Are you in the mood for a quick, delicious dinner that’s ready in just 20 minutes? Look no further than this Creamy Chickpea Pasta. It’s the perfect blend of comfort and convenience.
This recipe came about due to my craving for pasta and chickpeas simultaneously.
I had a can of chickpeas sitting in my cabinet and wondered what I could make aside from my good old vegan chickpea taco recipe.
Luckily, I also had some spaghetti I had not touched and figured I could combine the two into a recipe. Hence, this creamy chickpea pasta recipe was born.
The recipe turned out so good I knew I needed to share it on the blog. I’m even eating the leftovers while typing this blog post.
Why You’ll Love This Creamy Chickpea Pasta Recipe
This Creamy Chickpea Pasta offers a delightful combination of flavors and textures that will leave you hungry for more. These are just a few reasons why this recipe works so well:
- Creamy and Flavorful: The creamy chickpea pasta sauce is rich and hearty. The creaminess comes from the coconut milk, making every bite a delight.
- Protein-Packed: Chickpeas are the star of this dish, adding a healthy dose of plant-based protein. If you want to reduce your meat consumption or have been avoiding pasta because of the carbs, this Creamy Chickpea Pasta is an excellent choice to add protein without feeling guilty.
- Easily Customizable: You can customize this recipe to suit your preferences. Add spinach for extra vitamins and minerals, or throw in your favorite veggies for a colorful and nutritious twist.
- Quick and Easy: In less than 30 minutes, you can have a restaurant-quality meal. It’s perfect for busy weeknights when you crave a delicious homemade dinner without the hassle.
Now that the deliciousness of this creamy chickpea pasta tempts you let’s dive into how to make it.
Ingredients for chickpea pasta:
- Pasta: This is our main ingredient, the star of the show. I used Veggiecraft Farms Cauliflower Spaghetti, but you can use regular penne, rigatoni, fettuccine, or any pasta of your choice.
- Salt: We need this to season the boiling water for the pasta and to taste when making the sauce.
- Oil: We’ll use a couple of tablespoons of oil to sauté our diced onion and minced garlic. I used avocado oil, but olive oil works fine.
- Onion: We’re going to chop up half an onion.
- Garlic: I used two tablespoons of minced garlic.
- Chickpeas: We’ll grab a can of chickpeas, drain them, and rinse them. These little guys will add protein and a nice bite to our pasta.
- Vegetable Broth or Chicken Broth: This will be our liquid base for the creamy sauce. If you are vegan/vegetarian, feel free to use vegetable broth (which I used for this recipe). However, if you are a die-hard meat lover, chicken broth works excellent!
- Coconut Milk: It will make our pasta sauce creamy and rich.
- Paprika: Add a smoky flavor and a touch of heat that I love.
- Black Pepper: For spiciness and seasoning.
- Oregano: For some herbal goodness to our pasta.
- Stock Cube: I used Maggi (which is my absolute favorite and I swear by it). But any stock cube works.
- Nutritional Yeast: A couple of teaspoons of nutritional yeast will make our pasta slightly cheesy and nutty, without any dairy.
- Thickener (optional): Depending on the coconut milk you use, you might want a thickening agent to make the sauce creamy and thicker. If you find your chickpea sauce watery, adding a thickener like cornstarch mixture can help give that consistency. If you use heavy cream, you will not need to add thickener.
- Chopped spinach: I used frozen spinach for this recipe, but fresh spinach works well too.
- Mozzarella or Parmesan Cheese: We’re topping things off with mozzarella cheese. Or, if you prefer, you can go classic with Parmesan. It’ll melt and give our pasta that gooey, cheesy finish.
How to Make Creamy Chickpea Pasta
To prepare this pasta in 20 minutes, I suggest cooking the pasta simultaneously with the chickpea sauce. This time-saving method ensures that your meal is not only quick but also perfectly coordinated, with the pasta reaching al dente just as the creamy chickpea sauce achieves its rich and flavorful consistency.
Quick Creamy Chickpea Pasta Recipe
Total Time 20 minutes
Perfectly cook pasta and sauté chickpeas
Cook the pasta according to package instructions until al dente, adding a tablespoon of salt to the boiling water. Drain and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes until translucent.
Add the minced garlic to the skillet and sauté for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
Stir in the drained chickpeas, paprika, black pepper, oregano, and sauté for 2-3 minutes until they start to brown slightly.
Pour in the vegetable or chicken broth, coconut milk (or your preferred milk), chicken cubes, and nutritional yeast. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
If you prefer a thicker sauce, you can add a thickener at this stage. Be sure to follow the instructions on the thickener’s packaging.
