Harissa Chickpea and Broccoli Bowls with Creamy Garlic Sauce are the ultimate make-ahead lunch or easy weeknight dinner. Vegan, gluten free, and rich in fiber and plant protein, these chickpea bowls are equal parts hearty and healthy.
Why You’ll Love these Chickpea and Broccoli Bowls
These stellar bowls are a bright blend of fiber and protein-rich chickpeas, along with crisp-tender broccoli and parsley. The ingredients are tied together with a creamy, lemony cashew-garlic sauce that you’ll immediately crave on everything.
These chickpea bowls can be thrown together on a Sunday, and enjoyed on repeat for weekday lunches. And thanks to the satiating ingredients, it will keep you full and fueled for hours. (Two other of my favorite recipes that fit the bill: Roasted Veggie Glow Bowls and Quinoa Power Bowls.)
And while the chickpea + broccoli combo may steal the show, the real MVP of this recipe is the garlic sauce. It’s dairy-free/vegan, and made with cashew butter for unctuous creaminess. (Bonus: no blender or food processor needed!)
Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions
- Chickpeas: Rich in fiber and plant protein, chickpeas make these bowls ultra filling and hearty. You need 1 (15-oz.) can of chickpeas, though you can really use any white bean you like.
- Harissa: Harissa is a North African spice paste that looks like a mix between tomato paste and tomato sauce. It has a slightly smoky spiciness with bright acidity and earthy undertones, and is a great shortcut ingredient to achieving big flavor.
- Tomatoes: You need 1 cup of canned crushed tomatoes, which can be fire-roasted or classic.
- Broccoli: A great source of vitamins A, C, and folate, broccoli adds crisp-tender texture and extra fiber to these bowls. Alternatively, you can use mushrooms, zucchini, or bok choy.
- Cashew Butter: Smooth, creamy, and rich in nutrients, cashew butter forms the base of the sauce. Alternatively, you can use tahini or almond butter.
- Garlic: You need 1 to 2 cloves of fresh garlic for the sauce. It’s best to grate them on a microplane so they really infuse the sauce with garlicky goodness.
- Lemon: Fresh lemon brightens up both the sauce and broccoli in this recipe.
- Parsley: Chopped fresh parsley adds bright top notes and freshness to these chickpea and broccoli bowls. Alternatively, you can use fresh basil or mint leaves.
Step 1: Prepare Creamy Garlic Sauce
In a medium bowl, combine cashew butter, lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper; stir to combine. Whisk in 2 to 3 Tbsp. water until the sauce is smooth and thin enough to drizzle.
Step 2: Prepare Harissa Chickpeas
Heat 1 Tbsp. of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Once hot, add harissa paste and chickpeas; sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and continue cooking for about 5 more minutes, until the mixture reduces and thickens. Season with salt and fresh parsley, and remove from heat.
Step 3: Sauté Broccoli
In a separate skillet, heat remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium-high. Once oil is shimmering, add broccoli and cook, uncovered, 1 minute. Cover and continue cooking, lifting lid to stir every 1 to 2 minutes to prevent burning, until crisp-tender and lightly charred, about 8 minutes total. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
Step 4: Assemble Chickpea and Broccoli Bowls
Divide your grain of choice into 4 bowls. Add a scoop of harissa chickpeas and sautéed broccoli overtop, and drizzle with creamy garlic sauce. Garnish with extra chopped fresh parsley.
These Chickpea and Broccoli Bowls are super versatile. For example, you can swap the broccoli for mushrooms, zucchini, or bok choy. You can also use any grain/seed you like for the base. Here are a few of my favorite variations:
- Chickpea Rice Bowls: Swap the quinoa for brown rice or a wild rice blend.
- Chickpea Veggie Bowls: Omit the grains and serve the chickpeas and broccoli over cauliflower rice for a low carb alternative.
- Mediterranean Chickpea Bowl: Serve the chickpeas and broccoli over cooked farro with sautéed spinach, and finish with feta cheese.
Make-Ahead and Storage Tips
- Make-Ahead: Prepare the creamy garlic sauce up to 5 days in advance. Store in an airtight jar or Tupperware container. You can also cut the broccoli into florets up to 2 days ahead.
- Store: Store chickpeas, broccoli, and quinoa (or grain of choice) separately from the creamy garlic sauce. Chickpeas and veggies will last up to 4 days in refrigerator.
- Reheat: Reheat chickpea and broccoli mixture in a dry non-stick skillet over medium heat until warm. Alternatively, you can nook in the microwave in 30 second increments until heated through. (Do not microwave/reheat sauce.)
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe:
- Microplane: For grating the garlic into the sauce.
- Citrus Juicer: For squeezing every last bit out of the lemons!
- Nonstick pan: Durable nonstick + dishwasher safe.
More Grain Bowl Recipes to Try:
If you give these chickpea and broccoli bowls a try, snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your beautiful creations. I also really appreciate readers taking the time to leave a rating and review! Lastly, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates.
Chickpea and Broccoli Bowls with Creamy Garlic Sauce
- Large skillet(s)
- Mixing bowls
Creamy Garlic Sauce
- 3 Tbsp. cashew butter
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp. light olive oil (sub avocado or grapeseed oil)
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic, grated on a microplane
- 1/4 tsp. each salt and black pepper (or more to taste)
- 2 to 3 Tbsp. filtered water
Chickpea and Broccoli Bowls
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/4 cup mild harissa (such as Mina brand)
- 1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes (fire-roasted or regular)
- 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
- 5 cups small broccoli florets
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 tsp. salt, divided
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper, divided
- Cooked quinoa, brown rice, or farro for serving
- Prepare Sauce:In a medium bowl, combine cashew butter, lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper; stir to combine. Whisk in 2 to 3 Tbsp. water until the sauce is smooth and creamy.
- Prepare Bowls:Heat 1 Tbsp. of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Once hot, add harissa paste and chickpeas; sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes and continue cooking for about 5 more minutes, until the mixture reduces and thickens. Stir in fresh parsley, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper; remove from heat.
- In a separate skillet (or the same skillet wiped clean), heat remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium-high. Once oil is shimmering, add broccoli and cook, uncovered, 1 minute. Cover and continue cooking, lifting lid to stir every 1 to 2 minutes to prevent burning, until crisp-tender and lightly charred, about 8 minutes total. Season with remaining 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and lemon juice.
- Divide your grain of choice into 4 bowls. Add a scoop of harissa chickpeas and sautéed broccoli overtop, and drizzle with creamy garlic sauce. Garnish with extra chopped fresh parsley.