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

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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.
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Vegan Charcuterie Board

How To

With the holidays just around the corner, let’s put together a vegan charcuterie board! They are extremely versatile, customizable, and easy to prepare. I’ll show you how you can create the perfect charcuterie board for your next gathering.

Charcuterie board with fresh vegetables, fresh & dried fruits, chips, hummus, and vegan cheese.

So what the heck is a charcuterie board anyway? Well, it’s a large platter filled with finger foods of varying flavors, textures, and colors. It’s a feast for the eyes as well as the senses. Charcuterie boards make a fantastic appetizer for parties, holidays, and other large social gatherings. They are also a fantastic way to serve many different foods as an appetizer or light meal. Everyone is able to select what they would like and create their own spread. In this post, I’ll give you tips about how to put together the perfect charcuterie board.

What to include on your Charcuterie Board

The trick to having the perfect charcuterie board is creating layers. You want to have layers of flavors as well as textures. Think sweet, spicy, salty, savory. As well as creamy, crunchy, and smooth. Fruits, vegetables, spreads, dips, crackers, breads, nuts, meats, cheezes…all of these can fit into any number of those categories. So let’s brainstorm a bit to give you some ideas that might be a little out of the box.

Fruits

Select fruits that are in season. In the spring and summer think berries, peaches, nectarines, grapes. In the fall and winter months focus on figs, apples, persimmons, grapes, pomegranate arils. And don’t be afraid to add dried fruits. Sprinkle raisins over your board for a finishing touch. Or place dried apple rounds out since freshly sliced apples will brown too quickly.

Vegetables

Raw vegetables are definitely a must when making a charcuterie board. Think sweet bell peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, or cucumbers. If making a charcuterie board in the summer add grilled zucchini or summer squash. Even pickled or jarred vegetables will work. Think olives, asparagus, or artichokes.

Dips & Spreads

It’s easy to select fruits and vegetables when making a vegan charcuterie board. Obviously, those are vegan. But finding dips and spreads that are vegan can be a bit more challenging. If you don’t have access to a grocery store with a wide variety of vegan dips or spreads this may end up being the portion of the charcuterie board that you have to spend a little bit of time preparing. But don’t let that frighten you off. Most dips are very quick and easy to prepare. Allow me to give you some examples of both store-bought as well as homemade vegan dips and spreads.

Crackers

Choose crackers that have some personality. You should have some mild ones that will pair well with anything and some others that are for specific dips and cheeses. Think outside the box. I love the beet crackers and sweet potato crackers from Trader Joes. Off the Eaten Path has a fantastically salty and crunchy Veggie Crisp. There are also dried carrot, beet, and kale chips. All of which will add depth and interest to your charcuterie board.

Bread

Use your favorite artisan breads to enhance the texture of your board. Add breads with rosemary, hunks of garlic, or cranberries and walnuts to create even more flavor on your board. And don’t think you have to slice your bread either! Feel free to rip the loaves into large chunks to add texture and visual interest to your board.

Nuts

Including nuts in your charcuterie board will add visual interest and texture as well as flavor. Use raw, roasted, spiced, or candied nuts to further elevate the flavor profile of you board. Don’t underestimate the power that flavored and roasted seeds can have as well. I have three wonderful recipes for roasted squash seeds that would work perfectly in an autumnal charcuterie board.

Vegan Meats

A traditional charcuterie board will contain deli meats. Now, it is up to you to decide if you would like to include vegan meats in your own charcuterie board. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of vegan deli meat alternatives. I find them to be rubbery, extremely salty, and rather unappealing to look at. That however is just my opinion so please feel free to add whatever, if any, deli alternatives you find appetizing.

Vegan Cheezes

There are so many vegan cheeses available now! Check out your local grocery store or whip up your own nut-based cheeses at home. I love this feta recipe from Erin Ireland. It’s so simple and adds the saltiness to your board that definitely cannot be overlooked.

Extras

Now that you’ve determined what kinds of fruits, vegetables, dips, spreads, crackers, bread, nuts, “meats”, and cheezes you would like to include on your charcuterie board let’s take just a second to discuss the layout of the actual board. Some tips for creating a beautiful and inviting board are as follows:

  • Pick a board large enough to fit everything you want to include. But not a board that is so large that you will have lots of unfilled space. Empty space on the board will give it an unfinished, uninviting feel. You can, to some extent, fill empty space with herbs but you want to use fresh herbs sparingly as a garnish, not as a star feature.
  • Make sure that you provide utensils for spreading, cutting, spearing, and slicing the spreads, fruits, vegetables, meats, and cheeses. These can be fancy to add interest to the board. They can be your everyday serving utensils. Or you can use something as simple as toothpicks! There’s not need to go out and buy anything special.
Charcuterie board with fresh vegetables, fresh & dried fruits, walnuts, vegan deli meat, crackers, chips, hummus, and vegan cheese.

