These warm and satisfying chickpea grain bowls are big on flavor with only a few ingredients. With just 10 minutes of prep, this grain bowl is easy to throw together any weeknight. Big on flavor without much effort is just how I like my weeknight meals.
YOU'LL LOVE THESE GRAIN BOWLS
- They're simple. I'm all for grain bowls/warm salads, but I hate when there's like a million ingredients I have to chop, cook separately, and get out the whole pantry of toppings out to complete. That's why I've created this simple and delicious grain bowl that takes only about 10 minutes of actual prep time and is totally done in less than 40 minutes.
- They're rich in protein and healthy fats. I love that these grain bowl taste amazing, but also nourish my body with diverse protein sources from quinoa, chickpeas and tahini. I also love that the olive oil helps me to feel full and satisfied after my meal while calming inflammation.
- They're big on flavor and texture. Just because these grain bowls are simple, doesn't mean they're lacking in flavor or texture. Between the spicy chickpeas, peppery arugula, and tangy tahini lemon dressing, the flavors are POPPIN'. The crunch of the chickpeas and creaminess of the dressing create textural contrast that's all BAM.
The first step of these grain bowls is to rinse and toss some quinoa in water. Then, cook as the package directs. A little tip: I like to throw my quinoa into our rice cooker so I can set it and forget it. From there, we're gonna add the oil and spices to our chickpeas. Toss until they're all pretty uniformly red-ish orange-ish. Yes, those are the technical terms. Once those chickpeas are all thoroughly spiced, into the oven they go. I like to cook them about 30 minutes with a lil' shake in the middle. This keeps them slightly crunchy on the outside, with a soft center. If you want full soft, try about 20 minutes. Real crunchy? 35-40 should do it.
While the chickpeas are getting all toasty, we can start on the dressing. Whisk the tahini, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and oil together. The mixture should slowly thicken as it combines. If it seems weirdly thick like peanut butter, don't worry! This is normal, I swear. From there, slowly add cold water tablespoon by tablespoon. Eventually, it should drizzle continuously from your whisk.
The last step is simple: assemble about a quarter each of the arugula, spiced chickpeas, and quinoa. Drizzle with some tahini dressing and *chef's kiss* you've done it! Make sure to take a quick pic of that lovely creation to share with me on insta. Then, promptly devour (please and thanks).
OTHER EASY PLANT-BASED DINNERS:
Easy Creamy White Lasagna Soup
Easy Vegan Weeknight Nachos with Creamy Cashew Queso
Spiced Chickpea Grain Bowls and Creamy Tahini Dressing
For the Roasted Chickpeas:
- 1 tablespoon shallot-infused olive oil (or: 1 tablespoon neutral oil +1 teaspoon onion powder)
- 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon coriander
- ¼-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
- 2 (15 oz) cans chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
- salt and pepper to taste
For the Creamy Tahini Dressing:
- ¼ cup tahini
- 1 tablespoon garlic-infused olive oil (or: 1 tablespoon neutral oil + 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
- juice of 1 lemon
- 3-5 tablespoon cold water
- salt and pepper to taste
To Fill the Bowls:
- 1 cup quinoa (rinsed)
- 5 oz baby arugula (rinsed (or: baby spinach))
- Preheat: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Prep: Cook the quinoa according to package directions. I like to use my rice cooker.
- Roast: On a lined large baking tray, toss chickpeas with 1 tablespoon oil as well as the paprika, cumin, coriander, crushed red pepper, salt, pepper and onion powder (if using). Allow to roast in the oven for 25-40 minutes, shaking the pan once to evenly cook.
- Whisk: For the dressing, whisk the tahini, olive oil, and lemon together. This mixture should become thick. Continue to whisk while slowly adding cold water 1 tablespoon at a time until it reaches creamy dressing consistency (For me this is 3-5 tablespoon but it may differ for you). Add salt and pepper to taste. Place dressing in the fridge until serving time.
- Assemble: Assemble the chickpea grain bowls using roughly ¼ each of the quinoa, roasted chickpeas, and arugula. Top each bowl with roughly ¼ of the dressing.
- Store: To store leftovers, quinoa can be combined with chickpeas. Store arugula and dressing separate from other ingredients. The chickpeas and quinoa can be kept in the fridge 3-4 days, while the dressing can be kept up to 2 weeks. Arugula or spinach can remain fresh in the fridge up to 6 days. Chickpeas and quinoa can be kept in the freezer 2-3 months. I do not recommend you freeze the dressing or arugula.
This salad is amazing. The light lemon, tahini dressing compliments the arugula so well. The chick peas are life changing and so quick and easy to do. I will definitely be making this salad again:)
Yes, this is my favorite way to make chickpeas! So glad you loved it, Cassie!