Weeknight Cooking

Chickpea Vegetable Bowl with Peanut Dressing

June 21, 2021
9 Ratings
Photo by Alpha Smoot
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This four-serving meal will cost you between $7 and $10 to make.

Note: If you are cooking the chickpeas from dried, consider doubling or even tripling the batch you are making and store the cooked chickpeas for later use in the fridge or freezer. They store very well, and cooking in big batches is much more efficient since it takes no more time. —Leanne Brown

What You'll Need
  • For the dressing:
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (or any nut or seed butter)
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha or sambal oelek
  • 2 limes, juiced (about 1/4 cup of juice)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce (optional)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Water, as needed
  • For the salad:
  • 2 cups dried chickpeas (or two cans, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 small red cabbage, shredded
  • 2 large carrots, shredded or grated
  • 1/3 bunch scallions, chopped
  • cilantro, to taste (optional)
  • peanuts, chopped (optional)
  1. Cook the chickpeas (skip this step if using canned chickpeas): Rinse the dried chickpeas and let them sit submerged in cold water for a few minutes. Pick out any chickpeas or random bits that rise to the top and discard. Drain the rinsed chickpeas and place into a pot along with the salt and cover with at least 4 inches of water above the line of chickpeas. Bring to a boil on high heat, then turn the heat to low and maintain a gentle simmer. Check on the beans every half hour or so, making sure to keep them covered with water if it boils away. Cook for 1 1/2 to 3 hours, until the chickpeas are soft and cooked through. To lessen the simmering time, you can soak the chickpeas in water overnight, which can cut down on cooking time by an hour or more. Once chickpeas are cooked, store them in their cooking liquid, but drain them before adding to salad.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the peanut butter, sriracha or sambal oelek, lime juice, fish sauce (if using), and a sprinkling of salt. If you have it around and think the dressing could use a more salty hit, add a teaspoon or so of soy sauce and taste. At this point, the dressing will still be fairly thick and sticky, so drizzle a bit of water in and whisk. Keep adding water and whisking until you have a pourable dressing. Taste and add more salt, lime juice, or peanut butter to your liking.
  3. In the bowl with the dressing, add the chickpeas, shredded cabbage, and carrots and toss it all together with tongs until everything is coated.
  4. Pile it into bowls and top with scallions, chopped cilantro, and peanuts if desired.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Anna
  • Cindy Choi
    Cindy Choi
  • Cheryl
  • VFell
  • Nicole Hindes
    Nicole Hindes

