Chickpea Pasta with Smoked Mozzarella

This chickpea pasta with smoked mozzarella is a delicious and inexpensive vegetarian dinner for weeknights. Ready in just 30 minutes!Chickpea Pasta with Smoked Mozzarella - this quick and easy vegetarian meal is perfect for weeknights. It's also gluten free! by @healthynibs

I still haven’t quite snapped out of summer vacation mode yet. Cooking seems to require more effort than usual. Actually, making a cup of tea requires quite some more effort, too. It’s times like these that I’m so glad I can throw some pasta, sauce, and cheese in a pan, and call it dinner. Pasta solves all problems, usually.

Chickpea Pasta with Smoked Mozzarella - this quick and easy vegetarian meal is perfect for weeknights. It's also gluten free! by @healthynibsFor this pasta dish, I tossed in whatever protein I could find around the house, which happened to be a can of chickpeas. The star of the show, however, is the shredded mozzarella.

Have you ever tried smoked mozzarella? The texture is a lot like regular mozzarella, but the outside is golden and slightly tough from the smoking process. The flavors are quite intense when you eat smoked mozzarella on its own. I was initially worried that the smokiness of the cheese would be too much for this pasta, but I couldn’t be more wrong. The cheese pairs very well with the pasta. Every person who’s tried this dish loves it, too!


  • Baking the pasta: To prepare the dish for the photos, I sprinkled all the cheese on top of the pasta and baked it at 350F (175C) for 10 minutes. I helped to melt and brown the cheese a little. This baking step is optional—it tastes great even if you decide to stir the shredded cheese into the pasta. If you want the cheese to be more golden brown, leave it in the oven for another 5 minutes or so.
  • Substitutions: Feel free to add whatever vegetables you have on hand. For example, you can swap baby spinach for kale, but make sure that you add the spinach last. Also, if you can’t find smoked mozzarella, regular mozzarella will work just fine.

Chickpea Pasta with Smoked Mozzarella - this quick and easy vegetarian meal is perfect for weeknights. It's also gluten free! by @healthynibs

If you make this recipe, let me know! Take a photo of your creation and tag me on Instagram so that I can give you a fist bump!

Chickpea Pasta with Smoked Mozzarella

Serves 6.

10 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

30 minTotal Time

Save Recipe


  • 8 oz. (225g) rotini pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups (80g) chopped kale (about 4 large handfuls)
  • 1 medium yellow pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 15-oz. (425g) can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano (optional)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 2/3 cups (140g) shredded smoked mozzarella


  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add kale and peppers and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add chickpeas and pasta sauce and cook until they're warmed through, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add dried oregano (if using) and salt and pepper to taste. Mix in pasta and shredded cheese until the cheese melts. If you want to bake the pasta like I did, mix in pasta and top everything with shredded cheese. Bake the pasta for 10 to 15 minutes at 350F (175C), until the cheese starts to brown.
  3. Serve pasta immediately. Season with more salt and pepper if you like.


NUTRITION INFORMATION: Makes 5 servings; Amount per serving: Calories: 417, Total Fat 12g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Sodium: 800mg, Cholesterol: 24mg, Total Carbohydrate: 60g, Dietary Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 10g, Protein 19g

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Chickpea Pasta with Smoked Mozzarella - this quick and easy vegetarian meal is perfect for weeknights. It's also gluten free! by @healthynibs

2 thoughts on “Chickpea Pasta with Smoked Mozzarella

  1. Bobbi Denise Schuster

    Hey Lisa,
    My family is from Texas and we never imagined we would have a child that chose to be a vegetarian, so his choice has made me so thankful to have stumbled upon your site almost a year ago when looking for healthy food options and now the veggie meals are a boon for us! I love the easy to prepare, mostly common ingredients and the protein adds as that was just the recipe gap we needed filled. We have enjoyed your posts and the thug kitchen cooking book enough that we now have 2-3 vegetarian meals a week as a family now so that my son would feel included as I am pretty sure he felt it was too much trouble to cook for just him and ate terrible carbs in place of real food and most importantly not with our family at mealtime. We now all eat together again and explore this new world as meat hungry hunters and are enjoying every recipe and experience, you helped reunite our family during this critical bonding time. A quick thanks and glad you found what you love to do and share with others. Great perspective, keep it coming!

    1. Lisa Lin Post author

      Bobbi, thank you very much for taking your time to leave a message on my blog. When I read it this morning, I was literally moved to tears. As a blogger, I always wonder what happens to my recipes once I publish them. I’m so glad that they have been useful to your family. The experience of eating together was a major part of my family, too. I’m just glad that I’m able to give a little helping hand to yours. Thanks again for following along! It’s readers like you who make this all worthwhile.


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