.

I’m sorry that I’m not sorry — this Greek Chickpea Pasta Salad is delicious even if you have four feet of snow in your front yard right now. You’ll thank me later.

Chickpea Salad

Want to know the great thing about this little salad? There’s no need to add additional dressing! Adding a small jar of marinated artichoke hearts adds the perfect amount of dressing when mixed with the herbs, sea salt and black pepper already present in the salad itself. So all you have to do is literally toss everything together in a bowl and you have a meal in less than ten minutes that’s perfect for school or office lunches {or picnics…}.

Chickpeas and feta add protein here, and you could boost the nutritional benefits even more by using whole wheat or veggie macaroni like me.

I like to make a big batch of a salad like this to keep in the fridge all week for easy, fast lunches while I work. It fills me up without weighing me down, and is perfect when accompanied by a piece of fruit and a square of dark chocolate for dessert.

Chickpea Salad

Greek Chickpea Pasta Salad

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Make this Greek chickpea salad recipe for a lighter, portable dish perfect for beach days or spring picnics. Food blogger Jenna Weber explains why this dish does not need any additional dressing in a full post on the Fresh Tastes blog.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry elbow macaroni
  • ¾ cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 6-oz jar quartered artichoke hearts
  • ½ cup chopped olives
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • pinch of sea salt

Directions

  1. Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, artichoke hearts (with oil from the jar), olives, sundried tomatoes, oregano, feta and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine. Add the cooled macaroni and toss again.
  3. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve immediately or keep in the fridge for up to five days.

Yield: 4 servings


Jenna Weber, food blogger for PBS Food's Fresh Tastes blogJenna Weber is half of the Fresh Tastes blog team. She graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in 2008 and, since then, has worked as a pastry chef, bread baker and freelance food editor. Currently, Jenna blogs full-time on EatLiveRun.com where her delicious daily recipes and quirky culinary musings appeal to thousands. She lives in Northern California and, when not in the kitchen, can usually be found on her yoga mat.