Chickpea and Broccoli Bowl with Tahini Sauce

by on September 18, 2013
FavoriteLoadingAdd to Recipe Box

Chickpea and Broccoli Bowl with Tahini SauceChickpea: We’ve got to stop meeting like this.

Quinoa: Why, when we fit together so beautifully, your Rubenesque form nestled in my bed of tiny spheres and tendrils…

Chickpea: Stop it, you’re making me blush. Or is that the smoked paprika? Whatever. It was good while it lasted, but I want to see other grains. Real grains, not some little pseudocereal. Someone big and meaty, like Farro.

Quinoa: Farro! He’s not even gluten-free! Go ahead, give him a whirl, but you’ll be back. The smaller the package, the bigger the gift.

Chickpea: Uh, yeah, right.

And so it was that Quinoa and Chickpea decided to give their relationship a break, but not before one last roll in the, er, bowl:

Chickpea and Broccoli Bowl with Tahini Sauce

Okay, that little scenario was weird. But probably not as weird as the fact that I keep pairing chickpeas with quinoa. I didn’t realize how often I was combining them until I looked back to see what I was making in September of 2008: Roasted Vegetables and Chickpeas with Tomato Charmoula and Quinoa. Which looks a lot like the Cumin-Infused Vegetables and Chickpeas Over Quinoa that I posted a couple of weeks ago. And then there’s Ridiculously Easy Curried Chickpeas and Quinoa, International Quinoa Salad, Cosmic Cashew Kale and Chickpeas with Confetti Quinoa, and so on. I have to find some new favorite ingredients!

Honestly, you don’t need quinoa for this bowl. It’s just as good with brown rice or any other grain. As so often happens, I was running short on time and needed to get supper on the table quickly, and quinoa has the wonderful quality of cooking in about 20 minutes.

Cooking the quinoa is the most time-consuming part of this recipe, and if you have some already cooked, so much the better. The chickpeas, which I call “dry-spiced” because they’re cooked with very little liquid so that the spices form a coating around them, take about 15 minutes to cook and the broccoli about 5 minutes to steam. Put them all together with a creamy tahini sauce (modeled on my Tahini-Chickpea Dressing) and you have a delicious, Middle Eastern-inspired one-bowl meal.

Chickpea and Broccoli Bowl with Tahini Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
If you use sweet (dulce) smoked paprika, these dry-spiced chickpeas will be smoky and cuminy but not spicy. You can change this by using hot smoked paprika, adding a little cayenne pepper, or serving with Sriracha or other hot sauce.
Serves: 6
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa, brown rice, or other grain (made from 1 cup uncooked grain)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup chickpeas
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon chia seed (optional, for thickness)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 3 cups cooked, drained chickpeas (2 cans)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika, hot or mild (or a combination)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt to taste
  • 1 large bunch broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 cup baby carrots or sliced carrots
  1. Make sure you have 3 cups cooked quinoa or other grain on-hand. If not, cook 1 cup according to package directions.
  2. Place the sauce ingredients into a blender and blend at high speed until completely smooth. Set aside. (If you’re using chia seeds, the sauce will thicken as it sits and may need additional water blended in just before using.)
  3. Cook the chickpeas: Heat a large, non-stick saucepan. Add the onions and cook until they soften and begin to brown, about 5 minutes. (Add water by the tablespoon if necessary to prevent sticking.) Add the garlic and cumin seeds and cook 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the chickpeas, water, paprika, and cumin. Stir well, cover, and cook on low, stirring often, for 10-15 minutes. (Most of the liquid will evaporate, but if they get too dry, add water by the tablespoon.) Check seasoning and add salt to taste.
  4. While the chickpeas are cooking, steam the broccoli and carrots for about 5 minutes, until tender but still brightly colored.
  5. Assemble the bowl with grain on the bottom and chickpeas and vegetables on top. Stir or blend the sauce, adding water if it’s too thick, and drizzle over all.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/6 of recipe Calories: 363 Fat: 7.6g Carbohydrates: 61g Sugar: 9.9g Sodium: 286mg Fiber: 14.4g Protein: 17.2g


More Creative Vegan Bowls:



This post may contain Amazon affiliate links to products I use. When you buy something through them, I receive a commission that helps support this site. Thanks for your purchase!

Leave a Comment

Thanks for visiting my site! All comments are read and appreciated, and if you have a question, I will try to respond within a couple days. Note: If you are leaving a comment for the first time, it will be held for moderation. Be patient and it will appear as soon as I have a chance to approve it.

Want to have your photo alongside your comment? Sign up for a Gravatar!

