Skinnytaste > Main Ingredient > Pasta Recipes > Arugula Pasta Salad with Chickpeas and Sun Dried Tomatoes (no mayo)

Arugula Pasta Salad with Chickpeas and Sun Dried Tomatoes (no mayo)

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

With spicy arugula, canned chickpeas, sun dried tomatoes, shaved Parmesan and balsamic vinegar, this pasta salad is fresh and delicious and made with no mayo.

Pasta salad no mayo
Arugula Pasta Salad with Chickpeas

This summer pasta salad is perfect for those warm nights when you want something more substantial than just salad greens but don’t want to cook a ton. It’s a great, budget-friendly, vegetarian meal, which gets protein and fiber from canned chickpeas. For even more protein, you can use chickpea pasta instead of wheat. This cold pasta salad works for lunch or dinner, and the portions are very satisfying. More easy pasta salad recipes with no mayo you will love are this Mayo-less Tuna Pasta Salad and Summer Pasta Salad with Baby Greens.

Arugula Pasta Salad with Chickpeas

No Mayo Pasta Salad

I don’t mind mayo in my pasta salad, but not all pasta salads need mayo. I love to make pasta salads that are salads with pasta added in, and I typically skip the mayo and use oil and vinegar instead. So, they’re heavy on greens but lighter on carbs. If you bring this dish to a backyard barbecue or picnic, chances are it will sit out in the sun for a while, but no need to worry with a vinaigrette-dressed pasta salad recipe!

When making pasta salad, do you rinse the pasta?

Yes, you should rinse your pasta when using it in a cold salad. Rinsing it under cool water will help stop the cooking process and prevent it from clumping together.

Helpful Tips

Here are a few tips to make this simple salad fantastic!

  • Since theingredients are simple, the dish relies on quality ingredients. Use extra virgin olive oil and a really good aged balsamic vinegar. And most importantly, use a premium imported cheese, such as Parmigiano Reggiano or Locatelli Pecorino Romano, which will give you the best-tasting salad.
  • This arugula pasta salad recipe calls for six ounces of penne or rotini. It’s best to weigh the pasta with a kitchen scale to determine the exact amount you will need since pasta comes in different shapes and sizes.

How to Meal Prep

Pasta salads are excellent for meal prep. You can make it the day before serving, and leftovers will keep in the fridge for three to four days. I would wait to add the arugula until a little before eating if you’re serving it to a crowd.

no mayo pasta salad with argulaArugula Pasta Salad with Chickpeas

More Pasta Salad Recipes You’ll Love:

Arugula Pasta Salad with Chickpeas and Sun Dried Tomatoes

5 from 16 votes
With spicy arugula, canned chickpeas, sun dried tomatoes, shaved Parmesan and balsamic vinegar, this pasta salad is fresh and delicious and made with no mayo.
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Salad
Cuisine: American
Pasta salad no mayo
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 15 mins
Yield: 4 servings
Serving Size: 2 cups


  • 3 cups baby arugula
  • 6 oz uncooked penne or rotini pasta, or chickpea or gluten-free pasta
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 4 tbsp Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, freshly shaved
  • fresh black pepper, to taste


  • Boil pasta in a large pot of salted water according to package directions for al dente.
  • Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking.
  • Toss the pasta with baby arugula, sun dried tomatoes, chick peas, oil, vinegar, half of the cheese, salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.
  • Divide between 4 plates and top with remaining shaved Parmesan cheese.

Last Step:

Please leave a rating and comment letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business to thrive and continue providing free, high-quality recipes for you.



Makes 8 cups.
If you're trying to avoid cheese with rennet, you can use Organic Valley Shredded Parmesan or BelGioioso Vegetarian Parmesan, as vegetarian options.


Serving: 2 cups, Calories: 280 kcal, Carbohydrates: 43.5 g, Protein: 11 g, Fat: 9 g, Saturated Fat: 3.5 g, Cholesterol: 2 mg, Sodium: 337 mg, Fiber: 8 g, Sugar: 3 g


Rate and review this recipe!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this Recipe:

103 comments on “Arugula Pasta Salad with Chickpeas and Sun Dried Tomatoes (no mayo)”

  1. Avatar photo
    Nicola Rubinow

    Would LOVE to have the weight for the shaved Parmesan … volume measurements can be so “iffy”. Thanks!

