Smoky Chickpeas with Spinach

Smoky Chickpeas with Spinach is a healthy, budget-friendly meal that’s full of flavor, packed with protein and just happens to be vegan!

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Smoky Chickpeas with Spinach I’m sharing one of my tried and true recipes today. I was inspired to make this chickpea recipe several years ago after eating something similar at a Spanish restaurant. I think it was Barcelona Wine Bar, where I had a spinach and chickpeas tapas dish that I loved.

Smoky Chickpeas with Spinach

Tapas. That’s another topic. I love them, but I never feel satisfied after a dinner of little plates. Maybe it’s my southern roots? Anyway. I took the idea from that dish and flipped it – letting chickpeas take the lead for a more filling meal. I added smoked paprika to add savory, meaty flavor without any actual meat.
Smoky Chickpeas with Spinach

This month’s recipe redux challenge is healthy budget-friendly meals. Whether you overdid it during the holidays or are feeling uncertain about how the economy will fare this year, it’s a good idea to keep the food budget in check. This chickpea recipe can help. It’s vegan, packed with protein, filled with fiber, fast to make, and less than $3 per serving! What’s not to love?

Need a quick meal? Make these Vegan Smoky Chickpeas with Spinach in under 10 minutes! Click to Tweet

When eating healthy on a budget, pulses are the first food to come to mind. Pulses include hundreds of varieties of dried beans, peas and lentils. I could write a book on the power of pulses and why you should eat them. But I’m sure you’re here for the recipe, so I’ll just share these main reasons why you might want to pick up and prepare a bag (or can!):

  • Pulses are an excellent source of fiber and plant-based protein and a number of other important vitamins and minerals like folate and magnesium.
  • They may help prevent chronic diseases and help lower blood sugar levels, cholesterol and weight.
  • Dried beans, peas, and lentils have a low carbon footprint making them a good choice for the environment.

Though it sounds fancy, it’s one of the easiest recipes to make with just a few ingredients. I know smoked paprika and turmeric are not in everyone’s kitchen, so I included it in the final cost. Smoked paprika is critical to the flavor in this simple dish – don’t skip it.

Vegan on a Budget

Assuming you already have salt and pepper in the pantry, here’s how the cost breaks down:

1- 15 oz. can chickpeas  = $1.00 (I buy Simple Truth Organic)

1- 5 ounce package fresh spinach (triple washed) = $2.50

2 T extra virgin olive oil = $.40

2 cloves garlic = $0.16

1 t smoked paprika = $0.10

1/2 t ground turmeric = $0.10

Entire recipe = $4.26/$2.13 per person

This recipe is even cheaper if you skip the shortcuts. A bundle of spinach that you’d have to thoroughly clean yourself will cost a lot less, and a pound of dry chickpeas costs less than a dollar at my market. Like most things in life, you pay in dollars or time. And the way my life is set up right now, I choose to save time.

Confession: This recipe had a former life. I’ve since advanced my photography skills a bit and changed the recipe a little too. Take a look if you dare! 

And here’s a quick video of me making it…

Here’s the current version of the recipe. Before you head out, be sure to PIN this recipe for later. And tag me on Instagram when you make it

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Smoky Chickpeas with Spinach
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5 from 11 votes

Smoky Chickpeas with Spinach

Smoky Chickpeas with Spinach is a healthy, budget-friendly meal that's full of flavor, packed with protein and just happens to be vegan!
Prep Time3 mins
Cook Time7 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Entree, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean
Keyword: chickpeas, vegan recipes
Servings: 2 entrees
Calories: 355kcal
Author: Marisa


  • tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas (1-15 oz. can, rinsed and drained)
  • 6 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 tbsp water or vegetable broth


  • Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add the garlic, turmeric, and smoked paprika. Stir. Heat the oil and spice mixture 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. 
  • Add chickpeas and stir to coat with the oil and spice mixture. Add spinach and water. Cook over medium heat until the spinach wilts. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve!


Calories: 355kcal


34 Comments on Smoky Chickpeas with Spinach

  1. EA The Spicy RD
    January 22, 2017 at 11:25 AM (3 years ago)
    Except for the spinach (which I just ran out of) I have all of the ingredients on hand. Yum! Love the simplicity of this dish-can't wait to make it!

