This pumpkin spaghetti with caramelized onions, chickpeas and garlic kale is made from fewer than 15 ingredients. It’s a creamy and satisfying meal that’s loaded with nutrients. Make the sauce ahead of time for meal prep or to simplify a weeknight meal.
I’ve been really addicted to squash lately. Ok, well, not lately. I go through this every autumn. Beginning in September, I roll out the squash dinner meals, eat leftovers for lunch, and even dump pumpkin into my overnight oats. Usually my squash obsession dies down after the New Year. Not this time though. I decided to up the nutritional value of my spaghetti sauce by including some pumpkin. Because, who says pumpkin can’t go on well into the winter months? Here’s why I think you should continue using squash through the winter months too.
Why you’ll love it
- Simple- Most of the ingredients you’ll need for this dish you probably have on-hand in your pantry and fridge. And you need fewer than 15 ingredients to prepare it as well!
- Easy- There’s nothing complicated about this recipe. If you can mince, boil water, and open a can, you’re good to go. Plus, you can easily whip this meal up in less than 30 minutes.
- Flavorful- With such a rich diversity of ingredients, this dish simply does not lack in the flavor department. It’s comforting, inventive, and sure to please.
- Textured- The sauce is creamy. The pasta is chewy. The chickpeas are crispy. The kale is tender. With so much going on, this dish is sure to leave you feeling satisfied.
- Customizable- Only have spinach? Swap it for the kale. Don’t like spaghetti but love penne? Go for it! Need to use up leftover kabocha squash? Substitute it for the pumpkin. Garbanzo beans not your style? Use black beans instead. Let your preferences be your guide with this dish.
Caramelized Onions and Chickpeas
Begin by caramelizing the sliced yellow onions. To a large skillet over medium-high heat add a tablespoon of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the sliced onions and lower the heat to medium stirring to coat. Reduce heat to low and let the onions sit for about 15 minutes, stirring every 5 to ensure even cooking and prevent burning.
Once the onions are caramelized, add the drained and rinsed chickpeas. Heat the beans through then remove them from the heat and set aside.
Pumpkin Spaghetti Sauce
While the onions are caramelizing, make the pumpkin spaghetti sauce. In a large pot, heat the oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes. Allow the excess oil from the tomatoes to heat then add the diced onion, minced garlic, and sage. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the onions are tender.
Next, add the pumpkin puree, tomato sauce, 2 cups of vegetable broth, basil, and cinnamon. Stir to combine, reduce to medium-low and allow the sauce to simmer for about 15 minutes.
Using and immersion blender (or transfering to a high speed blender) puree the mixture until smoooth. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper. At this point you can add coconut cream or cashew cream (I love this recipe from Rainbow Plant Life) for additional creaminess and richness. Alternatively, if the sauce is too thick, you can add more vegetable broth (½ cup at a time) until the desired consistency is reached.
Preparing the garlic kale couldn’t be simpler. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add a tsp of olive oil. Once heated, add the chopped kale and minced garlic. Stir to coat and sauté for 3-4 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and the kale has slightly wilted.
To serve, prepare pasta to package directions and toss with pumpkin spaghetti sauce. Place pasta on top of the garlic kale and caramelized onions and chickpeas. Top with vegan parmesan cheese and dig in.
I hope that this pumpkin spaghetti sauce with caramelized onions, chickpeas, and garlic kale will keep you enjoying squash well into the winter months. Be sure to leave comments below if you make this dish.
Ingredient Health Benefits
Olive oil- monounsaturated fats
Onions- antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C, folate
Pumpkin-fiber, potassium, selenium, vitamin A
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Pumpkin Spaghetti Sauce with Caramelized Onions, Chickpeas and Garlic Kale
Pumpkin Spaghetti Sauce
- 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp sage, dried
- 1½ cups pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 2-4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tsp basil, dried
- 1 dash cinnamon
- ½ cup coconut cream or cashew cream* optional
- 16 oz spaghetti, gluten-free if necessary
Caramelized Onions & Chickpeas
- 1, 15oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups kale
Caramelized Onoins and Chickpeas
- In a skillet, heat 1 tsp of olive oil and add sliced onions. Toss to coat and then allow to caramelize. This will take about 10-15 minutes. Stir the onions occasionally to prevent sticking and burning. The onions are finished when they are a golden brown color and fragrant.
- Add drained and rinsed chickpeas. Warm over medium heat for a few minutes. Set aside.
Pumpkin Spaghetti Sauce
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and prepare spaghetti according to package directions.
- In the meantime, place a large pot over medium-high heat. Add drained sun-dried tomatoes and allow the excess oil to heat. Once hot, add onion, garlic, and sage sauteeing until soft and fragrant. About 3-4 minutes.
- Add the pumpkin puree, tomato sauce, 2 cups of vegetable broth, basil, and cinnamon. Stir to combine and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Using and immersion blender (or transfering to a high speed blender) puree the mixture until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper and add optional cashew/coconut cream. Alternatively, if the sauce is too thick, add more vegetable broth ½ cup at a time until desired consistency is reached.
- In a large skillet heat 1 tsp of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and kale, sauteeing until fragrant and the kale has slightly wilted. About 3 minutes.
- To serve, plate prepared spaghetti and top with caramelized onions, chickpeas, and garlic kale. Top with vegan parmesan cheese if desired.