23 January, 2023

Vegan wholemeal pasta salad with butternut squash, chickpeas and capers. A brilliant winter salad. This colourful combination brings variety into the cold season and tastes delicious! You can also meal prep this to grab on the go. 

4 portions 

Preparation time: 50 minutes  


1 red pepper
60 g capers (drained weight)
50 g Kalamata olives (pitted)
30 g pine nuts

250 g wholemeal pasta, e.g., fusilli
700 g butternut squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Italian herbs/Herbes de Provence
½ bunch of spring onions

240g chickpeas in a jar, drained and rinsed or 240g pre-cooked dried chickpeas (how to cook)

Pinch of salt


1 clove of garlic
2 lightly heaped teaspoons of Dijon mustard
1 heaped tablespoon raw cane sugar or honey
Pinch of black pepper
4 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons olive oil  


  1. Preheat oven to 180 °C (fan: 160 °C).  
  2. Cook the pasta until ‘al dente’ in plenty of lightly salted water according to the instructions on the packet, drain and set aside to cool.  
  3. Wash and halve the butternut squash, remove the seeds, dice into 1.5 cm chunks, put in a bowl and mix with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and herbs. Spread on a baking tray (where possible, avoid using non-stick cookware) and bake for about 15 minutes until the chunks are soft (check with a fork). Leave to cool.   
  4. Drain the chickpeas in a colander, wash and leave them to dry.  
  5. Wash the red pepper, halve lengthways, remove the seeds and cut it into small pieces. 
  6. Wash the spring onions and cut them into fine rings. 
  7. Drain the capers but keep 4 tablespoons of the caper water for the dressing and chop the capers coarsely. 
  8. Cut the olives into fine rings.  
  9. Roast the pine nuts in a pan over medium heat, without fat, until they take on some colour.  
  10. In a large bowl, mix the chickpeas, red pepper, spring onions, capers, olives and pine nuts with the cooled pasta and pumpkin. 
  11. For the dressing, peel and finely chop the garlic and mix with mustard, sugar/honey, caper water, pepper, salt, lemon juice, oil and 3 tablespoons of water. 
  12. Pour over salad and mix well. 
  13. Season again with salt and pepper if necessary.  

Tip: Sprinkle 75 g of crumbled feta (vegan if you like) on top before serving. 

Why this is good for you 

Butternut squash and red peppers are good sources of carotenoids. Carotenoids are substances found in fruits and vegetables responsible for their bright red, yellow, orange and purple colours. Carotenoids act as a type of antioxidant for humans and have also been linked with a reduced breast cancer risk, especially when you eat lots of them! 

Wholemeal spaghetti has a higher fibre content than durum wheat (white) pasta. More and more studies are showing that a diet high in fibre is associated with a decreased breast cancer risk. 

Enjoyed this recipe and are craving more like this? Breast Cancer Uk’s brand new recipe e-book is out now! Download (for free) ‘Organic Flavours’ today. What are you waiting for? Get cooking. 

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