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 Closeup view of pasta salad with lentils, chickpeas, and tomatoes on a plate.

Let’s Party

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.

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[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)]

An overhead view of uncooked lentils that are yellow, orange, and brown on a white plate.

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?

A bowl with cooked orecchiette pasta and lentils.

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.

You may also enjoy it as a side with these spicy guacamole chicken sandwiches, or these fun pretzel dogs.

5 golden stars for rating recipes
Some pasta salad with lentils and tomatoes on a plate.

Pasta Salad with Lentils and Chickpeas

Jennifer Field
A hearty pasta salad with lentils and chickpeas packs in a ton of flavor and a lot of protein. Bright and delicious!
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Chill Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 45 minutes
Course Pasta
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 334 kcal


  • 8 oz. orecchiette or your favorite short pasta shape cooked to al dente
  • ¾ 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
  • ½ 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

  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • several grinds of black pepper
  • zest of two lemons
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

To Finish

  • ½ 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.

Did You Make Any Changes?


Serving: 1gCalories: 334kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 12gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 342mgFiber: 7gSugar: 14g
Keyword pasta salad with lentils
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  1. Beautiful! I always get french lentils, no fun mixed lentils around here :/ you got a lot going on in this salad: complex carbs from the pasta, refreshing cucumbers, savory cheese, spicy peppers and two of my fav sources of veg protein: chickpeas and lentils 😀 loving the flavors in the dressing too. YUM!

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