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dreena Burton September 18, 2013 at 5:15 pm

This is hilarious! You probably combined them so often because they simply DO pair so beautifully together. Your photo is beautiful, and your post is delightful. Going to share! πŸ™‚


2 Liane September 18, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Simple and delicious. Great photos as well πŸ™‚


3 Sarah September 18, 2013 at 6:03 pm

Thank you for a fun post to read! Truly enjoyed it! And I think I will print this out and give it a try. Love fast and easy!


4 moonwatcher September 18, 2013 at 6:34 pm

First of all, Susan, I have to tell you that I started laughing out loud so hard while reading the “conversation” between the chickpeas and quinoa that I just had to take a break and laugh before finishing the whole thing. Brilliant! It was the best laugh, so THANK YOU.

And second of all, now I know why I got the jar of chickpeas out to remind me to soak some. I guess I am making this sooner than later!!

Seriously, it look GREAT. I never get tired of either of these, and I love the reddish dry spiced idea for the chickpeas. And I just bought a ton of quinoa on sale at the co-op.

You really made my afternoon. πŸ™‚



ps: and of course the photo makes me hungry–thank goodness there was “one more time” for old time’s sake!!


5 Dana September 18, 2013 at 6:49 pm

Susan, your conversation between chickpea and quinoa was precious and I truly appreciate the literary tribute to this great couple. I’m not vegan but I have been trying to add the spectrum of Vegan cooking to my repertoire. Love your blog and thoughtful, funny posts. Keep up the great work!


6 Orsolya September 18, 2013 at 6:54 pm

This made me laugh out loud! the pairing is popular, but delicious:)


7 Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy September 18, 2013 at 7:01 pm

looks wonderfully healthy and delicious!


8 BillasWelt September 19, 2013 at 7:40 am

A really funny conversation! And the combination sounds unusual for me but I’ll try it soon and I’m sure, it’ll taste delicious.


9 Bundles and Bits September 19, 2013 at 9:52 am

This looks delicious! Quinoa and chickpeas are two of my favorites! Thanks for sharing!!


10 Almiel September 19, 2013 at 11:51 am

Cute story, thanks for the laugh! Bulgar would be a good alternative and cooks in about the same time.


11 Kristy September 19, 2013 at 7:07 pm

This bowl looks delicious, Susan! Totally right up my alley! And thank you for mentioning my bowl! xx


12 Jean September 20, 2013 at 11:33 am

Because of the arsenic in so much of the rice, I have switched to quinoa and love the taste. Chickpeas are one my favorites and will try this recipe today.


13 Emma (This Kind Choice) September 22, 2013 at 3:36 pm

That conversation is hilarious! And I think the smoked paprika DOES have a lot to own up to in pairing chickpeas and quinoa, they just go so well together.


14 Erlinda September 22, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Thank you so much for the simplicity; yet, nutritional and very yummy recipe!


15 moonwatcher September 25, 2013 at 11:08 pm

Hi Susan,

I really enjoyed this, and have applied the technique for cooking the chickpeas to a skillet full of veggies. The first time I made it I cooked the chickpeas the way you recommended and used millet for my grain instead of rice. I made the tahini sauce the lazy way, with just tahini, lemon juice, garlic and water–I think I put a little parsley in it, too–just mixed up in a bowl.

Tonight I chopped up mushrooms, collard greens, a little bit of yellow squash, and carrot and tossed them in a bowl with the spices for the chickpeas–heated up some water in the skillet and put the veggies in there along with the rest of the cooked chickpeas, covered them and let them basiclly steam in the spices, stirring now and then. At the last minute I added some cooked millet and a little bit of miso mixed in about a tablespoon of vegetable broth. It was quick and tasty, and I’ll do it again. Thanks!!




16 Usha September 26, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Cute convo! The combo was lovely too. Chickpea spicing was truly delicious…I love the smoked paprika…everyone loved it. The sauce is great,..and lots left over for a sandwich today. Thanks, Susan!

PS: By the way, I keep a bag of frozen Asian-style mixed vegetables from Costco in my freezer, and I just steamed a few handfuls of that to throw on. This was a big time-saver, because I made the other three things earlier in the day, and took 5 minutes to steam the veggies to complete the meal. Great make ahead.


