This avocado chickpea feta pasta salad is packed with whole-grain pasta, tomatoes, chicken, and diced red onion and tossed with a light homemade basil vinaigrette
Back-to-school season is here, which means it’s time to start thinking about packing lunches again!
I just finished college, but I still have 3 more years of school to go. I actually just started my first year of law school at Wake Forest University last week! I’ve heard people joke that law school feels like middle school all over again because everyone has a locker again and most people bring their lunches.
While I have no desire to return to middle school, I actually do enjoy packing my own lunch. I try to plan in advance to make something like this feta chickpea pasta salad for the week.
It’s a perfect lunch for school (or work), because it’s quick to assemble, it stays fresh for a few days, and it has a great mix of whole grains and protein. For recipes like this, I typically use either leftover chicken from another meal or buy a rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods!
Since I’ve made an effort to eliminate plastic in my kitchen as much as possible, I love using these U-Konserve stainless steel containers to pack my lunch.
I’m not one for soapboxes, but the short explanation (as I understand it) is that plastic releases toxins/chemicals when it’s heated, not just in the microwave, but also in the dishwasher.
So, I’ve used stainless steel and glass containers instead of plastic containers for the past few years. I toss both types of containers in the dishwasher and wash the plastic lids by hand. Both are a bit pricier than plastic containers, but the price difference is worth it to me to avoid toxins.
These U-Konserve stainless steel containers containers are my favorite since they’re not heavy or breakable like glass, and they’re cute, stackable, and come in a ton of fun colors. (And glass containers are still handy when you need to microwave your food!)
No matter how you pack it in your lunch (or eat it at home), I hope you love this pasta salad!
If you try this chickpea feta pasta salad, let me know in a comment or take a photo and tag me @livbane on Instagram! I’d love to see!
Avocado Chickpea Feta Pasta Salad with Basil Vinaigrette
For the Vinaigrette
- 1 lemon, juiced (about 1/3 cup)
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
For the Pasta
- 12 oz. whole-grain pasta like rotini, penne, or farfalle
- 2 cooked chicken breasts, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes or chopped regular tomatoes (about 3/4 lb)
- 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
- 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles
- 1 small avocado, diced (*add just before serving)
- First, prepare the dressing. If you have a mini blender or food processor, blend vinaigrette ingredients together. Otherwise, finely dice basil and garlic and then whisk vinaigrette ingredients together in a medium measuring cup. Set aside.
- Cook pasta according to package directions to al dente and drain. While pasta cooks, prep other ingredients by chopping chicken, draining and rinsing chickpeas, and dicing tomatoes and red onion.
- Pour pasta into a large bowl and add chicken, chickpeas, tomatoes, red onion, and feta cheese. Toss with dressing. Add avocado just before serving.
Other favorite easy, healthy lunch ideas
• Mexican quinoa
• Deli turkey roll-ups with avocado
• Soup in a mason jar (like this lentil soup or sweet potato chickpea stew)
• Big salads with leftover grilled chicken or chickpeas for protein
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