Traditional flavors combine in this Slow Cooker Barbecue Chickpea recipe, a satisfying and completely plant-based twist on classic barbecue.
I hope I can convince you guys to try this recipe. I'm guessing if you're a vegetarain or if you eat a primarily plant-based diet then you won't need much convincing at all. Because you know this is going to be good.
But if you're an omnivore and maybe a bit skeptical as to whether beans are substantial and tasty enough to make a meal, let me just tell you that they absolutely are.
The idea for this recipe came to me when we were eating lunch with friends at Prasad, one of my favorite Portland eateries. The menu is entirely plant-based, and since Andrew was looking for something hearty and flavorful he was not optimistic that a bowl of veggies was really going to cut it.
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He decided to order the barbecue plate, which included chickpeas bathed in a sweet and spicy barbecue sauce, along with slow cooked collard greens and house-made corn bread. It was so delicious that he had to ban me from stealing bites off his plate, and as soon as we got home I set to work recreating an at-home version.
I chose to go the slow cooker route because chickpeas stand up so well to the low and slow treatment, making this a perfect make ahead weeknight dinner. The sauce couldn't be simpler, and since there's no chopping required you can get this one prepped in under 5 minutes.
Feel free to use these chickpeas anywhere you would use barbecue chicken: piled high in rolls topped with slaw, as a part of a barbecue plate, in bowls, or in wraps. Really, anything goes. Now, let's make some barbecue!
RECIPE & KID-FRIENDLY ADAPTATIONS
1 | Serve the barbecue chickpeas pilled high on whole wheat or gluten free buns, topping with slaw and hot sauce if you like things spicy.
2 | Or, serve a generous portion with cooked greens and cornbread to make substantial and satisfying vegetarian barbecue plate.
3 | 5-Ingredient Everyday Creamy Cabbage Slaw makes an easy and tasty side dish.
THIS RECIPE IS . . .
Naturally Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Naturally Sweetened, Vegetarian, and Vegan
Slow Cooker Barbecue Chickpeas
3 15-oz cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
1 6-oz can tomato paste
2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
½ cup water
1. Combine all the ingredients in a 6-quart slow cooker, stirring to combine.
2. Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 5.
3. Taste and add additional salt or vinegar if you like. If the chickpeas are dry or you prefer a saucier consistency, add more water.
Makes 6 cups.