Skillet Chickpeas with Spinach and Tomatoes

Overhead shot of a bowl of chickpeas with tomatoes, spinach, and lemon in a white bowl with pita bread.

Skillet Chickpeas with Spinach and Tomatoes basically tastes like a hug; not only is it warm and cozy, but it’s also healthy and nourishing. Like a comforting embrace, it satisfies the body and the soul.

Chickpeas, spinach, and tomatoes are three of my favorite ingredients/life partners and they all play stunning, delicious roles in this recipe. Supporting stars like garlic, turmeric, and lemon complement the mains, while the direction of a one-skillet vegetarian meal brings it all together.

Plus, this recipe takes less than 20 minutes and uses pantry staples that you probably have right now. So if you’re reading this while hungry and looking for dinner tonight, it’s not far away.

Let’s make chickpeas with spinach and tomatoes

This is the perfect meal to make after a night of too much wine or at the beginning of the week to start on the healthiest note possible.

I often made it in college because it only uses one can, one skillet, and comes together quickly between bouts of study marathons.

Served with creamy yogurt (skip if you’re vegan), a ribbon of olive oil, and warm pita, it’s the tastiest stress-reliever a college senior—now a twenty-something busy New Yorker— could imagine.

Oh, and if you’re cooking for one or two, it yields plenty of leftovers that just get better over time.

The only thing better than eating this meal is re-heating this meal; the ease of it all feels like cheating and getting away with it.

Canned chickpeas are fine, but use homemade if you have them. Before you roll your eyes, I’ve made this recipe two dozen times with canned chickpeas and just one time with homemade. Just know that homemade really is better, and now that I’ve made them exactly once, I can say that, smugly, with confidence.

I am an unabashed, relentless dipper, so I think the recipe really does need pita (or any other dipping device). Feel free to serve this with rice or just a fork instead. Fresh mint or parsley would be a great topper if you need to use up the bunch you bought last week.

You can share this dinner with your friends, send a picture to your mom, or just enjoy it solo. It’s a recipe that’s supposed to work for you, not make you work for it. And that might just be the secret ingredient.

Skillet Chickpeas with Spinach and Tomatoes

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (16 votes, average: 4.44 out of 5)
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Dinner; Lunch American
By Samantha Serves: 2
Prep Time: 10 Cooking Time: 15 Total Time: 25

A fast, healthy, vegetarian and vegan-friendly dinner that tastes like a giant hug to yourself. Self, you're welcome.

Ingredients

  • 5 Tbsp olive oil, divided, plus more for serving
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2.5 oz baby spinach or kale (half of a 5 oz box)
  • 1-2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • Chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, for serving
  • Yogurt or sour cream, for serving
  • Toasted pita or other flatbread, for serving

Instructions

1

Heat a large skillet on medium. Once hot, add 4 Tbsp olive oil. Add onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent and starts to brown around the edges, 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook until softened and fragrant, about 1 minute more.

2

Add turmeric and red pepper flakes and toast for about 30 seconds, then add chickpeas and season with salt, pepper, and remaining tablespoon olive oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chickpeas start to turn golden-brown, 5 to 7 minutes. If the pan ever looks dry, add more olive oil.

3

Add the diced tomatoes, another pinch of salt, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook until some of the liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Off heat, add the spinach, seasoning with more salt. Stir until just wilted. Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Taste and add more lemon juice, salt, or pepper if necessary.

4

Divide among bowls and top with chopped fresh herbs, yogurt, and a drizzle of olive oil if desired. Serve toasted pita alongside.

Nutrition

  • 272 Calories

Notes

If you'd like something more like a stew, don't cook the tomatoes for very long. If you'd like something thicker that's best served over rice, cook the tomatoes until most of their water evaporates and the bottom of the pan starts to get dry, 5-10 minutes. This is wonderful with a bit of curry powder added if you like it. This would be fantastic with a light-to-medium bodied red, like a Pinot Noir from Oregon (aka my favorite type of wine).


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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Henry
    February 26, 2019 at 4:24 pm

    This is as easy as it is delicious! First time I’ve managed to get my 14-year-old to try chickpeas- incredible.

  • Reply
    Shala McCarthy
    April 19, 2019 at 6:54 pm

    I made this and added cinnamon – it was fantastic! Especially the leftovers the next day.

    • Reply
      Samantha
      April 25, 2019 at 6:20 am

      Thanks! LOVE the addition of cinnamon- I will have to try that.

  • Reply
    Halya Kuchmij
    April 14, 2021 at 5:25 pm

    Can you make it in a slow cooker?

    • Reply
      Samantha
      April 15, 2021 at 7:24 am

      Hi Halya,

      I would not make this in the slow cooker, as the chickpeas might overcook. However, if you wanted to use dried chickpeas instead of canned, you could add the dried chickpeas to the slow cooker, along with all of the other ingredients (except tomatoes, spinach, lemon, and garnishes), plus water (use a ratio of 7 cups water per 1 pound dried chickpeas) and cook on high heat for 4 hours, or low heat for 8 hours, until chickpeas are tender. Drain the chickpeas, add them back to the slow cooker along with tomatoes and spinach, and cook on high heat for another hour or so, until the spinach is wilted. Finish it off with the lemon juice and serve with garnishes. Hope this helps!

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