This Spinach Rice and Chickpeas is a flavorful beans and grains dish made quickly and easily in the Instant Pot. Perfect as a main course or as a side dish to a heartier meal. From start to finish, it’s done in under 30 minutes!
This Dump & Done Spinach Rice and Chickpeas recipes comes from Richa Hingle’s latest cookbook, Vegan Richa’s Instant Pot Cookbook. The book features 150 plant-based recipes from Indian cuisine and beyond.
Ingredients you need
Ingredients notes and substitutions
Rice ~ Basmati rice is used for this rice and chickpeas dish. It’s fragrant with a nutty, floral flavor. It complements the other flavors of this dish incredibly well.
Chickpeas ~ Use canned chickpeas, a pantry staple, or already cooked chickpeas, not dried. Dry, uncooked chickpeas won’t cook in time. Drain and rinse canned chickpeas before adding them to the recipe.
Variation: Substitute another cooked bean, such as black eyed peas, mung beans, kidney beasn, or white beans for the chickpeas.
Spinach ~ This recipe calls for frozen spinach. Thaw the spinach and then squeeze as much of the liquid out of it as possible. You can do this by wrapping it in a clean dish cloth and wringing it out over the sink.
Pepper ~ Richa calls for a hot chile pepper, like a serrano. I use a jalapaño, which is pretty mild, because that’s what I had in my fridge. Either will work.
A sprinkle of crushed red chile flakes before serving adds a slight kick of heat, but is optional.
Garlic and ginger ~ Fresh is always best when it comes to aromatics. In a pinch, I’m sure dried ginger and garlic powder can be used…it just won’t be a fresh tasting.
Garam masala ~ Garam masala is a spice blend. Different brands may contain slightly varying combinations of spices, but traditionally they contain cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, peppercorns, coriander, cloves, nutmeg, and mace.
If you don’t have or can’t find garam masala, try using curry powder instead (not curry paste!). Or use mostly cumin with a dash of allspice.
How to make the recipe
Rinse the rice well and soak in warm water for 15 minutes while you gather and prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Put the ginger, garlic, chile pepper, spinach, tomato, garam masala, chickpeas, bay leaves, salt, and water in the bottom of the Instant Pot with a drizzle of oil (1).
Add the soaked rice (2).
Give everything a good stir (3). Lock the lid, set the Pressure Release Valve to Sealing, and pressure cook for 5 minutes at high pressure.
Let the pressure release naturally for 8 minutes, then carefully move the Pressure Release Valve to Venting to release any remaining pressure. Remove the inner pot to stop the rice from cooking further as the heating element will still be hot.
Using a fork, fluff up the rice before serving (4).
Storage and freezing
Fridge: Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Freezer: Allow the rice and chickpeas to cool before transferring to a freezer safe container or plastic bag. It should keep well for up to 6 months. Pro tip: Freeze in 1-2 cup portions for easy reheat and eat meals.
Reheat: Gently reheat in a skillet or pot on the stove, stirring occasionally. Add a few tablespoons of water or broth to prevent sticking. Alternately, you can reheat in a microwave in 30-60 second increments until warm.
Pro tips for success
~ Rinse, soak, and drain the rice before adding to the Instant Pot for best texture.
~ Stir all the ingredients well before closing the lid and bringing the Instant Pot up to pressure.
~ Ensure the Pressure Release Knob is set to Sealing.
~ Once the cooking time has ended let the pressure release naturally for 8 minutes. Do not attempt open the pot during this time and do not move the Pressure Release Knob.
~ After all the pressure has been released, remove the inner pot to stop the cooking process as the heating element will still be hot.
~ Fluff the rice with a fork before transferring to a serving dish.
Yes! Eating chickpeas and rice will offer protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals that your body needs.
Both beans and rice contain a variety of amino acids, but neither one contains all 9 essential amino acids. Beans and rice together make a complete protein, meaning you get all 9 essential amino acids if you eat them both. However, our bodies know how to assemble amino acids to form complete proteins without us having to worry about food combinations when meal planning. Just be sure to eat a wide variety of plant-based whole foods to get all the nutrients you need. Check out my most recent cookbook, The Plant-Based Diet Cookbook For Dummies, for more information.
It is so easy to cook rice in an Instant Pot. This Spinach Rice and Chickpeas dish takes just 5 minutes of pressure with an 8-minute natural release for flavorful, perfectly fluffy rice. Be sure to rise, soak and drain the rice first!
No, do not skip the step of rinsing the rice. Rinsing rice removes the excess starch that makes the grains stick together. The rice will not be separated and fluffy if you skip this step. Note: if you are making risotto or sushi rice or any other dish that benefits from the sticky texture, do not rinse in those instances. Learn more about the varieties of rice and different methods of cooking in my Healthy Rice Recipes article.
Cookbook sneak peek
This cookbook features 150 plant-based recipes all made in the Instant Pot. You’ll find traditional Indian recipes, Indian comfort food, dals and curries, and also pastas, casseroles, soups & stews, vegetables and grains, tacos, burgers and even breakfast and desserts.
There is also a chapter for basics like sauces, seasoning mixes, and stock.
The book starts with an introduction to the Instant Pot, including functions and key, tools and accessories, frequently asked questions, tips and tricks, and even high-altitude cooking time adjustments.
Try the recipe for Spinach Rice and Chickpeas below and don’t forget to order up a copy of Vegan Richa’s Instant Pot Cookbook to enjoy the many other delicious recipes.
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it, please use the rating system in the recipe card and leave a comment below with your feedback.
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For even more easy family recipes, be sure to check out my cookbook, The Meatless Monday Family Cookbook!
Spinach Rice and Chickpeas
- 1 cup (185 g) uncooked white basmati rice
- 1 teaspoon safflower or sunflower oil
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 2 cloves garlic minced (about 1 teaspoon)
- 1 hot green chile such as serrano, finely chopped
- 1 ½ cups (230 g) frozen spinach thawed and squeezed
- ½ cup (90 g) chopped tomato
- ½ -1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 can (15-ounce [425 g]) chickpeas rinsed and drained (or 1 ¼ cups [213 g] cook chickpeas)
- 2 bay leaves
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (240 ml) water
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Red pepper flakes
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Rinse the rice, then soak in warm water to cover for at least 15 minutes while you begin the recipe.
- Put the oil in the Instant Pot and tilt the pot to coat the bottom. Add the ginger, garlic, green chile, spinach, tomato, garam masala, chickpeas, bay leaves, salt, and water. Drain the rice, add it to the pot, and give it a good stir.
- Lock the lid into place, set the Pressure Release Knob to Sealing, select the Pressure Cook/Manual setting at high pressure, and set the cook time to 5 minutes.
- Once the cooking cycle is done, let the pressure release naturally for 8 minutes, then carefully set the Pressure Release Knob from Sealing to Venting to release any remaining pressure. Open the lid and fluff the rice. Remove the inner pot (to keep the rice from continuing to cook) or transfer the rice to a serving bowl.
- Garnish with lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and cilantro.