If you don’t follow me on Instagram, well first, why aren’t you??? Follow @tracysnutritiontips for even more plant-based and nutrition content! Any who, if you don’t follow me on Instagram, then you might not know that I am currently completing my Population and Public Health Dietetic Internship. At my internship I do a variety of things, including helping to lead cooking classes. At our most recent cooking class, we made a cheesy chicken pasta bake, and it got me thinking that I should make a dairy- and meat-free option for myself!
And as they say, don’t fix what’s not broken, so this recipes uses my go to dairy-free cheese sauce recipe which is packed with veggies and flavour!
I used broccoli in my pasta bake, but green peas, corn, or cauliflower would also be great additions! As for the chickpeas, if you’re not a fan of them, you can opt for cubed tofu that’s been pan-fried, or even use some breaded plant-based chick’n! That would also be super tasty.
This is also a great meal prep meal because the pasta reheats really well and can be stored in the fridge for several days! It’s a win win win situation really.
Here’s the recipe:
- 1 batch of my dairy-free cheese sauce
- 2 ¼ cups elbow macaroni pasta (I used brown rice pasta!)
- 1 head of broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces and washed
- 1 can no salt added chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ¼ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp salt
- ~ ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs (I used whole wheat)
- Prepare the dairy-free cheese sauce according to the instructions and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375oF.
- In the same pot used to boil the vegetables for the cheese sauce, fill the pot with some more water and bring to a boil. Boil the pasta for 4 minutes, then add the broccoli and boil for another minute. Drain and rinse with cold water, then transfer back into the pot.
- Pour the cheese sauce into the pot and gently stir to evenly combine. Transfer the pasta into an oven-safe baking dish and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, olive oil, chili powder, paprika, cumin, and salt. Sprinkle the chickpeas on top of the pasta in the baking dish and use a spoon to gently incorporate into the pasta.
- Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top of the pasta and bake for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, broil the surface of the pasta for 1-2 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are golden.