Charcuterie Board Steps

Once you have all the pieces of your charcuterie board puzzle figured out, it’s time to put them all together to create that visually appealing appetizer no one will be able to keep their hands off. Let’s go through the steps of laying out all your charcuterie board items.

  • Step 1: Gather your board, bowls, and food items. Place any dips or spreads into your selected bowls and place them on the board in the rough location that you would like them to be.
  • Step 2: Begin by placing your largest food items on the board first. Think large crackers, blocks of vegan cheese, fruits (such as this pomegranate half), and vegetables (the florets of broccoli). Ensure that the food is overlapping to prevent the board from showing through.
  • Step 3: Place medium food items around the larger ones. Think slices of vegan deli “meat”, smaller crackers, chips, and/or dried fruit.
  • Step 4: Place your smallest food items on the board last. If necessary, corral them onto the board by surrounding them with larger, sturdier foods and bowls to prevent them from rolling off the board. Think loose grapes, blueberries, or nuts.
  • Step 5: The final step is adding fresh herbs to your board. Top dips with parsley, dill or cilantro as appropriate. Stick sprigs of rosemary or sage out from under bowls. Don’t be afraid to re-arrange as you go. If something doesn’t look or feel right rearrange it or remove it from the board. Everything you intended on using might not fit and that’s ok. You can always have two charcuterie boards!

Bonus Tip

Make a dessert charcuterie board! Include your favorite cookies, cakes, chocolate hummus, fruits for dipping in chocolate, sugared nuts…let me know in the comments section what you include in your dessert charcuterie board.

I hope that you all have found this charcuterie board how-to informative and helpful. Know that any board you put together will be a hit with your party guest. I mean, who doesn’t love a bunch of fresh food sprawled out on a wooden board? Be sure to let me know in the comments if you make a charcuterie board.

Enjoy friends!

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Roasted Garlic and Tomato Soup

This roasted garlic and tomato soup is vegan, easily gluten-free, and made with less than 10 ingredients. The soup gets a cozy autumn feel from roasting whole heads of garlic and mini heirloom tomatoes until they’re bursting with flavor. Made with plenty of fresh herbs, the soup is served over homemade croutons and makes for a great side or meal on cold fall evenings.

Roasted garlic and tomato soup topped with homemade croutons in a light blue bowl surrounded by rosemary and garlic cloves.

This roasted garlic and tomato soup is one of my all-time favorite recipes. It’s herbaceous, garlic-y, and creamy. It comes together fairly quickly after the garlic and tomatoes are done roasting. Speaking of roasting, let’s talk for a second about how I prepare the stars of the show: mini heirloom tomatoes and whole heads of garlic.

Roasting Garlic and Tomatoes

Let’s take just a second to talk about how we’re going to roast the garlic and tomatoes for this soup. Roasting garlic might sound scary and complicated but believe me, it’s really not. And it adds SO much flavor to this soup. Along with the fresh herbs it’s one of the main flavor profiles of this dish. Simply cut the top off the head of garlic, wrap in foil, and, before sealing, add about 1 Tbsp of olive oil to the top of the garlic. Then seal the foil. You want a nice tight ball of foil so that the garlic can steam inside.

Roasting the tomatoes also enhances their flavor and draws out the sweetness. Simply place all the whole mini tomatoes on a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet and then cover and seal tightly with more foil. Roast both the tomatoes and garlic for 30-40 minutes and, keeping them wrapped in the foil, allow them to cool.

Once you can handle the garlic simply squeeze out the cloves. They should be very soft and mushy. Also, be sure to add both the tomatoes and the juice they released to the soup pot.

After all the ingredients have been added to the pot and cooked for about 20 minutes the soup is ready. The next step is blending the soup to get a nice creamy consistency.

I use an immersion blender to puree my soup but you can totally use a regular blender or even a potato masher. The blender will make the soup much smoother. I prefer the immersion blender (or a potato masher) to keep some of the texture of the tomatoes, garbanzo beans and even little chunks of garlic. This is a personal preference. Use whichever method you’d like. Or you could even leave it as is if you’d prefer a really chunky textured soup.

Roasted garlic and tomato soup topped with homemade croutons in a light blue bowl surrounded by rosemary and garlic cloves.

Another way to play with the texture of the soup is to add either more or less vegetable broth. I prefer thick soups so I don’t add a whole lot of vegetable broth to mine. But if you’re looking for a thinner soup, add some more vegetable broth. This recipe is very forgiving.

Homemade Croutons

Now, another layer of flavor and texture comes from the homemade croutons. Grab your favorite loaf of 2-3 day old rustic bread (be sure it’s gluten-free if that’s a concern for you) and dice it up into medium-large, bite-sized pieces. Toss them in olive oil and bake them for 10 minutes. Give them a good shake and continue to bake them for an additional 5-10 minutes depending on the size of the croutons and your personal preference of done-ness. This soup would also be fantastic topped with any one of my three varieties of roasted squash seeds, roasted chickpeas, or a splash of coconut milk.

Enjoy friends!

