Super simple 30 min pasta with chicken and chickpeas recipe in a creamy tomato, pumpkin and yogurt sauce. A most decadent and healthy creamy pasta dish. GF + DF.
So as you probably know already, D and I have hit the road on our latest backpacking trip. This time focusing on Asia and Europe. We started off with a week in Hong Kong, followed by almost a full month in Taiwan and now have started our month long travel adventure in the Philippines with an apartment stay in Manila.
I needed to get some cooking and work done. So one of our first priorities was heading to the grocery store. The grocery store here is amazing. It’s enormous with such a huge variety of different products. It simply makes my day.
Anyone else immediately have their mood lifted by a trip to a fantastic grocery store or just me?
I honestly remember travel destination by their grocery stores. Poland, for example did not have great grocery stores (in my opinion). Penang, Malaysia, on the other hand, had such an awesome grocery store that I was inspired to cook nonstop (and therefore prepared some of my most popular blog recipes while there – including my Thai Veggie Quinoa Bowls, Quinoa Black Bean Pumpkin Soup, and creamy vegan pumpkin soup. We were in Penang three years ago and I still remember that grocery store.
So I must say I was pleased when walking into the supermarket in Manila, and instantly starting loading up the cart, recipe ideas flashing through my mind. D, mostly followed me around reminding me we would only be here for 5 days.
When we finally got back to the apartment and I was happily unloading all my groceries it hit me that I forgot one key crucial ingredient – cooking oil.
How did I forget cooking oil!?!?!?!? Quite possibly the most important ingredient to any meal except hard boiled eggs. But I had already planned out my whole afternoon, starting with making this pasta with chicken, chickpeas and pumpkin. I already envisioned the whole cooking process. It was time to improvise.
Where could I get something resembling olive oil for this pasta with chicken recipe…..
A lightbulb went off in my head. I started digging around the grocery bags for that can of tuna in olive oil I had purchased. Now, not exactly ideal, but I figured I could drain the olive oil from the canned tuna and use that as my cooking oil.
Brilliant or what? Now, if you prefer not to cook with tuna flavored oil, I highly recommend using regular cooking oil instead, but I would just have to make do.
I was finally ready to make this pasta with chicken recipe. This is one I have made dozens of times. When I’m traveling and cooking I need to be able to buy ingredients that will be used up in a couple meals. I can’t be carting around a whole pantry of items in my backpack. I am always therefore looking for simple recipes low on spices and made with ingredients that get fully used up.
This pasta with chicken, chickpeas and a tomato pumpkin coconut milk sauce is the perfect recipe for that.
It only requires an onion, some garlic, a bit of oil (which I now know can be obtained from a can of tuna), chicken, pasta, pumpkin, tomato sauce and coconut milk. Salt and pepper (if you have it) will do for seasoning.
Like my Asian chicken lettuce wraps, that is a recipe I’ve made a bunch of times but am only finally sharing now. Time to stop holding out on you. This pasta with chicken recipe is one of D’s favorites. The pumpkin is cubed and boiled, then removed from the pot, into which the pasta gets thrown in.
In the meantime the onions, garlic and chicken are pan fried until crisped up, before the chickpeas are added in. Then the soft pumpkin is added and mashed with a fork or the back or your spatula. Once the tomato sauce goes in the sauce is nicely thickened. You could stop at this point, or add in some coconut milk, coconut yogurt (or regular plain Yogurt if you are not dairy free) for an even creamier recipe.
I love the addition of mashed pumpkin to pasta (something I’ve done in the past with my chicken bolognese with pumpkin and rosemary) as it makes the sauce so much richer and creamier. If you have kids this is an excellent way to sneak some more veggies into a meal without them even knowing it!
I know you’re going to love this protein and veggies loaded 30 minutes pasta with chicken and chickpeas in a tomato pumpkin sauce.
- 3 cups cooked chopped pumpkin
- 10 ounces gluten free linguine or pasta of choice
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pound chicken thighs cut up into small pieces
- 1 can chickpeas drained
- 1 large jar tomato sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika optional
- 1 teaspoon oregano optional
- 1 cup coconut yogurt or coconut milk if not dairy free can use regular plain yogurt or Greek yogurt (optional)
- Garnish with chopped cilantro or basil optional
- Fill a pot up with water and bring to a boil. Add salt. Add pumpkin and cook until tender. Remove pumpkin from pot and add pasta. Cook until pasta is cooked through.
- Heat pan over medium heat and add olive oil.
- Add onions and garlic. Cook for a couple minutes.
- Add chicken. Cook until browned.
- Add salt, pepper, paprika and oregano (optional).
- Add chickpeas and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add pumpkin and mash into the pan with a fork or spatula.
- Add pasta sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes.
- For creamier pasta add coconut milk, bring to a boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Serve sauce over pasta. Garnish with chopped cilantro or basil (optional)
If you are not dairy free you can use Greek yogurt or plain yogurt instead of the coconut milk