Pumpkin Spaghetti with Caramelized Onions, Chickpeas and Garlic Kale

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.

Pumpkin spaghetti with caramelized onions, chickpeas and garlic kale in a large cast iron skillet with forks and spoons digging in.

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 with caramelized onions, chickpeas and garlic kale in a large cast iron skillet with forks and spoons digging in.

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.

Pumpkin spaghetti with caramelized onions, chickpeas and garlic kale in a large cast iron skillet with forks and spoons digging in.

Garlic Kale

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.

Enjoy, friends!

Ingredient Health Benefits

Garlic- phytochemicals

Olive oil- monounsaturated fats

Onions- antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C, folate

Pumpkin-fiber, potassium, selenium, vitamin A

you might also enjoy

Pumpkin Spaghetti Sauce with Caramelized Onions, Chickpeas and Garlic Kale

This pumpkin spaghetti with caramelized onions, chickpeas and garlic kale is full of wholesome ingredients and loaded with nutrients. Ready in 30 minutes, it's perfect for a busy weeknight dinner.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegan
Keyword: basil, cashew cream, chickpeas, coconut cream, garbanzo beans, gluten-free, healthy, kale, pasta, pumpkin, quick, sage, simple, spaghetti, sun-dried tomatoes, tomatoes, vegan, wholesome
Servings: 4 people
Author: Erin

Ingredients

Pumpkin Spaghetti Sauce

  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sage, dried
  • 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

Garlic Kale

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups kale

Instructions

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.

Garlic Kale

  • 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.

Notes

*For the cashew cream I recommend following this recipe from Rainbow Plant Life.
Please follow and like me:

Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes and Avocado Pesto

Sweet roasted spaghetti squash topped with blistered tomatoes, creamy chickpeas, and an avocado pesto. Ready in 40 minutes and requiring fewer than 10 ingredients this vegan, gluten-free, meal is loaded with plant-based power.

A plate of spaghetti squash topped with tomatoes, chickpeas and avocado pesto.

Get ready for another simple, delicious, vegan meal. If you’ve got prepared squash or pasta this dish is only going take you about 10 minutes. Yeah, you read that right. An amazingly satisfying and plant-based meal ready in a snap. Keep reading for why you’ll love this dish.

Why you’ll love it

Like most of my meals, let’s discuss for a second why you and your family are going to make this a regular on your dinner menu rotation.

  • Simple- Fewer than 10 ingredients, can be made in as little as 10 minutes, doesn’t get much easier than that
  • Quick- As noted above, as long as you have leftover squash (or pasta), this dish can be one the table in 10 minutes.
  • Satisfying- Full of vegetables, healthy fats, and plant-based protein this meal is well-rounded and sure to satisfy
  • Customizable- Don’t have (or like) spaghetti squash? Use your favorite pasta. Bulk up the vegetable power by including spinach, kale, or chard. Don’t want to make your own pesto? Use your favorite store-bought brand, or sub with your favorite hummus.

Spaghetti Squash

Begin by preparing the spaghetti squash. I have found (over many years) that the best way to prepare spaghetti squash is as follows…Preheat the oven to 450*F. I know that may seem high but trust me, it’s going to give you an amazing char on the flesh of the squash that is unbeatable.

Cut the squash in half length-wise and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Bonus: if you’re looking for something to do with the seeds check out my post on roasted seeds here. Place flesh side up on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper then flip the squash over so that the flesh is down. Bake the squash for 40 minutes if small, up to 60 minutes if large.

Once the squash is blacked on the outside and soft to the touch you’ll know it’s done. Remove the squash from the oven and allow to cool. Once cooled, flip it over and, using tongs, pull the flesh squash from the skin. It will be tender, stringy and deliciously sweet.

A lemon and fresh basil with a plate of spaghetti squash topped with tomatoes, chickpeas and avocado pesto in the background.

Tomato and Chickpea Stuffing

In a medium-sized skillet, heat a teaspoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot add the sliced leeks. Cook or about 2-3 minutes until soft. Next, add the halved cherry tomatoes. Allow them to cook for 2-3 minutes until they’re soft and have ruptured their juices. Finally, add the drained and rinsed chickpeas cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes until warm.

Avocado Pesto

To prepare the pesto add the fresh basil leaves, garlic, vegan parmesan, avocado, and lemon juice to a food processor. While the pesto is blending, drizzle in the olive oil until smooth and creamy.

To assemble the dish, plate the spaghetti squash (either whole and in the skin, or removed from the skin), top with tomato and chickpea mixture, and top with avocado pesto. If you so desire, top with more fresh basil and vegan parmesan. My favorite vegan parmesan is this recipe courtesy of Hannah Chia.

I certainly hope that you give this dish a try. Spaghetti squash with tomatoes and avocado pesto has become a favorite here with my family, and I know it will be with yours as well. Enjoy friends!

Avocado pesto in a food processor.

