Comfy Tomato-y Orzo with Chickpeas


I’ve made this a few times now, and after tweaking it, it’s gotten to the point where I need to share it. It uses a few staples that you’ll want to keep handy from now on because you never know when you’ll be snowed in and have a house full of guests. I’ve tweaked the recipe to make it nondairy, but you should feel free to swap out actual cheese for the vegan parmesan.

Adapted from

Serves 6 to 8


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 pound dried whole wheat orzo pasta

2 cloves garlic, minced (I use the frozen garlic cubes from Trader Joe’s)

Pinch sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

1 (28-ounce) can tomato purée

2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

3/4 cup grated vegan Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

Red pepper flakes


Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or pot and sauté the onions until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the orzo, garlic, salt, and pepper, and cook about 1 minute.

Stir in the broth, tomatoes, and chickpeas, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring frequently, scrapping the bottom of the pan, until most of the liquid is absorbed and the pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan and basil leaves. Season with salt and pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.