Quick, savory and satisfying lunches can be hard to find! Well friends, there’s no need to resort to expensive take out meals or hour-long meal prep. Our vegan chickpea stew can be created in a flash and will appease even the most voracious of appetites. A simply-seasoned sauce gives this dish an illusion of complexity with rich flavor and subtle textures. All you need are a few pantry staples and about 10 minutes of time to produce this protein-packed meal.
Finding meals you love that also fit easily into your already overloaded schedule is a huge win in our book. While you can always grab some fresh fruit and a scrumptious salad, it’s wonderful to have a comforting, warm meal that’s just as healthy. All of your lunch longings will be fulfilled with just a jar of sauce, a can of nutty chickpeas, beautiful baby spinach, and a little bit of lemony love.
This effortless recipe is easily doubled for a lovely lunch with a friend or as a delightful dinner for the family with an addition of perfectly cooked pasta and a favorite vegetable. Lightly steamed broccoli, roasted red peppers, or even grilled cauliflower would work beautifully.
This savory chickpea stew is a delicious high-protein meal, perfect to have as a quick lunch. It’s wonderful served with steamed rice, but it also pairs beautifully with toasted pita bread.
- 1 tablespoon of canola oil
- 1 large clove of garlic (diced)
- Small red onion (diced)
- 1/2 cup of pasta sauce
- 7 oz of cooked chickpeas (about half a can)
- a handful of baby spinach
- 7 oz of cooked white rice
- fresh parsley leaves (for garnish)
- lemon wedges (for garnish)
- Heat your pan on high heat and then add the oil.
- When the oil heats up add the onions and garlic and cook them for a minute, stirring constantly.
- Add in the pasta sauce and turn the heat down to medium.
- When it starts simmering, add in the chickpeas and the baby spinach. Stir that in and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat, garnish with fresh parsley leaves and a lemon wedge, and serve over rice.
Celebrating the Versatile Chickpea
Chickpeas, also known by their Spanish-derived name of “garbanzo” beans, could easily win the “Most Talented Legume” award. Though little, round, and routinely beige, they are far from ordinary in both flavor and functionality. These small nuggets of gastronomic joy are jam-packed with protein, fiber, folate, and iron. The many magical uses of clever chickpeas can hardly be imagined, but here are a few main methods to employ:
- Dried chickpeas – can be soaked and then sprouted to be eaten raw or boiled (very simple and easy if you have a pressure cooker) for use in hummus, roasting, stir-frying, or adding to a scrumptious salad or a yummy gyro. Dried chickpeas are super-cheap and easy to find. They have a long shelf life if stored in a clean, dry, and dark area tightly sealed.
- Canned chickpeas – may also be used for hummus, roasting, stir-frying or adding to salads or other delightful dishes. Buying chickpeas canned can be a little more expensive than buying dry, but the convenience level is high. They also have a decent shelf life and will not dry out as the raw chickpeas will over time.
- Chickpea flour – has a myriad of uses, both culinary and cosmetic. In cooking, this fantastic flour can be used to make a tempura-like batter for frying vegetables or tofu, used to thoroughly thicken a roux for gravy, added to creamy nut milk to create a plant-based pancake, and even bundled up in a veggie burger mix for added protein and plumpness!
- Aquafaba – also called “chickpea brine,” is the liquid created after cooking chickpeas or the liquid from a can of chickpeas. It can be whipped into a fluffy whipped cream or magically transformed into vegan meringue cookies.
Fun DIY Tip: You can use a mixture of chickpea flour, rosewater (or filtered water) and dried herbs to make the most unbelievable face scrub/mask for silky smooth skin. Treat yourself!
No matter which way you choose to cook up this bountiful little bean, you can rest assured that your efforts will be highly effective—and definitely delicious!
Chickpea – this adorable little bean has such a unique, light, nutty flavor. The texture is slightly fluffy, yet substantial, creating a most satisfying mouthful.
Tomato sauce – a kitchen staple with a long shelf life and fantastic flavor. When choosing sauces, look for brands that will have simple, healthy ingredients (the fewer the better!) and lower in salt. These will also be higher in nutrition and taste amazing! Choose organic when possible since tomatoes are heavily sprayed with pesticides.
White rice – another essential pantry ingredient that is inexpensive, easily found, and quickly cooked up. With so many tasty options for rice, you can feel free to choose your favorite. Steamed white rice is the perfect partner for this dish, but you can also use basic brown, tantalizing texmati, or pleasantly chewy wild rice!
Baby spinach – got to have those greens! Baby spinach is an incredibly versatile leafy green to add to any cooked dish. Because of its mild flavor, superior color, and outstanding nutrients, the small spinach leaf is a superb supplement to our vegan chickpea stew.
Red onion and garlic – a powerful pair of sensational seasonings! Diced red onion lends a slightly sweet and positively peppery flavor to this everyday dish, while the garlic adds a particularly pungent and satisfyingly spicy element. Both are essential to the overall character of the chickpea stew.
Lemon – a fresh and zesty complement to this rich and aromatic recipe. Before enjoying, add a squeeze of lemon to the top, which will brighten and enhance the delightful flavors in this dish.
How to Serve it Up
- Saddle this tasty stew alongside a cooked grain (like rice, couscous or quinoa) or stuffed inside of a soft, pillowy potato (sweet or white would be wonderful).
- Substitute a crisp, fresh salad as your side, packed with beautifully grown greens from your garden and vibrant vegetables like ruby red tomatoes, crunchy carrots, and cool, juicy cucumbers.
- Pair this vegan chickpea stew with some mouthwatering roasted root vegetables and an extra handful of iron-rich baby spinach.
- Pour the thick, rich stew into a bowl by itself and enjoy it with a generous slice of crusty, warm bread lightly brushed with a heavenly garlic-infused olive oil.
The best budget-friendly meals use the simplest and easiest to locate ingredients. Extra points if these ingredients have a long shelf life and are easily stored in your kitchen pantry for at least a year or more without spoiling. This allows you to purchase in bulk ahead of time, without fear of the ingredients going to waste.
The main ingredients of rice, beans, and tomato sauce in this vegan chickpea stew make this a budget-friendly bonus meal.
- Beans can be found in any grocery store and are amazingly inexpensive and satisfying to eat.
- Chickpeas are especially versatile because of their ability to be consumed in so many ways—sprouted, steamed, or roasted, blended into a heavenly hummus or the aquafaba whipped into an exquisite mousse.
- Rice is very resilient and can be bought in large bags or boxes which will last for a very long time.
Any leftover chickpea stew (if there are any leftovers!) can be easily stored in a sealed glass container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Consider separating your savory stew from your grains (or sides) so that none of the essential elements becomes sad and soggy.
To reheat, simply place in a small saucepan and heat over medium-low for 5-10 minutes, or until heated through. Small amounts of luscious leftovers also make the perfect filling for a quick, tasty tortilla or rolled up in hearty lettuce leaf.
More Quick Lunch Recipes to Try Out:
We want to thank our amazing recipe testers Nicole Benson and Aubree Summers for helping us perfect this recipe!
Vegan Chickpea Stew recipe by Zhoro Apostolov for World of Vegan. Copyright of World of Vegan™, all rights reserved. Please note that this article may contain affiliate links that support our work at World of Vegan!