Grab your garbanzos 'cos we're going for a wok – welcome to the wonderful world of the chickpea stir-fry.
This vegan recipe features a delicious peanut butter sauce for a nutritious meal that's high-protein, meat-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free.
Ready in just 25 minutes, the centrepiece here is a humble can of chickpeas straight out of the store cupboard. I like to serve this stir-fry with rice noodles mixed through, but you could use whatever you prefer or happen to have lying around.
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Can you use canned chickpeas in a stir-fry?
You certainly can. Since tinned chickpeas have already been cooked during the canning process, they make for an easy, affordable, and nutritious addition to a stir-fry dish.
You'll just want to make sure you drain the chickpeas before using in this recipe (or others like chickpea salad). Rinsing them quickly under water also helps to remove excess sodium.
Are chickpeas good for you?
Chickpeas are an incredibly healthy ingredient to include in your diet. Packed full of nutrients such as protein, fibre, manganese, and folate, they've also been shown to help prevent iron deficiency.
To learn more, check out my beginner's guide to pulses and take a look at these recipes for crispy baked falafel, easy homemade hummus, three-bean salad, 15-minute chickpea stew, and vegan chickpea biryani.
Is this dish healthy?
There's certainly some fat in this stir-fry, but the combination of chickpeas and peanut butter also means it's high in plant-based protein and numerous other healthy nutrients.
If you're concerned about sodium, you may want to exclude the tamari or use a low-sodium soy sauce (if not GF).
In one serving of this recipe, you'll find:
- Calories: 671 kcal
- Protein: 20 grams (40% of RDA)
- Fibre: 11 grams (46% of RDA)
- Iron: 5 mg (28% of RDA)
Amounts based on a third-party nutrition calculator.
What you'll need
Stir-fried chickpeas can be as simple or complex as you like. As long as you have the ingredients to make a decent peanut sauce, the rest is up to you. For this recipe, you'll need:
- Canned chickpeas that have been drained and rinsed
- Vegetables to add colour, flavour, and texture
- Smooth peanut butter as the base of the stir-fry sauce
- Accompaniments such as boiled rice or rice noodles
How to make chickpea stir-fry
Begin by preparing the ingredients for the stir-fry sauce. Add all these to a jug or bowl, mix well to combine, and set aside.
Heat a pan or wok on high heat and add the oil. Once hot, add in the spring onions, red pepper, mushrooms, mangetout, and drained chickpeas.
Stir and/or toss regularly for 4-5 minutes or until the mushrooms and veg are starting to soften, then lower the heat and add the stir-fry sauce.
Mix well and cook for a minute or so to heat through.
If necessary, add a little extra water (or cooking water from rice or rice noodles) to loosen the sauce in the pan.
Adjust the seasoning, remove from the heat, and serve. If serving with noodles, you can drain these after cooking and mix through the stir-fry before serving.
Serve the chickpea stir-fry with your choice of boiled rice or noodles. Topping suggestions include sliced spring onions, sesame seeds, coriander leaves, chopped peanuts, and crispy chilli oil.
I've used rice noodles since they're both quick to cook and gluten-free. If you want more dishes that involve rice noodles, check out these 5-minute peanut noodles, vegan Singapore noodles, vegan rice paper rolls, and this cold rice noodle salad.
Tinned chickpeas are very convenient since they're already cooked, however you could also use dried chickpeas. These will have to be cooked in advance before using in this recipe – see my post on how to cook dried chickpeas for more info.
To make this recipe gluten-free, be sure to use tamari (or GF soy sauce) and serve with GF sides such as boiled rice or rice noodles.
Refrigerate the stir-fry and rice noodles for up to three days or freeze for up to three months.
Variations and tips for chickpea stir-fry
- Peanut butter: I like to use smooth peanut butter here since it's also acting as a thickener in the sauce.
- Vegetables: For an easier option, simply replace the veg with a store-bought stir-fry pack.
- Other additions: To take the stir-fry sauce in a slightly different direction, try ingredients such as tamarind paste or crispy chilli oil.
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More vegan recipe ideas
If you liked this recipe, you may also enjoy:
- Sweet Potato and Lentil Dal
- Oven-Roasted Chickpeas
- Grilled Teriyaki Tofu
- Homemade Hummus
- Hummus Pasta with Lemon and Basil
- Chickpea and Cauliflower Coconut Curry
- Tomato Tahini Pasta
- Chickpea Waldorf Salad
You can also check out my full list of vegan mains.
Chickpea Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce (GF)
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil (plus more if needed)
- 2-3 spring onions, roughly chopped
- ½ red bell pepper, deseeded and sliced
- 5 oz (150 g) mushrooms, sliced
- 3 oz (80 g) mangetout (or other greens)
- 1x 14 oz (400 g) tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce if not GF)
- 1 tablespoon agave syrup (or maple syrup)
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 inch piece of ginger, minced
- 1 small red chilli, finely chopped (remove seeds for less heat)
- 3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons water (plus more as needed)
- Rice or rice noodles, cooked according to package instructions
- Coriander leaves, sesame seeds, sliced spring onions
- Begin by preparing the ingredients for the stir-fry sauce. Add all these to a jug or bowl, mix well to combine, and set aside.
- Heat a pan or wok on high heat and add the oil. Once hot, add in the spring onions, red pepper, mushrooms, mangetout, and drained chickpeas. Stir and/or toss regularly for 4-5 minutes or until the mushrooms and veg are starting to soften. If necessary, add a little extra oil to the pan to prevent sticking.
- Once the mushrooms and veg have softened, lower the heat to medium. Give the stir-fry sauce a good stir and then add this to the pan. Mix well and cook for a minute or so to heat through.
- If necessary, add a little extra water (or cooking water from rice or rice noodles) to loosen the sauce in the pan.
- 5-Minute Peanut Noodles
- Vegan Singapore Noodles
- Teriyaki Tempeh Stir-Fry
- Vietnamese-Style Rice Paper Rolls
- Crispy Tofu Stir-Fry
- Chana Masala (Chickpea Curry)
- Moroccan Couscous with Chickpeas
- Cold Rice Noodle Salad
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