Everyday Pasta Sauce with Ground Beef and Chickpeas

elbow macaroni with a ground beef sauce with tomatoes and chickpeas.

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5 from 3 reviews

This pasta sauce recipe with ground beef and chickpeas has been a go to meal these days. Great way to stretch ground beef and use ingredients on hand.


  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 lb ground beef (aka “mince” meat)
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil or 1 tbsp fresh basil
  • 14.5 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • handful of greens such as kale, chopped (optional)
  • 12 ozs elbow macaroni or other short pasta shape
  • shredded Parmesan cheese to pass at table


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the onion, sauté until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the ground beef, breaking up with a heavy spoon. Cook until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the red wine and garlic. Simmer on medium low for a few minutes until the wine has been mostly absorbed.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes, stirring to combine with the beef. Add the oregano and dried basil. (if using fresh basil, save that until you are almost done cooking the sauce). Stir in greens at this time, too, if you are using them.
  5. Start cooking the pasta according to package instructions as the tomatoes and beef simmer.
  6. After the tomatoes have cooked for about 10 minutes, stir in the chickpeas. Break up a few against the side of the skillet with a heavy spoon, to thicken the sauce. Add the fresh basil at this time if using.
  7. Drain the pasta when cooked to your liking. Gradually stir the pasta into the skillet, so that the pasta and sauce are well combined.
  8. Plate the pasta, and top with grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!


  • My large cast iron skillet just fits the pasta with sauce. If you have a smaller skillet for the sauce, and don’t think the pasta will fit, you can combine the pasta and sauce in the pasta pan or a separate bowl.
  • You can substitute ground turkey for the beef if you like.
  • Mushrooms can be added to this dish if you would like. Add the slices mushrooms after the ground beef begins to brown, before adding the red wine.
  • I often have a bit of kale around, leftover from making kale pesto or some other use. I like to use the rest of it in this pasta sauce. You can use other greens, too. Greens such as kale, collards or chard need more cooking time. If using baby spinach, add closer to the end of cooking.
  • One reader notes she used “diluted red wine vinegar” instead of the red wine called for here, and it worked well.
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