These deliciously spicy Moroccan Chickpeas are ready in just 20 minutes using mainly pantry ingredients. Packed with warming spices and lots of spinach, this chickpea recipe is going to become your go-to for quick lunches. I promise!

Spicy Moroccan Chickpeas With Spinach in a pan.
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💛 Why Make These Moroccan Chickpeas

More than a decade ago, I put together these delicious Moroccan Chickpeas for lunch one busy afternoon while I was elbow-deep in a photoshoot. I used simple ingredients from my pantry and fridge that I had on hand and threw in Ras el hanout (the famous Moroccan spice mix) that had been freshly ground at the markets. The spicy Moroccan Chickpeas were so delicious, they not only became a weekly staple but also made their way into my first cookbook.

Here is why you will love this gorgeous chickpea recipe

  1. Super quick to make! 20 minutes only.
  2. Simple, everyday ingredients from your pantry and fridge.
  3. Loaded with protein and fiber.
  4. Vegan and gluten-free.
  5. Exciting new flavour. Good excuse to try the Moroccan spice mix - ras el hanout.
  6. Can make ahead, lasts in the fridge for up to 5 days and travels well for work and school lunches.

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📝 Ingredients And Substitutions

These spicy Moroccan Chickpeas with Spinach don't require any fancy ingredients. In fact, most of the ingredients are already in your pantry. This is what you will need

Ingredients for Spicy Moroccan Chickpeas labeled - chickpeas, tomato paste, spinach, garlic, chilli, onion, lemon, coriander, salt and ras-el-hanout.
  1. Chickpeas - Canned chickpeas are the star of the show and are perfect for this fuss-free recipe.
  2. Tomato Paste - Tomato paste is very concentrated and adds a rich, umami complexity to this dish. It also keeps the Moroccan Chickpeas quite dry making them ideal for wrapping in flatbreads. If you don't have tomato paste, substitute with canned diced tomatoes.
  3. Ras-el-hanout - This is the traditional North African spice mix and also goes by the name - Moroccan spice mix. It is available at most supermarkets and speciality spice stores. If you can't find it, the closest substitute would be to mix half a teaspoon of ground coriander, cumin, sweet paprika or chilli, cinnamon, and a quarter teaspoon of ground ginger in a bowl and use that mix as required.
  4. Onion - Brown onion adds a lovely sweetness when cooked and caramelized. You can substitute with red onion.
  5. Chilli - I use half a red cayenne chilli for this recipe. It is the equivalent of a red Serrano pepper and has a mild heat, mild enough that you don't really need to deseed it before using. But if you would like the Moroccan Chickpeas to be milder, remember to deseed your chilli. Dried red chilli flakes are a good substitute. Use half a teaspoon if you don't have fresh chilli on hand.
  6. Spinach - I use baby spinach for this recipe as it is tender and wilts within a minute. Can be substituted with chopped-up English spinach or silverbeet. You might need to add some extra water and cook longer to soften the greens in that case.
  7. Garlic - Fresh garlic can be substituted with dried garlic granules or garlic powder. Use a teaspoon.
  8. Coriander - This makes a great garnish. If you don't have it on hand, just skip it.

🔥 How To Make Moroccan Chickpeas

Saute onion, garlic and chilli in a pan on medium heat.
  1. Saute onion in oil on medium heat until slightly caramelized.
  2. Saute garlic and chilli briefly.
Add ras-el-hanout and toast briefly until fragrant. Add tomato paste and mix well.

3. Add ras el hanout and toast briefly for few seconds until fragrant.

4. Add tomato paste. Mix well.

Add chickpeas, salt and water. Add spinach and cook until spinach is wilted.

5. Add chickpeas, salt and water. Mix and cook briefly.

6. Add spinach.

Add lemon juice, mix and cook briefly until heated through.

7. Mix well and cook for a few seconds until the spinach is wilted.

8. Check for seasoning. Add lemon juice. Serve hot.

🍽️ Serving Suggestions

  • Serve these spicy Moroccan Chickpeas with toasted Turkish bread or pita bread with a big scoop of this Indian Raita on the side.
  • These delicious chickpeas are great ladled over a piece of grilled lemon-pepper fish or chicken for a completely satisfying meal.
  • Increase the water in this Moroccan Chickpeas recipe and make them saucy enough to serve with this delicious Turmeric Lemon Yellow Rice.

🙋 Recipe FAQs

What is Ras El Hanout?

Ras el hanout, also known as Moroccan Spice Mix is the famous North-African spice blend made of warming spices like coriander, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, paprika and saffron. It is usually available in speciality spice stores and spice sections of supermarkets.

What do Moroccan Chickpeas taste like?

Moroccan Chickpeas taste a lot like the Indian dish - Chana Masala, but with a few variations. Moroccan Chickpeas are cooked on a garlic, onion and tomato base with ras-el-hanout as the main spice mix. They taste deliciously umami, with a sweet, salty and spicy flavour that is warming and fragrant with saffron and paprika.

Can I freeze Moroccan Chickpeas?

Yes, you can freeze Moroccan Chickpeas as any chickpea dish freezes really well. If your chickpea dish is quite dry, like these Moroccan Chickpeas; I would suggest adding half a cup of water to them before freezing. This is to avoid freezer burn and also from drying them out when reheating. To reheat, simply thaw at room temperature for a couple of hours or heat in the microwave.

🧡 More Spicy Chickpea Recipes

Recipe

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Spicy Moroccan Chickpeas With Spinach in a pan.

Moroccan Chickpeas

5 from 1 vote
These delicious Moroccan Chickpeas made with Ras el hanout, the famous Moroccan spice mix are a quick and healthy lunch option. Boosted with spinach, these spicy chickpeas are great with pita bread or grilled fish.
Print Recipe Rate / Comment
Author: Sneh
Course // Beans And Legumes, Light Meal, Lunch, Sides
Cuisine // Gluten Free, Middle Eastern, Moroccan, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 154kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red cayenne chili, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Ras-el-hanout
  • 400 g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 tsp flaky salt
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • fresh coriander leaves, to garnish

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook onion for a couple of minutes until starting to soften.
  • Reduce heat to low. Add garlic and chilli. Cook for a few seconds until fragrant.
  • Add Ras-el-hanout and lightly toast along with onion mixture for a few seconds until fragrant.
  • Add chickpeas, salt, tomato paste and water. Increase heat to medium. Mix and cook for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the spinach. Cook, stirring occasionally until spinach has wilted (about 3 to 4 minutes). Remove from heat.
  • Stir in the lemon juice. Garnish with coriander. Serve hot with pita bread and a dollop of yoghurt.

Notes

Flavour Variation - Add chopped pancetta or bacon when you stir-fry the onion for a meatier variation. You can also try adding dried porcini mushrooms if keeping it meat-free.
Ras el hanout - This is the famous North African spice blend also known as Moroccan Spice mix. It is available in specialty spice stores or spice sections of supermarkets. You can substitute this by making a mix with ground coriander, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, ginger and saffron and using that instead.
Tomato paste - This can be substituted with canned, diced tomatoes.
Spinach - Baby spinach can be substituted with English spinach or silverbeet. You will just need to cook it longer with an extra splash of water to soften the greens.
Make it a curry - You can add an extra cup of water and an additional tablespoon of ras el hanout to this dish to make it a saucy curry of sorts that can be eaten with rice.
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Nutrition

Calories: 154kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 687mg | Potassium: 456mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1737IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 88mg | Iron: 3mg
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