Chickpea Pasta with Feta is the perfect light meal. Your favorite pasta is mixed with a creamy lemon sauce, chickpeas, feta cheese and arugula. It’s an easy and protein-rich weekday meal!
I added feta cheese into this pasta. I love the saltiness of feta and when heated with the milk, it creates a nice and creamy sauce. You can also use other cheeses like mozzarella or parmesan, depending on your tastes.
I love adding chickpeas to pasta dishes. If you don’t like them, you can leave them out or try cannellini beans instead. When it comes to greens, I often add them to pasta, so for this recipe, I used peppery arugula because I love the taste of it. You could also use spinach, kale or swiss chard.
To make the sauce lactose-free, use lactose-free cow’s milk. It works great and has a slightly sweeter flavor, which makes a great addition to this pasta. Hard, naturally aged cheeses like parmesan, Swiss, Colby or cheddar are naturally low in lactose, so consider substituting feta for one of those if you have trouble digesting dairy foods.
Looking for other healthy pasta ideas that may be made lactose-free? Try my One Pot Mediterranean Shrimp Pasta with Lactose-Free Cream Sauce.
Chickpea Pasta with Feta
- 15 minutes
- 15 minutes
- 30 minutes
12 oz medium-sized pasta
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small shallot, diced (or 1/2 cup sweet onion/diced)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 lemons, juiced and the zest of 1 lemon
1 cup milk or lactose-free milk (can also use cream for a creamier sauce)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (use more to thicken sauce if necessary)
6 oz crumbled feta cheese, divided
1 15-oz can of chickpeas
2 cups arugula
salt and pepper to taste
crushed red pepper (optional)
fresh herbs (like, parsley, dill or basil), chopped
pine nuts for garnish
lemon zest for garnish
- Generously salt a large pot of water.
- Bring to a boil and add the pasta in. Cook until just over al dente, making sure not to overcook.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the butter or olive oil. Let the butter melt or the olive oil heat.
- Add the shallots and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for another 2 minutes or until fragrant. Whisk in the flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute.
- Slowly whisk in 1 cup of the milk and half of the lemon juice. Add the remaining 1 cup of milk and other half of the lemon juice whisking constantly. Stir in the lemon zest and the 3 ounces of feta cheese stirring constantly until the sauce bubbles and starts to thicken.
TIP: If you are using a lower fat milk, you might have to whisk in 1 or 2 more Tablespoons of milk to thicken the sauce. If you think the sauce is too thick, you can use the reserved pasta water to thin out the sauce.
- Add the Italian seasoning and let simmer for about 2 minutes stirring occasionally.
- When the pasta is done cooking, reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking water and set aside. Drain the pasta.
- Stir in the pasta, chickpeas, arugula with the sauce. Gently stir. Add in 2 to 3 tablespoons of reserved hot pasta water, which contains salt and starch for extra flavor and texture in the sauce.
- Sprinkle the remaining 3 ounces of feta cheese on the pasta dish.
- Serve warm with fresh parsley, crushed red pepper, pine nuts and extra lemon zest.
- I used 2% milk for the sauce, but you can use lactose-free milk, cream or any cow’s With lower fat milks, you may need to add more flour to thicken the sauce. If you think the sauce is too thick you can use reserved pasta water.
- Lactose- free milk works nicely as well but will have a slightly sweeter flavor.
- If you don’t like as much of the lemon flavor, you can cut the lemon juice down to 1 lemon.