Lemony Chickpea Stir-fry Recipe

A tasty, quick, and easy stir-fry recipe featuring golden crusted, pan-fried chickpeas, chopped kale, summer squash, tofu, and a bit of lemon zest.

Lemony Chickpea Stir-fry

A quick single-skillet stir-fry thrown together with ingredients picked up at the Slow Food Nation Marketplace. There are few things tastier than golden, crusty, pan-fried chickpeas - and this is where we start. It also features chopped kale, summer squash, and a bit of tofu. I should note that I used a great locally produced ghee as the cooking medium. It has a subtle, sweet nuttiness that pairs beautifully with chickpeas and withstands high cooking temperatures nicely. A kiss of lemon juice (and a bit of zest in the pan) at the end of the cooking process sets off a fragrant finale signaling to anyone in the vicinity that it is time to eat.

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Lemony Chickpea Stir-fry Recipe

I used Soy Deli Savory Organic Tofu here, but plain is fine too.

2 tablespoon ghee or extra-virgin olive oil
fine grain sea salt
1 small onion or a couple shallots, sliced
1 cup cooked chickpeas (canned is fine, if you don't want to cook up a pot of dried chickpeas)
8 ounces extra-firm tofu
1 cup of chopped kale
2 small zucchini, chopped
zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon

Heat 1 tablespoon of the ghee/olive oil In a large skillet over medium-high heat and stir in a big pinch of salt, the onion, and chickpeas. Saute until the chickpeas are deeply golden and crusty. Stir in the tofu and cook just until the tofu is heated through, just a minute or so. Stir in the kale and cook for one minute more. Remove everything from the skillet onto a large plate and set aside. In the same skillet heat the remaining tablespoon of ghee/olive oil, add the zucchini and saute until it starts to take on a bit of color, two or three minutes. Add the chickpea mixture back to the skillet, and remove from heat. Stir in the lemon juice and zest, taste, and season with a bit more salt if needed. Turn out onto a platter and serve family style.

Serves 2 - 4.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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My kind of food. Easy and quick. Jane: Spinach or most any green should work in a dish like this. Kale often retains a bit more texture than some other greens when cooked. Something like broccoli rabe might be too bitter, depending on tastes. You could even go with good ol' broccoli.


This is what we're having for dinner tonight! I love doing dishes like this - I just picked up some nice mushroom tofu, it will go great in here.


Great tip regarding ghee for cooking chickpeas. Can't wait to try this!


I never thought about putting chickpeas in a stir fry before, I usually just toss then in a salad if it happens to be on a salad bar. I think I would substitute fresh spinach for the kale, I can't seem to get over the bitterness of kale (maybe I am cooking it worng?!) Thanks Heidi for another great recipe!


Hello from Canada! Oh my Mom is going to flip over this recipe! Thanks.

Liberty Post Editor

This look fantastic! I love chickpeas! I just used some ghee last night to toast off some wild rice before cooking. I love the subtle flavor it gives food. I'm definitely going to be using it more in my cooking.


I'm in a "lemony!" period: I try to put it everywhere... the juice, the zest! It's so fresh and clean! I think I'll copy your idea.


This sounds like my variation of your "ten-minute brown rice and asparagus" recipe, as I find that using asparagus in it is an awful waste of asparagus as its delicate flavour is killed off by the other strong flavours. So I substitute other veg - often cabbage or spring greens, occasionally leeks, sometimes a mixture.

Mrs Redboots

Sophie, it's easy to make your own ghee (when butter is on sale). A pound (or 500g) of butter in a saucepan, melt over low heat and cook gently until all the water has been driven off and the little white flakes begin to take colour. Then pour off the liquid butter, leaving any solid residue behind. Keeps well without refrigeration.


The canned chickpeas I buy are always so hard...and I've never seen dried chickpeas in the store. Any suggestions on where I should go to find either?

Fit Bottomed Girls

Nice... Deliciously done. Thanks for the share. www.foodista.com


Well, I found a great recipe to try this weekend! Thank you Heidi!


A single-skillet meal?? Score!!


I love a one pot dish! This sounds like a perfect quick lunch. I've been using Nigella Lawson's idea a lot recently of tipping a can of drained canellini beans into a stir fry instead of cooking some rice in another pan. Very intrigued that you have used ghee in this one Heidi! I largely steer away from ghee because of the high saturated fat content but that isn't the entire truth. A little bit of what you fancy in moderation is my nutritional philosophy and besides, the other ingredients are all very nutritious. Nope, it's just that the ghee you get in England always smells really rank. I'll keep my eyes open for a higher quality ghee to try.


I just made this with cucumber and mint instead of zucchini and kale ... fantastic!!! [had to make do with what i had in the fridge :-)]. Thnx for the recipe!!!!


Normally not one to gravitate to things simply because they are good for me I find your recipes tasty as well as nutritional. I can feel very righteous when serving this dish! "Lemony Chickpea stir-fry" does sound better than "antioxidant, beta carotene, anti-cancer property, fiber stir-fry!" I do love Kale and Chickpeas! Although, is sounds like Jane does not love kale? I'm sure you'll address this Heidi, but kale is from the same family as broccoli (also cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens). Kale freezes well, and actually I think it tastes sweeter after it's been frozen. At least my Italian grandmother said so - she didn't harvest her last kale of the season until after a frost. Slow Food started in Italy, or me it started with my grandmother. Maybe Jane could use broccoli rabe? Here in Naples we call it Friarielli, and I love it on pizza!


Simple, yet creative. Beautiful picture, by the way. I bet my toddler would love this. She loves both legumes and dark greens! Kimi

Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet

Can we use anything else to replace the kale??


I get a lot of miles out of theTen Minute Tasty Asparagus and Brown Rice Recipe with the pan browned chick peas. This will be a nice variation. I'm a garbonzo bean lover to the nth degree (my name is Catherine and I admit I have a problem... : )


I love how simple and delicious this looks. And it's a great way to use some kale, which I've been meaning to eat more of!


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