Lemon Penne with Crispy Chickpeas

Lemon Penne with Crispy Chickpeas


This plant-based pasta is light and bright with a nice little crunch. A Vegan Lemon Penne with Crispy Chickpeas that feels indulgent yet can be made a flash with just a handful of ingredients.


A Creamy yet Healthy Homemade Pasta Sauce

The zesty lemon and garlic sauce for this pasta is actually made with aquafaba, or chickpea water, for a healthy and light sauce. Don’t throw away the liquid gold in that can!

I know it might seem crazy, but trust us- this works! When you blend the aquafaba with an immersion blender, it thickens slightly into a creamy sauce. No dairy needed!

Additionally, by blending the sauce it gives it a frothy texture that helps it adhere to the pasta noodles. If you need more liquid for your sauce, add some of the pasta water.  It will also provide extra flavor.

One recommendation we would give, is to brown your garlic with the oil and red pepper flakes prior to blending with the aquafaba. You don’t need a lot of oil but it will bring out the spiciness of the red pepper and provide a robust garlic flavor to your sauce. Yum!


One Effortless Meal

This meal can easily be made on a weeknight. It requires minimal effort and makes the most of the few ingredients required.

We like to use frozen broccoli for this meal because we typically have it available and by roasting it with the chickpeas, you will never know that it wasn’t fresh. However, if you have fresh broccoli, it can also be used.

Once your chickpeas and broccoli florets are roasting, put your pot of water on to boil.  It makes the most of your time and reduces the time needed for this meal.

Then, while waiting for your water to boil- make your sauce.  By following this order, your dinner will be ready in no time!


A Recipe Made with Pantry Staples

This Vegan Lemon Penne with Crispy Chickpeas is made with only 8 ingredientsand is ready to serve in 20 minutes.

Here are the ingredients you will need:

  • Penne Pasta (Or a Similar Variety)
  • Canned Chickpeas (Including the chickpea water aka aquafaba)
  • Broccoli (Frozen or Fresh)
  • Lemon
  • Garlic
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt & Pepper

As you can see, it’s a simple pasta with basic ingredients.  That’s always a win in our book!


Frequently Asked Questions:


  • Can you make the sauce without aquafaba?

    • You can still make a light sauce with garlic, oil, and maybe a little dairy-free milk.  It will still be much healthier than a traditional cream sauce but the addition of milk will be a nice replacement for the creamy aquafaba. If you are using dried chickpeas, you will need to soak them overnight and cook them prior to roasting.
  • Do you have a recommendation for a gluten free pasta?

    • We like the brand Banza which is made from chickpeas. (This is our honest unsolicited opinion!) Yep, our pasta was chickpea pasta with chickpeas! This meal will keep you satisfied long after you eat due to the protein in the chickpeas.  Banza has the texture of traditional pasta which can sometimes be lacking in gluten-free noodles.
  • What if I don’t have an Immersion Blender?

    • You can still make the sauce using a traditional blender or a hand mixer. Both will still allow the aquafaba to thicken.  However, if you use a hand mixer, you will want to chop your garlic rather than slice it.
  • Can this be made with lemon juice rather than fresh lemons?

    • Yes.  You won’t have the roasted lemons for a garnish but you will still have delicious lemon flavor using lemon juice.  The lemons can be replaced with 4 Tbsp of juice.


It’s Time for Lemon Penne with Crispy Chickpeas!

This nutritious and easy plant-based pasta will truly delight and it comes together in a snap.  We hope you try out this Lemon Penne with Crispy Chickpeas for your next pasta night. Happy cooking!


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Final Lemon Penne with Crispy Chickpeas in a white bowl.

Lemon Penne with Crispy Chickpeas

  • Author: meatlessmakeovers
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: boil,roasting
  • Cuisine: italian
  • Diet: Vegan


A quick and easy vegan pasta with a creamy lemon garlic sauce made with aquafaba (aka chickpea water!). This delicious gluten-free penne is topped with roasted broccoli and crispy chickpeas and is ready in 20 minutes!



1 15 oz. Can Chickpeas (Drained, Liquid Reserved)

Aquafaba(Liquid) from Chickpeas

8 oz. Penne Pasta (Gluten-free if needed)

34 Cups Frozen Broccoli (or fresh)

2 Lemons (1 Sliced into wedges)

3 Cloves Garlic (Sliced)

1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes

½ tsp Cracked Black Pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Arrange the frozen broccoli, lemon wedges, and chickpeas on a baking sheet coated with a small amount of oil.
  3. Place the filled baking sheet in the oven and set the timer for 15 minutes.
  4. Put a large pot of water on the stove over medium-high heat to boil. Salt the water, if desired.
  5. Cook the pasta as directed on the package.
  6. In a sauce pan over medium heat, place 1 Tbsp of oil and the sliced garlic. Stir occasionally and allow the garlic to start to brown.
  7. Add the chickpea water (aquafaba) and red pepper to the sauce pan and bring to a simmer.
  8. Once the aquafaba is simmering, remove from heat. Then use an immersion blender to froth the mixture or transfer the mixture to a blender and purée it. The aquafaba will thicken into a creamy sauce with just a few seconds using either method. Once the sauce is creamy, add the juice of the last lemon.
  9. Drain the cooked pasta and rinse but reserve some of the pasta water. Pour the blended creamy sauce into the empty pasta pot.
  10. Return the pasta to the pot with the sauce. Add the roasted broccoli and stir to combine.
  11. Plate the pasta and garnish with the crispy chickpeas and toasted lemon wedges. Enjoy!

Keywords: Lemon Penne with Crispy Chickpeas



Ingredients for Lemon Penne with Crispy Chickpeas in white bowls on a white background. Frozen Broccoli, lemon wedges and chickpeas on a baking sheet ready for the oven.

Garlic and red pepper in a sauce pan browning. Aquafaba added to the garlic in the sauce pan, simmering.

an immersion blender frothing the sauce. lemon being juiced into the juice.

Final Lemon Penne with Crispy Chickpeas in a white bowl. Final Lemon Penne with Crispy Chickpeas in a white bowl.


If you love pasta, here are some more plant-based recipes to explore:

  1. Vegan Cacio e Pepe with Morel Mushrooms
  2. Fiddlehead Lemon Garlic Rigatoni
  3. Springtime Gnocchi with Carrot Top Pesto
  4. Beet Bolognese
  5. Vegan “Seafood” Linguine

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