Vegan entree of chickpeas sauteed in garlic, spices, and tomato sauce that makes for a quick, healthy dinner.

legumes, vegetarian entree, vegan, moroccan chickpea in  pita pockets recipe

Some evenings I’m pulling dinner together on the run because of any number of reasons. It could be a last-minute phone call that delayed me, an appointment that ran late, traffic, or just life.

In times like this, I’m so grateful to have little containers of cooked legumes stacked in the refrigerator. After all, just because I’m running late, doesn’t mean I don’t want something healthy and satisfying for dinner. And frankly, if I don’t have a stash, dinner on those nights might be a whole lot less doctor-approved.

So I’ve learned to keep them on hand in both the refrigerator and freezer. Ditto for cooked grains. Okaaay, in the interest of full disclosure, my back up to my back up is canned beans. But once you start cooking your own beans from a dried form, I guarantee you’ll begin to tell a difference in the flavor – especially with chickpeas – and texture. And if you research the additional salt and sugar frequently added to canned beans, and about the BPA that may or may not be leaching out of the can liner into the food, you’ll switch to dried beans in a heartbeat and never look back.

This dish is one of my favorite “go-to” meals on nights I slam into the kitchen about 15 minutes before I want to actually eat dinner. Honestly, it doesn’t take much longer than that to make it. I throw a salad together, warm up a pita pocket, and I’ve got a dinner that can instantly ground me back in my home, far away from the frenzy of my day.


Moroccan Chickpea Pockets

     by Susan Pridmore

     Serves 2 entrées or 4 side dishes

       Prep Time: 5 minutes

       Cook Time: 15 minutes (if the beans are already cooked)


  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 large orange, juiced
  • 1 tablespoons dried currants
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes (this time of year I use canned Italian tomatoes)
  • handful cilantro (around 1/3 cup)
  • 4 whole wheat pita pockets


I keep a stash of freshly cooked chickpeas in the refrigerator and freezer as I prefer the flavor of freshly cooked to the ones that are canned. To cook garbanzo beans (chickpeas), I rinse the beans, and soak them overnight in enough water to cover them by two inches. The following morning, I drain them, rinse them again, re-cover them with fresh water, and simmer for about one hour to an hour and a half. They can be stored in the refrigerator for four to five days or frozen for a few months.

Combine the salt, paprika, coriander, cayenne, ginger, and cinnamon in a bowl for the spice mix. Set aside.

Warm up the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the chickpeas, minced garlic, and 2 teaspoons of the spice mix. Sauté for 5 minutes until the garlic is very fragrant, but not browning.

Add the orange juice and currants, and simmer for a couple of minutes.

Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 – 7 minutes until the sauce thickens. Stir in the cilantro.

Warm the pita bread in the microwave for 1 minute. Spoon the chickpeas into the pockets of the pita bread and serve with a side salad for a great, healthy meal.

Powered by Recipage
Pin It

Tags: , , , ,

36 Responses to “Moroccan Chickpea Pockets” Subscribe

  1. Norma Chang March 11, 2013 at 5:45 am #

    Totally agree, the flavor and texture of cooked dried beans are so much better than the canned ones, not to mention cheaper, BPA worries me a lot.

  2. apuginthekitchen March 11, 2013 at 5:47 am #

    I love this, I put just about anything into a pita pocket and these spicy chick peas make a wonderful sandwich. Delicious!
    apuginthekitchen recently posted..Blood Orange Simple SyrupMy Profile

  3. erika March 11, 2013 at 7:02 am #

    Susan, I’ve been looking for a quick and easy way to make Moroccan food (or at least a Moroccan-spiced dish) ever since reading about bisteeya. This is totally perfect! And thanks for the reminder about the benefits of cooking your own beans…I’ve been meaning to try it again, but had a bad experience cooking my own black beans. I bought the dried beans from Target (probably not the best choice) and went through the soaking, draining, cooking process, and in the end, had beans that did NOT taste the best–and this was after listening to all the hype about how they taste so much better! Do you have a suggestion for where to buy dried beans that will taste good??
    erika recently posted..Raspberry Walnut Coffee Cake (vegan, gluten-free)My Profile

