A flavorful vegetarian & gluten-free lunch is ready in 5 minutes with this chickpea, pesto and mozzarella pearl salad!
If you have a can of chickpeas that needs using, look no further than this pesto salad.
This recipe is not like the traditional chickpea salad that you put on sandwiches. It’s mayo-free, requires only 5 ingredients and is ready in just a handful of minutes.
I’m talking just chickpeas, mozzarella, grape tomatoes, pesto and spinach. It’s as simple as prep, stir and serve!
Chickpeas: I use just one can of chickpeas but you can use two if you want to stretch the recipe further.
Pesto: This recipe would definitely be amazing with my avocado pesto but I usually use store-bought pesto because it makes the recipe truly quick and easy to make. One 6-7 ounce jar will do.
Grape tomatoes: Slice in half for a pop of acid and flavor. Cherry tomatoes also work!
Mozzarella pearls: Probably the best part of the recipe, these small little balls of mozzarella make the meal more filling and flavorful. Mozzarella balls come in all sizes, so you can go for the smaller ones if you prefer. You can also take a whole mozzarella ball and slice it up.
- Make this recipe vegan by using vegan mozzarella cheese (Miyoko’s brand is delicious) and choosing a vegan pesto (my vegan lasagna has a homemade vegan pesto!).
- White beans (cannellini, great norther, etc.) can be used in place of chickpeas.
- You can easily make this salad into a meal prep-friendly salad in a jar just by adding chilled pasta.
Serving and storage
I recommend making the salad then refrigerating it for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Keep leftovers refrigerated in a closed container for up to 3-4 days.
I love serving this on a bed of spinach with plenty of freshly ground black pepper on top. It would also be really good in a wrap (just like these curry chickpea wraps!).
If you like this recipe you’ll love this one pot mushroom and pesto orzo.
Want more vegetarian lunch ideas? Check these out:
Chickpea Pesto Salad
- 15 ounce can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 6 ounces pesto see note
- 8 ounces mozzarella pearls
- 8 ounces grape tomatoes sliced in half
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- coarse salt to taste
- 4 handfuls spinach for serving
- Add chickpeas to a medium bowl. Add pesto and stir with a spoon to coat.
- Toss with mozzarella pearls (drain any liquid off the pearls) and halved grape tomatoes. Add an ample amount of freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste.
- Optional: chill for 30 minutes or enjoy as is. To serve, divide the chickpea salad into four portions. Serve each portion on a bed of fresh spinach. Enjoy!