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.
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).
See This Recipe in Action:
Spanish Chickpeas and Rice
- 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
- 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
- 1/2 Tbsp smoked paprika ($0.15)
- 1 tsp cumin ($0.10)
- 1/2 tsp 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 15 oz. can diced tomatoes ($0.79)
- 1 15 oz. can quartered artichoke hearts ($2.50)
- 1 19 oz. 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.
Spanish Chickpeas and Rice
Step by Step Photos
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 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.
Sauté the spices in the hot oil for about a minute. This toasts the spices and brings out their maximum flavor.
Add the diced onion to the skillet and continue to sauté until the onion is soft and transparent (5 minutes or so).
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.
Drain one 19oz 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.
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.
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.
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!
Beans and rice never tasted so good…