Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy Chickpeas

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Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy Chickpeas are healthy, Asian inspired meatless meal that can be made with items already in your pantry.

309 CAL 53g CARBS 5g FAT 14g PROTEIN
1 Comment

These Sweet and Spicy Chickpeas will soon be your favorite meatless meal made with a quick homemade, addictive sweet and spicy Asian sauce.

For a long time, I have been a huge fan of anything sweet and spicy. I love the combination and it is especially delicious in Asian-inspired meals. In fact, we also have a version with chicken and beef we love it so much.

The key to these tasty chickpeas, is a quick homemade sauce made with soy sauce, brown sugar, Asian garlic chili paste, and ginger. It's a Korean-style sauce that I use for stir-fries and marinade all the time. It's a great way to add a lot of flavor to any protein, grain bowl, or veggies. 

For this recipe, the chickpeas are cooked in this sweet and spicy sauce in the slow cooker. This allows the flavors to really infuse the chickpeas so that each bite is bold and delicious. 

After a few hours, it's ready to serve!  Most of the time, I serve this with some steamed rice and a quickly sauteed vegetable like bok choy or snow peas

How to Serve Sweet and Spicy Chickpeas

There are so many options when it comes to serving up these delicious chickpeas. Here are some of our favorites.

  • Grain bowls: There is nothing better than a tasty grain bowl. Start with some cooked rice, quinoa, or farro. Then pile on the chickpeas, shredded cabbage, carrots, avocado, cucumbers, and fresh herbs. Finish with some extra sweet and spicy sauce.
  • Lettuce Wraps: Grab some butter lettuce and make Asian style lettuce wraps with chickpeas. Add some extra crunch and flavor with green onion, cilantro, and sesame seeds. 
  • Asian tacos: Warm up some corn tortillas, make a batch of Asian slaw, and make your own food truck-style chickpea tacos. 
  • Salads: If you are looking for a tasty plant-based protein for your salads, these chickpeas are it. Pair them with crunchy vegetables like cucumbers, edamame, bell peppers, and cabbage.

Recipe Tips and Ideas

Here are some fun ways to customize this recipe and make it your own.

  • Add more veggies: During the last 30-60 minutes of cooking, add in some veggies. Favorites include cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, bell peppers, sugar snap peas, or baby bok choy. Just make sure to double the sauce so there is plenty for the chickpeas and vegetables.
  • Add herbs: This dish is delicious when finished with some fresh herbs. Consider topping the dish with fresh basil, cilantro, and mint. 
  • Add crunch: Top the finished dish with chopped cashews or sesame seeds for some crunch.
  • Adjust the spice: If you don't love things spicy, just leave out the Asian garlic chili paste or use left. The sauce will still have plenty of flavor. 

Storing Leftover Chickpeas

The leftover cooked chickpeas will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container. They can be reheated in the microwave or warmed in a skillet. 

You can also freeze leftover sweet and spicy chickpeas. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Let defrost overnight in the fridge and then reheat in a skillet. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most common questions from readers about making these sweet and spicy chickpeas.

This recipe is meant to be made with canned or pre-cooked chickpeas. There is not enough liquid in this recipe for dried chickpeas. If you would like to use dried chickpeas, make them beforehand. 

If you are looking to make roasted or crunchy chickpea, this recipe can be adapted. Start by rinsing and drying the chickpeas. Then toss with oil and roast in a single layer on a baking sheet for 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees.

While the chickpeas roast, add the sauce ingredients to a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Cook the sauce until it is nice and thick, adding a cornstarch slurry if needed. Then drizzle the chickpeas with the sweet and spicy sauce. 

It is very easy to control the level of spice in this recipe. Simply decrease the amount of Asian garlic chili paste. You can also leave it our entirely and simply serve the chili paste on the side for those who want it. 

If you find the sauce is too thin or watery after cooking the chickpeas, there are two options. The first is to add a cornstarch slurry to the slow cooker and cook for 15-20 minutes until the sauce thickens. Alternatively, you can drain the sauce into a small pan. Bring it to a boil and simmer it until it thickens. Then toss with the chickpeas. 

The Recipe
Slow cooker sweet and spicy chickpeas in a bowl with sliced jalapenos on top.

Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy Chickpeas

309 CAL 53g CARBS 5g FAT 14g PROTEIN
COOK TIME: 4 Hours
TOTAL TIME: 4 Hours, 6 Min
1 Comment
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  • 36 oz. canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 onion, sliced thin
  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce (GF if needed)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (or honey or agave)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp. ginger, minced

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Stir together the soy sauce, brown sugar, Asian chili paste, vegetable broth, garlic, and ginger.


Add the chickpeas and onion to the slow cooker. Pour in the sauce and stir. Cook on low for 4 hours.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 3/4 cup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 309
Calories from Fat 49
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
Saturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 1360mg
Total Carbohydrate 53g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 10g
Protein 14g

* 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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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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1 Comment
On Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy Chickpeas
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November 20, 2021 - 04:35
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Delicious recipe. Even my 13-year old niece like it!
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