  2. I like to blend the dressing ingredients to soften the chewiness of the dried tomatoes. Superb recipe! Weeknight easy and great for tomorrow’s lunch. 

  3. Many days I need to eat a cold lunch, so I adore the variety of salad recipes you offer, Gina! This was another great one loaded with flavor. I used spinach I had, and sundried tomatoes in oil. I then cut back on the oil I added to the salad. I think next time I will add in some tomatoes I have from the garden as well.

  4. Great recipe as is. This time around I smashed and then very finely minced 1/2 clove of garlic.  Great made this way too.   

  5. This pasta salad was so, so good! I brought it to a Memorial Day picnic today and got a lot of compliments. I doubled the recipe, added cherry tomatoes and artichoke hearts, and fresh lemon juice to the dressing. I was going to leave out the parmesan shavings and glad I didn’t. I think it adds a nice bit of saltiness to the salad. I wouldn’t skip it. Highly recommend this recipe!

      1. One of my weekday lunch favorites, I’m actually making a “batch” today. I make the main part – pasta, beans, tomatoes, etc. – and store that in a container in the fridge. Then I serve on arugula for lunches that week. I’ve made some modifications that stretch the recipe for five days: I use a whole can of chick peas, 7.5 ounces pasta, a heaping 1/4 cup of sundried tomatoes, and 5 tablespoons vinegar/2+ tablespoons olive oil. Personal modifications: in the morning, I chop the sundried tomatoes so they distribute better in the mix, soak them in vinegar to “plump” them up, add red pepper flakes to the mix for spice. Then I’ll add the beans while the pasta cooks, and add the oil with the pasta to mix everything together. I don’t add salt, I salt the pasta water and for my taste the parmesan on top adds enough.

  6. We love this recipe in my household and a great way to add vegetables in our diet. Reading some of the other reviews and the variations are great, definitely going to try some.

  7. This has been my work lunch so many times this month. OMG! So good! I store the pasta mixture separately and spoon it over the greens in the morning. Add a little extra drizzle of dressing.
    I typically use regular penne, but the second time I made it, I used chickpea pasta – extra protein and fiber!

  8. I loved this recipe! I do gluten free so made mine with lentil pasta and was delicious and high in protein from the lentil pasta. Definitely making again!

  9. For anyone on WW Purple…. I put this into the recipe builder and it’s 3 points per 2-cup serving 🙂 

  10. This is made at least twice a month in my house, if not more. It is very easy and extremely tasty!! 

  11. Thank you once again, Gina!. I’ve been trying to follow the meal plans for the past two weeks without wavering in an effort to loose some pounds. So many times I am surprised by recipes that I thought I wouldn’t care for and end up really enjoying,.

    This recipe was one of them! Only change was throwing in a few grape tomatoes.
    Keep the meal plans coming!

  12. Great website. Question about receipe ,  I don’t like  arugula lettuce. What can I use in place of arugula lettuce? 

  13. I made this for dinner last night and it was soooooo good, thank you. I grilled up half of a red bell pepper to toss in instead of the sundried tomatoes, and it was awesome. I am eating the leftovers for lunch right now! I rarely comment on recipes but this was worth commenting on. So simple but so good! even my husband loved it!

  14. Wow this was great. I added baby plum tomatoes instead of sundried and used 1 tbsp oil instead of 2. I made it for lunch but I think it would be great for dinner too. It has fat but good fat! I can't get enough of your recipes!

  15. I just made this and loved it as a simple-to-make lunch for the week. Next time, I would probably use less pasta and more arugula.

    1. Did you dress the salad at the beginning of the week or did you set it aside to dress it each day for lunch?

  16. Avatar photo
    Future Mrs. H

    Hi, I made this last night. AMAZING. I actually left out the chickpeas since the fiance doesn't like them, but…I added in baked (seasoned with just salt and pepper)salmon that I let get completely chilled before I cut it up and placed it in the salad mix. This was TO DIE FOR. The Fiance ate 4 plate fulls! Love your recipes 🙂

  17. Another recipe of flavors that compliment each other so well. Love the arugula, beans and sundries tomato combo. The shaved Parmesan tops it off so well!