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian March 11, 2013 at 10:22 am #

      Thanks so much, Erika! I get my dried beans at either Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and sometimes at Safeway. I just use water for my simmering liquid, but you can also use vegetable or, if you’re not making it vegetarian, chicken broth. Other tricks are putting a halved onion in with the beans, or a smoky dried chipotle pepper for a little pizzaz. Definitely give this another go, Erika. I think you’ll be pleased!
      The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..Moroccan Chickpea PocketsMy Profile

  4. Lane @ Supper for a Steal March 11, 2013 at 8:27 am #

    Ah I can’t wait to try this recipe! Sounds delish. I’ve been slacking on cooking beans lately. I have them all in the pantry they just haven’t been cooked yet and since I use the crockpot I really have no excuse.
    Lane @ Supper for a Steal recently posted..Menu Plan and Shopping List for #MeatlessMarch Week 2My Profile

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian March 11, 2013 at 10:24 am #

      It’s easy to slack, Lane, when life is as busy as it always is. I cook my beans and grains up on the weekends while I’m cooking something else, so that they’ll ready for me through the week. This would be great for your #MeatlessMarch!
      The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..Moroccan Chickpea PocketsMy Profile

  5. Julia March 11, 2013 at 9:09 am #

    What a great, tasty lunch idea! Love the Moroccan spices in this chickpea pocket!

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian March 11, 2013 at 10:25 am #

      Thanks Julia! Someday I really want to travel to Morocco. I love their food so much, I’d love to travel there and eat the real deal :-).
      The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..Moroccan Chickpea PocketsMy Profile

  6. lizthechef March 11, 2013 at 9:13 am #

    OK, shame on me – I have never cooked my chick peas – a new resolution here.
    lizthechef recently posted..Roasted Pepper FrittataMy Profile

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian March 11, 2013 at 10:26 am #

      You gotta do it Liz. And just keep them in the freezer until you want your next batch. They defrost quicker than you can open a can. Okay, maybe not quite that quickly, but it’s pretty easy nonetheless :-)
      The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..Moroccan Chickpea PocketsMy Profile

  7. Rita March 11, 2013 at 11:17 am #

    Susan, I love recipes that have lots of flavor simply by measuring spices! Have you ever tried Sukhi’s spice mixes and sauces? Sukhi Singh lives in the Bay Area,as does her Indian family who make her products – all top quality, natural ingredients. I’ve been to their place in Hayward.
    Rita recently posted..Comment on Easiest Ever No-Knead Artisan Bread by Rosie’s KitchenMy Profile

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian March 11, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

      Rodger has highly recommended her tomato chutney to me and I’ve been looking for it. I see some of her products at WF, so it looks like I need to investigate the others I’m finding. I’m so glad you mentioned it! And I’ve NOT been to their place in Hayward. I feel a field trip coming up….
      The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..Moroccan Chickpea PocketsMy Profile

  8. Erica {Coffee & Quinoa} March 11, 2013 at 11:18 am #

    These look awesome, and if I’m not mistaken I have all the ingredients already. I can see these becoming a go-to meal in my house! Thanks for the recipe.
    Erica {Coffee & Quinoa} recently posted..St. Patrick’s Day Guinness MilkshakesMy Profile

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian March 11, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

      I hope you give it a try! I really think you’ll like it. And I’d love to hear how it goes for you if you make it. Thanks for stopping by, Erica!
      The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..Moroccan Chickpea PocketsMy Profile

  9. TasteFood March 12, 2013 at 8:10 am #

    Oh, you have all of my favorite flavors packed in these little pockets. Yum.
    TasteFood recently posted..Marinated Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and PistachiosMy Profile

  10. mjskit March 14, 2013 at 6:49 pm #

    I’ve been cooking dried beans for years, but I have never cooked dried garbanzo beans. For some reason, I usually just grab a can. O.K. – I need to change that. These chickpea pockets look like they make a tasty and filling meal. Perfect for those night when you don’t want to mess up the kitchen. :) This is a keeper!
    mjskit recently posted..Avocado, Orange and Cucumber SaladMy Profile

