Vegan Cheesy Broccoli Pasta Salad with Buffalo Chickpeas

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Perfect for any summer lunch or dinner, cheesy broccoli pasta salad comes together in just 30 minutes. This pasta salad is vegan, made with a dairy-free cheesy dressing and buffalo chickpeas.


  • 16 oz Penne Rice Pasta
  • 1 Romaine Heart, Chopped
  • 1/2 Red Onion, Finely Sliced
  • 3 Cups Broccoli, Chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Can Chickpeas, Drained and Rinsed
  • 1 Tablespoon Vegan Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Hot Sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt

The Dressing

  • 3 Tablespoons Tahini
  • 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Fermented Vegetable Brine
  • 2 Tablespoons Nutritonal Yeast


  1. Cook the rice pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain, and rinse with cool water. Add the pasta to a large salad bowl.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add in the broccoli and the onions.
  3. Cook until the broccoli is slightly soft, yet still crunchy. Remove from heat and add the broccoli to the large salad bowl with the pasta.
  4. Return your pan to the medium heat and add another tablespoon of olive oil.
  5. Add in the chickpeas and cook until they’re slightly browned. Add the vegan butter and the hot sauce to the chickpeas. Stir until all the chickpeas are coated in the butter and hot sauce. Remove from heat.
  6. Add the chickpeas to the bowl with the pasta and broccoli.
  7. Add the chopped lettuce to the bowl.
  8. In a blender combine the tahini, apple cider vinegar, fermented vegetable brine (I used kimchi brine) and nutritional yeast.
  9. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss to combine.
  10. Plate and serve the pasta salad, and top with some freshly ground black pepper.


If your dressing is too thick, as some tahini is thicker than others, you can add in two tablespoons of plant-based milk to thin it out.