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Food | Recipes

Healthy Dinner: Vegan Pasta with Broccoli and Chickpeas

A delicious, umami-rich and healthy version of a classic pasta with broccoli and chickpeas dish.
I love pasta a lot more than the Recipes section of PD might suggest. To be honest, I think I avoid doing pasta recipes because they seem so...easy. Pasta was one of the first things I made that actually tasted good, when I started cooking for myself in junior year of college. No matter what's in the fridge/pantry, you almost certainly can make a decent bowl of pasta and have it ready to eat in 25 minutes or less. It's almost always super affordable. And who doesn't love adding ingredients into the pan, one by one, and see the dish become bigger and bigger? :) But this vegan pasta with broccoli and chickpeas is a "real" dish that strikes the perfect balance between "I threw everything in there at the last minute" and "this dish required special planning." Its simplicity of everyday ingredients belies the complexity of its umami flavor and texture. Broccoli is full of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, vitamin A--as you already knew. But did you know it's also a good source of nutrients typically associated with non-vegan foods, such as zinc, iron, calcium, and Omega-3? You're also getting protein, manganese, zinc, iron, folate, and copper from chickpeas. Walnuts give you extra brain boost with more Omega-3s. With these healthy ingredients, pasta can definitely be a part of your healthy diet. I grew up eating a version of this dish at an Italian restaurant called Pastini in Portland, Oregon, and made a few changes to make it more vegan-friendly and Juhea-friendly. I hope you enjoy!

Healthy Dinner: Vegan Pasta with Broccoli and Chickpeas


Recipe Type: Hearty Entrees
YIELDS2-3
PREP TIME
COOK TIME
TOTAL TIME
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  • 4 oz Dry pasta (traditionally orecchiette, but any non-noodle shape will do)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed well
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast
  • to taste coarse red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, crushed
  • to taste fresh lemon juice
  • to taste sea salt and black pepper
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Directions

1. Boil water in a medium pot. When it comes to boil, add pasta and plenty of salt and cook according to instructions (8-13 minutes depending on shape and size). When 2 minutes remain, add chopped broccoli. Then drain everything well and set aside. 2. While the pasta is boiling, bring large saute pan to medium heat. Add oil. When oil is hot, add garlic and toast over medium to medium-low heat for about 30 seconds until fragrant. 3. Add chickpeas to the pan and cook for about 5-7 minutes, occasionally stirring. Turn off the heat. 4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine tahini and nutritional yeast. Add water, 1 tbsp at a time, whisking with a fork, to desired creamy consistency. Season with salt and pepper. 5. Add pasta, broccoli, and tahini sauce to chickpeas in the pan and stir well to combine. Add chopped walnuts and salt and pepper. 6. To serve, place in a bowl and sprinkle with coarse red pepper flakes and lemon juice. Garnish with more walnuts if desired. Bon appetit!
More healthy dinner recipes: Thai Stuffed Red Bell Peppers
Vegan Donburi with Burdock and Enoki
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