17 Sam Neil September 27, 2013 at 12:56 am

Looks really good. I’ve never thought of “dry cooking” chickpeas in this way. I’m looking forward to cooking this. It looks like a great mid-week meal. Thanks


18 Anna September 27, 2013 at 8:29 am

Great Post! I happen to have everything I need to make this this weekend. Yay! I think if you haven’t done so already—you should buy stock in chickpeas. For some reason almost every recipe I have tried on your site has chickpeas! So versatile I guess…:)


19 Susan Voisin September 27, 2013 at 8:50 am

I’ve started to realize how much I use chickpeas, and I’m trying to cut back, but as you say, they’re so versatile. They’re also the only bean my daughter loves unconditionally, so I tend to use them even in dishes that usually feature other legumes. I wish I could get her to like white beans! πŸ™‚


20 MIA September 28, 2013 at 9:25 pm

I am so impressed that a meal with 4 components can come together so quickly! I loved the combination of flavours. Thanks again πŸ™‚


21 Sara September 30, 2013 at 9:29 am

Hi Susan, I made this last night and it was SO good! I used spicy smoked paprika, and that gave the chick peas a marvelous kick. The tahini sauce was great! Thank you for another super (and easy) recipe!
-Sara Schneider
Austin, TX


22 Kristen Kelley October 1, 2013 at 11:21 am

We could eat chickpeas morning, noon, and night in this house. This looks like the leftovers would make a great lunch, even cold, for my daughter’s lunch box!


23 Charlie Doom October 1, 2013 at 11:36 am

A friend told me about your site after I needed a low fat diet on doctors orders. This site has become my cooking bible! I lost my excess weight and the food gives me this amazing internl energy without feeling like I need to eat a dozen eggs after three days. Thank you for these recipes, they are life changing.


24 Riya@Sprout'd October 4, 2013 at 7:58 pm

I love anything in a tahini sauce however I have to say, pairing it with chickpeas and quinoa is absolute deliciousness. I’m like your daughter; I enjoy chickpeas more than most other beans.
I like that this particular recipe has a kick, I didn’t have any smoked paprika so instead I made a garlic chili paste (with no salt), which turned out great! What do you think?


25 Nancy October 14, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Great combination, the bowl looks so good!


26 Lesley October 16, 2013 at 3:09 pm

This looks great, can’t wait to try!

I love that bowl. Do you happen to know where you got it? It’s so cute!


27 Susan Voisin October 16, 2013 at 3:24 pm

I got the bowl at either Marshall’s or TJMaxx (they tend to carry the same stuff). πŸ™‚


28 Jana November 3, 2013 at 11:02 am

This was awesome! I added in some steam-sauteed kale. I know it was good because when my husband woke up this morning he said how good dinner was last night and said he was thinking about this! Thanks so much. Love the lightened up tahini dressing!


29 suzanne November 9, 2013 at 9:15 pm

I made this tonight and it was really great!! I roasted the veggies instead of steam them, but other than that it was just as you wrote. Will definitely be a regular staple; thanks so much for the recipe.


30 JoAnne November 17, 2013 at 8:09 am

Just a little side note–do NOT use black tahini for the sauce. It turns out to be not a beautiful black sauce, but an ugly grey sauce which looks exactly like cement! It tastes great, but the looks turn off many people.


31 Noreen November 17, 2013 at 1:12 pm

I made this last week. It’s delicious! I used the leftover Tahini Sauce as a salad dressing and today mixed it with mashed up chickpeas (garbanzo beans) as a quick snack on Quinoa crackers.. Thanks Susan, your recipes are always fantastic.


32 Robyn January 10, 2014 at 7:38 am

So, maybe this is a silly question as I’m new to your site, but do you use canned or dry chickpeas for this recipe?


33 Susan Voisin January 10, 2014 at 7:41 am

You can use either canned or dried chickpeas, but the dried must be cooked first.


34 Colleen September 1, 2014 at 6:40 pm

I made this tonight, and it was delicious! My omni husband liked it too, which is a real compliment πŸ™‚ We’ll definitely have this again. Thanks!


35 Tracy September 24, 2014 at 6:29 pm

This looks amazing, I can’t wait to make it! Could I sub out the tahini with something else (because of the fat content)? Thanks πŸ™‚


36 Rebecca Finch February 10, 2015 at 2:00 pm

This is a delicious, healthful recipe that is good even without the sauce, which I made and then forgot to use. In the sauce I used flaxseed meal instead of chia seeds and it thickened up quite nicely. There are some leftovers so we will have the meal with sauce tomorrow!


37 Leonie May 21, 2015 at 11:49 am

This recipe was wonderfully tasty and to my surprise, relatively easy to make. It is a lot of food though, could do with half. Thanks so much!


38 Donna September 18, 2016 at 6:30 pm

Best … Blog … Post … Ever!


Previous post:

Next post: