Pasta with Chickpeas (Pasta e Ceci)

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This delicious pasta with chickpeas or Italian pasta e ceci, is one of the best one-pot family meals you can cook in less than 30 minutes. It’s budget-friendly, vegan, and uses a handful of cupboard essentials.

If you’re looking for a delicious one-pot pasta recipe full of flavor, plant-based protein, and easy to make… here it is!

Top view of a white bowl full of pasta with chickpeas aka Italian pasta e ceci.

Pasta e ceci is more a stew than a soup. In Italy, this is the way we cook pasta with pulses, from these classic pasta e fagioli, pasta with lentils to this easy pasta with peas.

Once you sauté onion and garlic in olive oil, you just dump the chickpeas, rosemary, tomato paste, and broth. Cook, then puree or smash part of the chickpeas and potatoes, stir in pasta, and let it simmer gently.

Everything will cook in one pot until the pasta will absorb the liquid completely. And the longer it sits on the stove, the thicker and more delicious it will get.

The final result is a pot full of delicious pasta e ceci, so filling and satisfying!

List of the ingredients

  • Chickpeas
  • Short pasta (ditali, orecchiette, shells)
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Rosemary (fresh or dried)
  • Olive oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • Tomato paste
  • Potato (optional)
  • Parsley (optional)
  • Salt & pepper
Top view of the ingredients to make this pasta with chickpeas.

How to make pasta with chickpeas

(Note: this is a quick description with step-by-step photos, the full recipe is at the bottom of the page).

  • Saute’ minced garlic and diced onion in olive oil.
  • Stir in chickpeas, diced potato, rosemary, tomato paste.
Top view of a white Dutch oven full of chickpeas and diced potatoes.
  • Give a good stir, and add broth, salt and pepper.
  • Cook for 10 minutes and turn the heat off.
  • Remove the rosemary, blend half of the chickpea or smash the potatoes with the back of a spoon. This step makes the broth thicker.
Top view of a white Dutch oven full of chickpeas and broth with an immersion blender pureeing part of the chickpeas.
  • Bring to the boil, add the pasta, reduce the heat, and cook gently.
  • When the pasta is done, adjust the seasoning and stir in a handful of chopped parsley.
  • Serve with freshly ground black pepper, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and grated parmesan cheese if you wish.
Top view of a Dutch oven full of thick chickpea soup, ditalini pasta and chopped parsley.

Are chickpeas healthy?

Chickpeas are nutrient-dense food rich in protein and fiber. According to a study published in the journal Nutrients, people who regularly consume chickpeas have higher intakes of several key nutrients. These include fiber, vitamins A, E and C, folate, magnesium, potassium, iron, and antioxidants.

Close-up of a spoon full of pasta with chickpeas, a small wooden bowl full of chili flakes in the background.


Tips to cook pasta with chickpeas in 1 pot

There’re many recipes of this pasta with chickpeas, but I love cooking mine all in one pot . Here there’re a few tips:

  • Start with a soffritto base. Onion and garlic are a must, but you’re welcome to add diced carrots and celery like I do with this soffritto recipe.
  • Cook pasta and chickpeas together, all in one pot, not separately!
  • Puree or smash some chickpeas and potatoes.
  • A small starchy potato lends a lovely texture.
  • Let the stew simmers and stir often.
  • Add water gradually only if needed, you don’t want a watery broth.
  • Serve with freshly ground pepper, extra virgin olive oil and parmesan cheese.

Note: the quantity of liquid stated in the recipe card is an estimate. You might need to add or to reduce the amount of water according to the type of pasta.

Two white bowl full of Italian pasta e ceci garnished with chopped parsleu.
Recipe updated: originally posted in March 2020, I’ve tweaked the recipe adding more notes and new pictures.

How long does it keep?

If you have any leftovers, you can store pasta with chickpeas in the fridge in a tight lid container for 2 days.
However, the pasta will absorb liquid as it sits. To reheat, add up to 1 cup of water until it’s thinned to the desired consistency, then gently warm over medium-low heat.

More recipes with chickpeas?

The delicious and protein-packed chickpeas are one of the best cupboard staples ever: they’re so versatile, healthy, and just perfect for a quick and healthy family meal.

If you love them as much as we do, don’t miss this helpful collection of delicious chickpea recipes. Here are a few of our favorites:

If you make this pasta e ceci or if you have any questions, let me know! Leave a comment, send me a message, or rate it. 
I would love to hear from you!

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Top view of a white bowl full of pasta with chickpeas aka Italian pasta e ceci.
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Pasta e Ceci (Pasta with Chickpeas)

Pasta with chickpeas, in Italian pasta e ceci, is a delicious one-pot family meal ready in less than 30 mins. It's easy, vegan, creamy, healthy, and so good!
Quantities yield 4 serving (approx 1½ cup each)
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: pasta
Cuisine: Italian, vegan, vegetarian
Keyword: Pasta e ceci
Servings: 4
Calories: 472kcal
Author: Katia


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 2 cans (14oz/400gr each) chickpeas, drained
  • medium-sized potato, cubed
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 rosemary sprig (or ½ tsp or dried rosemary)
  • 4 cups (960 ml) low-sodium vegetable broth (or water), use more if needed
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • tsp black pepper
  • ½ lb (8oz/220 grams) short pasta shapes (shells, orecchiette, ditali...)
  • 2-3 Tbsp chopped parsley (optional)

