Fans Love Giada De Laurentiis' Super-Simple Pasta Salad You Can Make in Just 10 Minutes

Cherry tomatoes, chickpeas and short pasta? Sign us up!

a photo of Giada De Laurentiis
Photo: Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

As the summer months approach, meals fresh out of the oven can be less and less appealing. That's why we tend to opt for chill, refreshing favorites like simple cucumber sandwiches and easy salads when the weather gets warm. Opting for low-maintenance meals like sandwiches, salads and even pasta can help keep you from breaking a sweat (or turning on the oven) while also helping you get your fill of seasonal veggies.

Giada De Laurentiis definitely understands the appeal of the quick and cool meal in the warmer months—and it seems to be the main idea behind her simple Cherry Tomato & Chickpea Pasta Salad recipe. Giada's blog, Giadzy, shared the pasta salad on Instagram recently, touting it as a plant-based option that gets lots of staying power from the chickpeas. But this pasta salad is also incredibly easy to make—once your pasta is cooked, you can put it together in just 10 minutes.

The ingredients list is pretty accessible, too—you'll just need a can of chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, chopped red onion, chopped fresh basil, chopped fresh mint, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, honey, olive oil, salt and pepper. For the pasta, Giada recommends gnochetti Napoletani, tiny little half-conches that will cradle chickpeas and catch vinaigrette in their hollows. But other short pastas, especially similarly shaped ones like orecchiette, farfalline and small shells, would make a fine substitution. Look around for whole-wheat or chickpea-based short pasta if you're looking to up your protein or fiber intake even more—here's a list of some of our favorites.

You can also level up the pasta in this recipe by taking Giada's advice and cooking it in chicken broth, for which you would need about 4 cups of broth. Cooking the pasta in stock or broth gives the salad a little more flavor without having to prep any other ingredients, and you could substitute vegetable stock if you're trying to make the meal vegan or vegetarian. But cooking the pasta in plain ol' salted water is fine, too, especially since it will all get coated in a delicious dressing once cooked.

While your pasta cooks, you can go ahead and make Giada's red wine vinaigrette using the vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper. Combine all ingredients besides the oil in a blender, then slowly stream in the oil with the blender running. Pause to taste and adjust the seasonings to your preferences—then you're good to go. This recipe yields a generous amount of dressing, but you could use the leftovers to dress salads later in the week or use it as a marinade for something like our Summer Grilled Vegetables.

When the pasta is cooked and strained of all broth or water, add it to a bowl and let it cool down for a bit. Tossing it in the bowl will help speed up the process. When the pasta is cool enough to handle, add the drained chickpeas, halved cherry tomatoes, chopped onion and chopped herbs to the bowl. Drizzle on enough vinaigrette to coat and toss everything together. Then add a sprinkle of salt and pepper to taste.

You can serve this salad at room temperature, or put it aside in the fridge for a while to let the flavors mingle and meld—that's the big perk of serving up something as cool, light and fresh as this recipe. Fans in the comments were quick to share heart-eyes for this simple recipe that comes together quickly and manages to be a beautiful centerpiece for any gathering, summer lunch or weeknight main. The colorful tomatoes and fresh chopped herbs make each bowl vibrant *and* tasty, so you can enjoy this salad solo or feel comfortable making it as an impressive potluck dish.

Whether you keep this recipe for yourself or share it with friends, you'll be glad to have it in your back pocket as the weather keeps on getting warmer. Just pair it with something extra tasty, like our Watermelon Margarita or Rose Mojito, for a meal that celebrates the arrival of the warmer weather.

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