Spaghetti with Chickpeas, Garlic, and Parsley

Happy (belated) new year! I’m back after falling out of the blogging habit again. I have so many travel posts I want to catch up with from my Spain trip in August, but for now, I have a quick and very easy pasta dish to share.

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of the chickpea and pasta combination – it’s a great way to make a vegetarian pasta dish more hearty by boosting the fiber and protein. This dish started off as a last-minute pantry meal, but it turned out so well that Matt requested it the following night.

This dish is full of simple ingredients, most of which we almost always have on hand. It gets it’s flavor from lots of garlic, olive oil, Parmesan, lemon zest, and a whole lot of parsley. The brightness from the parsley and lemon zest keeps it from tasting like a pantry meal…and I went pretty nuts on both. No regrets.

Spaghetti with Chickpeas, Garlic, and Parsley

Yield: 2-4 servings

Spaghetti with Chickpeas, Garlic, and Parsley


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • Pinch of chili flakes (optional)
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 8 ounces dried spaghetti
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup roughly chopped parsley (loosely packed)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Combine the olive oil, garlic, and chili flakes (if using) in a large skillet or dutch oven and turn heat to medium-low. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the garlic is soft but not browned. Remove the garlic from the oil and set aside.
  • Turn the heat to medium-high and add the chickpeas. Meanwhile, cook the pasta until al dente.
  • Cook the chickpeas for about 5-10 minutes, or until dry and roasty looking (the exact amount of time will depend on how wet the chickpeas were to begin with). Add the garlic back into the skillet.
  • When the pasta is done, transfer to the chickpea mixture, reserving a cup or so of the pasta water. Add a little bit of the pasta water into the pasta and chickpeas along with the Parmesan and lemon zest. Mix together until a light sauce forms, adding more pasta water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. At the last minute, stir in the fresh parsley. Serve immediately, topping with additional Parmesan if desired.

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