Warm Pasta Salad with Chickpeas and Pesto Vinaigrette
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4.25 from 4 votes

Warm Pasta Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Pesto Vinaigrette

Use any balsamic vinaigrette or Italian dressing that you like; even if if comes from a bottle it will be instantly transformed by the addition of fresh basil and roasted garlic.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course, Salad
Servings: 8
Calories: 356kcal
Author: Susan Voisin


  • 1 medium eggplant or 1/2 large, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 2 medium zucchini quartered lengthwise and cut into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 1 medium red onion coarsely chopped
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper sliced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms quartered
  • 8 ounces grape tomatoes
  • 16 ounces spiral pasta whole wheat or gluten-free
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas or 1 1/2 cups cooked, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives optional, pitted and sliced
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves lightly packed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts optional
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast optional
  • 3/4 cup Fat-Free Balsamic-Raisin Vinaigrette or other fat-free vinaigrette
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 425F. Arrange eggplant and zucchini on a non-stick baking sheet in a single layer and sprinkle the chopped onion over them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put the head of garlic in a corner of the baking sheet, and place in the oven. Stir after 15 minutes and add the bell pepper, mushrooms, and tomatoes. Cook until mushrooms have softened and tomatoes are beginning to collapse, about 10 more minutes. Remove from oven, reserve the head of garlic, and place the other vegetables in a very large serving bowl. (If your oven is small, see the Notes below.)
  • While the vegetables are cooking, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and add pasta to vegetables, along with chickpeas and olives, if desired.
  • Make the dressing: Place the basil in a food processor. Squeeze out 4-6 cloves of roasted garlic (or however many you like) and add it to the food processor, along with walnuts and nutritional yeast, if you’re using them. Pulse 6-8 times to chop the walnuts. Add the vinaigrette and process until smooth. Add dressing to pasta and vegetables, stir well, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at warm, at room temperature, or chilled.


If you’re using a toaster oven or other small oven, roast the eggplant and zucchini for about 25 minutes, stirring halfway through; then remove them and roast the peppers, tomatoes, and mushrooms for 10-15 minutes.
Without optional ingredients: 320 calories, 23 calories from fat, 2.7g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 162.1mg sodium, 572.2mg potassium, 67g carbohydrates, 11.8g fiber, 6.8g sugar, 11.5g protein.
(Nutritional analysis assumes use of Fat-Free Balsamic and Raisin Vinaigrette. Using other dressings will change nutrition data.)


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 356kcal | Carbohydrates: 68.3g | Protein: 12.5g | Fat: 5.9g | Sodium: 275.1mg | Fiber: 11.9g | Sugar: 6.9g