Protein-packed Spicy Chickpea Quinoa Bowls are loaded with flavor, perfect for meal prep and are easily made in just 20 minutes! Drizzle my lemony tahini dressing over top for even more flavor!
There is only one word needed to describe these chickpeas and that word is FLAVOR. This recipe has been on my site for almost 10 years now, but I wanted to share some fresh new photos and show just how EASY these are to meal prep. This is literally one of my favorite go-to recipes and is perfect for weekly lunches because not only can you whip this up in 20 minutes, but it is a great healthy option too! I seriously can’t stress enough the amount of flavor in these chickpeas…sautéed onion and garlic mixed with tomatoes, cumin and red pepper flakes all simmered together and topped with fresh cilantro. Leftovers taste even better the next day!
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
- Packed with fiber and plant-based protein for healthy meal prep!
- Super easy to assemble and ready in just 20 minutes.
- This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan.
- My lemony tahini dressing pairs perfectly drizzled on top and adds even more flavor.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- chickpeas – I used canned chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) which are packed with protein, just make sure to drain and rinse the chickpeas.
- tomatoes – you’ll need one can of diced tomato with the juices and feel free to use fire roasted tomatoes for even more flavor!
- tomato paste – used to thicken up this chickpea mixture and add rich tomato flavor.
- onion – this adds so much flavor and you can use a medium white, yellow onion or even red onion.
- garlic – you can use fresh chopped garlic or minced garlic from the jar. I don’t recommend using garlic powder, but if that is all you have feel free to use about a 1/2 teaspoon.
- cumin – cumin tastes amazing on chickpeas and adds such a nice flavor to the meal.
- salt – brings all these flavors together.
- cilantro – adds a nice fresh taste and pop of color, you could also add in some fresh baby spinach, fresh parsley or even fresh basil.
- quinoa – I used tri-color quinoa, but any type of quinoa will work. You can also use brown rice, white rice or even cauliflower rice in these bowls.
- vegetable broth – I like to cook my quinoa in low sodium vegetable broth (or chicken broth) to really amp up the flavor, but water works great too.
- tahini dressing – see recipe below! This is completely optional as my original recipe did not include this dressing, but I just personally think it tastes so good!
How to Make Spicy Chickpea Quinoa Bowls
- Make the quinoa. You can either make your quinoa on the stovetop or right in your Instant Pot (check out my instructions below) and I like to cook my quinoa in vegetable broth for more flavor. To make on the stovetop, first you’ll want to rinse and soak the quinoa for about 10 minutes in warm water. Bring 2 cups of vegetable broth (or water) to a boil in a small saucepan, drain quinoa and add to the boiling broth. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer, cooking for about 15 to 20 minutes. Turn off heat and allow quinoa to sit for about 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
- Make the spicy chickpeas. While the quinoa is cooking you can make the chickpeas! In a large skillet over medium high heat, drizzle olive oil and sauté onion and garlic until fragrant for about 3 minutes. Add in the chickpeas, tomatoes (with its juices), tomato paste, cumin and salt and mix well. Cover the pan and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then mix in the chopped cilantro.
- Make the tahini dressing. As I said before, this dressing is completely optional as my original recipe did not include it, but I just think it tastes so good I just had to share! To make the dressing, simply combine all the ingredients in a blender (or you could whisk all the ingredients together) and blend until smooth. Feel free to add more water one tablespoon at a time until you get the desired consistency.
- Assemble the bowls. To serve, spoon about a 1/2 cup of quinoa in a bowl along with a heaping 1/2 cup of the chickpea mixture and drizzle with tahini sauce, if desired. Other additions could be leafy greens, cucumbers, extra cilantro and lemon slices.
You’ll Love this Lemony Tahini Dressing!
This lemony tahini dressing is completely optional, but tastes great drizzled over the spicy chickpeas and really balances out all those flavors. Here’s what you’ll need:
- lemon juice
- olive oil
- dijon mustard
- maple syrup
- salt + cracked black pepper
How to Make Tahini Dressing
Making this dressing is SO dang easy and take less than 5 minutes! I personally like to blend the ingredients together using a blender or NutriBullet because it really emulsifies the dressing, but you could also just whisk everything together or shake it all in a mason jar, if you prefer. Then you can easily store the dressing in a sealed airtight container in the fridge until you are ready to use. This tahini dressing will last about one week in the fridge, but definitely tastes best as fresh as possible.
How to Serve Spicy Chickpea Quinoa Bowls
- As a protein-packed power bowl over lettuce and drizzled with lemony tahini dressing.
- Served for breakfast with a fried egg on top.
- Enjoyed as a side dish to your favorite meal. Feel free to throw in more veggies!
- Add more protein such as chicken, shrimp or salmon.
- Swap out the quinoa and serve this over rice, cauliflower rice or other type of grain.
Prepping and Storage
To Make Ahead: To prep this ahead of time, make the quinoa and store in a sealed airtight container in the fridge until ready to reheat and serve. You can also make the tahini dressing ahead of time and store in the fridge as well.
To Store: These spicy chickpeas will last up to 4 to 5 days in a sealed airtight container in the fridge and the quinoa will last about one week stored in the fridge. This makes a great meal prep recipe!
How to Make Quinoa in Your Instant Pot
Ever since I realized how easy it is to cook quinoa (and rice!) right in the Instant Pot, I’ll honestly never make it any other way again. To make in the Instant Pot, add 1 cup of quinoa along with 1 1/2 cups of water or vegetable broth and seal the lid, making sure the valve is on sealing (not venting). Select the pressure cook setting for 3 minutes and let the quinoa cook. When the timer is up, let the pressure release naturally for about 10 minutes, fluff with a fork and enjoy!
More Chickpea Recipes You’ll Love
Hope you all enjoy these Spicy Chickpea Quinoa Bowls and if you love this recipe as much as we do, please leave me a five-star rating below and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram using the hashtag #eatyourselfskinny! I love seeing all your delicious recreations!
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 30 mins
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 cups vegetable broth (or water)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 (15 oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more if you like a lot of heat!)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
For the Lemony Tahini Dressing:
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt + cracked black pepper
- 3 tablespoons water (or more depending on the consistency)
- To make quinoa, rinse and soak for about 10 minutes in warm water. Bring 2 cups of vegetable broth to a boil in a small saucepan, drain quinoa and add to boiling broth. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer, cooking for about 15 to 20 minutes. Turn off heat and allow quinoa to sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork; set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, drizzle olive oil and sauté onion and garlic until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients (minus the cilantro), stirring to combine. Cover the pan and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a blender (or you could whisk all the ingredients together) and blend until smooth. Feel free to add more water one tablespoon at a time until you get the desired consistency.
- To assemble the bowls, spoon about a 1/2 cup of quinoa in a bowl along with a heaping 1/2 cup of the chickpea mixture and drizzle with tahini sauce, if desired. Other additions could be leafy greens, cucumbers, extra cilantro and lemon slices.
- Serving Size: 1/6th of recipe
- Calories: 426
- Sugar: 6.5 g
- Sodium: 864 mg
- Fat: 11.3 g
- Saturated Fat: 1.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 67.8 g
- Fiber: 12.8 g
- Protein: 14.9 g
* Please note that all nutrition information are just estimates. Values will vary among brands, so we encourage you to calculate these on your own for most accurate results.