Vegan Chickpea Bolognese Pasta

VeganGluten-FreeNut-FreeSoy-FreeRefined Sugar-FreeEasyVegetarianDairy Free

Thank you Modern Table for sponsoring this post. This delicious, complete protein pasta is made from just three plant-based ingredients — eat clean with Modern Table pasta today!

Bolognese sauces are thick, chunky and full of satisfying flavor.  They are perfect for these colder winter months when you are craving something hearty and comforting.  This recipe has all the authentic flavors of a classic bolognese sauce but is made vegan with chickpeas instead of ground meat.  I pulsed the chickpeas in my mini food processor to give it a ground meat-like texture and it works wonderfully.

I served this high-protein sauce over Modern Table’s lentil-based pasta packed with even more plant protein.  These days, there are so many protein-based pastas out there that pasta night doesn’t have to be the carb-heavy meal it is known to be.  These newer plant-based, complete protein pastas allow you to sneak more nutrition into your meals without feeling like you are sacrificing your love for noodles.

I knew this recipe was blog-worthy when I asked my non-vegan husband if he wanted to add some parmesan cheese to it and he declined.  He loved it as is and thought the flavor was just perfect.  That is always a good test of a vegan Italian dish – if no cheese is needed then it is a winner.

A couple months back, I posted a similar Vegan Chickpea Bolognese served over spaghetti squash noodles that were made in the Instant Pot.  That recipe was basically my easy, busy weeknight version that is ready in less than ten minutes and only requires eight ingredients.  This new recipe takes just a little more time to pull together because it requires a bit more chopping.  It also involves getting out the mini food processor to pulse the chickpeas instead of mashing them with a potato masher in the pot.  The mashing method saves time and makes clean up easier, but I find pulsing the chickpeas a couple times in the mini food processor gives the sauce a more authentic texture similar to a meat sauce.  I also like the addition of the carrot and celery in this version which makes the sauce more traditional and provides a more chunky texture.  You could even double the veggies if you like.

As I mentioned, in this recipe I used Modern Table Penne Pasta.  All of their pastas are lentil-based and contain complete proteins – meaning they have the 9 essential amino acids our bodies need for strong energy, good digestion, and muscle health.  With only three plant-based ingredients, the plain pastas are vegan, non-GMO, and gluten-free.

I hope you love this dish as much as we do.  It is so easy and flavorful.

This pasta dish is vegan, soy-free, nut-free and gluten-free.  If you give it a try, please let me know! Leave a comment below, rate it above, and tag a photo @eatingbyelaine and #eatingbyelaine on InstagramTwitter or Facebook so I can see your creations!

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Vegan Chickpea Bolognese Pasta

  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x


This vegan version of the classic bolognese is mostly traditional with some optional twists to doctor up the sauce slightly with creamy oat milk and naturally sweet maple syrup if desired. I find the creaminess and sweetness is a nice balance for the pungent garlic and shallot and spicy red pepper flakes. I recommend using a high quality marinara sauce here as it makes all the difference in the end result. The chickpeas are pulsed lightly ten times in the food processor to provide a perfectly chunky ground meat-like texture. Note: In the recipe instructions I stagger the sauce preparation and the cooking of the pasta but you could layer these tasks simultaneously for a faster overall cooking time.


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 large celery stalk, diced
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (or more to taste)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional for added heat)
  • 1, 15 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed, dried and pulsed 10 times in a mini food processor
  • 1, 24 ounce jar marinara sauce
  • Optional: 1/2 cup oat milk
  • Optional: 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, large stems removed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 8 ounces Modern Table Penne Complete Protein Pasta


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil is shimmering, add in the carrots, celery, shallot, salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables soften. Then add in the garlic and red pepper flakes and let cook for 1 minute or until fragrant.
  2. Add the pulsed garbanzo beans and sauce to the skillet and stir until combined. Add oat milk and maple syrup if using. Cook for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to develop. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cover while you cook the pasta.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add one tablespoon salt and one package of pasta. Cook according to package instructions. When cooking is complete, test one noodle for doneness. Use a large scoop colander pasta strainer to transfer the cooked pasta to the skillet with the sauce. Stir until the noodles are fully coated with the sauce. Add parsley and basil and stir again before serving.
  4. Divide onto four plates and enjoy immediately. You can also plate the pasta plain and serve the sauce in the center as pictured.
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: Italian

This post is sponsored by Modern Table.  All opinions are my own.

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  1. Eva

    This sounds like a great protein-packed recipe but would love to have nutritional information attached.

    • Elaine Gordon

      Hi Eva, Thank you so much! Yes, the chickpeas pack in the majority of the plant-based protein for this recipe for sure. At this time I do not have the nutrition information calculated. I’m always trying to find time to manually add the nutrition information to the recipes on my blog. If you need the nutrition information for this recipe quickly I would suggest inputting the ingredients in a free online nutrition calculator. Another option is to look at the amount of protein in one can of garbanzo beans and guesstimate the amount you eat by how you divide up the recipe. I hope that helps in the short term! Best, Elaine


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