To serve (optional)

  • drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • grated parmesan or pecorino cheese (optional)


  • Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-based pot over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the diced onion, garlic, and cook until the onion has softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the chickpeas, the cubed potato, and the tomato paste, and the rosemary sprig. Stir to coat in flavor, about 1 minute. 
  • Then add vegetable broth or hot water, salt, pepper (1 tsp of salt is fine if you use water or low-sodium broth. But if you use regular broth, it's important to adjust the seasoning at the end and not at the beginning, see notes below).
  • Raise the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then cover the pot, reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes until the potatoes are soft. 
  • Turn the heat off, remove the rosemary, and with an immersion blender puree only part of the chickpeas. Alternatively, smash chickpeas and potatoes with the back of a spoon or a potato masher. Be careful, the liquid is still hot.
  • Turn the heat on, bring to a light boil, and add the dried pasta.
  • Let it simmer and stir often (otherwise the pasta will stick to the bottom of the pot). Cook until the pasta is tender but still firm to the bite. You don't need to cover the pot with a lid, but make sure you keep an eye on it. If the soup seems too thick, add a touch of water and thin to the desired consistency.
  • When it's ready to serve, taste and adjust the season with salt and pepper according to your taste.
  • Stir freshly chopped parsley, divide into bowls and serve with a drizzle of olive oil, freshly ground black pepper, and grated parmesan or pecorino cheese if you don't keep it vegan. Enjoy!


Liquid ratio: 4 cups of water/broth is an estimate. You migh need to add or to reduce the amount of water according to the type of pasta and to your preference.
If you don’t have an immersion blender: scoop out about 1 and 1/2 cup of the chickpeas and some broth to a blender, puree until smooth and return it to the pot.
Seasoning: I usually cook pasta e ceci with water, but If you prefer to use regular vegetable or chicken broth,  keep in mind it might tastes quite salty on its own.  It’s important to adjust the seasoning at the end and not at the beginning as you never really know how strong the salt from the broth is.
Serve immediately: pasta e ceci is best served immediately; as it sits, the pasta soaks up the liquid. If the soup gets too thick, you can thin it with a bit of broth or water
Freezable: the chickpea soup can be frozen, without the pasta, for up to 3 months. Defrost the soup in the refrigerator for 12 hours and then reheat it on the stovetop over medium heat until simmering, add the pasta, and cook until the pasta is ready.
NOTE: nutritional values are estimates only.


Calories: 472kcal | Carbohydrates: 83g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 628mg | Potassium: 671mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 96IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 87mg | Iron: 5mg


  1. 5 stars
    I made this as written except I omitted the oil. I water sautéed the garlic and onion, then proceeded as written. This was amazing, thank you so much. I can’t believe how few ingredients and how incredibly tasty it was. It reminded me of a meal I had in Florence, but better than I remember!

    1. What a wonderful feedback, Joanne!
      I’m so glad you loved it, thanks so much for sharing. xx

  2. Hi can I cook the pasta before I put it with the sauce,I had to keep adding water , because it took a long time to cook thank you .

    1. Hi Violet, yes, you can cook pasta separately if you wish. However, when you cook the chickpeas make sure to reduce the amount of liquid accordingly (since you’re not cooking the pasta in the same pot, you might need less water). Start with 2 cups of liquid and then add a bit more if needed until you get your favorite consistency. Hope you enjoy the recipe : )

  3. Hi! Did you use dried chickpeas or canned? How much of the dries ones should I use?

    1. Hi! : ) The recipe calls for 2 cans of chickpeas (approx 2 cups of dried chickpeas).
      However, if you use dried ones, make sure to soak them overnight first, then drain and cook them separately until tender before you start making this recipe. Unfortunately, you can’t use dried chickpeas straight away for this recipe. Hope this helps. x

  4. Can you make this with gluten free pasta?

    1. I’ve never used gluten-free pasta in this recipe but I think it works. However, gluten-free pasta is less resilient than regular pasta, just reduce the cooking time accordingly x

    2. 5 stars
      This tasted so authentic (my grandmother would be proud of you) I would not make this without the potato it gives a nice creamy texture. I am making this again this weekend. Thank you for sharing

    3. You’ve made my day, Marie! I’m so happy you loved this recipe and thanks for sharing your lovely feedback.
      Happy 2022! x

  5. 5 stars
    I’ve made this a few times as I like to experiment making different pasta as I’m vegan, so it’s so good to find one that’s actually vegan! My sister tried this dish in Italy this summer so I wanted to recreate it and it’s gorgeous! Thank you very much

    1. You’re so welcome, Millie! I’m so pleased you loved it and thanks for your lovely comment x

  6. This was absolutely delicious and everyone in the family loved it. We pretty much always have these ingredients in so it will definitely become a regular. Many thanks 😊

    1. You’re so welcome, Cara! Thanks for sharing your feedback, I’m so pleased everyone loved it! 💛

  7. You mention cubed potato in directions but I don’t see it in ingredient list just wanted to double check..thanks

    1. Ops, I omitted the potato, I’ll add it now! A medium-sized potato is optional, but it makes the soup thicker and more substantial.
      Thanks for your comment 🙂

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