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Overhead view of a plate with chickpea pasta with olives and cheese on a stripped napkin.

Pasta with Chickpeas, Olives, and Cheese

  • Author: Vicky and Ruth
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 6
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This pasta with chickpeas, olives, and cheese is the grown-up healthier mac and cheese you didn’t know you were missing!


  • 1 lb uncooked spaghetti or other pasta of your choice
  • 2 large Spanish onions, sliced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp dry oregano
  • 1/4-1/2 red pepper flakes or Aleppo pepper ( optional)
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 5 oz cheese (cheddar, muenster, gouda, vegan cheese, etc), diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1-15oz can of chick peas, rinsed and drained 
  • 12 pitted kalamata olives, sliced
  • Parmesan cheese to top the pasta once plated (optional)


  1. Cook the pasta in salt water until al dente, according to directions on the package. Save about 1 cup of the cooking water and set it aside. Drain the pasta without rinsing it, and set it aside
  2. While the pasta cooks, heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet. Sauté the onions and garlic for about 15 minutes, or until the onions soften and turn slightly golden.  Season with salt, pepper, oregano, and red pepper flakes, if using
  3. Add about 3/4 of the cooked pasta, the cheese, chickpeas, olives, and about 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. Cook over medium-low heat until the cheese is melted, tossing frequently. Add more pasta water if you feel the pasta is looking dry ( See note #1)
  4. Turn off the heat, taste and adjust seasoning, garnish with some shaved or grated parmesan cheese and serve immediately.


  1. Save the other 1/4 of the cooked pasta and use it with your favorite sauce. Store it in the the refrigerator in a tightly-closed container.
  2. If you have leftover pasta and chickpeas, re-heat it the next day on the stove adding some of the pasta water.
  3. To make ahead, cook the pasta and saute onions and garlic 1-2 days ahead. and follow steps 3 & 4 above before serving.
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean


  • Serving Size: 1 1/4 cups
  • Calories: 438
  • Sugar: 5.6
  • Sodium: 399
  • Fat: 15.3
  • Saturated Fat: 5.5
  • Unsaturated Fat: 10
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 59.2
  • Fiber: 6.1
  • Protein: 16.8
  • Cholesterol: 0

Keywords: Dinner, entre, pasta, spaghetti, vegetarian

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