This Chickpea Noodle Casserole is a vegetarian version of classic tuna noodle casserole. It’s creamy, cheesy, doesn’t use canned soup and has all the flavors from the traditional version that you expect!
Tuna noodle casserole was no stranger to my diet growing up. I remember eating probably once a week for dinner and it was one of the first meals I learned how to make on my own. Canned cream of mushroom soup was always the key ingredient in the version I grew up eating and making. These days that’s not an ingredient I use anymore, especially after learning how easy and how much better tasting a from scratch version is.
While I love the classic version of tuna noodle casserole, I wanted to have a vegetarian version on hand for days when I don’t want meat or don’t have a can of tuna. This Chickpea Noodle Casserole has all the familiar flavors of classic tuna casserole sans the tuna and I absolutely love it!
Ingredients For Chickpea Noodle Casserole
- Olive oil and/or butter
- Yellow onion and garlic
- Mushrooms, preferably cremini mushrooms
- Canned chickpeas
- Frozen green peas
- Cheddar cheese
- Plain Greek yogurt
How to Make Chickpea Noodle Casserole
To make this casserole start by cooking the pasta. While the pasta cooks prep the vegetables and combine the panko and melted butter or olive oil in a small bowl. Drain the pasta and set it aside while to make the sauce. Heat the olive oil in the same pan that you cooked the pasta. Add the onion, celery, mushrooms and garlic to the pot and sauté them until they’re soft.
Sprinkle in the flour and stir everything together. Slowly pour in the milk stirring the mixture until there are no lumps. Cook over medium heat until it starts to thicken and then stir in the cheese. Add the chickpeas, green peas and pasta into the pan then remove it from the heat. Add in the Greek yogurt and stir everything together. Top the casserole with the panko and bake for 20 minutes or until the casserole is bubbly and lightly browned on top.
Tips and FAQ
- Cook the pasta in a shallow pan that is also large enough to sauté the vegetables and make the sauce. If you have one that is oven safe, even better. This means you’ll only have one pan to wash!
Can I make the casserole ahead of time? Yes. The whole meal can be made a day or two in advance. Once it has cooled completely, pour it into a greased casserole dish and cover it tightly with foil. When you’re ready to bake it, let it sit out on the counter for at least 30 minutes before putting it in the oven. Bake it cover for 30 minutes and then uncover it and bake until it’s heated through and browned on top.
Can I freeze the chickpea noodle casserole? Yes . Cool it completely before storing it in an airtight container in the freezer. The casserole can remain in the freezer for a couple months if needed. Remove it from the freezer 24-48 hours before you plan to eat it and let it defrost in the refrigerator. Bake it in the oven as you would if you made it ahead of time (see above).
- 10 ounces uncooked pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
- 1 clove of garlic, grated or minced
- 15 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup frozen peas, defrosted
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 3/4 cups milk of choice
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/3 cup plain low fat Greek yogurt
- 1/2 tablespoon melted butter
- 2 tablespoons panko or bread crumbs
- Cook the pasta. While the pasta cooks prep the vegetables and combine the melted butter and panko in a small bowl. Once the pasta is cooked drain it and set aside. Return the pan to the stove and heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the onion, celery, mushrooms and garlic to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Sauté the vegetables for 4-5 minutes or until they've softened. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir together until you can no longer see it. Slowly pour in the milk stirring the entire time. Heat an another 2-3 minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken.
- Stir in the cheese then add in the chickpeas, green peas and cooked pasta. Remove from the heat and add in the Greek yogurt. Stir everything together until combined and taste for seasoning. Add additional salt and pepper as needed.
- Top the casserole with the panko and bake for 20 minutes or until the casserole is bubbly and the panko is golden brown.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 476Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 149mgCarbohydrates: 72gFiber: 8gSugar: 9gProtein: 22g