Spanish Chickpeas and Rice

$7.39 recipe / $1.84 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.81 from 129 votes
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I’ll openly admit that I’ve tried to make paella on more than one occasion and failed miserably. It’s probably a combination of not having the right paella pan or not using the correct method, but I can never get it to turn out quite right. That being said, I still love the concept of cooking rice with a bunch of other super flavorful ingredients in one pot, so this Spanish Chickpeas and Rice, which is loosely based on paella, was born. No expensive seafood or saffron, but still tons of flavor in one dish.

P.S. You can make this in a rice cooker! Check out my recipe for the Rice Cooker Spanish Chickpeas and Rice.

A bowl of Spanish Chickpeas and Rice topped with parsley

No Meat, Still Tons of Flavor

I wanted to go vegetarian for this recipe, so I subbed chickpeas for the meat and seafood usually found in paella. I added plenty of spices like smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne, and oregano (flavors you’d normally find in chorizo), to make sure this dish had plenty going on. Artichoke hearts added flavor and texture, and helped make this dish more of a one pot meal than just a rice and bean pilaf. A little fresh lemon on top brightens the whole dish and gives it a slightly summery feel.

The results were stunning, both in flavor and appearance. I can definitely see myself making this Spanish Chickpeas and Rice over and over and trying new add-ins each time (spinach is next on my list!).

Can I Freeze Spanish Chickpeas and Rice?

Yes! This is a very freezer friendly dish. Just portion the recipe out into single serving containers, chill it completely in the refrigerator first, then transfer to the freezer later. This dish will last about 4-5 days in the refrigerator, or about 3 months in the freezer. 

What Type of Skillet Should I Use?

It’s very important to use a thick, heavy cookware for one pot dishes like this. Thin pots and pans don’t transmit heat evenly, which may cause the rice to be undercooked in some areas and overcooked in others. I am using an OXO stainless steel deep covered skillet from this set (affiliate link), but a more affordable option could be something like Covered Fry Pan from Calphalon (affiliate link).

The finished skillet full of Spanish Chickpeas and Rice with lemon wedges and parsley

Looking for something to serve on the side with your Spanish Chickpeas and Rice? Try my Lemon Pepper Zucchini!

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Spanish Chickpeas and Rice

4.81 from 129 votes
This one pot Spanish Chickpeas and rice has big flavor thanks to liberal dose of spices, artichoke hearts, and fresh lemon. 
Spanish Chickpeas and Rice -
Servings 4 (1.5 cups each)
Prep 10 mins
Cook 40 mins
Total 50 mins


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 1/2 Tbsp smoked paprika ($0.15)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin ($0.10)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper ($0.02)
  • Freshly cracked black pepper ($0.05)
  • 1 yellow onion ($0.36)
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain white rice ($0.33)
  • 1 15oz. can diced tomatoes ($0.79)
  • 1 15oz. can quartered artichoke hearts ($2.50)
  • 1 15oz. can chickpeas ($1.89)
  • 1.5 cups vegetable broth* ($0.18)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste) ($0.02)
  • 1/4 bunch fresh parsley ($0.22)
  • 1 fresh lemon ( $0.25)


  • Mince the garlic and add it to a large deep skillet along with the olive oil. Cook over medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes, or just until soft and fragrant. Add the smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper, and some freshly cracked black pepper to the skillet. Stir and sauté the spices in the hot oil for one more minute.
  • Dice the onion and add it to the skillet. Sauté the onion until it is soft and translucent (about 5 min). Add the rice and sauté for 2 minutes more.
  • Drain the chickpeas and artichoke hearts, then add them to the skillet along with the can of diced tomatoes (with juices), vegetable broth, and a half teaspoon of salt. Roughly chop the parsley and add it to the skillet, reserving a small amount to sprinkle over the finished dish. Stir all the ingredients in the skillet until evenly combined.
  • Place a lid on the skillet and turn the heat up to medium-high. Allow the skillet to come to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let simmer for 20 minutes. Make sure it's simmering the whole time and adjust the heat up slightly if necessary to keep it simmering.
  • After simmering for 20 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest for 5 minutes without removing the lid. Finally, remove the lid, fluff with a fork and top with the remaining chopped parsley. Cut the lemon into wedges and squeeze the fresh juice over each bowl.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.



*I use Better Than Bouillon soup base to make my broth.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 486.25kcalCarbohydrates: 83.03gProtein: 16.08gFat: 10.98gSodium: 1348.43mgFiber: 15.28g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Close up side view of a bowl of Spanish Chickpeas and Rice

How to Make Spanish Chickpeas and Rice – Step by Step Photos

Garlic and Oil in skillet

Start by mincing two cloves of garlic. Sauté the garlic in 2 Tbsp of olive oil, in a large deep skillet, over medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes, or just until the garlic is soft and fragrant. (Dice one yellow onion while the garlic is sautéing.)

Add Spanish Spices to the skillet

Add 1/2 Tbsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, and some freshly cracked pepper (10-15 cranks of a pepper mill) to the skillet.

Saute Spices

Sauté the spices in the hot oil for about a minute. This toasts the spices and brings out their maximum flavor.