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian March 21, 2013 at 10:14 pm #

      Thanks MJ! I used to have canned almost everything at one time. It was just easier. But now that I’ve adjusted, and stashed cooked ones away, it dried beans all the way. Since you’re already doing it will all the other beans in your oh-so-wonderful dishes, this is an easy one for you :-)
      The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..Vegetable / Chicken and Rice Peasant Soup My Profile

  11. Hannah March 14, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

    Mmm, love these spicy chickpeas, Susan! And I do love using dried beans – the taste and texture is so much better. I needed kidney beans the other day and picked up a can. Fortunately I looked at the ingredients before buying it and saw there was sugar added to what I thought were plain beans. Argh! So now I’m going to start freezing batches of beans to keep on hand. Thanks for a terrific recipe!!
    Hannah recently posted..Waldorf Kale SaladMy Profile

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian March 21, 2013 at 10:12 pm #

      Interesting, Hannah. I had no idea there was sugar in the canned ones. Jeez, there’s sugar in everything it seems right now. One more reason to cook dried! Thanks for stopping by. Hope you and your family are weathering the winter well!
      The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..Vegetable / Chicken and Rice Peasant Soup My Profile

  12. Peggy March 18, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    Despite the longer wait time, I’m all about using dried beans as opposed to canned beans. You can definitely control the texture of the ending result better =) These look great!

  13. Dixie March 21, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

    I made this this morning and I have to say it was fantastic! Great flavor, fast and easy and I had all the ingredients on hand. This will be in my rotation of dishes. The only things I did differently was use canned chickpeas (drained and rinsed) and because I always love flavor I used just a touch more of the spices and an extra clove of garlic.

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian March 21, 2013 at 10:09 pm #

      Oh fabulous! I’m so happy you tried it and liked it so much. It’s really one of my favorite vegetarian dishes right now. Even my husband, the resident carnivore liked it and went back for seconds. And that doesn’t always happen around here :-) Thanks so much for letting me know!!
      The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..Vegetable / Chicken and Rice Peasant Soup My Profile

  14. Violetta March 29, 2013 at 10:22 pm #

    This looks so yummy, definitely trying! Thanks!

  15. mustardseed April 5, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

    I just stumbled upon your blog and love the wonderful collection of vegetarian recipes! This chicpea stuffed pita is something I would try soon!

  16. ProGait Custom Orthotics June 25, 2013 at 4:23 am #

    Yum! They look sensational! I’m not a vegetarian but have started to make more and more meat free dishes. looking forward to trying this one!

  17. Laura October 6, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    This looks like such a fabulous sandwich filler. Hubby’s lunches have been getting a bit boring lately and I think he would love this to spice it up.

  18. Dona March 24, 2014 at 8:32 am #

    Well hello! Looks like I’m late to this party! I just Googled “How to Cook Dried Chickpeas” and found your blog. Got the info I needed plus some wonderful recipes I can’t wait to try! Needless to say, I’m now an email follower! Looking forward to seeing you in my inbox! Dona

  19. Kristen November 10, 2014 at 11:46 am #

    I was just wondering if these were spicy because of the pepper. I have a 2 year old and she likes chickpeas, but I don’t want to burn her mouth. Thanks for the recipe.

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian November 10, 2014 at 3:44 pm #

      There’s a little kick to them, Kristen. Thanks for asking. For your little daughter, I would eliminate the cayenne and garlic. It should taste just fine for her then, and you wouldn’t need to adjust any of the recipe measurements to accommodate that change.
      The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..Vegan Ginger-Carrot Soup | #NinjaBlender ReviewMy Profile

      • Rita November 10, 2014 at 4:18 pm #

        I’m on this one, Susan! Right up my alley. Fast, nutritious, and I’m sure delicious. I love it when I’ve all the ingredients on hand. Well… perhaps not the fresh cilantro.

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge