Need something for healthy dinner tonight, and fast? Make this simple garlic pasta! My favorite easy pasta recipe and childhood meal, it’s full of healthy vegetables and protein-rich chickpeas. Easily made in just 15 minutes, it’s a staple that requires very few ingredients and is so satisfying.
When I think back to the origins of my garlic obsession, I realize this meal played a foundational role. Every birthday I would request it for dinner, though as a family we ate garlic pasta multiple times a month. I never got tired of it! For a childhood “comfort food,” it never leaves me feeling sluggish afterward.
It is very useful to have something in your back pocket that can be whipped up in 15 minutes after a long day of work, something that will please a crowd. This easy pasta packs well for lunches and is endlessly customizable.
How to modify this easy pasta recipe
- Feel free to substitute whatever kind of pasta you wish; it works with both long (spaghetti) and short (like penne) varieties.
- Running low on broccoli? Toss in some green beans or bell peppers instead!
- I am using cashew parmesan for a garnish, but if you are not plant-based, regular grated cheese works as well.
- If you’re looking for an easy cashew parmesan, I recommend this one from Minimalist Baker.
The quality of your chickpeas is important here, many store-bought canned beans are very small and pebble-like. Goya is by far and away my favorite brand, and I highly recommend it. You will definitely notice the difference!
Parsley and cherry tomatoes are very optional, but fun add-ins if you have them on hand.
I hope you enjoy this quick and satisfying meal. I make this dish about once a week so it’s very likely I have leftovers in my fridge right now. 🙂
Best Garlic Pasta Recipe
- 2-3 large heads broccoli
- 1 red bell pepper (optional)
- 1 can chickpeas, drained
- 10-16 oz pasta of choice, gluten-free if necessary
- 5-8 large garlic cloves
- 4 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- For serving: cherry tomatoes, cashew parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, fresh basil, salt and pepper
- Set a large pot of water on stove to boil. Chop broccoli and peppers into bite sized pieces.* Drain chickpeas and add to colander with peppers and broccoli, rinsing thoroughly.
- When the large pot is boiling, add desired amount of pasta (a full box if you're cooking for a family) and let boil per package instructions. In the last couple of minutes, add vegetable/chickpea mix.
- While pasta is cooking, mince garlic finely and add a pinch of salt. Salting the garlic while mincing will help draw out more flavor. Add olive oil to a cast iron skillet and heat to medium-low. Sauté garlic until golden and fragrant but not burned, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Drain your pasta and vegetables (without rinsing), and add into a large bowl (or back into the same pot, off of heat). Pour garlic/olive oil mixture on top and combine. Serve with toppings of choice.