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

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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:

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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


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

  1. 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. 

  2. 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.

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

  4. 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!