30 Reviews

Nancy M. February 20, 2023
This is delicious. I used green cabbage and skipped the fish sauce. So good. Any thoughts on using tahini instead of peanut butter? Too oily?
rcdwyer17 February 13, 2023
super easy and delicious, surprisingly filling. I halved the fish sauce and served with grilled (or roasted) shrimp, otherwise wouldn't change a thing.
NS February 6, 2023
This is a solid base recipe with a couple of caveats:
1) The amount of dressing is a little scant for the veggies and beans. Next time I will make a little extra. As some other reviewers mentioned, I balanced the dressing with a bit of maple syrup.
2) I wouldn't add much water to the dressing, because remember the raw veggies will weep a little after you dress them. I'm glad I held off on thinning the dressing.
3) I might also add a little toasted sesame oil next time to lean into the Asian dressing more.
4) We had this with some leftover mini herb rolls from Maurizio Leo's book, The Perfect Loaf.
NS February 6, 2023
Oh and this will serve way more than 4. Two cups dried chickpeas yield 5-6 cups of cooked, which is the equivalent of 4 standard 14.5 oz cans. I missed catching this earlier. This may be why I needed more dressing. (I didn't use all my cooked chickpeas, probably only about 4 cups.)
Anna November 12, 2019
My go-to lunch time salad when I need to pack something fast! I always have the ingredients, the fish sauce-lime tang is fantastic, and the chickpeas make it filling. Keeper!
Nikki F. March 31, 2019
This was delicious! I upped the scallion and carrot ratio, only ended up using 1 can of garbanzos, and added two small mangoes. I wish I would have made a bit more dressing as this yielded a lot of salad. I served it with grilled chicken and rice noodles on the side. Thanks for a great recipe!
Alli October 2, 2018
This is constantly in my take to work lunch rotation. Super easy and delicious. In defiance of the recipe name, I've actually started omitting the chickpeas (I make a lot of chickpea based salad bowls and needed to mix it up) and started adding chopped cucumbers, which has worked out well. Maybe in a few weeks I'll start adding the chickpeas again, but this recipe is a keeper! :)
PJ May 9, 2018
This is a great concept recipe. I found the peanut dressing needed a bit of palm sugar for balance. I added red pepper, cucumber, and shredded leftover deli chicken. I also added mint to the herb garnish. This is a keeper.
Jill F. April 21, 2018
The peanut sauce was nice, but did not love this combination. I think this may be better with green cabbage. Found it really off-putting that the garbanzos turned purple.
Cindy C. June 26, 2017
This was good! I had to make something for a potluck and had zero time so I also cheated and used 2 bags of Trader Joe's slaw mix and 2 cans garbanzo beans, plus some red & yellow peppers. Love the siracha in the dressing.
Cheryl May 29, 2017
Really hit the spot! I'm glad this made a relatively big batch.
VFell April 21, 2017
This may too drastically change the recipe, but I'm wondering if anyone has ideas for a sub for the cabbage?
Amber C. January 29, 2020
I sub kale
Julia O. April 13, 2017
Just tried it! I used about half a head of cabbage and only one lime and it turned out great! Definitly making this again!
Nicole H. March 8, 2017
This was my lunch today - and it was so delicious! I'll be making this again and again and again! Looking forward to future Leanne Brown on Food52 :)
candice B. March 5, 2017
This is such a great salad! Tasty, cheap and long lasting. It's perfect for being a broke college student :)
Rose W. March 2, 2017
This is delicious and keeps well. I used half a cabbage and one can of chickpeas and it was perfect for two adults and a toddler with leftovers. I added mint and snap peas because I had them, and used a bit of maple syrup to sweeten the dressing. Definitely will be on repeat. Great for work lunches!
robin L. February 21, 2017
Ps. Your photo is beautiful!
Leanne B. February 21, 2017
Thank you Robin, but I can't take credit. The photos are by the team at Food 52, this one was by Alpha Smoot!
robin L. February 21, 2017
This looks great, and simple. Glad to see in the comments that it holds up great over a few days, too. ...Do chickpeas hold up to being cooked the whole time w/salt? I've always heard that the salt shouldn't be added to a pot of beans until the beans are more than halfway done, else their skins will get tough...
EmilyC February 16, 2017
Made this last night and enjoyed it! Such a nice way to use up bits and bobs from the fridge, too. I didn't have red cabbage, so I added slivered red bell pepper, cucumbers, and lots of mint. This would be a nice addition to a summer BBQ or picnic since it holds up well.
Keara D. February 14, 2017
Made this for lunches this week and it's awesome. Holds up really well, I just packed the peanuts separately and it was great.
I used half a head of a medium sized cabbage and I wouldn't recommend adding more unless you like a lot of cabbage. Also used one 19 oz can of chickpeas which seemed like the perfect amount. Added a bit of sesame oil too because I love the taste, but the dressing was great without it. Will be making this again, love flavourful, cheap meals like this!
Leanne B. February 14, 2017
Hooray! So glad you're enjoying it, and yes, cabbages really are bountiful once you start shredding ;)
Julie February 14, 2017
great flavors and crunch! maybe my head of cabbage was a bit too big, but I could have used a little more dressing (since it's so yummy!). could definitely see adding noodles to it and doubling the dressing.
Leanne B. February 14, 2017
Do it! And yes the amount of cabbage and what constitutes "small" is all going to be open to interpretation. Glad you are following your instincts and definitely make more dressing next time :)
Becca (. August 10, 2017
1. I LOVED this recipe- I made it three times in the month I found it. My neighbors started mocking me for bringing the same thing to potluck, but I couldn't help it. Also, it's actually better the next day... I leftover-eating girl's dream!

2. I don't think they make cabbages small enough where I live... it was a half cabbage every time :D