Easy Mushroom Sauce over Chickpea Pasta

I used to love watching the Food Network show “Semi-Homemade” by Sandra Lee.  She totally inspired me with her delicious meals that took minimal time and effort by using partially pre-made ingredients!  Here is one of our favorite recipes that goes in rotation with other meatless meals that I try to make more often than not these days.  What makes this recipe semi-homemade is that I use store-bought marinara sauce.  My go-to is Rao’s homemade since it contains no added sugar (most sauces do, so be sure to check the label!) and contains ingredients I would use in making my own homemade sauce!  Since this mushroom sauce is not rich in protein, I paired it with a protein-rich chickpea pasta (I used Banza brand) for a nutritionally complete meal.  My older son loved this dish since he is a mushroom fan, but you can also pulse the raw mushrooms in a food processor for more of a bolognese style sauce if your kids aren’t into sliced mushrooms.

What’s your mealtime shortcut?  Do you buy pre-cut veggies or use store-bought sauce? Let me know in the comments below! I’m sure we can all benefit from knowing some meal prep and cook shortcuts.


  • 3 cups store-bought tomato sauce (look for one that contains no added sugar)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 medium carrots peeled and diced
  • 1/2 pound crimini mushrooms, sliced (you could also quarter the mushrooms and pulse in a food processor if you prefer more of a bolognese style)
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground dried oregano
  • 1 box bean-based pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper


  1. Set a pot of water to boil for the pasta
  2. Place a skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion and carrots, season with salt and cook until slightly golden and caramelised.
  3. Next, add the mushrooms.  Add the garlic and oregano, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the garlic is cooked.
  4. Add in the sauce and reduce heat to the lower setting.  Simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes and season with salt and pepper to taste. In the meantime, cook the pasta.
  5. Serve sauce over pasta and enjoy!

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