Launching Soon – Join our Waitlist
Photo of a plate of the Gemelli Pasta with Zucchini Meatballs and Avocado Chimichurri

Gemelli Pasta with Zucchini Meatballs and Avocado Chimichurri

Prep: 30 min
Cook: 30 min
Total: 1 hr
Servings: 4

This recipe is as simple to make as it is delicious, don't let the length intimidate you. I like to make the meatballs and sauce ahead of time so their flavors develop even more.

Author NutritionFacts
Recipe Ingredients

Ingredients & Directions

Recipe Ingredients


Yield: Pasta and Meatballs (2 Servings)
Needed Kitchenware: Food processor, mixing bowl, oven, baking pan, parchment paper, cooking pot
  • 15 oz cooked chickpeas (or 1 box/can), drained and dried
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • ⅓ cup rolled oats
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 3 tbsp ground flaxseeds
  • 1 tbsp ground chia seeds
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp white miso paste
  • 1½ tsp dried basil
  • 1½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini, squeezed dry
  • 2 avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp white miso paste
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup room temperature water
  • 8 oz whole-grain or whole-bean gemelli pasta
Recipe Directions


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Combine the chickpeas, garlic, oats, nutritional yeast, flaxseeds, and chia seeds in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the lemon juice, miso pasta, basil, oregano, onion powder, and black pepper. Pulse until thoroughly mixed. Transfer to a large bowl and add the shredded zucchini. Stir together until well combined. The mixture should hold together when pinched between two fingers. If the mixture is too wet, add more nutritional yeast or ground flaxseeds to absorb excess moisture.
  • Line a baking pan with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Scoop about 2 tbsp of the meatball mixture at a time into your hands and roll into balls. Place each on the baking pan until done. Bake for 25 minutes.
Chimichurri Sauce
  • In a food processor, combine all the sauce ingredients and pulse to combine. Set aside.
  • Cook the pasta according to the package instructions in a pot of boiling water until al dente (just done, not over cooked).
  • (At this point, your meatballs should be completing.) Turn the heat off on the stove, drain the pasta, and return the pot to the stove. Add the sauce and toss gently to combine. Divide the pasta into your serving dishes and top each portion with 2-3 zucchini meatballs.

When using packaged chickpeas, make sure to select from a BPA-free can or Tetra Pak of salt-free chickpeas.

You can adjust the amount of garlic and red pepper flakes to taste. You can also use your favorite pasta of choice that is whole-grain or whole bean to keep the recipe a whole food.

You will have meatballs left over, put them into an air-tight container to store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Recipe nutrition

Nutritional Information

Yield: Pasta and Meatballs
Servings: 4
Information per serving:
Energy: 612.6 kcal
Carbohydrate: 86.4 g
Protein: 23.4 g
Fiber: 25.8 g
Sugar: 9.4 g
Fat: 22.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 10.9 g
Polyunsatured Fat: 5 g
Omega-3: 0.7 g
Omega-6: 2.7 g
Saturated Fat: 2.6 g
Trans Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Choline: 60.1 mg 14% DV
Folate: 161.8 µg 40% DV
A: 1120.2 IU 48% DV
B1: 1 mg 88% DV
B2: 0.3 mg 24% DV
B3: 7.9 mg 56% DV
B5: 15.1 mg 301% DV
B6: 4.2 mg 325% DV
B12: 0 mg 0% DV
C: 37.1 mg 49% DV
D: 0 IU 0% DV
E: 2.8 mg 18% DV
K: 190.8 µg 211% DV
Calcium: 154.2 mg 15% DV
Copper: 0.6 mg 61% DV
Iron: 6.3 mg 34% DV
Magnesium: 158.6 mg 49% DV
Manganese: 1.6 mg 89% DV
Phosphorus: 448.8 mg 64% DV
Potassium: 969.8 mg 20% DV
Selenium: 15.3 µg 27% DV
Sodium: 381.8 mg 25% DV
Zinc: 3.1 mg 39% DV

Please note nutritional information varies dependent on agricultural conditions, consistency in manufacturing processes, and honesty in reporting. We cannot accurately report on the amount of harmful chemicals or beneficial plant constituents that might be present in these ingredients. We cannot report on the content of material added during the cooking process. We cannot guarantee if the vitamins present are natural or synthetic. We make no guarantees to the accuracy of this information and continue to suggest purchasing organic, high-quality, fresh ingredients from local, trusted sources. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet and values come regulated from the FDA. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your needs.

Tips, Suggestions, Photos, & More Information

Closeup of the pasta with meatballs in plates served on table.

Oh we sure do love pasta and making a whole-food version using whole grains, whole beans, fruits, and vegetables is just a dream come true to our health. This hearty meal is full of flavor, texture, and massively satiating. It's very easy to substitute the sauce and create an entirely different meal as well. When I'm not in the mood for chimichurri sauce, I substitute my favorite salt-free marinara.

What are some benefits of chickpeas?

Oh do we have a video for you! Dr. Greger explains below some of the benefits of chickpeas and lentils as well. In summary, chickpeas and lentils have antioxidants, promote heart health, feed good bacteria in our gut, and help us feel satiated.

Is miso healthy? I thought we should reduce our sodium intake? goes into detail in the video below when comparing miso to sodium in research. While salt intake is usually associated with higher levels of stomach cancer or high blood pressure, miso is not. It might be that the benefits of the soy bean exceeds or balances any negative effects from the sodium content. Watch the video for more details.

But are avocados healthy?! I thought we should reduce caloric and fat intake?

Oh Dr. Greger has answers for you in the video below. Here is a quick summary. Avocados have anti-inflammatory effects and cholesterol- and triglyceride-lowering effects, has positive effects on the colon-lining cells, and can drastically reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Amazing!

This recipe can be found in the How Not to Diet Cookbook - Order Today!

image of How Not to Diet Cookbook

You Might Also Like These Recipes

What is Every Vegan Recipe?

At Every Vegan Recipe, we're building the largest vegan recipe-sharing platform ever created. Share and find thousands of recipes, how-to videos, and inspiration. Our platform will always be ad-free, privacy focused, and international, aiming to launch in English and Spanish.

When our platform launches we will have reviews, an area to ask recipe creators questions, nearly 100 categories (like whole food diet, high protein, Sattvic food, dinner recipes, or low calorie), a robust search feature, tons of helpful videos, content to help you cook, and so much more.

This recipe is a small sample of what's to come. Please consider joining our VIP list by clicking the button below and get access to our platform when it launches for early access.