This recipe makes packing a healthy lunch super easy. All you have to do is fill a container with some pasta salad, and bam, lunch is done! Why so easy? Well, this pasta salad is a well-balanced meal all in one bowl—no need for anything extra. You’ve got healthy, whole grain carbs, lots of nutrients from an array of tasty veggies, and a dose of healthy fat from olives and olive oil. And let’s not forget the secret ingredient that makes it even more satisfying—lean, plant-based protein from hearty chickpeas. All this, and not a drop of mayo in sight. Not too shabby, eh?
This salad is nice and tasty soon after you make it, but the flavors get even better if the salad can sit in the fridge overnight. So try making a batch in the evening, and it’ll be ready to divvy out all week for quick lunches.
Makes: 6 servings
- 12 ounces whole wheat rotini (or other medium-sized pasta), cooked and drained
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 cucumber, diced
- 1/2 cup halved black olives, green olives, or a combo of both
- 1/2 cup fresh minced parsley
- 2 tablespoons fresh minced dill
- Zest and juice of one lemon
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2/3 cup Greek salad dressing
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Combine all the ingredients, except the salt and pepper, in a large mixing bowl. Mix until evenly distributed. Taste, and add salt, and pepper if necessary.
- Eat immediately, or let flavors meld in the fridge overnight for the best flavor.
- The salad may seem wet after you’ve mixed it, but the pasta and chickpeas will quickly absorb the dressing as it rests.
- Check the ingredients on the store-bought Greek salad dressing to make sure nothing “yucky” is in it. Or, make your own by whisking together 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus salt and pepper to taste.
Nutrition Per Serving: 538 calories, 21.5g fat, 70.3g carbs, 18.4g protein