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!
💛 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
- Super quick to make! 20 minutes only.
- Simple, everyday ingredients from your pantry and fridge.
- Loaded with protein and fiber.
- Vegan and gluten-free.
- Exciting new flavour. Good excuse to try the Moroccan spice mix - ras el hanout.
- Can make ahead, lasts in the fridge for up to 5 days and travels well for work and school lunches.
📝 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
- Chickpeas - Canned chickpeas are the star of the show and are perfect for this fuss-free recipe.
- 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.
- 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.
- Onion - Brown onion adds a lovely sweetness when cooked and caramelized. You can substitute with red onion.
- 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.
- 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.
- Garlic - Fresh garlic can be substituted with dried garlic granules or garlic powder. Use a teaspoon.
- Coriander - This makes a great garnish. If you don't have it on hand, just skip it.
🔥 How To Make Moroccan Chickpeas
- Saute onion in oil on medium heat until slightly caramelized.
- Saute garlic and chilli briefly.
3. Add ras el hanout and toast briefly for few seconds until fragrant.
4. Add tomato paste. Mix well.
5. Add chickpeas, salt and water. Mix and cook briefly.
6. Add spinach.
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
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.
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.
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.
17 Vegetarian Chickpea Recipes
Are you looking for delicious new ways to cook with canned chickpeas?
Try my collection of Easy Chickpea Recipes for mouth-watering brunches, work lunches and dinners.
These vegetarian chickpea recipes are loaded with flavour and vegetables. They are perfect for adding that extra protein boost to your vegetarian meals.
🧡 More Spicy Chickpea Recipes
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- 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
- 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.