Get a quick and easy vegetarian main dish on the table in under 20 minutes tonight with this Spaghetti with Beans and Garlicky Greens. It's gluten-free and full of plant-based protein.
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This Spaghetti with Beans & Garlicky Greens recipe came to me unexpectedly: after a trip to the Water World this last Sunday.
I've learned to not question inspiration and instead focus on just showing up each day, working hard and knowing that the right ideas will come to me as they need to.
For this gluten-free spaghetti recipe, we came home famished after a day of long runs in the morning and hauling water slide tubes up and down hills all afternoon.
Of course, I couldn't leave the park without a Dippin' Dots, but by the time we got home and showered, I was ready for something quick, healthy, and filling. I'd had enough with standing for the day and was ready to eat and pass out for the night.
This vegetarian spaghetti recipe fit the bill: it is ready in under 20 minutes, is a complete meal thanks to the addition of sauteed garlicky spinach and garbanzo beans, and has the kind of flavor that belies how little time it took to make.
I can see this dish being one that's perfect to whip up on a busy weeknight evening -- famished from a demanding day or a hard workout, it won't take much patience, time, or fancy ingredients to create a meal that pleases the whole family.
Or, of course, do like I did and whip it up after a busy summer weekend water park day. Then, pass out happily after filling your belly with some wholesome goodness to balance out all those Dippin' Dots.
This Spaghetti with Beans & Garlicky Greens Recipe is a stand-out.
- 100% gluten-free
- Full of heart-healthy fats
- Brimming with complete vegetarian, mainly plant-based protein
- A complete meal
- Made with mainly pantry staples
- Perfect for leftovers
It's a perfect meal for a busy night that you want some satisfying, yet healthy comfort food.
How to make this spaghetti & greens:
Break the package of brown rice spaghetti into quarters and cook according to package instructions in heavily salted water (about 1 tablespoon for every 2 quarts of water). Drain in a colander when done and toss with a teaspoon of oil to prevent sticking.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a non-stick large saute pan over medium heat until it shimmers. Add half of the spinach (or as much as you can without the spinach falling out of the pan) and cook, stirring every 15-30 seconds or so. Once the spinach is about 50% wilted, remove it to a medium-size bowl and repeat the same step with the rest of the spinach and another tablespoon olive oil.
Add the first part of spinach back into the pan with the second part of spinach and add in 6 cloves of diced garlic. Saute for 1-1.5 minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant and parts are starting to turn more translucent, stirring frequently so the garlic doesn't burn.
Squeeze in half a lemon and stir until all the juice is distributed.
Add in a can of drained garbanzo beans, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes and continue cooking the mixture for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 15-30 seconds or so, or until most of the lemon juice has evaporated.
Add in the pasta and reduce the heat to low. Toss the pasta until the beans and greens are equally distributed throughout the pasta. Drizzle the pasta with 2 more tablespoons olive oil (you can use good quality if you have it and want to use it), sprinkle with a shaved hard cheese blend, and serve!
Is there gluten-free spaghetti?
Why, yes! In this case, we'll be using brown rice spaghetti. I love the texture and mouthfeel of the pasta and it absorbs the flavors of the sauce perfectly.
Here's my preferred brown rice spaghetti; you can also find it at Trader Joe's!
How to cook gluten-free spaghetti?
Just like you would normal spaghetti. Bring heavily salted water to a boil, add pasta, and cook for the amount of time directed on the box, stirring right after you dump the pasta in and throughout cooking.
How do I make gluten-free spaghetti taste better?
Toss it with a delicious sauce just like this garlicky lemon sauce. 😉 Gluten-free pasta tends to absorb the sauces better than standard wheat pasta, so it's actually easier than you might think to have it taste great.
Follow the directions above for specifics, but toss your pasta with greens and beans that have been sauteed with garlic and dressing with lemon and red pepper.
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A quick and flavorful gluten-free pasta dish. Breaking the pasta before cooking it helps the pasta to absorb the sauce better and be easier to eat with a fork.
To make this vegan, simply omit the cheese or replace with vegan parmesan cheese.
- 1 16 oz. package brown rice pasta, broken into quarters
- 4 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 1 16 oz. bag baby spinach
- 6 cloves garlic, diced
- 1/2 lemon, juiced (or about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup shaved hard cheese or cheese blend (parmesan, romano, and asiago)
- Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions, stirring immediately after adding it to the water and every few minutes thereafter. Once the pasta is done, drain it in a colander and toss with 1-2 teaspoons olive oil.
- A few minutes after the water starts boiling: heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium to medium-high heat. Once shimmering, add half the baby spinach and saute, stirring frequently, until the spinach is about 50% wilted. Then remove to a medium size bowl.
- Repeat step 2 with the second tablespoon of the olive and second part of spinach, but keep the spinach in the pan this time once 50% wilted.
- Add the first part of spinach back in with the rest of the spinach and add in the garlic. Saute for 1-1.5 minutes, stirring constantly so the garlic doesn't burn, or until the garlic is fragrant and starting to turn translucent.
- Add the lemon juice to the greens and stir until it's evenly distributed over the greens. Then add in the beans, red pepper, and salt. Stir until everything is well combined and bring the mixture to a simmer. Let simmer for 1-2 minutes, or until the lemon juice is almost entirely evaporated.
- Add the drained pasta to the pot and reduce the heat to low. Toss the pasta with the greens until everything is thoroughly mixed together. Drizzle with last 2 tablespoons olive oil (if you have good olive oil you'd like to use, you can use it here, but it's ok if you use just a normal extra virgin olive oil) and top with grated cheese. Serve hot!
1. The pasta will keep covered in the fridge for 3-5 days.
2. Drizzle the pasta at the end with good olive oil if you have one on hand that you'd like to use, but a standard extra virgin olive oil will do just fine.
Amount Per Serving Calories 207Total Fat 7gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 11mgSodium 458mgCarbohydrates 31gFiber 5gSugar 2gProtein 9g
This nutrition breakdown is just an estimate of the nutritional value of this recipe and cannot be taken as facts. The owners of Mae's Menu are not nutritionists or dieticians and therefore cannot be held accountable for this nutrition estimate. Please contact your nutritionist or medical professional for a nutritional breakdown of this food. Furthermore, this food is not intended to prevent, diagnose, cure, or treat any disease.
Other delicious gluten-free or vegetarian main dishes:
- Mediterranean Chickpea & Orzo Salad - beans and pasta meet in a lemony herbed dressing for a vegetarian main dish salad or side salad that's perfect for both a weeknight dinner and your next get together.
- Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese & Sundried Tomatoes - a gluten-free and high protein salad with a creamy goat cheese dressing, bright sundried tomatoes, and sliced black olives.
- Roasted Sweet Potato & Quinoa Salad - an incredibly flavorful quinoa salad, with sweetness, acid, umami, and fruit. So delicious!
- Garlic Angel Hair Pasta - a simple, yet satisfying garlic pasta dish.
- Sesame Stir-Fry Veggies Over Quinoa - a sweet soy-sesame sauce dressed stir-fried veggies and eggs and is served over quinoa for a vegetarian meal high in protein