Braised Chickpeas with Spinach

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 480 minutes
Servings: 6

Though most people think of braised meats and long-simmered stews when they consider using their slow cooker, it’s also a great tool for preparing chickpeas. Here the chickpeas are served with a spinach salad to make simple vegetarian meal or a hearty side dish.


  • 2 1/2 cups (1 lb./500 g) dried chickpeas, picked over and rinsed
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 cups (24 fl. oz./750 ml) chicken or vegetable broth
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 can (15 oz./470 g) diced tomatoes, drained

For the spinach salad:

  • 3/4 cup (4 1/2 oz./140 g) minced red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 6 Tbs. (3 fl. oz./90 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups (2 oz./60 g) baby spinach


In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas with water to cover by 2 inches (5 cm) and let soak overnight. Drain well.

In a large, heavy fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion, carrot, celery and bay leaves and sauté until softened but not browned, about 6 minutes. Pour in the broth and stir to dislodge any browned bits on the pan bottom. Transfer the contents of the pan to the slow cooker and stir in the chickpeas. Cover and cook on the low setting for 6 hours. Stir in 1 tsp. salt, several grinds of pepper and the tomatoes, re-cover and cook for 2 hours more. The chickpeas should be tender but not mushy.

When the chickpeas are tender, make the salad: In a bowl, whisk together the red onion, garlic, vinegar, 1⁄4 tsp. salt and several grinds of pepper. Whisk in the olive oil. Add the spinach to the bowl and toss to coat evenly.

To serve, remove and discard the bay leaves from the chickpeas. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chickpeas and vegetables to a serving bowl and moisten the chickpeas with some of the braising liquid. Top the chickpeas with the spinach salad and serve immediately. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma The New Slow Cooker: Fresh Recipes for the Modern Cook, by Brigit Binns (Weldon Owen, 2010)

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