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.
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. 🙂
Need something for healthy dinner tonight, and fast? Make this 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 meal that requires very few ingredients and is so satisfying.
2–3 large heads broccoli
1 red bell pepper (optional)
1 can chickpeas, drained
10–16oz 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. Saute 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.
*Don’t throw away the stems of your broccoli! After peeling rough outer skin of stalks, diced into small chunks and add to rest of vegetables. The texture is similar to that of a water chestnut.
Prep Time:5 minutes
Cook Time:10 minutes
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About the Author
Hi, I'm Emily! Garlic Head is a plant-based recipe website for all eaters who want to easily, affordably, and sustainably incorporate more vegetables into their diets. I am a lifelong vegetarian and 10+ year vegan, but I do not focus on labels - I focus on creating food that everyone can enjoy. I earned a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University. Meet me here.