This easy Vegan Chickpea Scramble is a quick, flavorful, and delicious option when you’re craving a savory breakfast. It boasts plenty of plant-based protein, fiber and nutrients to get your day started. You need just one skillet, a handful of ingredients, and 15 minutes. Gluten-free and soy-free.
I love pairing this easy chickpea recipe with crunchy whole grain toast, which makes it the perfect breakfast or brunch dish. But I often eat it for a quick lunch, too.
You could even pair it with rice or quinoa and roasted veggies to turn it into a hearty dinner.
Ingredients you need
Ingredient notes and substitutions
Chickpeas ~ Canned chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, make this an easy 15 minute breakfast. Be sure to drain and rinse the chickpeas before adding to the skillet.
Chickpeas cooked from dried beans may also be used. You’ll need about 3 cups.
Spices ~ Turmeric provides an earthy flavor and a perfect golden yellow color. Smoked paprika brings a smokiness. Cumin has a warm, somewhat nutty flavor that pairs beautifully with both turmeric and smoked paprika.
And, salt and pepper, of course!
Vegetables ~ Onion and garlic can always be counted on as the start of a great flavor profile.
Diced tomatoes bring a freshness and provide some added moisture. I usually use plum tomatoes or vine-ripened garden tomatoes. Halved or quartered cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes can also be used.
Fresh baby spinach is the final step because it’s always a good idea to eat your greens! You could use arugula or baby kale if you prefer.
Nutritional yeast ~ This is an optional ingredient. Nooch, as it is lovingly referred to in the vegan community, has a savory, nutty, somewhat cheesy, flavor. I love it, but if you don’t have it or don’t like it, just leave it out.
Broth ~ Another optional ingredient. Depending on how juicy your tomatoes are or aren’t you may want to add a splash of vegetable broth to loosen up the chickpea scramble. You can also just use water.
Extras ~ Add extra veggies if you like. Sliced mushrooms, diced bell peppers, or chopped zucchini would all be tasty additions.
If you want this chickpea scramble to taste more like a breakfast egg scramble, you can use a pinch of Indian black salt, or kala namak, which has a pungent, eggy sulphur-like taste. A little goes a long way. But again, an egg substitute is not what we’re going for here, so I don’t really recommend it.
How to make the recipe
Please scroll down to the recipe card for exact ingredient measurements and instructions.
Sauté the onion in a drizzle of oil until soft and translucent (1). Add the garlic, tomato, and spices and stir until well combined (2).
Add the chickpeas (3). Using a potato masher or fork, mash about half of the chickpeas (4). This creates a nice texture and helps the mixture stay together.
Stir until everything is well combined and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes to heat through (5). Add a splash of broth or water if the mixture seems dry.
Add the fresh spinach and stir to evenly distribute throughout the chickpea scramble (6). Cook for about 1 minute to warm and gently wilt the spinach.
You could absolutely throw this chickpea scramble into a bowl all by itself and call it a day. It’s so yummy.
Feel free to finish it off with a few shakes of hot sauce or sriracha for a little spicy heat.
If you’re looking for a little more to power up your day, try serving it with a slice of whole grain toast and a fresh tomato. I like to spoon a little of the chickpea mixture onto the toast with each bite. It’s a great texture contrast.
Fridge: Store leftover chickpea scramble in an air-tight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. It will keep up to 5 days if you leave out the spinach.
Freezer: You can also freeze this simple chickpea recipe. I recommend leaving out the spinach if you plan to freeze leftovers. It should keep well for up to 2 months. Add fresh spinach upon reheating.
Pro tips and tricks
~ Use canned chickpeas to make this dish in just 15 minutes! Leftover cooked chickpeas work, too!
~ If using canned chickpeas, be sure to drain and rinse them first.
~ Sauté the spices in a drizzle of oil to fully release their natural oils and bring out the most flavor.
~ For an oil-free option, sauté in broth or water.
~ Feel free to add extra veggies, like sliced mushrooms, diced bell peppers, or chopped zucchini. Sauté them with the onion to cook them through.
~ Add the spinach just before serving so it doesn’t wilt too much.
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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Vegan Chickpea Scramble
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 plum tomatoes chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper or to taste
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast optional
- 2 cans (15.5 oz) chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 3-4 tablespoons low-sodium vegetable broth or water as needed
- 2 big handfuls fresh baby spinach
- Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes.
- Add the garlic, tomatoes, spices, and nutritional yeast, if using. Stir well until well combined and fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the chickpeas. Mash about half of the chickpeas using a potato masher or fork. You can mash more or less depending on your texture preference. Sauté until warmed through, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the spinach and stir to combine, warm, and gently wilt the spinach, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Serve immediately.
Nutrition values are calculated using online calculators and are estimates only. Please verify using your own data.