A deliciously healthy, plant-based, gluten-free meal of chickpeas and quinoa is as easy as a roasted red pepper and the magic of warming Za’atar spice blend.
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. Za’atar spice blend (see ingredients below)
- 3 cups cooked chickpeas (2 -15 oz. cans) rinsed and drained
- 1 red bell pepper, roasted and diced
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 4 cups of water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 ½ cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- Fresh chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
Za’atar spice blend
- 1 tsp. sesame seeds, toasted
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. sumac
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- ½ tsp. chili flakes
- To roast the pepper, preheat the oven to 4250F (2200C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Rinse and cut the pepper into quarters, cleaning out the stem and seeds from the pepper. Place it on the baking sheet, skin-side up, and roast it in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the skin starts to brown and char.
- Meanwhile, grab a heavy bottom pot and heat it to medium. Add 1 tsp. sesame seeds and stirring them constantly, toast them for 1-2 minutes. Immediately remove them from the heat and add them to a small bowl. Set the pot aside because we’ll use it for the rest of the recipe.
- In the small bowl with the sesame seeds, mix in the rest of the Za’atar ingredients – 1 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. sumac, 1 tsp. ground coriander, 1 tsp. dried thyme, and ½ tsp. chili flakes.
- Once the pepper has roasted, remove it from the oven, and when it is cool enough to handle, dice it.
- Be sure at this point you have all the rest of the ingredients ready and heat your pot over medium.
- Add the garlic and 1 Tbsp. of the Za’atar. Stir constantly for 30 seconds, being careful that the garlic doesn’t scorch.
- Next, add the chickpeas and sauté them for 3 minutes to allow them to brown a bit.
- Add the diced pepper, 2 Tbsp. tomato paste, and 1 tbsp. smoked paprika. Mix everything well.
- Add 4 cups of water, 2 bay leaves, and then the rinsed quinoa. Bring the pot to a simmer. Cover and let the quinoa cook for 15 minutes until it is tender and most of the water is absorbed.
- Taste before you serve if you want to add extra chili flakes or salt.
- Garnish with chopped parsley if desired.
- The total time for this recipe assumes you are roasting your own red pepper and are prepping everything else while it roasts.
- If you are making Za’atar spice blend and can’t find sumac, substitute 1 tsp. of lemon zest in the mix.
- Store any leftover homemade Za’atar in a labeled, tightly sealed jar or sealed bag.
- To reheat, on the stovetop, add ½ cup of water so the quinoa doesn’t stick to the bottom. It also heats well in the microwave.
- Category: Main Courses
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keywords: Middle Eastern chickpeas and quinoa with Za'atar spice blend