This pasta is as delicious as it is beautiful. You get to enjoy the goodness of a comforting pasta dish with all of the plant powered benefits of a salad.
The recipe actually kind of came together by accident. I had finished a long day of shooting photos for my website and some new recipes and was left with bits and pieces of a bunch of different dishes leftover. I hate wasting food, so I decided to just thrown them all together in a sort of kitchen sink style pasta. I wasn’t expecting much, but it turned out to be a major keeper and has since become a favorite (the original actually had wakame (seaweed salad) mixed into it, sound weird, I know but it was actually delicious! I subbed it out for red cabbage in the end but if you’re feeling adventurous, give it a go ;)) .
I had actually kind of forgotten about it for awhile until recently. One of my best friends just had a baby and I wanted to drop her off some food. This dish was her request and it made me think it was probably time to share it with you guys!
This dish is packed with antioxidants including Vitamins A and C to keep your body and skin glowing from the inside out. It’s also high in fiber to keep those blood sugars balanced and keep you full, energized, and satisfied.
There’s so much flavor from the combo of lemon, garlic and pesto, even the biggest skeptics of vegetarian dishes will be coming back for more. It tastes amazing as a cold pasta salad too, which makes it great for leftovers whether you’re able to reheat or not.
I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do!
Tip: I find that having a few meal ideas on hand frees up time for more family time, so I’ve created a list of my well-balanced meal recipes for you here!Print
Lemon Pesto Rainbow Chickpea Pasta
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 3-4 1x
This kitchen sink pasta has a few surprising ingredients, like purple cabbage and chickpeas, but let me tell you, it works! A favorite among my family and friends, this pasta is delish served hot or cold. Vegan.
- 1 375g box of spaghetti noodles of your choice
- 1 carrot, spiralized or thinly sliced
- 1 zucchini, spiralized or thinly sliced
- 1 cup of purple cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1–2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 1–19 oz can of chickpeas
- 1 lemon
- 1/3 cup of pesto, store-bought or homemade *more to taste if needed
- salt and pepper to taste
- Optional garnishes: 1/3 cup of basil, thinly sliced and freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, get all of your veggies prepped. I love to use my spiralizer for this dish as it’s so quick and replicates the veggies in the perfect noodle like shape. For the cabbage you’ll have to slice this by hand as it can’t go through the spiralizer.
- In a large skillet or another pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat, about 30 seconds.
- Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring frequently for about 1-2 minute. Be careful not to let it burn.
- Add the chickpeas and the juice of half of the lemon, cook until the chickpeas begin to brown.
- Add the vegetables and stir until they begin to soften.
- Once the pasta is cooked and drained, add the noodles to the vegetable mixture.
- Add the pesto and juice of the other half of the lemon.
- Stir until well combined and coated. Add any additional pesto, olive oil or lemon juice as needed. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with minced basil or Parmesan cheese as desired.
- Sub parmesan for nutritional yeast and use a vegan pesto to make this totally plant based!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Main Dishes
- Method: Stove top
- Cuisine: Italian Fusion
Keywords: weeknight meal, vegan, easy
Hey Lindsay, do you mind sharing the approx. protein count on a serving of this? I tend to make one main dish for a meal, often with a few veggie on the side, so I want to make sure I’m getting enough in this entree to really fill me up (so I can make it to dinner without lots of snacking!).
Lindsay Pleskot says
Hi Allea! There is about 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas per serving which is 1 serving of protein and around 10 grams of total protein per serving (with small amounts from other ingredients contributing as well) Hope that helps! If you wanted to up the protein a bit more you could add some hemp hearts and/or use a legume pasta like a chickpea or bean pasta!