This No-Boil Chickpea Noodle Casserole is cozy, hearty, and as easy as it gets! Noodles, chickpeas, and veggies get cooked in a creamy dairy-free sauce.
Imagine: a fuss-free, dump-and-bake casserole that tastes like the combination of chicken noodle soup and a creamy pot pie. Except, it’s also totally dairy-free & vegan. Sounds like a dream, right?
This post is proof that dreams do become reality – because this No-Boil Chickpea Noodle Casserole is all that, and more. This recipe is cozy, healthy, ridiculously easy, and incredibly satisfying.
INGREDIENTS FOR CHICKPEA NOODLE CASSEROLE
This recipe comes together using only simple, whole-food ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Dry Pasta: I used gluten-free rotini, but regular pasta will work as well. I recommend using shorter shapes for this recipe (spirals, shells, macaroni, etc). Spaghetti or other long shapes won’t work here.
- Chickpeas: pack a plant-based protein punch and give this recipe some extra heartiness!
- Soaked Cashews act as the creamy base for our dairy-free pasta sauce. If you have a high-powered blender, it’s ok if you forget to soak them 😉
- Chicken-Flavored Bouillon: adds a TON of faux-meat flavor! If that’s not your thing, use vegetable broth instead.
- Allll the veggies: a.k.a. onion, celery, carrot, and peas! Each of these budget-friendly veggies helps to add volume, extra flavor, and some fun color as well.
- Spices & Seasonings: nutritional yeast adds some cheesiness, while smoked paprika and poultry seasoning adds some smokiness and depth of flavor. Garlic powder and black pepper add a little extra zing – and let’s face it, garlic just makes everything taste better.
HOW TO MAKE NO BOIL PASTA
The secret to No-Boil pasta bakes is to use just the right amount of liquid. We want enough liquid to cook the noodles properly, plus a little extra to create a creamy sauce. Luckily I’ve already done all the testing for you, and all you have to do is follow the recipe!
- Blend some soaked cashews with water, spices, and vegan chicken-flavored bouillon until thick and creamy.
- Toss the uncooked pasta with the diced vegetables, then pour the creamy sauce on top.
- Cover & Bake in the oven for 50 minutes, then let sit for 5 minutes to set.
- Serve and Enjoy!
This Chickpea Noodle Casserole is everything — it’s cozy, it’s creamy, it’s delicious, and it’s also packed with veggies and great for you! Cooking the pasta noodles in the creamy sauce allows them to become infused with even more flavor, plus the starch from the pasta helps to make the sauce even creamier.
This fuss-free meal is the perfect weeknight dinner, but it’s also fancy enough to serve to guests! It’s surprisingly budget-friendly too, so basically it’s the best recipe ever. Don’t just take it from me though — now it’s your turn to make it and see for yourself! I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
This Vegan No-Boil Chickpea Noodle Casserole is cozy, hearty, and as easy as it gets! Noodles, chickpeas, and veggies get cooked in a creamy dairy-free sauce.
For the Creamy Sauce:
- 3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked in water overnight*
- 3 1/2 cups filtered water
- 1 tablespoon vegan chicken-flavored bouillon (or sub 3 1/2 cups veg broth)
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning*
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
For the Casserole:
- 8 ounces uncooked pasta* (gluten-free or regular)
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 2 ribs celery, sliced
- 2/3 cup (100 g) carrot, peeled and diced
- 2/3 cup (100 g) frozen peas; no need to thaw
- Prep: preheat the oven to 425F and set a 9×13″ casserole pan aside.
- Blend: add the soaked and drained cashews, water, bouillon, nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, poultry seasoning, garlic powder, and black pepper to a high-speed blender. Blend on high for 45-60 seconds, until the cashews completely dissolve and you are left with a smooth and creamy sauce.
- Mix: add the pasta, chickpeas, onion, celery, carrot, and peas to the casserole dish and mix until evenly distributed. Pour the sauce over the casserole, then use a spatula or spoon to press everything down evenly into the sauce, especially the pasta noodles.
- Bake: Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil (or parchment paper, followed by aluminum foil) and bake in the middle rack of the oven for 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before uncovering. You may notice that the pasta is cooked, but a few noodles on top are not covered in sauce; because of this, I like to stir the casserole before serving, to evenly distribute the sauce.
- Serve warm; leftovers can be stored in the fridge and are best eaten within 5 days
- If you forget to soak your cashews ahead of time, you can (1) cover them in boiling water and let sit for 20 minutes, or (2) cover them with water and microwave for 3 minutes, then let sit for 3-5 minutes before draining.
- Substitutions: vegan chicken broth can be replaced with vegetable broth. Poultry seasoning is mostly a blend of dried sage and thyme, so you can replace it with either one or both of those spices. To save prep time, use 1 1/3 cups of a frozen carrot and pea blend instead of cutting fresh carrots into small pieces.
- Pasta: I recommend using a short noodle for this recipe, such as rotini, shells, or macaroni.