Homemade croutons on a rusted baking sheet next to a bowl of roasted garlic and tomato soup and surrounded by rosemary and garlic cloves.

Ingredient Health Benefits

Garlic-Phytochemicals

Olive oil- Monounsaturated fats

Onion- Antioxidants; fiber; vitamin C; folate

Oregano- Antioxidants

Rosemary- Antioxidants

Tomatoes- Vitamin C; potassium; polyphenols

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Roasted Garlic and Tomato Soup

This roasted garlic and tomato soup is vegan and made with less than 10 ingredients. Served with homemade croutons it's a perfect fall side or meal.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Roasting Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: croutons, entree, garbanzo beans, gluten-free, refined-sugar free, roasted garlic, soup, tomatoes, vegan
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 2-3 heads of garlic tops sliced off
  • 3 pounds mini heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1, 15oz can garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh rosemary (1-2 tsp dried)
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh oregano (1-2 tsp dried)

Croutons

  • 1 loaf bread cubed
  • ¼ cup olive oil

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  • Place mini heirloom tomatoes on lined baking sheet. Cover with foil.
  • Slice the tops off the heads of garlic. Wrap in foil. Before sealing off the top, drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil over eat head. Seal tightly. Place garlic on top of heirloom tomatoes. Bake for 30-40 minutes.
  • Once tomatoes and garlic have finished roasting allow to cool still wrapped in foil.
  • Heat olive oil in a large stock pot and cook diced onions 3-4 minutes or until translucent.
  • Squeeze in roasted garlic cloves and add tomatoes (with juices), garbanzo beans, vegetable broth and herbs. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20-30 mintues.
  • While soup is simmering, line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place cubed bread onto baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to evenly coat and bake for 10 minutes. Shake croutons to ensure even toasting and bake for additional 5-10 minutes depending on size of croutons, type of bread, and cruch preferrence.
  • Using an emmersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Spoon soup over finished croutons. Serve with roasted squash seed, roasted chickpeas, or a splash of coconut milk.
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5-Ingredient Bruschetta

A quick, easy, and crowd-pleasing appetizer this 5-ingredient bruschetta is sure to please the masses. Perfect to use up those end-of-summer tomatoes and fresh basil.

Toasted sourdough topped with bruschetta on a dark cookie sheet with a bowl of bruschetta in the background.

Labor Day weekend is upon us and that means it’s the unofficial end of summer. So if you’re throwing an end-of-summer bash this weekend then do yourself a favor and prepare this amazingly simple appetizer, snack, lunch-whatever you wanna call it. You’ll be in the kitchen for less than 10 minutes and back out enjoying the last bits of summer with family and friends. Most importantly, there’s no cooking required which means you won’t have to worry about unnecessarily heating up your house to enjoy this 5-ingredient bruschetta.

Ingredients

And all you need to make this bruschetta are 5 simple ingredients:

  • Roma tomatoes
  • White balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Fresh Basil
Roma tomatoes, fresh basil, a head of garlic, and a loaf of sourdough bread on a white marble countertop.

A tip for preparing this dish: make sure that you tear (not cut) the basil. Cutting basil bruises the leaves and turns it a deep green. Tearing the basil will ensure that its vibrant green remains intact. This dish is so simple and really only has two ingredients that are visible so you want to ensure that it’s as beautiful as possible. Therefore, you should tear the basil. Promise?

One of the best things about this bruschetta is its versatility. It can be served on toast (may I recommend sourdough?), crackers and even tortilla chips. The fresh tomatoes and basil would also work well as a salsa served on tacos, nachos or burrito bowl.

Toasted sourdough bread on a black cookie sheet next to a bowl of bruschetta and a sourdough loaf in the background.

So what do you guys think? Are you ready to kiss summer goodbye with this 5-ingredient bruschetta? Or are you counting down the days until pumpkin makes its way into everything? Let me know which season you prefer in the comments. And be sure to let me know if you make this bruschetta! I guarantee it will become an easy appetizer staple in your home.

Toasted sourdough topped with bruschetta on a black cookie sheet next to a bowl of bruschetta.

Ingredient Health Benefits

Basil: Phytochemicals; volatile oils (antibacterial properties)

Garlic: Phytochemicals

Olive oil: Monounsaturated fats

Tomatoes: Vitamin C; potassium; polyphenols

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5-Ingredient Bruschetta

A quick, easy, and crowd-pleasing appetizer this 5-ingredient bruschetta is sure to please the masses. Perfect to use up those end-of-summer tomatoes and fresh basil.
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegan
Keyword: 5-ingredient, appetizer, basil, easy, fresh, quick, tomatoes
Servings: 6 people
Author: Erin

Ingredients

  • 4 roma tomatoes
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • fresh basil, torn to taste

Instructions

  • Dice tomatoes into bit-sized pieces.
  • To a medium-sized bowl add diced tomatoes, white wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic, and torn fresh basil.
  • Serve with toasted bread (I prefer sourdough), crackers, tortilla chips or as a topping to tacos.
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