saucy chickpeas romesco: red pepper blender magic

cooking pot with chickpeas in red pepper sauce with chopped parsley garnish

A bit sultry, slightly naughty and surprisingly easy, chickpeas in roasted red pepper romesco sauce transports your dinner experience to a taste of Spain.


  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into quarters
  • 2 shallots (or 1 small onion) cut in halves
  • ¼ cup raw almonds (you can use roasted, but make sure they are salt-free)
  • 2 - 15 oz. (400 gm) cans tomatoes packed in juice (I prefer cherry tomatoes, but use what you have available)
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. red chili flakes (or harissa chili blend)
  • 1 ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. date paste
  • 3  - 15 oz. (400 gm.) cans chickpeas (4 ½ cups cooked), rinsed and drained


  1. Preheat the oven to 4250F (2220C).
  2. Grind the almonds into a fine powder. Set aside.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat.
  4. Cut the red peppers into quarters, clean out the seeds and core and place them skin-side up on the baking tray.
  5. Next, slice the shallots in half and peel the skins. Place them cut side up on the baking tray along with the peppers and place them in the oven.
  6. Roast the peppers and shallots for 20 minutes or until they start to char.
  7. Meanwhile, grind the ¼ cup of almonds in a spice grinder or, if you have a high-speed blender, use that.
  8. While you wait on the peppers, you can add the almonds, tomatoes, garlic powder, chili flakes, smoked paprika, red wine vinegar and date paste to a blender or food processor.
  9. When the peppers are done, allow them to cool a few minutes so you can handle them. You can peel the outer skins if desired. Cut the peppers and shallots into smaller pieces to make blending easier. Add them to the blender and blend all the sauce ingredients until they are smooth.
  10. Add the romesco sauce to a medium pan and heat for a few minutes. Be careful to watch the heat and add a lid so the sauce doesn’t splatter.
  11. Mix in the chickpeas and heat through.
  12. Serve with additional chili flakes over rice or quinoa if desired. And add chopped parsley as a garnish if desired.


  • Nutritional information does not include rice.
  • If you omit the almonds the sauce will be a bit thinner; however, you could substitute ¼ cup of cooked chickpeas. The taste will not be exactly the same, but this is a reasonable substitute if you do not want to include nuts.
  • If you reheat in the microwave, be sure to cover the dish and do it in short time increments so the chickpeas don’t explode. No cleaning messy microwaves.
  • If you really want to extend this dish, you can serve it with a short pasta such as macaroni or penne. This will turn it into a filling dish.

Keywords: chickpes in red pepper sauce

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