    5 stars

    • Marisa
      January 22, 2017 at 9:37 PM (3 years ago)
      Thanks so much, EA! It also works great with kale :) Reply
  2. Laura
    January 22, 2017 at 5:49 PM (3 years ago)
    You managed to make wilted spinach look SO GOOD I just want to jump into my screen and eat it all! This looks like dinner perfection! Reply
    • Marisa
      January 22, 2017 at 9:36 PM (3 years ago)
      Haha! I didn't think of that. Spinach is notorious for showing up slimy in pics! So glad I was too hungry to let it cook longer. Reply
  3. Gretchen | kumquat
    January 22, 2017 at 11:28 PM (3 years ago)
    This looks heavenly! Ooh, and how far you've come with these gorgeous photos... Reply
    • Marisa
      January 23, 2017 at 4:46 PM (3 years ago)
      Thanks, Gretchen! It's pretty funny to look back those photos but makes me wonder what I'll think when I look back 3+ years from today :) Reply
  4. Sonali- The Foodie Physician
    January 23, 2017 at 10:33 AM (3 years ago)
    Such a simple, beautiful dish and the new photos are stunning (I have so many old photos that I need to update too)! I love the combo of chickpeas and spinach- I make a curry dish using those ingredients. The smoked paprika sounds fabulous in here!

    5 stars

    • Marisa
      January 23, 2017 at 4:47 PM (3 years ago)
      Thank you! Oh how I love smoked paprika! And this is my first successful photo update... so many more to do! Reply
  5. Shashi at SavorySpin
    September 11, 2018 at 6:53 AM (1 year ago)
    Your cooked / wilted spinach looks amazeballs! So love the combo of spinach and chickpeas - you have combined them in such a delish way!

    5 stars

    • Marisa
      September 11, 2018 at 8:42 AM (1 year ago)
      LOL! I caught the spinach just in time! Reply
  6. Kelly Anthony
    September 11, 2018 at 7:49 AM (1 year ago)
    Your new pictures look great! I really like how you broke down the cost of the recipe. This is a great budget meal.

    5 stars

    • Marisa
      September 11, 2018 at 8:50 AM (1 year ago)
      I'm learning that people really love budget meals. Makes sense. Who doesn't love a good deal! Reply
  7. Lisa
    September 11, 2018 at 8:20 AM (1 year ago)
    What a fantastic one pot meal idea for meatless meals!

    5 stars

    • Marisa
      September 11, 2018 at 8:51 AM (1 year ago)
      Thanks Lisa! It's definitely a good one for a quick meatless meal! Reply
  8. Shanika
    September 11, 2018 at 8:23 AM (1 year ago)
    I love that this dish is so simply, yet full of flavor. I love chickpeas and these look so good!

    5 stars

    • Marisa
      September 11, 2018 at 8:41 AM (1 year ago)
      Thanks, Shanika! I'm a bit of a chickpea fanatic! Reply
    • Marisa
      September 11, 2018 at 8:51 AM (1 year ago)
      I am the queen of simple :) As long as it tastes great, it's a winner! Reply
  9. Lisa
    September 11, 2018 at 8:27 AM (1 year ago)
    I love the combination of chickpeas and spinach in this meatless dish!

    5 stars

    • Marisa
      September 11, 2018 at 8:52 AM (1 year ago)
      It's a great combo! Reply
  10. Diana
    September 11, 2018 at 8:32 AM (1 year ago)
    I need to try this, as I usually bake the chickpeas in the oven instead. Looks really good!

    5 stars

    • Marisa
      September 11, 2018 at 8:53 AM (1 year ago)
      I haven't baked my chickpeas in a while. I kinda want to do that now! Reply
  11. Tara @ Unsophisticook
    September 11, 2018 at 9:12 AM (1 year ago)
    Smoked paprika is quickly becoming one of my favorite savory spices! Love everything about this dish.

    5 stars

    • Marisa
      September 11, 2018 at 9:22 AM (1 year ago)
      Yes. Smoked paprika is in my top 3 for sure. Thanks Tara! Reply
  12. Erika
    February 10, 2019 at 10:18 AM (8 months ago)
    This recipe is well put together! I made it for lunch, and it was delicious!! The seasoning gives it a nice flavor and the cooking softens the [canned] chickpea ever so slightly. Very good!

    5 stars

  13. Sophia
    October 3, 2019 at 9:59 PM (2 weeks ago)
    I made this recipe for dinner tonight, and it was both quick and tasty. I served it with mashed red potatoes and it was a perfect addition.

    5 stars

    • Marisa
      October 5, 2019 at 5:18 AM (2 weeks ago)
      Thanks for the note. So happy you enjoyed the recipe! Now I’m craving red potatoes Reply

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