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Lemon Basil Vegan Pasta Salad

Lemon Basil Vegan Pasta Salad

Nothing screams summer meal time quite like a pasta salad. And this herby lemon and basil pasta salad is no exception. The olive oil, lemon, dijon and basil dressing is light, fresh and zingy. Topped with vegan mozzarella style shavings, lemon zest, and crispy chickpeas that are to die for – it’s summer vibes all round!

To top it off, this recipe is gluten free (as long as you use ZENB penne), grain free, dairy free, and plant based; so everyone can enjoy the bright and zesty flavours of this Vegan Pasta Salad.

Lemon Basil Vegan Pasta Salad Modern Food Stories Food photographer

Fresh is Better

I cannot stress enough how much I live by this mantra when it comes to making great tasting meals. Fresh is just always so much better. Don’t get me wrong, I love using dried herbs and spices when the recipe calls for it – but this lemon and basil vegan pasta salad needs those fresh ingredients to really make it pop.

Lemon Juice – I really recommend opting for fresh lemon juice. The pre prepared stuff just tastes a little too artificial for me, and the salad dressing will just taste much more delicious using fresh lemons. Additionally, you’ll be using the zest to top the pasta salad with; so there’s minimal waste too.

Basil and Parsley – Dried herbs just don’t compare to the flavours of fresh. Fresh herbs are much more vibrant and aromatic – something we definitely want to capture in this recipe. As well as the flavour, fresh herbs just look so much more enticing. That pop of green brings this lemon pasta salad to life.

ZENB yellow split pea pasta

The Crispiest Chickpeas

The herby crispy chickpeas are the cherry on top of this recipe. They provide a boost of plant protein, a delicious nutty flavour, and a ‘crunch’ that you just can’t beat. I’m obsessed with roasting veggies. It’s a running joke in my house that if you stood still for long enough I’d probably crisp you up in the oven too. But it really does add a whole new exciting flavour and texture element.

Remove the chickpea skins. I know, I know, this sounds like a massive faff. But I promise it’s super easy to do, and once you see the difference it makes you won’t ever go back. It’s not essential but if you do find chickpeas bloat you removing the skins def helps with that!

Just drain and rinse your chickpeas, then roll them between a few pieces of kitchen towel. This will remove the bulk of the skins, and you can either leave them as is, or remove the skins of any stragglers by rolling the chickpeas between your fingers.

Check out my recipe and blog post for crispy chickpeas for some top tips and recommendations.

vegan pasta salad
Lemon Basil Vegan Pasta Salad
Lemon Basil Vegan Pasta Salad Modern Food Stories Food photographer

Lemon Basil Vegan Pasta Salad

Hands On: 5 mins
Overall Cooking: 15 mins
Serves 2


  • 1 jar chickpeas, rinsed + drained
  • 150 g pasta of choice
  • 1/2 cup frozen petit pois
  • 35 g vegan cheese


  • 3 - 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice + zest
  • 10 g fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 10 g fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp dijon
  • Salt + pepper to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 200C / 180 fan.
  • Mix all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.
  • Add the chickpeas to a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Add 1 tbsp of dressing and optional salt. Roast for 25 - 35 minutes, turning once until crisp to your liking.
  • Cook the pasta as per the packet instructions and drain.
  • Add petit pois to a cup of boiling water and allow to stand for 4 - 5 mintues until thawed. Option to heat in a pan if you prefer. Drain.
  • Toss pasta, chickpeas and petit pois with slices of vegan mozzarella or cheddar style cheese, or use crumbled vegan feta if you prefer, and the rest of the dressing. Top with fresh basil, lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste.
Cost £4
Print Recipe
lemon pasta salad

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