Recipe: Warm Cheesy Chickpea Pesto Salad

April 30, 2015 Updated: May 4, 2015

This quick warming dish tastes like a comfort food, but its highly nutritional, filling, and can be made in less than 20 minutes (if pesto is pre-made and beans are precooked or pre-bought). All of the ingredients are high in fiber and protein, with a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals, which benefit colon health, and stabilize blood sugar and cholesterol, which all work in tandem to control weight

That delicious cheesy flavor given by the nutritional yeast is full of B-vitamins: the primary precursors, which our bodies use to create neurotransmitters. Meaning, if you eat this dish you will “positively” feel better.

Warm Cheesy Chickpea Pesto Salad

Makes 2–3 servings

1 can or 15 ounces chickpeas soaked and cooked
2–4 tablespoons pesto (see below for traditional recipe or try a vegan pesto recipe)
¼ cup chopped sweet onion
2–3 portobello mushrooms 
3–5 tablespoons water
¼ sea salt
3–4 cups beet greens
4–5 tablespoons nutritional yeast
Coconut oil 


Soak beans at least 12 hours and cook slowly until soft. In skillet add coconut oil and sauté chopped onions. Once onions are glassy, reduce heat, add sliced portobello mushrooms, pesto and sea salt. Place lid on skillet and let simmer for 5 minutes until mushrooms have shrunk. Add chickpeas and coat with pesto mixture. Add water to simmer (if needed) for another 10–15 minutes. Once flavors have fully combined, turn off heat and add in chopped beat greens and toss. Place lid on skillet and allow greens to wilt. Mix in nutritional yeast once dish has cooled to eating temperature and serve. 


Wilting greens is an effective way to keep all vitamin and mineral content of delicate vegetables.


Homemade Pesto

2 cups basil, coarsely chopped
¾ cup pine nuts, toasted 
2–3 tablespoons grated organic Parmesan 
1–3 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar 
Sea salt, to taste 


Coarsely chop basil and place into food processor, pulse quickly. In skillet toast pine nuts until golden brown and add to food processor. Add in all other ingredients into food processor and blend well. Add water if needed to loosen consistency. 


Use basil in season and substitute parsley in off seasons.

This article was originally published on

*Image of “salad” via Shutterstock