We’re major beans and rice eaters, and this recipe is at the top of our list! It’s easy, healthy, and just bursting with flavor. You’re going to love this easy weeknight favorite that will leave you feeling satisfied – and also leave you with minimal dishes to wash! This flavorful chickpeas and rice dish is sure to be a new family favorite.
A vegetarian favorite
This is one of my favorite dishes to pull out when friends come over, because they’re always shocked at how delicious it is! I think a lot of people tend to shy away from beans and rice and from vegetarian meals in general because they sound boring or bland. Not this one! I love the look on guests’ faces when they take a bite of this flavorful chickpeas and rice recipe and realize how tasty beans and rice can be.
This flavorful chickpeas and rice recipe is a breeze
Flavorful chickpeas and rice is not only super easy to make, but it also won’t leave you with a sink full of dirty dishes. It’s a total winner. The whole dish is made with just a saucepan (for the rice) and a stockpot. Another thing I love about this dish is that, while it tastes super fresh and light, most of the ingredients are actually shelf- or freezer-stable. You might be able to make this without any planning in advance. Bonus.
Cooking your own beans
Did you know that cooking your own beans is about half the price of buying them in the can? We did a cost analysis and how-to. They’re not only cheaper, but they also taste better, don’t contain preservatives, and are way more versitile. There are way more options, and you can flavor them however you like! Such a win.
Can I freeze flavorful chickpeas and rice?
Yes! I actually made a couple of batches when I was pregnant and froze them in preparation for newborn life. Simply cool and store in a freezer bag or Tupperware container for up to 3 months. Thaw before reheating. When J was born, it was so refreshing to have a frozen meal that wasn’t heavy like lasagna or spaghetti.
How to make flavorful chickpeas and rice – step by step
- Start by cooking your 1.5 cups of rice in a saucepan with 3 cups of water and 2 tsp of dried thyme. This just infuses flavor into your rice! So delicious.
- While rice is cooking, heat 4 Tbsp of olive oil oil and half of the butter (2 Tbsp) in a stockpot over medium heat.
- Drain and rinse 3 cans of chickpeas. Add them to the stockpot and brown, stirring occasionally. (This takes about 10 minutes depending on how layered your chickpeas are.)
- Add ¼ cup of parsley (yes, it’s a lot!) and 1 ¼ cups of sundried tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
- Add 2 tsp each of oregano, salt, pepper, and basil, and stir.
- When rice is cooked, mix it into the chickpea pot.
- Add the rest of the butter (2 Tbsp) and 2/3 cup parmesan cheese. Mix well.
- Serve, and top with feta (optional, but not really optional)
A word on dehydrated tomatoes
You can buy dehydrated tomatoes at your local grocery store, or you can make your own. It’s super easy and so cheap. I make bags and bags of dehydrated tomatoes every summer. They’re easy to freeze, and they give meals that fresh, garden-y feel, even in the middle of winter. And they’re oh, I don’t know, probably about a tenth of the price?
Simply slice cherry tomatoes in half, lay them flat on your dehydrator trays, and dehydrate at 135 degrees for 6-8 hours. Freeze in a freezer bag.
What to serve with flavorful chickpeas and rice
My go-to side for this recipe is homemade applesauce. We can a whole bunch of applesauce in the fall. It’s such an easy side to pull out to make dinner easy. You can even vary your applesauce by adding fresh or frozen fruit (berries work great). You could totally use store-bought applesauce as a side for this meal, too.
Why eat beans and rice?
- They’re healthy. Just one cup of beans and rice will provide you with around 12 grams of complete protein and 10 grams of fiber.
- They’re cost-effective. Beans and rice meals are not only nourishing, but are often some of the cheapest meals you can make. Check out our cost analysis of cooking your own beans.
- They’re nutritionally complementary. Together, beans and rice make a complete protein. A complete protein is comprised of nine essential amino acids. Beans, which are missing the essential amino acid methionine, are complemented by rice, which contains plenty of methionine. On the contrary, rice lacks lysine, which is found plentifully in beans. When eaten together, this delicious powerhouse mix makes a complete protein. (Here’s more info on why beans and rice are such a great pair.)
Enjoy this family favorite!
We love that this meal is healthy, cost-effective, and obviously, delicious. It’s perfect for throwing together quickly and easy to double or triple for guests. Dinner time is such a valuable time for families, and we hope this adds to your dinner routine as much as it has ours!
- 1 1/2 C. uncooked brown rice
- 2 tsp. dried thyme
- 3 C. water
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 Tbsp butter (divided)
- 3 cans chickpeas
- 1/4 C. dried parsley
- 1 1/4 C. sundried tomatoes
- 2 tsp. oregano
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. pepper
- 2 tsp. basil
- 2/3 C. parmesan cheese
- feta (for topping)
- Cook rice in water with dried thyme. Set aside.
- While rice is cooking, heat oil and 2 Tbsp. of butter in a stockpot.
- Add chickpeas and brown (this takes about 10 minutes depending on how layered your chickpeas are)
- Add parsley and tomatoes. Cook 5 minutes.
- Add oregano, salt, pepper, and basil. Mix.
- Mix rice into the stockpot with chickpeas
- Add the remaining 2 Tbsp. of butter and the parmesan
- Top with feta