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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
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • 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 salty water al dente according to directions on the package, save about 1 cup of pasta cooking water, and set aside Drain the pasta, but don't rinse it and set aside
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large deep skillet and 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 only about 3/4 of the cooked pasta, cheese, chickpeas, olives, and about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water and stir over medium-low heat until the cheese is melted. Add more pasta cooking 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 and cheese
  2. Save the remaining pasta water in the fridge in a tightly-closed container
  3. If you have leftover pasta and chickpeas, re-heat it the next day on the stove adding some of the pasta water.
  4. To make ahead, cook pasta and saute onions and garlic 1-2 days ahead and follow steps 3 & 4 above before serving.
  • 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