Ingredient Health Benefits

Basil- phytochemicals, volatile oils (antibacterial properties)

Garlic- phytochemicals

Lemon- vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, potassium

Tomatoes- vitamin C, potassium, polyphenols

you might also enjoy

Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes and Avocado Pesto

Sweet roasted spaghetti squash topped with blistered tomatoes, creamy chickpeas, and an avocado pesto. Ready in 40 minutes and requiring fewer than 10 ingredients this vegan, gluten-free, meal is loaded with plant-based power.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegan
Keyword: avocado pesto, basil, chickpeas, easy, garbanzo beans, gluten-free, healthy, leeks, mini tomatoes, nut-free, quick, simple, spaghetti squash, sun-dried tomatoes, vegan, vegan parmesan, vegan pesto
Servings: 2 people
Author: Erin

Ingredients

  • 1 large spaghetti squashed, halved and de-seeded
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 leeks, white only, sliced
  • 1 pint cherry or mini heirloom tomatoes, halved
  • 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Avocado Pesto

  • 1 large avocado, pitted and flesh removed
  • 3-4 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup vegan parmesan
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-4 tbsp olive oil (start with 2 and add more if needed to thin)

Instructions

Spaghetti Squash

  • Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Sprinkle with pepper and salt and roast flesh side down for 40-60 minutes depending on size of the squash.

Tomato Filling

  • In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add sliced leeks. Cook for 2-3 minutes until soft.
  • Add sliced tomatoes and cook for additional 2-3 minutes until soft.
  • Add rinsed and drained chickpeas and cook until warm, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Avocado Pesto

  • Add all ingredients in order to a food processor. Process until smooth.
  • To serve, place spaghetti squash half on a plate. Fill each squash half with half of the tomato filling and top with desired amount of avocado pesto. Additioanlly, top with sliced basil or vegan parmesan cheese.
Please follow and like me:

Anti-Inflammatory Vegan Chili

A satisfying, stick-to-your-ribs, anti-inflammatory vegan chili. Made from wholesome ingredients, this chili is not only vegan but gluten-free and has a simple oil-free option as well. Perfect for families, meal prepping, or those looking for simple Veganuary recipes.

Anti-inflammatory vegan chili on a spoon with a bowl of chili and piece of bread in the background.

I had some requests back in December from two of my followers regarding recipes they would like to see on the blog. One asked for chili and the other for anti-inflammatory meals. So I decided to challenge myself my combining the two. What I came up with was a hearty, satisfying, wholesome meal that is a crowd pleaser for everyone in the family. It makes a ton of chili so it’s perfect for meal prepping. Plus, it’s simple so it’s perfect for those of you trying out Veganuary. Nothing like a simple, warm-you-to-the-bone meal on a cold winter evening.

Why you’ll love it

Here are just a few of the reasons why you are going to love this anti-inflammatory vegan chili.

  • Simple. All you need is one pot, 10 ingredients and 30 minutes to make this meal.
  • Wholesome. Made from whole foods. No crazy, brand-name ingredients required.
  • Filling. Everyone wants a satisfying meal.
  • Comforting. Chili is one of the ultimate comfort foods.
  • Fresh. The addition of rosemary keeps this dish from feeling stale and bland.
Close up of anti-inflammatory vegan chili- quinoa, butternut squash, and kale.

Making the Walnut Ginger Crumble

To make the walnut ginger crumble, heat a small pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add walnuts and lower the heat to medium. Toss the walnuts and watch closely to prevent burning. You’ll know the walnuts are done when they are fragrant but not burned. This should only take 3 or 4 minutes.

Place the walnuts in the bowl of a food processor. In the same pan, sauté the grated (or finely minced) ginger over medium low heat until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Remove the ginger from the heat and add to the walnuts in the food processor bowl. Pulse until the walnuts are coarsely chopped.

Making the Chili

In the same large skillet, heat your avocado oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and toss in the sliced leeks and minced garlic. Allow them to sauté and soften a bit by cooking for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and burning. Add the cubed butternut squash, cooking for 5-8 minutes or until golden brown. Once golden, add the vegetable broth and minced fresh rosemary. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook for 15-20 minutes or until the squash is tender. Once the squash is cooked, add torn kale and stir to combine. Turn the heat off and allow the kale to wilt inside the chili. Finally, add the cooked and cooled quinoa. Stir to combine and served topped with walnut ginger crumble.

I hope that you enjoy this simple, wholesome meal throughout the remainder of the winter season. Be sure to keep it in mind once fall squash season rolls around again as well. And don’t forget to let me know what you think of this simple vegan meal down in the comments.

Enjoy friends!

Anti-inflammatory vegan chili in a cast iron skillet next to a piece of bread and a sprig of rosemary.

