Southwestern Pesto Pasta with Crispy Chickpeas

  • Author: She Likes Food
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Dinner, Pasta, Gluten Free, Vegan
  • Cuisine: Southwestern


This Southwestern Pesto Pasta with Crispy Chickpeas is packed with so much flavor and protein!  It’s perfect for an easy summer dinner!


  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or more if you like
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 (8 oz) box chickapea pasta, spirals work great for this recipe!
  • 1 dry pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Cilantro Lime Pesto:

  • 2 cup packed baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, or your favorite nut
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Pat your rinsed chickpeas with a dish towel until dry.  Place on a medium sized baking sheet and toss with olive oil, paprika, salt and nutritional yeast.  Bake chickpeas until crispy, 10-15 mins.
  2. Add all Cilantro Lime Pesto ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Heat a large pot of water over high heat until boiling.  Add pasta to the water, stir and cook pasta for 5-9 minutes, or until desired texture is reached, stirring occasionally.  Drain pasta and add back to the pot or to a large bowl.
  4. Add the tomatoes, corn and onion to the pasta and then pour the pesto over the top.  Mix until everything is combined.
  5. You can either stir in the chickpeas and diced avocado or add them on top of each individual bowl of pasta.  Garnish with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime, if desired.  Add salt and pepper to taste.