Queen Chickpea Red Pesto Salad

This chickpea salad recipe is incredibly delicious, nutritious and filling. It’s my “go-to” all-in-one salad when I cook for my plant-based friends, and it’s also a winner served alongside fish, poultry and meat.

I bought Bold Bean Co’s queen chickpeas in this recipe which are wonderfully plump, soft and super tasty. Instead of conventional rice, I have used red lentil rice which is higher in protein and fibre as well as important minerals such as iron and zinc which help to nourish the immune system and the brain. These pulses are combined with a glorious mix of five roasted vegetables to create a wholesome and filling dish. The sundried tomato and roasted pepper red pesto is beautifully balanced, making this a total crowd pleaser!

This salad is naturally gluten-free and easy to make dairy-free and nut-free.

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Queen Chickpea Red Pesto Salad

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Courses, Salads, Side Dishes
Servings 8 people
Suitable for Special Diet (or adaptable) Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Ingredients
  

Roasted Vegetables

Red Pesto

Chickpeas & Rice

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan oven)
  • Prep the vegetables for roasting: de-seed and chop the bell peppers, cut the red onions into wedges, cut the cauliflower into florets, slice the courgette, peel and chop the sweet potatoes.
  • Pop all the vegetables into a large roasting tin, season with salt and pepper and toss with the olive oil. Roast in the pre-heated oven for 45-50 minutes. Shaking every 15 minutes, so the vegetables are evenly cooked through.
  • Next, make the red pesto: into a blender, add the sundried tomatoes (plus some of the oil from the jar), the roasted peppers (plus some of the oil from the jar), basil (save a few leaves for serving), garlic, ground almonds, parmesan, salt and pepper. Blitz together until smooth. You can add a little more olive oil if the mixture is too thick and there isn’t enough oil in the jars. Set aside.
  • 15 minutes before the roasted vegetables are due to be ready, bring 1 litre of water to the boil in a large saucepan. Add a pinch of salt, then the red lentil rice. Boil for 10-11 minutes, until al dente, then drain.
  • When the roasted vegetables are ready, remove the roasting tin from the oven and add the drained red lentil rice and drained Bold Bean Co queen chickpeas to the tin. Add a generous 5-6 tablespoons of the red pesto and mix well so that everything has a good coating of pesto.
  • Serve sprinkled with some torn fresh basil.

Notes

  • This recipe uses Bold Bean Co Queen Chickpeas which are stocked in farm shops, delis and Waitrose. You can also use the other beans in their range or simply substitute with two tins of drained chickpeas.
  • I used Mr Organic Red Lentil Rice in this recipe. You could also Mr Organic Chickpea Rice or conventional wholegrain basmati rice. Just cook these according to the packet instructions.
  • Dairy-free: switch parmesan cheese for 2 heaped tablespoons of nutritional yeast.
  • Nut-free: switch ground almonds for sunflower seeds.
  • This recipe makes more pesto than you need for the salad. In an airtight container, this will last for up to 5 days in the fridge, or up to 6 months in the freezer. It would be perfect for a quick pesto pasta lunch.
  • The chickpea salad leftovers store in the fridge for up to three days and make a perfect lunch to eat at home or take to work.
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