Our chickpea pasta with eggplant is a healthy and delicious pasta dish made with diced eggplant cooked in a fresh tomato sauce with chickpeas, garlic, and herbs.
This recipe is quick and easy to make, with simple ingredients. In less than 30 minutes, you'll have a wholesome and nutritious plant-based dinner for the whole family.
Check out our Best Eggplant Recipes
Our chickpea pasta recipe (as in regular pasta with chickpeas - not pasta made with chickpea flour) is perfect for a quick and healthy family dinner you can put together in 30 minutes.
Chickpeas and pasta taste great together and complement each other from a nutritional point of view, nourishing you with high-quality and complete plant-based protein.
To add flavor, we cook the chickpeas in an Italian-inspired eggplant tomato sauce. It's super easy; all you need is a diced eggplant and fresh tomatoes that we'll season with olive oil, garlic, and herbs.
You can boil the pasta while the chickpea-tomato-eggplant sauce simmers, toss it in the same pan, and enjoy.
This recipe is suitable for most diets, including vegetarians and vegans, and you can make it gluten-free by substituting gluten-free pasta for wheat pasta.
Again, this recipe is a nutrition powerhouse, and one portion contains xxx whopping grams of protein (100% plant-based), heart-healthy fats, plenty of fiber, and good carbs.
The recipe is also forgiving; you can swap ingredients based on what you have available at home. Let's see how!
Use canned chickpeas, sometimes garbanzo beans, to make this chickpea pasta recipe in less than 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can use dry chickpeas that you previously soaked overnight and boiled for 1 to 2 hours until soft.
You can replace chickpeas with most beans, including kidney beans, cranberry beans, pinto beans, and even lentils.
Use a short pasta type such as penne, rotini, fusilli, and rigatoni. You can use regular wheat pasta, whole-wheat pasta, or gluten-free pasta.
Remember to reserve two cups of pasta water that we'll add to the sauce to make it super creamy.
Use globe eggplant, the large ones with an oval shape and dark shiny skin. Italian eggplants also work as they are very similar to globe American eggplants.
If eggplants are not in season, you can make this recipe with many other vegetables, including zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms, and artichoke hearts. The process is the same as for eggplants.
We recommend using fresh ripe tomatoes for this chickpea pasta with eggplants. We prefer cherry tomatoes or plum tomatoes. Roma tomatoes are also perfect for this recipe.
If you don't have fresh tomatoes, use a 28oz can of whole peeled tomatoes or crushed tomatoes.
Pitted black olives add a savory taste and a pleasant texture to this sauce. We find that adding olives makes this dish so tasty that there's no need for parmesan cheese.
Use extra virgin olive oil for better flavor and nutrition. Alternatively, regular olive oil is also ok.
To add a mild and pleasant garlic aroma. For this recipe, we prefer fresh garlic to garlic powder.
Red Pepper Flakes
To add some spiciness. You can replace them with chili powder or dried chili.
Salt & Pepper
We use sea salt or kosher salt to season this dish. Finally, we add black pepper for a fragrant aroma.
Add a fresh herb such as basil or parsley if you can. You can replace fresh herbs with dried herbs such as oregano, thyme, or Italian seasoning mix.
Start with the sauce
To a large skillet, add extra virgin olive oil, crushed garlic, red pepper flakes, halved cherry tomatoes (or chopped tomatoes), salt, and pepper.
Fry the tomatoes on medium-high heat for 5 minutes, then crush them with a fork.
Wash and dry the eggplant, remove the stem, and cut into 1-inch cubes (2.5 cm). Add the eggplant to the pan along with one cup of water.
Next, add rinsed chickpeas and pitted olives.
Stir well, cover with a lid and simmer the chickpea pasta sauce for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Take the lid off and cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until the eggplant is thoroughly cooked. Add more water if necessary.
Add fresh basil or parsley towards the end, then toss in the pasta.
Cook the pasta
While the chickpea simmers in the eggplant tomato sauce, boil the pasta in a large pot with plenty of salted boiling water. Undercook the pasta by 1 minute, then add it to the pan with the sauce.
Add 1 cup of reserved pasta water, toss the pasta, and cook on medium heat for about a minute until the pasta is al dente.
Serve in a large bowl or smaller individual bowls, and garnish with a sprinkle of chopped flat-leaf parsley or fresh basil.
Chickpea pasta with eggplant and tomatoes is a nutritious and fulfilling dish, and we recommend eating it as a main meal.
If you'd like, you can serve it with a side salad, although that's not necessary as plenty of veggies are already in the sauce. We can recommend our:
Make it with beans
Try substituting cranberry beans or kidney beans for the chickpeas. Beans and pasta also go very well together and are complementary nutritionally, providing us with plenty of complete plant-based protein.
Make it with mushrooms
You can enjoy this recipe year-round, even when eggplants go out of season. For example, in fall and winter, substitute mushrooms for eggplant.
You can use white mushrooms, brown mushrooms, portobello mushrooms, and chanterelle mushrooms. Cut the mushrooms chunkily, then follow the same instructions as the main recipe.
Store leftover pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat on a pan with a drizzle of olive oil or microwave. Add some fresh herbs before serving. This recipe is not suitable for freezing.
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Chickpea Pasta with Eggplant
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cups cherry tomatoes halved
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas or 1½ cups cooked chickpeas
- ½ cup black olives pitted
- 1 cup water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup basil or parsley
- ½ pound penne
START WITH THE SAUCE
- To a large skillet, add extra virgin olive oil, crushed garlic, red pepper flakes, halved cherry tomatoes (or chopped tomatoes), salt, and pepper.
- Fry the tomatoes on medium-high heat for 5 minutes, then crush them with a fork.
- Wash and dry the eggplant, remove the stem, and cut into 1-inch cubes (2.5 cm). Add the eggplant to the pan along with one cup of water.Next, add rinsed chickpeas and pitted olives.
- Stir well, cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.Take the lid off and cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until the eggplant is thoroughly cooked. Add more water if necessary.Add fresh basil or parsley towards the end, then toss in the pasta.
COOK THE PASTA
- While the chickpea simmers in the eggplant tomato sauce, boil the pasta in a large pot with plenty of salted boiling water. Undercook the pasta by 1 minute, then add it to the pan with the sauce.
- Add 1 cup of reserved pasta water, toss the pasta, and cook on medium heat for about a minute until the pasta is al dente.Serve in a large bowl or smaller individual bowls, and garnish with a sprinkle of chopped flat-leaf parsley or fresh basil.
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