Garbanzo Beans

Whether you call them garbanzo beans or chickpeas, these tasty little legumes are among the best ingredients to keep on hand for fast weeknight meals or those times when you just don’t feel like cooking. Not that I really need to tell you that.

And since curries made from canned tomatoes and canned garbanzo beans get old pretty fast (at least to me they do), I thought I’d share two of my favorite pilfered and adapted recipes. Both are great for leftovers.

First up: Kenyan-Style Mixed Greens adapted from Angela Shelf MedearisThe Ethnic Vegetarian. (Huh, I just discovered that she lives in Austin!) Her recipe is basically just spicy greens in coconut milk, but adding garbanzo beans turns the dish into a whole meal.


  • Lots of greens (I usually use collards or kale, but you can use turnip, mustard or spinach or a mixture of more than one different kind)
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes
  • Serrano peppers
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • Cilantro

Here’s what I do: Sauté the onions until translucent, add garlic, tomatoes and peppers and sauté for a bit. Add the greens gradually and sauté until wilted. Add the coconut milk and S&P and cook gently until you think it looks right. Collards and kale can sometimes take a while. I add chicken stock along the way if it gets too thick. When it’s almost done, I add the can of garbanzo beans. Once those are warm, I add a handful of cilantro (of course!). Then serve over rice. I’m guessing adding ginger at some point would be good too, although I’m not sure I’ve actually tried that. I may also add cumin sometimes.

Greens with garbanzos
Greens with beans

Next up: Garbanzo Bean Salad adapted from Steve Silverman’s Greek-Italian Chopped Salad on This is one of my all-time favorite salads, and tonight’s version with lettuce, fennel and oregano from the garden was especially tasty.

Ingredients for salad:

  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Roasted red pepper
  • Onion
  • Fennel
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Other optional ingredients: olives, feta, other veggies

Ingredients for vinaigrette:

  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Fresh oregano
  • Garlic
  • S&P
  • A little honey, optional

No directions needed really. I do have one trick though. Since one can of beans is too much for one salad, I dress the beans and store them in the fridge. That way when I’m busy, I can just mix up the rest of the ingredients and add the beans and dressing all at once.

Chopped salad with garbanzos
Big salad. This time I added sunflower sprouts too.

Lately I keep seeing fresh garbanzo beans in the store. Has anyone ever tried them? I’m curious.

2 thoughts on “Garbanzo Beans

  1. Both recipes look yummy! Glad you got the sprouts at the market…also glad we picked the lettuce and that it wasn’t bitter.


Comments are closed.