Chickpea fusilli is tossed with marinated vegetables and cheese then dressed in a fresh herb pesto to create a hearty pasta salad to serve at your next potluck. The oils and vinegar in the marinated ingredients helps create a savory dressing. This vegetarian meal can also be served in small quantities for a fun appetizer at your next get-together.


Recipe Summary

20 mins
15 mins
20 mins
55 mins
16 servings


Original recipe yields 16 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Cut red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, eggplants, and pepperoncini into bite-sized pieces. Place cut vegetables in a large bowl. Add chickpeas, goat cheese, olives, and onion.

  • Whisk olive oil and saffron together in a small bowl. Add the reserved liquids from the peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, and pepperoncini.

  • Grind lemon balm, basil, parsley, and thyme in a mortar until coarse. Add pine nuts and grind into a chunky paste. Whisk the saffron-oil mixture until combined; pour over the vegetable-cheese mixture. Cover and refrigerate.

  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add fusilli, stir once, and boil until just tender yet firm to the bite, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil; do not rinse. Spread pasta into a single layer on a large baking sheet and let cool, at least 20 minutes.

  • Add cooled pasta to the vegetable mixture. Gently toss to coat. Be careful not to stir the pasta as it might fall apart.

Cook's Note:

When retrieving the vegetables or olives, don't worry if some of the liquid is still present, as this will add to the overall flavor of the salad.

Nutrition Facts

240 calories; protein 6.8g; carbohydrates 22.1g; fat 72.2g; cholesterol 5mg; sodium 638.8mg. Full Nutrition