If You Gotta Eat at Your Desk, This Easy Pasta Salad (With a Special Ingredient) Is the Way to Go

We've all had those days (or weeks?) when we just can't get away from our desks and end up eating between emails or munching between meetings. For those days, something easy, fresh, and super portable is clutch. 

For those folks with long to-dos and even longer days, pasta salad is a go-to for a few reasons. One being that you can meal prep a huge batch on Sunday night and not have to worry about how you'll fit lunch in your schedule for the rest of the week.

Second, besides the pasta noodles that fill you up, loading up a pasta salad with fresh veggies will help you stay on top of your daily requirements. 

Third, pasta salad is a breeze to pack — just toss your ingredients in a Stasher and you're off to the races. 

This recipe is one of our seasonal favorites for another reason: it uses Banza pasta! Banza is one of our favorite pasta swaps to make because it's made with chickpeas, which cuts carbs and increases the protein and fiber with each serving. 

In fact, we partnered with Banza on this post, so check out the recipe below and be sure to show us how you're stashing your lunches by tagging us on Instagram

 

Fall Gemelli Pasta Salad 

  • 2 boxes Banza Gemelli
  • 2tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 10 oz frozen and cubed butternut squash
  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts, top trimmed + halved
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 6 oz spinach
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 6 oz goat cheese, crumbled or cut into small pieces
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts

Instructions: 

  1. Cook your Banza Gemelli noodles according to package instructions.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a large cast iron skillet. Add the butternut squash. Cook on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the butternut squash is cooked through. Season with a pinch of salt. Transfer the butternut squash to a dish and set aside.
  3. Add 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil to the same cast iron skillet. Make sure the oil is hot. Now add the Brussels sprouts, cut side down, and cook on medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes. Toss the Brussels sprouts and cook for another 5 minutes until nicely browned and tender. Sprinkle with salt. Transfer to the same dish with the butternut squash.
  4. Now, make the sauce in the same cast iron skillet. Melt the butter over medium-high heat, swirling occasionally, until browned. Remove from heat and add the shallots and garlic. Stir until fragrant (less than 1 minute). Return to medium heat and add the olive oil and lemon juice. Stir in the lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Keep the sauce in the cast iron skillet on medium heat.
  5. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir until pasta is well coated. Season with a little more salt, black pepper, ground cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir in baby spinach and parsley. Then add the cooked butternut squash and Brussels sprouts. Cook everything together on medium heat, stirring regularly, until warmed through.
  6. Transfer the warm rotini pasta salad to a large bowl. Top with goat cheese and toasted pine nuts. Serve warm or at room temperature with extra goat cheese on the side. Enjoy!