Make Ahead

Tomato Braised Chickpeas with Preserved Lemon + Fresh Herbs

January 24, 2022
0 Ratings
Photo by annieluceycooks
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 50 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Anything in red sauce tastes like comfort food, so naturally, I always have some form of tomatoes in my kitchen. Canned tomatoes are one of my must-have pantry staples because they can make the base of so many quick, crazy flavorful meals. Exhibit A? Tomato Braised Chickpeas with Preserved Lemon and Fresh Herbs. Here, canned chickpeas braise in crushed tomatoes with shallots, garlic, tomato paste, and preserved lemon for an extra punch of flavor. Once cooked, top this saucy dish with lots of fresh marjoram or oregano, and then spoon it over your favorite crusty bread. This recipe is easy enough for a weeknight and it’s endlessly adaptable. Check out my suggested riffs below for easy swaps to make this recipe your own:


The Tomatoes: Canned crushed tomatoes provide sauciness with just enough texture. Whole peeled tomatoes in a can work as well, just break the tomatoes up with your hands or a wooden spoon before cooking down.

The Preserved Lemon: Preserved lemon adds a crazy punch of flavor but it’s not always readily available at the store. Zest lemon on a Microplane grater and fold it into the crushed tomatoes or add an entire lemon peel when you add the tomatoes and remove it from the pan before serving.

The Chickpeas: Sub in any cooked white bean, such as butter beans or cannellini, in place of chickpeas.

The Herbs: Fresh marjoram is totally underrated and it’s delicious with tomatoes. If you can’t find it I recommend fresh oregano, basil, chives, or parsley.

The Additions: Have spinach or another leafy green on hand? Fold it in during the last few minutes of cooking — the heat of the braise will quickly wilt the greens down. Greens will release their moisture into the braise so you’ll want to taste and season with more kosher salt as needed.

The Bread: This recipe is rounded out by serving it with crusty bread. I love a country loaf from our local bakery but toasted Dave’s Killer Bread is awesome here, and if you don’t have any bread on hand, try serving each bowl with a fried, poached, or soft boiled egg to add protein and richness. I’ve also added leftover roasted vegetables here and it works really nicely. —annieluceycooks

What You'll Need
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or butter
  • 2 large shallots or 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • kosher salt for seasoning
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2.5 tablespoons preserved lemon, diced (about 1/2 of 1 perserved lemon)
  • 2 15oz cans chickpeas or creamy white beans, drained
  • fresh marjoram or oregano for serving
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • crusty bread for serving, 2 slices per person
  1. Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed dutch oven or large pot over medium high heat. Add shallot, season with kosher salt and cook until soft, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and the tomato paste and give everything a big stir to combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until the whole mixture starts to caramelize and turn a deep, bricky red color. Season generously with salt.
  3. Add crushed tomatoes and preserved lemon, stir everything around to deglaze the pan, season with kosher salt, and simmer on medium low heat for about 8 minutes until the sauce has slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add chickpeas, stir, and simmer on low heat with the lid on the pot, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Keeping the lid on is crucial in this step, as it traps the heat, which helps the chickpeas soften and absorb the flavors.
  5. When done, serve braised chickpeas into bowls, top with cracked black pepper, crushed red chili flakes, generous handfuls of fresh chopped marjoam. Spoon onto crusty, buttery bread.

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