At least once or twice a week, we enjoy vegetarian meals. We both like eating a wide variety of vegetables, grains and legumes, making these meals feel anything but a chore. The trick to eating a vegetarian dinner (and not feeling hungry a few hours later) is to make sure you include plenty of fiber, calcium and protein, as well as a small amount of good fat, to keep you full.
I’ll be bringing you begetarian recipes this month, starting with this Garlicky Greek Yogurt Pasta with Sautéed Lentils & Chickpeas. Simply slice a large yellow onion and pan-fry it in a bit of olive oil until it’s dark golden brown and crispy. Add some chickpeas and cooked lentils (I used beluga lentils because I love their dark black color), and quickly sauté those to warm them through.
While this is going on, cook a pot of spaghetti, then drain it and toss it with a simple “sauce” made with lots of garlic, Greek yogurt, milk and lemon zest. Top the yogurt-sauced pasta with the lentil and chickpea mixture, then sprinkle with some red pepper flakes and fresh mint for added flavor. I served this dish with some lightly sautéed arugula to round out this satisfying, healthful vegetarian meal.
- 12 ounces spaghetti
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup prepared lentils
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-1/2 cups full fat Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- Red pepper flakes, for serving
- In large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta cooking water, then drain pasta.
- Meanwhile, in large high-sided skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook 8 to 10 minutes or until dark golden brown, stirring frequently. Add chickpeas and lentils; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Transfer chickpea mixture to medium bowl; cover to keep warm.
- Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Whisk in yogurt, milk, lemon zest, salt and black pepper. Cook 2 minutes or until warmed through.
- Add drained pasta and 2 tablespoons pasta water to yogurt mixture; toss to combine. If sauce is too thick, add additional pasta water 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is achieved. Divide pasta between 4 pasta bowls or plates. Divide chickpea mixture over pasta and sprinkle with fresh mint. Serve with red pepper flakes.
MORE GREAT PASTA RECIPES:
- One Pan Sausage & Tortellini – my family eats this on repeat all winter!
- Mushroom & Lentil Ragu – a hearty vegetarian sauce over spaghetti.
- Minestrone Pasta Sauté with Ricotta – perfect for a cold winter night.
- Asparagus & Parmesan Pasta with a Fried Egg – bookmark this for asparagus season.
- Butternut Squash Noodles – a healthier take on pasta.