Vegan Jalapeño Chickpea Mac and Cheese Pasta is gluten free, full of flavor, and ready in under 45 minutes. Made with a lentil and chickpea pasta, jalapeños, and Mexican spices. It’s a healthy hearty plant based meal that can feed a big family or multiple dinners for two!
Oh hey there spicy bowl of goodness round two! Yes, another dairy free flavorful bowl for you today. Mmm k? This one has a good story. It promise. Yes, it involves Jalapeño Chickpea Mac and Cheese (what we call it) and all the plant based vegan gluten free vibes. YO!
So.. 11 years ago I met this cute curly head Kiwi triathlete. Um, my husband. I spent the next year trying to impress him with charm and cooking. Haha. Well..sorta.
At the time, we were both living in Hawaii and we often tried to save money by spending a date night in at my place. My 300 square foot hole in the wall place. Fun times! Anyway, this was around the time I first started eating gluten free (for health reasons). OYE!! That was a trial and error yea, for suree. Anyway, I decided to make the kiwi a romantic gluten free pasta dinner for our date night in. My first attempt at gluten feee pasta. I scoured the store for the best looking gluten free pasta noodles only to find 1 brand. One! And it was made with corn and about 20 other ingredients I didn’t know. But I bought it. Plopped it in the pot. And away I went trying to make a gluten free date night dinner. Only to realize that 5 minutes later my pasta was mush. Yes mush. Wanna know the worst part?
I served it anyway. Haha. And we laughed. And we “kinda sorta”‘ ate it.
Well fast forward a decade and boy gluten free pasta has changed. Thank goodness! I’ve literally tried dozens! And I’m happy to report that the kiwi and I both looooove Chickapea pasta. No mush. Just real past taste because it’s made from chickpeas and lentils. That’s it. Really! No fillers. No corn (phew!), no grains. And oh so filling. More on that below.
For now, let’s now narrow in on this Vegan Jalapeño Chickpea Mac and Cheese pasta.
In relation to that mushy pasta memory mentioned above of course. You see, jalapeño and cheese has been one of my husband’s FAVORITE combos for years. And since we’ve finally found a gluten free pasta that um.. tastes like pasta and doesn’t fall apart, I figured we should revive that memory. You know.. SPICE it up a bit. Because I’m “Cheesy”! Bahaha, yes I just went there.
That being said, 10 years later I totally made it up to the kiwi with this new pasta dish. I like to call this Jalapeño Chickpea Mac and Cheese pasta the Cotter Comeback (Welcome back Kotter) pasta dish. If you’re older than 30 hopefully you get that joke.
Yes, I’m in an extra loving and nourishing (healing) mood this week. It’s time to rekindle that romance (and that original gluten free pasta recipe), in Spicy Vegan chickpea Mac and Cheese PASTA form ya’ll!
So about that Chickapea pasta. Oh how I love thee.. let me count the ways.
Chickapea pasta is a Gluten Free pasta made with just 2 ingredients…chickpeas and red lentils.
Anyway, I don’t know how they do it ya’ll but Chickapea’s 2 ingredient pasta is spot on with texture and taste. Meaning, no weird gummy taste. Ya, impressive is just one of the words that come to mind. It’s gluten free, vegan, organic, kosher and comes packed with 27 grams of protein and 13 grams of fiber per serving. Totally gets my nerdy nutritionist stamp of approval!
This Mighty Mexican Jalapeño Chickpea Mac and Cheese pasta is a must make. I know, I keep expanding on the title. But stay with me here. All you need to do is spice up those chickpeas, bake with your jalapeños, then toss into the “cheesy” pasta. Simple!
The “cheesy” base comes from mixing nutritional yeast with coconut milk as the “cream/cheese” part. And because it’s made with organic lentils and chickpeas, it adds in an even greater source of B Vitamins and Plant based iron! This is a HUGE health perk for vegans and vegetarians!
I’v got the chickpea pasta recipe ready to share below!
How to make vegan mac and cheese with chickpeas!
This Vegan Jalapeño Chickpea Mac and Cheese Pasta is gluten free, full of flavor, and ready in under 45 minutes. A healthy hearty plant based meal to feed a family or multiple dinners for two!
- 16 oz (2 boxes) chickapea shells (see notes for link to product)
- 8–10 c water
- pinch of sea Salt
- 2 sliced jalapeños. Keep seeds if you want extra spicy.
- 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas (drained)
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic salt
- 2–3 tbsp olive oil or avocado oil (divided)
- Pinch of cumin
- 1– 2 tsp tsp garlic minced (divided)
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp each salt salt/pepper (divided)
For the cheese sauce:
- 2/3 c non dairy milk milk
- 1/4 cup broth or water (add more if you need to thin out sauce)
- 3/4 c nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp arrowroot starch or tapioca starch
- Cilantro and crushed red pepper to garnish.
- Optional 2 tbsp taco sauce or Tabasco.
- For richer vegan cheese sauce, you can also just use my Vegan Con Queso Cheese Sauce.
- Preheat oven 400F. Slice jalpenos 1/4 in to 1/2 inch thick. If you slice them too thick they will cook faster than the time I recommend.
- Mix, chickpeas, jalapenos, and paprika, cumin, salt/pepper, garlic salt in a bowl with oil. Spread on baking sheet and bake 400F for 15-20 minutes.
- While that is baking, cook your pasta.
- Once pasta is cooked, drain and lightly rinse. Add back into the pot with 1 -2 tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp garlic minced. Add in 1/4 tsp salt/pepper to taste. Keep heat on low.
- Updated – In another small saucepan, whisk together 3/4 cup coconut or almond milk with 1/4 cup broth or water, 3/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes, 1/2 tsp minced garlic, and 1 tablespoon gluten free flour or starch (tapioca or potato work great). Cook on medium until mixed and thickened “cheesy” sauce is formed. Add a few tablespoons more milk if you need to thin out sauce before adding to pasta. Notes: Depending on the type of pasta you use, you made need to make more sauce. Some pastas absorb the sauce more than others.
- Add this sauce to your pasta, mix together. Keep pasta on low or covered until Jalapeño chickpea bake is ready.
- Once jalapenos/chickpeas are baked, add them to the pasta.
- Cook all together for 5 minutes on low adding more salt/pepper if desired..
- Mix in Optional taco sauce if you want extra Mexican flavor!
- Serve and garnish with cilantro and chili pepper flakes.
- Category: main, dinner
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 431
- Sugar: 2.5g
- Sodium: 439.6mg
- Fat: 8.5g
- Saturated Fat: 0.8g
- Unsaturated Fat: 1.1g
- Trans Fat: 3.3g
- Carbohydrates: 68.5g
- Fiber: 16.6g
- Protein: 26.8g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: chickpea mac and cheese, vegan mac and cheese, gluten free pasta recipe, vegan cheese sauce
Ya’ll, this dish is perfect for hearty plant based meal or, dare I say it… a quick date night dinner in. SPICY! Ohhh lala!
Don’t worry, the red nails are not necessary for the spicy part. Mwah!
What’s your favorite gluten free pasta dish?
This Jalapeño Chickpea Mac and Cheese Pasta recipe is sponsored by my Chickapea Friends!