Today I’m sharing this easy recipe for pasta salad with lentils and chickpeas. This is a nice, hearty pasta salad that holds up beautifully on a buffet. There’s no mayo or any egg ingredients, so it’s also fine to serve at room temperature.
If you’re a fan of old fashioned comfort-food pasta salad, you may also love my mom-style macaroni salad. It’s still one of my favorites. For ease of browsing, you can find all my pasta recipes and side dishes in one place. Enjoy!
A few weeks ago, we were invited to our friend-and-neighbor’s 40th birthday celebration.
Said Celebration occurred this past Sunday. Our hosts were providing burgers, dogs and Veggie Burgers (bless you, Overstreets)!
They asked everyone to please bring a Side Dish. I emailed back something Rather Vague about making pasta salad or potato salad. Probably like many other Invitees.
[And yes, there were a ton of different pasta and potato salads at the party. Most of the pasta salads contained rotini (there were 5 of them in a row–rotini salads as far as the eye could see (if the eye could only see to 5)]
Coming Up with a Recipe
I didn’t give my Side Dish any more thought until I went to the store on Friday to purchase Items to put in my still-murky idea for a pasta salad.
And then, while cruising the aisles at Whole Foods, I saw them. Living in a bulk bin next to some split peas. They were Glorious. I asked them their name and they chorused, “We’re autumn blend lentils. Marvel at our Autumnal Splendor!”
And marvel I did. The blend was a mix of orange, yellow, black and brown lentils (they might have other names, but that’s what color they were). They lured me in with the promise of cooler weather and bonfires, and I scooped some up and brought them home with me.
On the pasta aisle, I found some cute little orecchiette–little ears.
So, I bought the little ears rounded out Team Pasta Salad with some fire roasted peppers, some cherry and pear tomatoes, an English cucumber and a Vidalia Onion.
Why Put Lentils In Pasta Salad?
I had never before thought to put lentils in pasta salad. And then chickpeas on top of that? Truly a Carby Delight. But, dang, it was good!
But not only do the lentils and chickpeas bring more carbs to the party, they also bring, flavor, texture, and protein.
All the textures and flavors worked really well together–the chew of the orecchiette, the slight crunch of the wee lentils, the Smooth of the goat cheese and the cold snap of the cucumber–a veritable Pasta Salad Symphony.
I hope you enjoy this pasta salad with its little lentil and chickpea friends. It’s a great summer salad, and worked perfectly for the potluck!
Make It A Meal
Pasta salad is a natural with burgers, so try it with these smashed burgers. So good.
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Thanks, and enjoy!
- 8 oz. orecchiette or your favorite short pasta shape, cooked to al dente
- 3/4 cup lentils, cooked according to package directions
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, or a mixture of the two, cut in half
- 1/2 English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
- 1 large sweet red pepper, diced (option: use fire-roasted peppers if you prefer)
- 1 small sweet onion, diced
- 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
For the Dressing
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- several grinds of black pepper
- zest of two lemons
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup of mixed chopped fresh herbs of your choice (optional)
- Combine all the salad ingredients in one large bowl.
- Whisk all the dressing ingredients together except for the oil.
- Drizzle the oil in very slowly, whisking rapidly and constantly.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
- Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Refrigerate for 4 hours to give the flavors a chance to marry.
- Fold in the chopped herbs right before serving.
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Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 334Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 9mgSodium 342mgCarbohydrates 41gFiber 7gSugar 14gProtein 12g
The stated nutritional information is provided as a courtesy. It is calculated through third party software and is intended as a guideline only.
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