August 4, 2021

Crispy Chickpeas and Greens Over Pasta

I love crispy chickpeas. They’re a great plant-based protein addition to a variety of dishes. They add just the right crunchy texture to many dishes, like roasted sweet potatoes, on top of salads, or on pasta in this case. They’re even great just for snacking!

I’ve featured Swiss chard and baby spinach in this version of the recipe, but you can absolutely swap in whatever leafy greens you would like. Sauteed kale or collard greens instead of chard, or arugula or mustard greens instead of spinach…or even beet greens or turnip greens! They’re all nutritious, and they all offer variations to take this dish into different seasons. Fall is a lovely season for leafy greens, which thrive in cooler weather. Depending on what greens you use, your cooking time will vary. Softer greens like chard, spinach, and arugula don’t take as long as heartier greens like kale or collards.

Don’t forget to reserve some of your pasta cooking water before you drain your pasta. The starchy pasta water will help your pesto to coat the noodles and distribute evenly throughout the pasta. I usually err on the side of reserving more than what I will need, just to be safe. Add as much or as little reserved pasta water as you like, to achieve the consistency of sauce you prefer.

Fresh rainbow Swiss chard
Fresh rainbow Swiss chard

Crispy roasted chickpeas on a baking sheet
Crispy roasted chickpeas

Original publication date: September 28, 2020

Crispy Chickpeas and Greens Over Pasta

Seasoned crispy chickpeas add great texture and protein to this pasta dish.


Kira Freed - The Joyful Plateful











For sautéed greens:

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 large bunch Swiss chard, leaves and stems, chopped

3 large handfuls baby spinach

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

For crispy chickpeas:

1 14.5-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil  

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

2 Tbsp. finely grated parmesan cheese

For pasta:

12 oz. of your favorite pasta, cooked

1/2 c. prepared basil pesto


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Dry the rinsed chickpeas well, and then place in a bowl. Toss with olive oil, spices, and parmesan. Spread seasoned chickpeas on a baking sheet, and roast in the oven for 25 minutes, tossing once halfway through.
  2. While chickpeas are roasting, prepare your pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water before draining. Return drained pasta to hot pot, and toss with pesto. Use some of the reserved cooking water to help the pesto coat the pasta.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, sauté the greens, starting by heating the olive oil with the onion in deep skillet. Cook the onions until tender, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic, and sauté another 1-2 minutes. Add the Swiss chard, and sauté 2-3 minutes. Add the baby spinach, and sauté another 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. To serve, place pasta into a bowl. Top with a pile of sautéed greens, and sprinkle crispy chickpeas over the top.

Note: For a vegan version of this dish, replace the parmesan with nutritional yeast in the chickpeas. Make your own or purchase a pesto that is not made with cheese.

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May 24, 2022
I don't normally comment on recipes but this has got to be the best thing I've ever made. It came together pretty easy and made five meals - perfect for meal prep for the week. I already can't wait to make it again.
January 22, 2022
Sherry Ruiter
I love this section!!!!!