Meat Free Monday: Zucchini and Chickpea “Pasta” Salad

Don’t be confused with the “Pasta” in the title, I myself is still debating if this should really be called as Pasta. With the popularity of spiralizer, people starts to use it to anything possible. Recipes using vegetable are replacement for pasta noodles is all over Pinterest. For someone people it doesn’t work, and some are head over hills in love with the idea. I’m more like in between, I don’t hate it, I like it but I’m not crazy over it. I make t from time to time but not always. But this week, I had it twice one over weekend and another during weekday. This is such a nice light lunch, if you are not vegetarian you can add protein like chicken or maybe salmon, and for seafood lovers maybe spicy shrimp sounds delicious to me. Zucchini and Chickpea Zoodles

Can I skip cooking the zucchini?

Of course, I think quite a lot of people use raw spiralized zucchini, I’ve done that quiet a lot of time and I also like the crunchy texture, taste really fresh too. Simply toss the zucchini in pesto then add the roared chickpea. You can also blanch it, simply submerge in boiling water for about 1 minute it more on how cook you like it. I personally like to saute it for 2 minutes to soften the texture a bit and to add more taste.

Spiralize Zucchini

How can I make spiralized zucchini without spiralizer?

Smart question, and I totally understand that not everyone has spiralizer at home. I did not have one before and I was doing it manually and it works. There’s no curls but it taste the same nonetheless. Here’s what you do. Cut the zucchini horizontally, cut it thin about 1/8 – 1/4 inch. It does the to be exact so don’t make the fuss of measuring every slice with a ruler. Then cut the thinly sliced zucchini vertically like thin strips. You’ll end up with thinly strips of zucchini. That should work for this recipe. On the other hand, you can buy a cheap spiralizer. I got mine from Bed Bath and Beyond and it cost less than 10.00 CAD, nothing fancy but it does the job. See how small it is? Space saver and budget friendly. If you have the budget and space where to keep it, there’s a lot of good brand spiralizer that you can choose from. Whatever you choose, enjoy and make the most of it. It’s fun creating dishes using spiralizer.

Zucchini Salad with Tzatziki Dressing

What can I substitute with Chickpea?

I’ve thought about that, and thought of Edemame. It’s nutty, fresh and packed with nutrition. A green peas will probably work too. This recipe is so simple and flexible, you add any other vegetables that you like and it will be delicious.


What can I do with leftover chickpea?

Glad you asked. Here are some suggestion on where you can use left over chickpeas

  • Use it to make Hummus. If you need inspiration on how to make hummus and variation you can make, check my featured post at the bottom
  • Use it to make Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
  • Use it to make Chickpea Curry, dried or the one with Coconut milk
  • Snack on it, it taste good even on its own
  • Use it to make chickpea sandwich
  • These are just some ideas, I’m sure you can find more online. So don’t worry, you won’t be throwing any leftover here.

Homemade Tzatziki

This “pasta” salad uses Tzatziki as sauce, a healthier take to replace creamy based sauce. It’s creamy and delicious even without a cream. It is a yogurt based dressing/dip with grated cucumber and a nice citrus flavor.

Small Batch Tzatziki

What are the ingredients to make Zucchini and chickpea Salad?

  • Toasted Chickpea – Toasted spiced chickpea are tastier and has an enhanced nutty taste. Don’t just use the chickpea straight out of the can, a little extra effort is worth it
  • Olive Oil – You can also use avocado oil or any flavored oil is nice to enhance the flavor of the dish
  • Garlic – This adds nice flavor too, if you are not into garlic you can skip it
  • Zucchini – You can eat it raw, or you can saute or blanch it.
  • Salt & Pepper – Zucchini is quite bland like cucumber, seasoning it is a MUST
  • Parmesan Cheese – Why not? Cheese make this dish even more delicious. You can use other kind of cheese like crumbled feta for a stronger flavor, or Asiago cheese
  • Tzatziki – This is the main sauce of this pasta salad. You can also use hummus (I have hummus recipes listed at the end of this post), pesto or tahini.

I had been debating whether to buy the spiralizer or not because I had been wanting I make Zoodles for a long time. I’ve always love vegetables and being creative in preparing my meals is something that I love to do. I found a way to make Zoodles without using a spiralizer for the time being that I was deciding on buying it. If you do not have a spiralizer and want to make noodles you can do with this technique. Cut the zucchini thinly and lengthwise. Then cut it into strip, its not going to have the spiral look but it still works. I had been doing that for a long time, until I finally made up my mind to get myself the spiralizer.

Zucchini Pasta with Toasted Chickpea

Spiralizer comes in different sizes and shapes, from high-end fancy one to simple and most basic one. I don’t have much space to store big spiralizer so I bought the very basic small one, besides, how often will I be using it anyway? I was happy with it, it’s easy to use, easy to clean and it does the job of creating the spiral look, and the best part of it, it was reasonably price, easy to use, and quite small for easy storage. This “pasta” salad is really quite something, even someone who doesn’t like zucchini will love this dish. Let’s get started! 


  • 1/2 cup Toasted Chickpea
  • 2 tsp Olive Oil
  • 1 clove Garlic – minced
  • 1 Large Zucchini
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Tzatziki Dressing
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Small Avocado


  1. Make the toasted chickpea:  Get the full recipe HERE
  2. Make the Tzatziki Dressing: Get the full recipe HERE
  3. Prepare the Zucchini: Wash and dry the Zucchini. Use a spiralizer to cut it.
    • Alternatively, if you do not have spiralizer you can do it manually.  Cut the zucchini horizontally, cut it thin about 1/8 – 1/4 inch. It does not have to be exact so don’t make the fuss of measuring every slice with a ruler. Then cut the thinly sliced zucchini vertically like thin strips. You’ll end up with thinly strips of zucchini. It is not curly, but it should work for this recipe.
  4. Make the “Pasta” Salad: In a heated pan, add oil and garlic. Add the Zucchini and cook for 2 minutes (or longer if you really want it soft). Add the toasted chickpea, salt and pepper. Transfer in a bowl and let cool completely before mixing in the Tzatziki. Add the Tzatziki, toss to coat. Transfer in a serving plate and garnish with cheese. Serve with sliced avocado (optional)

For a larger batch, simply double the recipe and adjust seasoning as necessary.

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Categories: Cooking, Recipe, Vegetarian

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