This creamy chickpea bake is the ultimate comfort food, with chickpeas and roasted vegetables in a creamy, garlicky sauce, topped with melted cheese.
I know I say this on probably a weekly basis, but: this creamy chickpea bake may just be my new favourite dinner (at least until next week).
Chickpeas and plenty of roasted vegetables, in a creamy, garlicky sauce, topped with melted cheese… I mean, it would be hard to go wrong, wouldn’t it?
Easy chickpea bake
This time I used another of my favourite vegetarian ingredients – chickpeas! This easy chickpea bake makes a hearty, comforting dinner that can be prepared in no time at all! It’s almost entirely hands-off cooking.
Creamy vegetable bake
One of my favourite things about vegetarian cooking is that the vegetables themselves are never an afterthought. Far from being ‘just a side dish’, veggies deserve to be the star of your plate – they can bring all sorts of amazing flavours and textures to your food.
This chickpea bake really celebrates vegetables – and of course, they’re even better when they’re smothered in a creamy, garlicky sauce.
To start with, roast the vegetables.
It would obviously be quicker to fry the veg up in a pan instead, but there are a few benefits to roasting them:
- Roasting is far more hands-off – just pop them in the oven, and leave them to cook with no effort from you.
- It makes the vegetables really soft and sweet – far tastier than they’d get if you cooked them in a pan.
- There will be fewer dishes to wash, as you can make the whole chickpea bake in just one oven dish.
Plus, since you’ll be putting the oven on for the second half of the recipe anyway, it just makes sense to keep things simple, and use it for the veg too!
Creamy garlic sauce
Once you’ve roasted your vegetables, it’s time to add the chickpeas, and make that creamy, garlicky sauce.
I’m going to admit something here: I totally cheated on the sauce.
I didn’t bother making a roux, there was no additional pan required, I didn’t even need a separate mixing bowl.
The sauce is literally just made from garlic and herb cream cheese. So easy. Just mix it into the hot veggies until it melts right down, creating creamy, glossy coating all over the veg.
You can use plain cream cheese if you can’t find the garlic and herb flavour stuff, but obviously it’s not as tasty, so you’ll probably want to add some extra herbs and spices too (a bit of garlic powder would be good to give the same sort of flavour!).
And last but certainly not least, the cheesy topping! Just sprinkle some grated cheese on top of the creamy chickpea mixture, and pop it back into the oven for another 15 minutes or so, until the cheese has got nice and gooey.
Grab a big spoon and dig right in…
Can I use different vegetables?
This chickpea bake is a brilliant fridge clearer – you can really use whatever vegetables you have on hand. Any vegetables that roast well will work beautifully.
I used carrot, aubergine (eggplant), pepper, onion, and courgette (zucchini).
Just make sure that you bear in mind how long each vegetable will take to roast. I didn’t want to faff around adding different vegetables at different times, so I just made sure harder vegetables (like carrot) were cut a bit smaller than softer vegetables (like courgette), so they’d cook in the same time.
How should I serve this creamy chickpea bake?
Of course, I’m always going to recommend garlic bread – there’s nothing better than using a bit of bread to mop up any of that creamy sauce left on the plate!
I also served mine with some fresh rocket (arugula) – it makes a nice change from regular lettuce, it has much more flavour, and it goes better with hot casseroles and bakes like this one.
Whatever you serve it with, this creamy vegetable bake will definitely be a new favourite!
Creamy chickpea bake
- 1 medium carrot, diced fairly small
- 1/2 medium aubergine (eggplant), diced
- 1/2 medium courgette (zucchini), diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and each cut into 2-3 pieces
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 2 tbsp oil
- 400 g tin chickpeas, drained (240g, or ~ 1 1/4 cups, when drained)
- 3 tbsp garlic and herb cream cheese
- 75 g cheddar cheese, grated (~ 3/4 cup when grated)
- Add the vegetables (carrot through garlic) to a baking dish (mine measured approx. 8 x 8 inches), along with the dried parsley and oil. Mix well to combine. Roast at 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F) for around 40 minutes, stirring halfway, or until nicely roasted.
- Add the drained chickpeas and garlic and herb cream cheese to the hot vegetables, and mix until the cream cheese has melted. Sprinkle the grated cheddar on top, and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes or so, until piping hot.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1/3 of the recipe.