Ingredient Health Benefits

Garlic- phytochemicals

Ginger- antioxidants

Quinoa- complete protein; rich in iron, potassium, riboflavin, B6, niacin, and thiamine; good source of magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese; anti-cancer & anti-inflammatory properties

Walnuts- Omega 3s, thaimine, B6, folic acid, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, Vitamin E, polyphenols

you might also enjoy

Anti-Inflammatory Vegan Chili

A satisfying, stick-to-your-ribs, anti-inflammatory vegan chili made from wholesome ingredients. Perfect for meal prepping and is a simple Veganuary recipe.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegan
Keyword: anti-inflammatory, butternut squash, chili, easy, ginger, healthy, inflammation, kale, leeks, quick, quinoa, rosemary, simple, squash, vegan, vegan chili, walnuts, wholesome
Servings: 4 people
Author: Erin

Ingredients

Chili

  • 2 tsp avocado oil, divided
  • 2 leeks, sliced, white only
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large butternut squash, peel and diced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary
  • 4 cups kale, chopped
  • cups quinoa, cookied and cooled

Walnut Ginger Crumble

  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and grated or finely minced

Instructions

Walnut Ginger Crumble

  • In a large skillet, heat 1 tsp avocado oil. Once hot add walnuts and ginger, lower heat to medium. Stir walnuts and ginger cooking for 3-4 minutes until fragrent. Watch closely to prevent burning. Remove for pan and set aside.

Anti-Inflammatory Chili

  • In the same skillet, heat remaining 1 tsp avocado oil over medium high heat. Add sliced leeks and minced garlic cooking for 3-4 minutes until tender.
  • Add cubed butternut squash and cook 5-8 minutes until browned.
  • Pour in vegetable broth and add minced rosemary. Bring to a simmer then lower to medium. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the squash is tender. Add more broth if needed to keep the squash just covered.
  • Once squash is cooked, add chopped kale and simmer for additional 2-3 minutes until wilted. Turn off heat and add cooked and cooled quinoa. Stir to combine. Serve hot sprinkled with walnut ginger crumble.
Please follow and like me:

Roasted Beet and Walnut Salad

With Vegan Feta

This simple, healthy, delicious roasted beet and walnut salad makes for a fantastic holiday side dish. All you need is 1 dish, 4 ingredients, and 45 minutes. Loaded with nutritious beets and walnuts, fresh parsley, and tangy vegan feta, make this vibrant salad a part of your Thanksgiving table this year.

Roasted beet and walnut salad with feta and fresh parsley on a white plate with a bowl on walnuts and a wooden spoon.

Why I Love Beets

I love beets. I love their versatility. Their texture. The slight sweetness they have when they’re roasted. And in this salad the earthy and crunchy walnuts, salty and creamy feta, bright and fresh parsley work beautifully with roasted beets.

Thanksgiving Side

I also love Thanksgiving. And let me tell you, this dish is going to be perfect on your Thanksgiving table. It’s so incredibly easy to make and it will only take up about 30 minutes of that precious oven time you have allotted for the day.

Roasted beet and walnut salad with feta and fresh parsley on a white plate with a bowl on walnuts and a wooden spoon.

Preparation

I also love dishes that require virtually no preparation. (Are you sensing a theme here?) The prep time on my roasted beet and walnut salad is about 5-10 minutes. But if that is even too much to commit to on Thanksgiving morning, you can totally peel, dice, and bake your beets the day before. Just re-heat them gently in the microwave or a low-temperature oven and add the remaining ingredients before serving.

Make It A Meal

If you are finding this recipe any other time of the year other than November (or December), consider turning this dish into a meal. It’s so quick and simple that you could definitely throw it together on a busy weeknight. Or even make it over the weekend and have it prepped for weekday lunches.

Turn it into a meal by pairing it with pasta. Dice the beets into smaller bite-sized cubes and decrease the roasting time. When finished toss with your favorite pasta shape and some olive oil as well as the walnuts, vegan feta, and fresh parsley. You could also add garbanzo beans either while the beets are roasting or after they’ve been roasted.

I would love to hear what you think of this simple roasted beet and walnut salad. Let me know if you use it as a side at a holiday meal or for a quick weeknight meal.

Enjoy friends!

Ingredient Health Benefits

Beets- folate, manganese

Parsley- vitamin C, iodine, iron, phytoestrogenetic properties (cancer-preventing properties)

Walnuts- Omega-3s, thaimine, B6, folic acid, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, Vitamin E, polyphenols

you might also enjoy

Roasted Beet and Walnut Salad

This simple, healthy, delicious roasted beet and walnut salad makes for a fantastic holiday side dish. All you need is 1 dish, 4 ingredients, and 45 minutes. Loaded with nutritious beets and walnuts, fresh parsley, and tangy vegan feta, make this vibrant salad a part of your Thanksgiving table this year.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: beet, easy, gluten-free, healthy, holiday sides, light, parsley, quick, salad, vegan, vegan feta, walnuts
Servings: 6 people
Author: Erin

Ingredients

  • 6 whole beets, peeled cubed
  • ¼ cup walnuts use more or less depending on preference
  • ¼ cup vegan feta, crumbled* use more or less depending on preference
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh parsley, roughly chopped use more or less depending on preference

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Peel and dice beets and place in an 9×13 baking dish. Roast beets for 30-40 minutes stirring half way. Beets are finished cooking when they are tender and slightly crispy on the outside.
  • Add walnut pieces, crumbled feta, and chopped parsley to beets.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

I use this recipe from Erin Ireland for the vegan feta. It’s absolutely amazing and so simple that there’s no way I could improve it.
Please follow and like me: