Braised Chickpeas with Spinach Salad [Giveaway]

Braised Chickpeas with Spinach Salad

When one hears the term slow cooker, thoughts of chili, pulled pork, stews and soups usually come to mind.  Major yum.  Not so healthy.  So several weeks ago, I decided I wanted to challenge myself to cook something completely healthy in my slow cooker.  This recipe for Braised Chickpeas with Spinach Salad is what I came up with.  Dried chickpeas are soaked overnight then cooked in a flavorful bath of homemade vegetable stock, carrot, onion, celery and bay.  Finished with fire-roasted tomatoes, salt, and pepper, these slow-cooked chickpeas are tender, buttery and oh so delicious.  The depth of flavor really is craveworthy.  A spinach salad dressed in a red wine vinaigrette is a fresh counter to the rich, bold chickpeas.  I enjoyed this dish several times for dinner.  No meat required.

Before we get to the recipe and giveaway, I want to mention two tips that will help you make this dish as tasty as possible.  First, be sure to use homemade stock or a high-quality store-bought stock.  The chickpeas will be braising for 8 hours in this liquid, so you want to make sure it’s top notch.  Second, do not use canned chickpeas here.  Starting with dried chickpeas allows you to really infuse them mouth-watering flavor.  Continue reading for the recipe plus a slow cooker giveaway.

Hydrated Chickpeas

Here’s your chance to win a 6-Court Stainless Steel Slow Cooker.

Slow Cooker

This slow cooker giveaway is sponsored by SlimKicker, a new app that turns your diet/fitness goals into a level-up game. You get points for tracking healthy calories, tracking your workouts, and completing challenges. They have many health challenges you can participate in such as quitting soda for a week, or eating like a caveman for a week. It’s a great way to stay accountable and motivated. You can sign up for their online website, or download their iPhone app.  I personally love any app that makes a game out of real life :)

I’m giving you several ways to enter to win:

1.  Share your favorite slow cooker recipe in the comments below.

2.  Follow Kitchen Konfidence on Twitter and tweet this:

I just entered to win a 6-Quart Stainless Steel Slow Cooker in the @k_konfidence @SlimKicker Giveaway

3.  Get extra entries by doing any or all of the follow [leave a separate comment for each]:

I will be collecting entries until 11:59pm on May 25, 2012.  Winners will be selected at random and announced shortly after.  For US residents only.  Good luck!  Continue on for the recipe.

Spinach Salad

3.7 from 3 reviews
Braised Chickpeas with Spinach Salad
Adapted from here.
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 6
  • For the braised chickpeas:
  • 2 1/2 cups dried chickpeas, picked over and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 3 bay leaves (preferably fresh)
  • 3 cups vegetable stock (preferably homemade)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 15 oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
  • For the spinach salad:
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  1. Add dried chickpeas to a large bowl then add water, covering by 2 inches (they expand a good amount). Let soak overnight then drain well.
  2. Warm olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and bay, stirring to coat in the oil. Cook until the vegetables are soft, but not brown (6 - 7 minutes). Stir in vegetable stock and scrape the bottom of the pan to lift any brown bits. Transfer mixture to a slow cooker. Add chickpeas, stir, cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
  3. Stir in 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, several turns of black pepper, and the tomatoes, cover and cook for an additional 2 hours. The chickpeas should be tender, but not mushy. Season to taste with additional kosher salt and black pepper.
  4. Remove and discard bay leaves. Scoop chickpeas from the slow cooker using a slotted spoon and place in a serving bowl. Reserve the braising liquid.
  5. While the chickpeas are cooking, prepare the vinaigrette. Add red onion, garlic, red wine vinegar, kosher salt and a few turns of black pepper to a mason jar, shaking to combine. Add extra-virgin olive oil and shake again until the vinaigrette emulsifies (oil and vinegar mix together). Just before you are about to serve, toss baby spinach with vinaigrette.
  6. To serve, spoon chickpeas on to a large, dinner plate. Top with a little braising liquid to moisten. Place spinach salad on the side.



  1. says

    I tweeted your message! Thanks for having this giveaway, Brandon! A slowcooker is in my list of appliances to get for my own place!

    • Brandon Matzek says

      This was my first time cooking just beans in the slow cooker. I’ll have to agree – it worked really well. Definitely going to experiment more.

  2. Kasia says

    I love Rick Bayless’ “Slow-Cooked Chicken with Tomatillos, Potatoes, Jalapenos and Fresh Herbs” from his book, Mexican Everyday (but I can only make it at my parent’s house with their slow cooker, because I don’t have one!).

    • Brandon Matzek says

      That sounds delicious Kasia. I’ll have to check it out. I only have Fiesta at Rick’s though.

  3. Susan S @ One Less Thing says

    Favorite to cook in a slow cooker? Gotta be your Mexican Braised Beef Tacos of course. I know, I’m shameless. But they are delicious :)

  4. Shannon says

    I have THE best slow cooker ratatouille recipe. Sometimes I add chicken, sometimes just veg…always healthy!

  5. says

    I like to make saag – throw several cloves of garlic (if you’re me, “several” means 3-4 per serving, some other people are not quite as keen on that much I’ve found though), a decent dash of coriander, perhaps a bit of curry powder or paste depending on how I feel, a splash of cream and as much spinach as can be stuffed in to the cooker. If it’s going to be a meal on its own, I might add some paneer, tofu, chicken or other protein as well. Just before eating, top with a dollop of yogurt (or sour cream, or creme fraiche, or more cream, whatever appeals and is on hand).

  6. TJ says

    I love making brisket in the slow cooker. The mahogany short ribs recipe from the Washington Post is my guide.

  7. Gloria says

    My favorite slow cooker meal is Bar-B-Que beef or pork with lots of onions, garlic, green and red peppers…YUMMY!

  8. Patricia Wojnar Crowley says

    My favorite slow-cooker recipe is pulled pork made with my favorite bbq sauce! (Sweet Baby Ray’s)

  9. Leann Lindeman says

    This is a super easy crock pot recipe. Season chicken breasts. Place in crock with cut up carrots, potatoes, onions.. whatever veg you have on hand is good. Mix a can of cream of celery with about a half a can or so of milk. Pour over and cook on low for about 6 hours or so. Easy and tasty!

  10. says

    Chicken Tacos

    2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    2 T. chili powder
    1/2 – 1 t. cayenne
    1 t. cumin
    1 jar salsa
    2 limes, halved
    1/2 bunch cilantro

    Place the chicken breasts in the crockpot, cover with spices and salsa (I stir the spices into the salsa). Squeeze the juice from the limes on top and throw in the limes (discard limes before eating). Top with cilantro and cook on low for 7-8 hours.

    Can be used for chicken tacos or burritos.


  11. says

    I love making pulled pork in the crockpot! Season the meat (salt, pepper, spices), put it in your crockpot and add enough apple juice to come up halfway. Put the lid on, and let it run on low for 10-12 hours. Shreds like a charm and is so good!
    I just started making my own stock in the crockpot also!

  12. says

    Oooo, I have my hands cupped under my chin like a giant baby, haha! I’ve been wanting a slow cooker so badly for months now but have yet to pull the trigger. I’d LOVE to win this so I could make my dear sweet grandmother’s best saurbraten recipe. Beautiful plate, BTW! And I tweeted and followed and followed and followed 😀

  13. says

    My favorite slow cooker recipe is a lemon-thyme turkey breast cooked to juicy perfection! Just stuff a little butter mixed with lemon zest, minced garlic and thyme leaves under the skin of a thawed turkey breast, season the whole breast with salt and pepper and place in your slow cooker. Add the juice of the lemon to 1/2 cup of low sodium chicken stock (or preferably, homemade stock) and add to the cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove and allow to rest under foil while you prepare the gravy. Pour out juices into a small saucepan and bring to a boil, reduce and thicken to make gravy (you can always add a slurry if you need to). Remove & discard skin from breast, slice and drizzle with gravy!

  14. Kellie G says

    My fave crock pot recipe is Poblano Pork Stew:
    1 lb boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1 inch cubes.
    1 tablespoon cooking oil
    1 lb whole tiny new potatoes, quartered
    2 medium onions, chopped
    2 fresh poblano peppers, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
    1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    2 inches cinnamon sticks
    3 cups chicken broth
    1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes
    1 tablespoon chili powder
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  15. says

    My favorite slow cooker recipe is this special Mexican chicken taco dish my family has made to years. You cook the chicken in a mix of broth,spices, and vegetables and then it just falls apart so you can put it on tacos. SO good

  16. StaceyS says

    I liked Kitchen Konfidence on FB! I am so happy to have found this blog (from a recipe someone linked on Pinterest) – it is gorgeous. Love it! (Also my slow cooker is almost shot so if I happened to win a new one, the timing would be great! haha)

  17. says

    I like to make several things in slow cookers, but indeed I do need more than one! Anyway I make chicken stock, cook dried beans, and numerous other things. But one of the very best recipes I’ve ever used in a slow cooker is this one for barbecue pork, in which you sear a pork shoulder in a pan with olive oil (you can season the pork w/coarse salt & pepper), put it in the cooker, add beef broth and some of your favorite bbq sauce (I use Stubbs), and add finely sliced onions. Cook for about 6-8 hours on low or until cooked through and tender. It’s no-fail!


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