Have you ever wanted a fast and flavorful plant-based, protein-rich recipe that you can make quickly and then use in multiple ways and for different meals? If so, you have come to the right place! These Crazy Versatile Chickpeas involve only 9 main ingredients, can be made within 15 minutes and have the perfect seasoning mix to make them both flavorful and delicious. Chickpeas (also commonly known as garbanzo beans) are part of the legume family, are nutrient dense, and can be cooked in a myriad of ways. (To learn more about chickpeas, their nutrition and how to prepare dry chickpeas for cooking, read here.) Jump to Recipe
I have always liked chickpeas but desired a simple and versatile recipe; one that I could whip up in a pinch of time to enjoy when I wanted a fast, no-fuss lunch or dinner option for the family. Then I discovered a quick way to cook them & the perfect seasoning combo. So tasty in wraps, on baked potatoes or simply paired with a grain or gluten-free alternative. Serve these vegan, egg-free, dairy-free, nut-free and gluten-free Crazy Versatile Chickpeas with rice, couscous, barley, sweet potato, quinoa, bread or your gluten-free alternative of choice. If you don’t want to use a grain, just simply enjoy these inside a lettuce wrap. If you have extras, warm some up the next morning and combine with toast or a bagel for a plant-fueled breakfast!
- 1 teaspoon olive oil (or other vegetable oil)
- 1/3 cup diced onion [36 g]
- 1/3 cup diced tomato [58 g]
- 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas (or one 15.5 oz or 439 g can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained)
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice (or lemon juice) [optional]
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon salt (see recipe notes)
- handful of baby spinach/kale leaves, washed (or regular spinach leaves, washed and chopped) [optional]
Drain and rinse a 15.5 ounce can of chickpeas well (if no pre-cooked chickpeas are available to use) and measure the amount to use in the recipe. Want to cook your own from dried chickpeas? See instructions on how to do so here.
Dice the onion and tomatoes. Wash a handful of baby spinach/kale leaves (if using).
Heat up the teaspoon of oil in a medium-sized skillet on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, sauté the diced onion pieces in the oil for 2-3 minutes, or until the pieces are soft and translucent.
Add in the diced tomato pieces and sauté for another 2-3 minutes (you may want to use a lid to protect yourself and prevent spatters when the tomato pieces hit the bottom of the skillet.)
Add the measured amount of chickpeas, along with the ground black pepper, salt (optional), thyme and garlic powder. Stir and cook for another 3-4 minutes, then taste and adjust seasonings.
If desired, add in a handful of washed baby spinach/kale leaves at this time, stir and then cook for 1-2 minutes until the leaves are wilted (optional). If not adding in the spinach or kale leaves, see next step.
Right before serving, stir in the freshly squeezed lime juice and stir to mix well with the chickpeas mixture. Garnish with some freshly chopped basil or cilantro (optional). Ready to serve!
If you like, instead of adding in the baby spinach or baby kale leaves, you can add in some fresh chopped cilantro to the seasoned chickpeas right before removing from the stove top.
If using home cooked chickpeas, taste the chickpea mixture and add in additional salt if desired. I have found that when using standard canned chickpeas (not the unsalted canned chickpea version), I did not need to add any salt to the recipe as the drained and rinsed canned chickpeas already contained some salt.
For an oil-free recipe, use a 2 tablespoons of vegetable broth (heat this up well in the skillet on medium heat first) to sauté the diced onions, instead of the vegetable oil. Then while the diced onion pieces are cooking, you can add in an additional 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable broth as needed if the skillet contents appear to be getting very dry.
Add this filling to your burrito or taco, enjoy it for breakfast or have this dish as a main course meal paired with bread, a cooked whole grain or pasta!
These Crazy Versatile Chickpeas make a great meal prep recipe at the beginning of the week. Don’t get put off by the lime juice listed as part of the ingredients. There is just a hint of lime from the fresh lime juice added into the mix at the end to enhance the flavors of this recipe. I originally created this dish to be a filling inside a burrito, but the possibilities are really endless in how you want to use them. Make extra so that you have enough to use in a creative way later in the week or just pop some in a freezer safe container to freeze and save for later. Recently a friend (who told me she did not like chickpeas and other beans apart from black eyed peas) tried a mouthful of this dish. She remarked, “These taste like black eyed peas!” I then sent her home with a portion of the dish. So, even if you are sure you do not like chickpeas, you might still want to give this recipe a go. You may be pleasantly surprised!
One last thing. Are you wondering about this recipe’s name? Kudos to my sister for coming up with this zany yet fitting title. These chickpeas are crazy versatile! If you make these Crazy Versatile Chickpeas, do hashtag @dietitian_mom so that I can be inspired by your wonderful innovative creations!