Chickpea pasta is all the rage. Well, maybe I’m late to the party, but this arugula Parmesan chickpea rotini with butternut squash is a lovely, filling, delicious meal that can be ready in 25 minutes if you follow a few time-saving tips.
Time-saving tips for arugula Parmesan chickpea rotini
I always have shredded Parmesan in the fridge. I like the thicker strands over the finely grated stuff and the convenience of it at the ready (it’s similar to the feeling I have about pre-minced garlic).
I usually have crumbled feta in the fridge for my salads, but shredded Parmesan is nice for a change from time to time. It’s also kind of tasty melted on a piece of toast.
Butternut squash hero of arugula Parmesan chickpea rotini
So I decided to be a hero and buy a fresh butternut squash. I also discovered that it’s squash season in California! Yup. That means I couldn’t find any small butternut squashes, just the ginormous kind I did not need at all.
However, the bright side is that I ended up with a lot of cooked squash and just put the leftovers in the freezer for another day. So, you could cook up a big batch like I did or buy cut and cubed butternut squash straight from the store.
This recipe for arugula Parmesan chickpea rotini assumes your butternut squash is cut and cubed already, but …
If you decide to be a butternut squash hero like me …
Here are the instructions for cutting and cubing your own butternut squash, which will add about 45 minutes to an hour to the total time to make this arugula Parmesan chickpea rotini (thus, you could do it for Sunday meal prep):
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Pierce the butternut squash all over with a fork and marvel at all the water molecules.
- Place the squash on a baking sheet covered in foil or a silicone baking mat, and roast in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Remove the squash from the oven carefully, and transfer it to a cutting board. Let it cool for about 10 minutes.
- Once the squash is cool, use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin, cut the squash in half carefully with a sharp chef’s knife, and scoop out and discard the seeds with a spoon (or save the seeds to roast later if you like).
- Chop the squash into small bite-size cubes.
You’re now ready to roast the butternut squash cubes in the oven. Just follow the instructions in the arugula Parmesan chickpea rotini recipe below.
Tools used in arugula Parmesan chickpea rotini
I used a food chopper to chop up my almonds, but I kind of resent it—I rarely use this gadget and it’s kind of a pain to wash. However, it’s a handy tool to have around when needed and doesn’t take up much space.
The alternative would be to buy nuts already chopped, but, because I always have a couple pounds of raw almonds on hand anyway, it just makes more sense to grab that little gadget when I need it.
I recently started using silicone baking mats instead of aluminum foil. I found I was going through a lot of foil, which just felt plain wasteful albeit convenient. My conscience got the better of me, and I “invested” in these cheap Amazon Basics versions. I roll them up and secure with a rubber band—super simple storage.
So far so good and I highly recommend them. A trick to washing them by hand: lay them on a clean baking tray and scrub flat on each side. You can also just put them on the top shelf of the dishwasher—drape each mat over a few of the prongs to ensure the whole surface gets a wash.
Optional tools for arugula Parmesan chickpea rotini
My salad spinner is very simple to use, gets greens drier than I could with a regular colander, and is more environmentally friendly than squeezing with paper towels (ahem, what I used to do).
However, this gadget takes up a lot of space (so it probably won’t come with me if I ever move into that tiny house or boat I’ve been eyeing); thus, you could get the same effect with a colander and some patience.
You will only need the vegetable peeler, knife, and cutting board if you decide to cut and cube the butternut squash yourself. See instructions above for that.
Substitutions and mindful spending for arugula Parmesan chickpea rotini
Chickpea rotini and other such varieties, I admit, are a little pricey compared to the more traditional and even gluten-free pastas. So, if you decide to use the regular or gluten-free stuff instead, just make sure to add some form of protein to this recipe, which could take the form of chickpeas themselves, some other legume, or strips of rotisserie chicken.
As far as nuts go, pecans and walnuts would probably also go great in arugula Parmesan chickpea rotini instead of almonds. Heck, you could even just use your fingers to break them up and avoid the annoying food chopper I was griping about above. Hm. Why didn’t I think of that earlier?
Finally, I often use butternut squash instead of sweet potato or yams in recipes. I bet you could do the opposite here, but just make sure not to cook the potato/yam too long—the cubes should be firm, not mushy.
I hope you enjoy this arugula Parmesan chickpea rotini with butternut squash! If you buy cut and cubed butternut squash as assumed in the recipe below, it should be a quick and painless meal with few dishes to clean up. If you decide to be a hero like I did, be prepared for a heroic cleanup!
Want more? Check out these related recipes:
- White Wine Curry with Chickpeas and Spinach
- Roasted Chickpea Bowl with Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette
- Gluten-Free Spaghetti and Meatballs
- Arugula Feta Salad with Seared Oven-Baked Chicken Breast
12 oz. cubed butternut squash
Eggs and dairy
Nuts and seeds
Oils and spices
Meal prep options
cut, cube, and cook butternut squash (1 hour) or cook pre-cut squash (15 minutes)
Make this …
Vegetarian: It already is!
Low-carb: Try strips of rotisserie chicken and/or steamed cauliflower florets instead of the pasta.
Gluten-free: It already is!
Dairy-free: Leave out the Parmesan and add more salt to taste.
Nutrition facts per serving
Total fat: 21.7g
Saturated fat: 2.3g
Total carbohydrate: 77.2g
Dietary fiber: 19.7g
Total sugars: 13.5g
Please see the nutrition disclaimer for more information.
Arugula Parmesan Chickpea Rotini with Butternut Squash
- chef's knife
- cutting board
- large baking sheet
- silicone baking mat or foil
- vegetable peeler
- large pot
- medium skillet
- salad spinner
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 12 oz. cut and cubed butternut squash
- 1 box chickpea pasta
- ½ cup almonds, chopped
- 1/3 lb. arugula
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 4 tbsp grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Cover the large baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or foil. Place the butternut squash cubes on the baking sheet, and toss with the olive oil and salt. Spread the squash cubes evenly, and roast in the oven for 15 minutes or until they reach desired tenderness (test with a fork).
- Cook the chickpea pasta according to package instructions, and drain.
- Meanwhile, heat the medium skillet on medium-high, and toast the almonds until they are browned and aromatic. Turn off the heat, and set the skillet aside.
- Toss the arugula in the lemon juice, and then toss the drained pasta with the arugula and Parmesan. Serve the pasta mixture topped with the butternut squash and toasted almonds.