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Nourishing plant-based meals + indulgent desserts

Sticky, Sweet + Spicy Chickpeas

Sticky, Sweet + Spicy Chickpeas

You all seem to love it when I fancy up a can of beans. Especially now, with everyone stocked up on plenty of beans and legumes. I love it too. It makes for easy and delicious lunches or dinners. Today I have another can o’ beans recipe for you: Sticky, Sweet + Spicy Chickpeas.

Sauce ingredients in a teacup

This recipe takes about 20 minutes from start to finish and is great for meal prep because it can be doubled or even tripled without taking extra time. Serve them with whatever grain you have on hand and any veggie you like. This time, I chose basmati rice and snap peas. If you have been sleeping on snap peas, grab some in your text grocery order or trip. They are light, sweet and crisp. They are amazing raw and only take a few minutes to sauté.

Checkpeas and sauce in a skillet

But back to the real goods: Chickpeas. Chickpeas are a really unique bean. They have a more firm texture to that of other beans. They hold up really well to being sautéd, or roasted. So, I don’t recommend swapping out chickpeas for another bean here.

When I buy canned, I like to buy Goya beans. They are really consistent, easy to find and cheap. My grocery store has a massive Goya section filled with both canned and dried beans of at least 15 different varieties. I like to cook my own beans when I have the time. But the convenience of canned beans is second to none, so I always have a few canned in my pantry.

Portrait of Chickpeas over rice

The sauce here is a mixture of a few pantry ingredients that I use regularly. Sambal is the star of she show here. Sambal is a fresh ground chili paste. Its like hot sauce, but milder that say, Tabasco and less acidic. You can find it in the Asian aisle of your grocery store. But, do make sure to check the ingredients because some do contain shrimp paste!

I balanced the Sambal out with agave, a little rice vinegar and soy sauce for depth of flavor. This sauce is spicy, but in a well-rounded way. I eat these chickpeas over rice, which cools the heat a bit more. If you are worried that they will be too spicy, start with a couple teaspoons of Sambal and make the recipe all the way through. Then, taste and adjust to your liking at the end. I’m kind of a wuss when it comes to spice but I LOVE these. I have had them for so many meals since I developed the recipe.

Close up of sticky, sweet + spicy chickpeas over rice

So, make these Sticky, Sweet + Spicy Chickpeas for your lunches for the week or serve as a component for dinner. I’m confident that they will make their way into your regular rotation– they sure are in mine!

Sticky, Sweet + Spicy Chickpeas

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Asian
Servings 3 Servings


  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 15oz Can of Chickpeas, drained and rinsed

For the Sauce

  • 1-2 Tbsp Sambal or less if you are really sensitive to spice!
  • 1 Tbsp Agave Nectar or maple syrup
  • 2 tsp Cornstarch
  • 2 tsp Rice Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 6 Tbsp Water


  • First make the sauce. In a small bowl, combine Sambal, agave, cornstarch, rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and water. Whisk well to combine.
  • Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and chickpeas. Sauté chickpeas for about 5 minutes, stirring very occasionally.
  • Once the chickpeas are lightly browned, turn head down to low then stir the sauce once more and add to the pan. Stir quickly, and let sauce simmer for 1 minute.
  • Remove from heat and serve!
Keyword 20 minute recipe, Beans, Buffalo Chickpeas, Chickpea Recipes, Easy Recipe, Lunch

Let me know how this recipe worked for you and if there is anything you’d like to see me make next!

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