Let the sauce simmer for 5-7 minutes until it thickens and the flavors come together. Taste and add salt as needed.
Cook spinach until wilted and combine cooked pasta
Add the chopped spinach to the skillet and cook until wilted.
Toss the cooked pasta into the creamy chickpea sauce, ensuring it’s well coated. If you’re using full-fat coconut milk and want extra creaminess, add a handful of mozzarella cheese (or Parmesan).
Mix thoroughly to combine flavors
Mix the mozzarella cheese (or Parmesan) into the hot creamy chickpea sauce, giving it a good stir until it melts and blends in smoothly, adding a wonderful creaminess to your dish.
How to Store the Pasta
If you have leftovers or want to prepare this dish in advance, storing Creamy Chickpea Pasta is a breeze. Follow these steps to keep it fresh:
- Refrigeration: Transfer the pasta to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Freezing: While creamy pasta dishes can be frozen, it’s important to note that the texture may change slightly upon thawing. If you plan to freeze, store the pasta in a freezer-safe container for up to 1 month. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make this creamy chickpea pasta recipe dairy-free?
Absolutely! This recipe already offers dairy-free alternatives for the creamy sauce. Use coconut or almond milk and opt for dairy-free mozzarella or Parmesan cheese for the finishing touch.
Can I add more vegetables?
Certainly! Feel free to customize this dish by adding your favorite vegetables. As mentioned in the ingredients, spinach is a fantastic addition for extra flavor and nutrition.
What if I want a thicker sauce?
If you prefer a thicker sauce, add a thickener of your choice, or make a homemade thickener by combining two tablespoons of flour with 1/4 cup cold water. Thoroughly mix in the water to remove any lumps, and add it to the sauce. Doing this will help you achieve the desired consistency.
Can I use Heavy Cream or Full Fat Coconut Milk for a thicker sauce?
Heavy cream works really well. You can also use full-fat coconut milk if you prefer a richer and creamier sauce. Keep in mind that this will enhance the coconut flavor in the dish. If you’re a fan of coconut, it can be a delicious choice. However, if you want a milder coconut taste, dilute it with water or use a lighter coconut milk option.
Craving more pasta dishes? Here are a few ideas:
- The prego shrimp alfredo recipe
- Simple vegan orzo pasta
- Green Veggie pasta recipe
- Vegan bolognese recipe
Let us know in the comments if you give this recipe a try!
20-Minute Creamy Chickpea Pasta
For The Pasta
- 8 oz Pasta - You can use regular penne, rigatoni, fettuccine, or any pasta of your choice
- 1 tbsp salt
- 6 cups water
For The Chickpea Sauce
- 2 tbsp oil - I used avocado oil. Olive oil will work well too.
- 1 onion - medium, diced
- 2 tbsp garlic - minced. Approximately 3 garlic cloves
- 16 oz chickpeas - 1 canned chickpeas
- 1½ cup coconut milk - approximately 1 canned coconut milk
- 1 cup vegetable stock - or chicken stock
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp oregano
- 1 Maggi - One stock cube. Any stock cube will work
- 2 tsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp salt - to taste
- 2 cups spinach - chopped. Frozen works well
- 1 handful mozzarella cheese - parmesan works too
- thickener - optional
- In a large pot on medium to high heat, bring 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add 1 tablespoon of salt to the boiling water. This will enhance the pasta's flavor.
- Add the pasta to the boiling water. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking (or add 1 tablespoon of oil to the water to prevent sticking).
- Cook the pasta according to the package instructions or until it reaches your desired level of doneness. This typically takes around 8-10 minutes.
- Once cooked, carefully drain the pasta using a colander or strainer.
The Chickpea Sauce
- In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes until translucent.
- Add the minced garlic to the skillet and sauté for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
- Stir in the drained chickpeas, paprika, black pepper, oregano, and sauté for 2-3 minutes until they start to brown slightly.
- Pour in the vegetable or chicken broth, coconut milk (or your preferred milk), chicken cubes, and nutritional yeast. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
- If you prefer a thicker sauce, you can add a thickener at this stage or make a homemade thickener by combining two tablespoons of flour with 1/4 cup cold water. Thoroughly mix to remove any lumps, and add it to the sauce. Doing this will help you achieve the desired consistency.
- Let the sauce simmer for 5-7 minutes until it thickens and the flavors come together. Taste and add salt as needed.
- Add the chopped spinach to the skillet and cook until wilted.
- Toss the cooked pasta into the creamy chickpea sauce, ensuring it's well coated. If you're using full-fat coconut milk and want extra creaminess, add a handful of mozzarella cheese (or Parmesan) and stir until melted.
- Serve hot, garnished with basil or more cheese if desired.