Spanish-Style Chickpeas
Yield: 4-6 servings (or 8-10 tapas portions)
Pantry staples come together lightening quick in this plant-based meal that’s equal parts flavorful, satisfying, and budget friendly!


  • ¼ cup (56ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon each dried oregano and ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 (15-oz) cans chickpeas, drained (reserve ½ cup liquid; you may not use it all)
  • 1 cup of jarred or homemade marinara sauce or 1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce*
  • ¾ – 1 teaspoon kosher salt and several grinds of the pepper mill
  • ¼ cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) sherry vinegar


  1. In a medium-size saucepan over medium heat, heat the olive oil and then simmer the diced onion until it is soft but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, cumin, and smoked paprika, and simmer another minute or two until the garlic is fragrant but not browned.

    Add the drained chickpeas, tomato sauce, ¼ cup of the reserved chickpea liquid, ¾ teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Tip: To get every drop of sauce, you can pour the ¼ cup reserved chickpea liquid into the tomato sauce can or cup you used to measure. Swish it around, and then add it to the pan.

    Cook at a low simmer, stirring often, for 7-10 minutes or until thickened to your liking. Stir in the parsley and vinegar and taste for seasoning. I typically add another ¼ teaspoon salt at this point, depending on tomato sauce and beans used. If the chickpeas do not seem moist enough, add a splash or two of the reserved chickpea liquid (or an extra drizzle of olive oil, or both). Serve warm with a green salad and crusty bread.

    Leftovers keep, covered, and refrigerated, for 5-7 days. Reheat gently in the microwave or on the stovetop (in this case, you may wish to save the reserved chickpea liquid and add a drizzle or two to the pot) or enjoy cold or room temperature.


My go-to jarred sauce is Rao’s, but I have used canned sauce with good, albeit a touch less flavorful results. Tip: If you have leftover jarred sauce and don’t think you’ll use it within the week, freeze it. Canning jars can go in the freezer, and you can thaw when needed.

Vinegar: Sherry vinegar plays with the Spanish flavors beautifully, but if you don’t have any, you could use rice wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or Champagne vinegar.

Spices: No smoked paprika? You’ll lose the hint of smoke, but you can use twice the amount of regular sweet paprika. Also, an equal amount of cumin seed may be used in place of the ground cumin, and in a pinch, dried Italian seasoning can stand in for the oregano.

No fresh parsley? While it provides a fresh finishing touch, you may omit it. Or stir in 2 tablespoons or so of fresh, snipped chives or a thinly sliced scallion.

Heat: For a hint of spiciness, add ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more or less to taste) along with the other spices.

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