Sweat Onion with spices

Add the diced onion to the skillet and continue to sauté until the onion is soft and transparent (5 minutes or so).

Toast Rice in skillet

Add one cup of uncooked long grain white rice to the skillet. Stir and cook the rice for about two minutes. It should sound like it is snap, crackling, and popping. This toasts the rice and gives it a bit of extra flavor. 

Add Tomatoes Chickpeas and Artichokes to the skillet

Drain one 15oz can of chickpeas and 1 15oz. can of quartered artichoke hearts. Add both to the skillet along with one 15oz. can of diced tomatoes, with all its juices.

Add Broth and Parsley

Finally, add 1.5 cups of vegetable broth. Roughly chop about 1/4 bunch of parsley. Reserve a small amount of the parsley to sprinkle over the finished dish, and add the rest to the skillet. Stir all the ingredients together until evenly combined.

Simmered Skillet

Place a lid on the skillet and turn the heat up to medium-high. Allow the skillet to come up to a boil, then turn it down to low. Let it simmer over low for 20 minutes. Make sure the skillet is simmering the whole time and adjust the heat up slightly if needed to keep it simmering. After it simmers for 20 minutes, turn the heat off and let it sit undisturbed with the lid in place for five more minutes. Then it should look like the photo above.

Close side view of Spanish Chickpeas and Rice in the skillet

Fluff the rice with a fork and top with the reserved parsley. Cut the lemon into quarters and squeeze the juice over each serving. Your Spanish Chickpeas and Rice is now complete!

A finished bowl of Spanish Chickpeas and Rice

Beans and rice never tasted so good…

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  1. Can I sub Quinoa for the rice? (Rinse before hand, etc, is there any difference?)

    1. I think with some tweaking you could definitely use quinoa in place of the rice in the recipe! (But since we haven’t tested it ourselves, I can’t promise the results will be equally successful!) I’d suggest looking at the packaging/online for a suggested ratio of quinoa to cooking liquid as well as the recommended cooking time. Quinoa cooks a little bit faster than rice and may need slightly less broth to keep the final dish from being soupy. Good luck! ~Marion :)

  2. I love this recipe! I have made it three times now !! Though the last two times I have messed up :( undercooked the rice the first time (I was bringing a batch to a iparty and miss judged the time- I tried to fix it but :(
    And just tonight I thought I had canned chick peas – I didn’t . But I had pre soaked some dried one and shoved them in the freezer. I thought they would cook in time with the rice :(
    But I love this dish . The 4th time I’ll have it down

    1. Hi, Sarah! So glad to hear you love this recipe! We all have those moments, for sure! ~Marion :)

  3. This is incredible! I used a 14 oz jar of oil marinated artichoke hearts and used that liquid to sub some of the broth and turned out amazing! Thanks for another great recipe. Budget Bytes always delivers!

  4. This always used to be my go-to, and I was excited to make it again when we moved back to a state at sea level (Colorado altitudes always messed with the rice cooking times). I made a few changes that made it my best batch yet:

    – Cooked the onions before the garlic & spices
    – Salt and peppered at every step instead of just once
    – Added the parsley and all the lemon at the end
    – Instead of regular canned artichokes, used Costco’s artichokes jarred in oil, vinegar, and spices

    This has always been one of my favorite meals on your site, and my husband is raving about it too!

  5. Really enjoyed this! I loved the addition of artichoke hearts. I wish they weren’t so expensive right now.

  6. My (gluten-free) husband and I (a vegetarian) both agree that this is the best thing I’ve ever cooked. Thank you for this awesome recipe! I love your website and use it every week.

  7. This is one of my favorite recipes! So straightforward and adjustable. I love how flavorful and easy it is to make. Not to mention that it’s vegan & cheap! A true gem. 

  8. Wondering, can I use this with cooked/dehydrated chickpeas or should onrehydrate before adding?  I don’t have canned and don’t want to take the time to cook “fresh” chickpeas 😅 I’m thinking of possibly just adding more broth to it but I have yet to rehydrate my cooked chickpeas so unsure of the time.  I’ll most likely (sadly) omit the artichokes…
    Thank you!!

    1. We haven’t tested the recipe with dried chickpeas. But if you are using them, remember that a 15 oz can of chickpeas is about 3/4 of a cup of dried. Make sure to soak them and cook them before adding them to the recipe. Cooking dried chickpeas takes about an hour and a half on the stove, so they will still be hard if you just add them to the recipe as is. Hope that helps!

  9. Another winner that I have made countless times. I introduced it to my family the last time I made it and they enjoyed it, although my son picked out the best bits- the artichokes- and put to the side. I know covid and all but I ate them! I can barely contain myself once its cooked- I usually cook it for myself for work lunches but have to resisit eating it as soon as its made!

  10. I tried making this dish tonight and ran into the issue of rice sticking to the bottom of the pan. What’s the best way to avoid this again in the future?

    1. Did you let it rest for five minutes after turning the heat off before you lifted the lid and fluffed? That’s usually when the steam inside the pot kind of loosens the rice off the bottom. It may be that you needed an extra five minutes of rest time, or that the heat needed to be just slightly lower as it simmered.