Creamy chickpea pasta is a quick and healthy pasta meal that is filling and tastes great. The vegetables can be modified for any season, so this recipe will work any time of year. A pre-chopped veggie mix will get dinner on the table in record time!
Creamy Chickpea Pasta with Vegetables is perfect for Spring, though easily customizable for any season. Since we're using chickpea pasta, the meal is high protein without having to add anything extra.
This is also a relatively low calorie pasta dish, while being a good source of heart healthy monounsaturated fats, high in fiber, vitamin A, and calcium. It's a great source of vitamin K - 141% DV - so if you're watching your vitamin K intake, you may want to take note.
While you can use any combination of vegetables you like, I recommend using a ready-to-go mix like this asparagus sauté from Trader Joe's. Otherwise, you will need an onion + 3 cups of chopped, assorted vegetables.
- Chickpea pasta
- Olive Oil
- Assorted vegetables
- Italian seasoning
- Ground pepper
- Sundried tomatoes in oil
- Unsweetened cashew milk
- Baby spinach
This creamy healthy pasta is really so easy. Here's how!
Cook the chickpea pasta according to the package instructions. Drain, and set aside.
Sauté the vegetables and spices until they start to caramelize, about 10 minutes.
Add the sundried tomatoes and minced capers, and sauté for another few minutes.
Pour the cashew milk and cornstarch into the sauteed vegetables, and cook on low for up to 5 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
Turn the heat off, and wilt the spinach into the sauce.
Add the cooked pasta, and stir to combine.
Tip: letting the completed dish to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving will allow the sauce to become thicker and creamier.
Creamy Chickpea Pasta is a gluten free pasta recipe as is. Here are some popular substitutions you may enjoy.
- Pasta - use any pasta you like; lentil, whole wheat or brown rice pasta would be great
- Cashew milk - another non-dairy substitute, like unsweetened soy milk, would work great here, too. Hint: avoid using cream and other high fat dairy products in this dish, since it would no longer be heart healthy.
- Spinach - try using kale (or baby kale), collard greens, or Swiss chard
We love chickpea pasta because it's high in protein. If you opt for another type of pasta, you may wish to add a can of (no added salt) beans to offset the protein loss in the recipe.
As it's written, this creamy veggie pasta is perfect for Spring! While you can use any vegetables you like, here are some delicious modifications for other seasons:
- Summer - use a mix of zucchini, yellow squash, and bell peppers
- Fall - try shredded Brussels sprouts, carrots, and broccoli
- Winter - consider cauliflower, parsnips, and beets
See all of the healthy seasonal recipes on my website!
If you have leftover creamy chickpea pasta, it can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Make sure to allow the dish to cool most of the way before putting the lid on.
The pasta will keep for about 5 days this way. It may absorb some of the sauce as it sits. If this happens, simply add a splash more cashew milk as you reheat it, until it is the consistency you like.
Whisking the cornstarch into the cold cashew milk ensures a smooth sauce. If you add the dry cornstarch to hot liquid, it will clump immediately.
It's well known that excess sodium can raise blood pressure, and so many people are sensitive to it (read more about sodium and blood pressure)! For that reason, we make all our recipes lower sodium.
However, we do use some salty elements in this dish. In fact, this is one of our higher sodium recipes. The main ingredient we use for salt in this recipe is capers. Capers add a ton of other dimension and flavor, too, which is why we use them instead of simply adding salt.
You are certainly free to add some salt if you feel it needs it, but remember that it's already at the max sodium level for a meal.
To add extra protein, try adding a can of (no added salt) beans - chickpeas, black beans, etc. - or grilled chicken, salmon, or tofu.
You can lower the amount of sodium by using less capers and more Italian seasoning, by using unsweetened soymilk instead of cashew milk, or by simply eating less than a serving.
Looking for other fast and easy meal recipes like this? Try these:You must use the category slug, not a URL, in the category field.
These are my favorite dishes to serve with Creamy Chickpea Pasta with Vegetables:
Creamy Chickpea Pasta with Vegetables
- 8 oz Chickpea Pasta (rotini or penne work best)
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 12 oz Pre-chopped Assorted Vegetables OR 3 ½ - 4 cups Chopped Assorted Vegetables
- 4 Garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon Ground Pepper, or more to taste
- ½ cup Sundried Tomatoes in Oil, drained and sliced
- 2 tablespoon Capers, drained and minced
- 3 cups Unsweetened Cashew Milk
- 2 tablespoon Cornstarch
- 3 cups Baby Spinach
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and cook the chickpea pasta according to the package instructions. Drain, and set aside (drizzle with a bit of oil if needed to prevent sticking).
- Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat, with oil in it.
- Add vegetables, garlic, Italian seasoning, and pepper, and saute until the vegetables start to caramelize; about 5-10 minutes.
- Add the sundried tomatoes and capers, and cook another 1-2 minutes.
- Whisk the cornstarch into the cold cashew milk.
- Slowly pour the cashew milk into the skillet with the vegetables. Reduce heat to low, and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 3-5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, and add the spinach. Stir until the spinach is wilted.
- Finally, add the pasta, and stir to combine.
- Serve hot.
One of the benefits of cooking without meat is that we have little chance for cross contamination. Still, these are important food handling tips for this creamy veggie pasta:
- Wash hands before starting, and after touching hair or face, or eating/drinking
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoke point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove