Balsamic-Glazed Chickpeas and Mustard Greens

by on July 21, 2009
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With some sweet red onion, cooked chickpeas, and a reduced balsamic dressing, mustard greens quickly become a complete, light meal.

Balsamic-Glazed Chickpeas and Mustard Greens

If necessity is the mother of invention, hunger is the mother of new recipes. Well, hunger, laziness, and a sadly depleted refrigerator. On a recent Sunday, I was out of everything I would normally eat for lunch–no lettuce, no spinach, no cabbage, nothing fresh and green and salad-worthy. I was also sadly lacking the desire to run to the store to get any of these items because that would take a lazy Sunday and turn it into a shopping Sunday, and who wants that? So I checked to see what green vegetables I did have in the house and found only mustard greens.

Mustard greens. Until recently I thought I didn’t like them. Just the name “mustard” convinced me, erroneously I now see, that these greens were more bitter than collards and turnips (which, truth be told, I only started liking within the past five years). But a few months ago, my mother persuaded me to give them a chance. She described them, her personal favorite green, as milder than collards. And she was right. More peppery than other greens–they get that from their mustard lineage–they lack the somewhat cabbagey taste of collards. I find they cook more quickly than collards, too, which made them perfect for a quick-fix lunch for two on a slow, summer Sunday. With some sweet red onion, cooked chickpeas, and a reduced balsamic dressing, they quickly became a complete, light meal.

Balsamic-Glazed Chickpeas and Mustard Greens


Balsamic-Glazed Chickpeas and Mustard Greens
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
I’d say this fits into the category of warm dinner salads, but you could serve it as a side dish to up to four people.
Serves: 2
  • 10 ounces mustard greens
  • 1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4-6 tablespoons vegetable broth, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon agave nectar or sugar
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  1. Remove any large stems from the greens and discard. Tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces.
  2. In a deep pot or wok, sauté the onion in a tablespoon or two of vegetable broth until mostly faded to pink, about 4 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and red pepper and another tablespoon of broth and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add the mustard greens, 2 tablespoons of broth, and cook, stirring, until greens are wilted but still bright green, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the salt, if using. Remove greens and onions from pan with a slotted spoon and place in a serving dish, leaving any liquid in pan.
  3. Add the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and agave or sugar to the liquid in the pan (if there is no liquid, add 2 tablespoons of broth). Add the chickpeas and cook, stirring, over medium heat until the liquid is reduced by about half. Spoon the chickpeas over the greens and drizzle the sauce over all.
  4. Serve warm, with additional balsamic vinegar at the table.
Reduce the sodium by using lite soy sauce and unsalted chickpeas.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/2 of recipe Calories: 217 Fat: 1.7g Carbohydrates: 42g Sugar: 5.2g Sodium: 1081mg Fiber: 11g Protein: 11g

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With some sweet red onion, cooked chickpeas, and a reduced balsamic dressing, mustard greens quickly become a complete, light meal. Vegan. Low-fat.

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 moonwatcher July 21, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Hi Susan,

a few years ago I took a variety of mustard starts from a friend called “Red Giant”–dark leaves, spicy taste, and they have been volunteering like mad all over my garden since then. They have just all gone to seed after weeks of eating mustard greens, but this looks like a delicious way to serve them, and sort of reminds me of an Italian omni dish my Mom used to make–sausage and endives. .a little fennel might be nice in this dish, too, along with the peppery greens. My neighbor still has another variety of mustard in his salad mix patch, so maybe I’ll pilfer some of his and try this! I definitely will make it sometime!

Here’s to necessity–and not wanting to go the darn store!–be the mother of delicious invention. 🙂



2 guanyue July 21, 2009 at 2:03 pm

Yum! I made this today for lunch, using leftover bok choy as Josiane mentioned. I used white wine vinegar and sweet onion instead as well, based on what I had in stock. I put it over a bed of couscous and it was quite yummy!


3 AndreaQ September 28, 2009 at 11:50 am

This looks wonderful! Can't wait to try it!


4 Heather September 29, 2009 at 7:26 am

This is one of my favorite FFV recipes. It is fast, DELICIOUS, and easy to make.

We had it last night for the 2nd time, and it was so, so good.
I put the mix over pasta for my husband, and he was crazy about it. We also had some roasted brussel sprouts on the side.

This is definitely going to be one of my quick and easy "go-to" meals.

Thanks Susan! 🙂


5 Meredith October 4, 2009 at 6:13 pm

I just made this, but used Kale instead of mustard greens because that was what was in my house. This was fast, easy and super duper delicious!!!! I cannot stop eating it. Thanks for another winner 🙂


6 thunder January 14, 2010 at 1:48 pm

I made this last night and served it with mashed sweet potatoes. My family and I loved it and I highly recommend this recipe!


7 DnJ February 3, 2010 at 1:29 am

Wednesday this week is a crock-pot day… I'm going to try this with canned (i know, canned ain't quite right) chickpeas and collards in the slow cooker for the afternoon and hope there's enough liquid in the recipe to keep it stewing till J gets home from evening class. couldn't find mustard greens, and this will be our first time trying collards- hope it works! thanks for the recipes!


8 Mona February 9, 2011 at 7:52 pm

I was wondering how the crock pot turned out. I am going to be making this on Friday and am hoping it will turn out well 🙂


9 Cap_Lady1225 February 6, 2010 at 3:23 pm

great flavor and easy to make


10 Karen May 21, 2010 at 9:36 pm

I made this for the second time tonight, subbing white beans for the chick peas. Delicious again! So quick, simple and the entire house smells lucious! I am going to try it over sweet potatoe, as one of the other commenters suggested. That sounds wonderful. Thank you for being so creative!


11 Kellyzkool June 10, 2010 at 4:25 pm

I made this for lunch today (my first time cooking mustard greens). I thought it was tasty but the greens were pretty tough and required a lot of chewing. Is this normal for them or did I do something wrong?


12 SusanV June 10, 2010 at 5:07 pm

Sorry that yours came out so tough! I think that it varies by the age of the greens. Younger ones are more tender, but more mature, larger leaves are tougher and take longer to cook.


13 Kellyzkool June 11, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Thanks for the tip! I’ll cook them longer (or taste them along the way) next time. I’ll still eat the leftovers!


14 crystal March 2, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Balsamic glazed chick peas and mustard greens are absolutely awesome. I love new recipes using greens without the meat of fatback, bacon or hog jaw and the seasons are perfect as directed. Thanks!!


15 Claire March 15, 2011 at 10:34 pm

I made this today for my lunch after realizing that my food choices for the last week were sorely lacking. I ate the whole thing by myself and Oh My! I thought the mustard greens would still have that bitter bite to them, but they were so smooth & tasty. I am in love.

It was just the right amount of balsamic flavor, and I used low-sodium soy sauce to keep the salt from overwhelming the dish.

Thanks Susan!


16 Kathryn April 29, 2012 at 10:36 am

I found your recipe on Pinterest and made it this week. I wrote about it on my on blog today. The only thing I changed was to add a spritz of lemon to finish. I like the variations the others have suggested and will try them with my own crop of mustard greens soon.


17 Daniel Dombak May 7, 2012 at 8:37 pm

I tried this recipe tonight having found Mustard Greens at the Farmer’s Market — and it was spectacular. I love the greens being prepared separately, as not to over-cook them, and the glazed chickpeas were an excellent complement (I mixed the red pepper flakes and garlic with the other sauce elements which worked out very well). This quick & easy dish will definitely be back at my table in the future!


18 Andrea F. June 20, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Simply amazing! Thanks for the great recipes, Susan! You are making my switch to E2L so much easier!


19 Pragati Coder May 8, 2013 at 8:43 pm

I tried this recipe today!! Loved it!! Only modification was to use honey in place of Agave and to add a tbsp of vegetarian oyster sauce for some extra sweetness and flavor!! I did a blog post about it and credited your recipe for the inspiration. here’s a link to that post! Thanks again!!


20 Barbara Benedict June 13, 2013 at 11:14 am

I made the chickpeas/mustard greens with balsamic vinegar last night and they were delicious! Thanks!


21 mabidavid July 7, 2013 at 5:00 am

I’d been wondering what to do with my mustard greens. This was so good! Thank you!


22 Carrie July 21, 2013 at 2:32 pm

I don’t use sugar or agave, would maple syrup work as a substitute?


23 Susan Voisin July 21, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Yes, virtually any type of sugar will work, or you could probably leave it out since it’s such a tiny amount.


24 Kath (My Funny Little Life) July 25, 2013 at 2:12 pm

These look incredibly nice! 😀


25 Lynn October 20, 2013 at 10:03 am

I loved this recipe. What’s even better is my family loved it. I’ve never cooked mustard greens before so I wasn’t quite sure what to do with them. I was also uncertain about the veggie broth instead of oil but it was fabulous and no FAT!


26 DC February 23, 2014 at 6:11 pm

Just made this recipe today, though I did substitute collards for the mustard greens since that’s what I had on hand.

OMG, this is delicious. I was looking for a new way to prepare chickpeas (which I love), and I’m trying to eat more greens, so this recipe was perfect for me. 🙂

Other than the greens, didn’t change a thing. And I’m making it again tomorrow! It’s that good.


27 Shez July 23, 2014 at 5:49 pm

I just made the chickpeas and added them to Earthbound’s Power Greens, raw onion and sauted mushroom. It was absolutely delicious. Thanks for the recipe. I can’t wait to try it with mustard greens


28 NekkidRevenge August 15, 2015 at 10:16 am

For some strange reason, I never tried mustard greens. My only experience with a lot of greens in general, was from cans when I was a kid. So though, I eat a lot of fresh veggies and am always trying to explore my way to things I haven’t tried, I had turnip and collards plenty of times and loved those… I pretty much love any greens that I can eat cold, as a wrap, or if I want a lovely wilted salad. Anyway, I bought a bunch of fresh kale, asperigus, and mustard greens. I just prepping to make a vegan spinach, asperigus, and artichoke dip that I could get normal people to eat, and I randomly grabbed a handful of mustard greens to no on…. I was so caught off guard… I know they are called “mustard” greens but I was so not expecting such a strong flavor! O_O I liked it though and since I’ve added dijon to plenty of dips and sauces, I snuck in some mustard greens and kale and…. it was amazing! I also had a similar experience trying swiss chard and somehow immediately decided to make it into a balsamic portabello mushroom burger with some spinach and steamed mashed cauliflower to bind. It was sooooo good!


29 Leslie July 6, 2016 at 11:20 am

This dish was delicious. My omni housemate loved it! I used a whole bunch of mustard greens and a whole can of chickpeas. Plus I added a little more crushed red pepper and some black pepper. What a great dish to use the mustard greens I got from a friend’s CSA box. Thank you!


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