Slow Cooker Mediterranean Chickpeas with olives, roasted red peppers, onions, and garlic is a meatless meal that is packed with flavor and healthy.
This Slow Cooker Mediterranean Chickpeas is the perfect blend of flavors with olives, roasted red peppers, lemon, and plenty of spices to create a hearty, satisfying meatless dish. It's also a great pantry meal that can be prepped with items most people already have at home.
Lately, I have been really embracing Mediterranean flavors, especially things like olives, capers, and roasted red peppers. I love the richness and depth they add to any recipe, especially vegetarian recipes that sometimes can use a little something extra. Plus they are flavor enhancers that many of us have in our pantries that keep a long time. If you normally use fresh vegetables and herbs to add flavors, this is a great alternative.
This simple recipe brings together all of these flavors in a simple, slow cooker dish that couldn't be more comforting. There are so many different ways to serve it. Some favorites include using couscous, rice, creamy polenta, or even pasta. It's also delicious over a bed of cooked frozen spinach, spaghetti squash, or cauliflower rice for something lighter.
Ingredients and Substitutions for Mediterranean Slow Cooker Chickpeas
Here's what you will need to make these crockpot chickpeas and a bunch of ideas for where you can switch things up depending on what you have in your pantry.
- Canned chickpeas: This recipe calls for canned chickpeas but you could use any canned mild beans like cannellini beans, Northern white beans, or light kidney beans. If you only have dried chickpeas, you could soak them overnight and then you will need about 7 cups of liquid for every pound of dried chickpeas in the slow cooker. They will take 8 hours. You could also cook the dried chickpeas separately and then add them to the recipe.
- Sweet onion: The sweet onion adds a touch of sweetness to this dish, but you could also just use a normal yellow or white onion. If you don't have any fresh onion, you can use dehydrated onion or onion powder. You will need 4 tablespoons of dehydrated onion or 1 tablespoon of onion powder.
- Garlic: If you have fresh, use that. If not you can use dehydrated garlic or garlic powder. You will need 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder for each garlic clove and 1.5 teaspoons of dehydrated or dried garlic.
- Roasted red peppers: Using roasted red peppers add a touch of smokiness to this dish along with the sweetness of the red peppers. You could also use fresh red pepper if you have it (it's up to you whether you roast them first) or even frozen bell peppers. Any color bell pepper will work. If you don't have any type of pepper on hand, you can add canned tomatoes or sundried tomatoes.
- Zucchini: The zucchini can be replaced with any fresh, frozen, or canned vegetable. I have made this with kale, spinach, green beans, cauliflower, peas, or carrots.
- Olives: Olives add some salty brine to this dish that is really delicious. They also make it feel like a special occasion dish in my opinion since olives aren't something I cook with often. If you don't have any olives, you could add a few extra tablespoons of capers. One other option if you aren't vegetarian is anchovies or anchovy paste. If you don't have any of these options, you may need to add extra salt and spices to make sure it has lots of flavor.
- Capers: Same as the olives. If you don't have capers, you could add some extra olives. If you don't have any, just plan on adjusting the salt and spice levels.
- Vegetable broth: Any type of broth will work in this recipe or water and bouillon. That's something I always have in my pantry. If you don't have either, use water and plan on adding some extra salt, pepper, and spices.
- Spices: Although I used oregano, thyme, and rosemary - you could use any combination of dried herbs or something like Italian seasoning.
- Lemon: If you don't have fresh lemon, you can leave this off. If you have any fresh parsley or cilantro, that's another way to brighten it up. You could also use a splash of vinegar.
How to Serve Mediterranean Chickpeas
There are so many ways to serve this dish. Here are the ones at the top of our list. This can be a vegetarian main dish or a side dish.
- Grab any type of grain you liked - brown rice, couscous, farro, quinoa, barley, or pasta - and serve this on top with some fresh greens if you have them or frozen spinach. Add some Parmesan cheese on top before serving.
- Make some creamy polenta and add this right on top for a truly comforting dish.
- Serve this over a big bed of cooked greens, cauliflower rice, or spaghetti squash for a lightened up option.
- Use the leftovers in a wrap or pita pocket for an easy and filling sandwich.
Looking for more chickpea recipes?
Slow Cooker Mediterranean Chickpeas
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- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 sweet onion, sliced thin
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 30 oz. canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 1 cup roasted red peppers, chopped (or peppadew peppers)
- 1 cup olives (any kind)
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp. capers (optional)
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and pepper
- 1 lemon (juice for serving)
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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