Spicy Basil Pesto Chickpea Pasta

Pasta, pesto & spice – all things that hold a special place in my heart – and stomach 😉

Pasta is probably one of my favourite meals, just because of it’s simplicity and it’s ones of those comfort foods that few others compare to. Pesto, especially basil pesto, in contrast, elevates any meal – plain pasta? – just add pesto, plain potato? Just add pesto, plain veggies, just add pesto! It’s one of those ingenious food inventions that no kitchen (in my opinion) can be without.
And finally, spice. I have always loved a little bit of heat in my meals, but it was only really when I lived in Durban for a few years that I discovered the intricacies of chilies and each of their unique flavour profiles.

So when Happy Earth People and Pesto Princess asked me to create a recipe using their new Basil & Chili Pesto I couldn’t think of a better request! All my favourite things, bundled into one. I didn’t want to make anything too complicated, as the pesto and pasta on their own are so incredibly delicious already. But I felt like a crunchy green and some extra creamy goodness might just tie the whole dish together.

This recipe is super adaptable, you can swap out the broccoli and mushrooms for any veg, think zucchini or bell peppers and play with how much cream you want to add in – this combination made my heart (and belly) happy. I hope it does the same for you.

Spicy Basil Pesto Chickpea Pasta

Serves 2-3


  • ½ box Happy Earth People Chickpea Pasta
  • ½ jar (about 4 tbsp) Pesto Princess Basil Chili Pesto
  • ½ head fresh broccoli
  • 6 sliced portobello mushrooms
  • 1 can coconut milk (or cream to make it extra creamy)
  • 30g soft vegan cheese (or goats cheese for non-vegan)
  • Juice from 1 fresh lemon
  • salt & pepper


  1. Bring the pasta to the boil and let it cook until al dente (approx. 5 min). Then drain, rinse and set aside.
  2. In a pan lightly fry the mushrooms and broccoli until soft, then add in the coconut milk, pesto and lemon juice.
  3. Simmer on a low heat for another 3-5 min or until the coconut milk has reduced slightly.
  4. Stir in the cooked pasta, season and serve.

Serving suggestions:

Top with soft vegan cheese, dried chili flakes, extra pesto or lemon juice and devour. 🙂

About the author:

The Honest Grazer started as a passion project in a pursuit to find a simpler, more honest way of eating. With a strong focus on whole, plant-based food and striving to make more sustainable life choices, Linda hopes to discover and inspire others through her experiments in the kitchen.

For more delicious recipes like these follow Linda on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.