Kung Pao Chickpeas

Chickpeas are also called garbanzo beans. I tell you this first since I don't want you to have any trouble finding the beans on the shelf at the grocery store because you are going to want to make this dish!


I'm not going to lie, sometimes I am a little hesitant about trying some new things. Kung Pao Chickpeas wasn't a recipe I just couldn't wait to try. Actually, it was Lauren who tried this recipe first and told me "it was awesome!". Although it was me who introduced Lauren to the plant-based diet a couple years ago, often times, it is Lauren who is more adventurous in trying the new recipes I might be more hesitant about. 

Most likely, you are familiar with 'kung pao' as Kung Pao Chicken--a dish made with chicken, peanuts, vegetables, and chili peppers. If I'm being completely honest, the only dish I occasionally miss (as a vegetarian) is sesame seed chicken from our favorite local Chinese restaurant. But I certainly don't miss how my stomach felt after eating the breaded, fried, and sugar ladened dish all over white rice nonetheless. These kung pao chickpeas satisfy any craving for Westernized Chinese food all while adding health benefits of fiber, plant-based protein, folate, non-heme iron, resistance starch, antioxidants...should I keep going?


If it is isn't clear already, this dish has become a family favorite. We frequently make it when we are close to bare bones when it comes to groceries as all the ingredients for this dish (with the exception of fresh green onions) are common pantry staples. 

We serve the dish over short-grain brown rice, but you could certainly serve it over quinoa, farro, in a wrap, on a bed of greens, or anything your little heart desires. 



Kung Pao Chickpeas

Recipe Adapted from: The Veg Life

Makes: 2-3 servings


Start by making the marinade. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. In a medium sized bowl or covered container, mix together the marinade ingredients. Set aside, marinating for 15-30 minutes. Stir the mixture a couple times during that time.

While the beans are marinating, combine all of the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. 

Prep the garlic, ginger, green onions, sesame seed oil and red pepper flakes in a small dish and set aside until the chickpeas are done marinating and you are ready to cook. 

Heat a skillet on medium-high heat. While heating, drain the marinated chickpeas. When hot, add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan along with the marinated chickpeas. Cook the chickpeas until golden brown and caramelized, about 5 minutes, and stir occasionally.

Add the rest of the stir-fried ingredients which you previously set aside, cooking for about 2 minutes. 

Stir the sauce and add to the pan. Cook for 1 minute. Add the peanuts. Toss. Serve over brown rice. 




1, 15 ounce can chickpeas, low-sodium

1 tablespoon low-sodium tamari or soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon cornstarch


1 tablespoon low-sodium tamari or soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)


 1 tablespoon high-heat oil (i.e. avocado oil)

pinch - 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (based on your preference!)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated

2 tablespoons fresh green onions

1 teaspoon toasted sesame seed oil

1/2 cup dry-roasted peanuts 

*recommend 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice for serving

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