A Tofu-Chickpea Situation

If you’re looking for a filling, efficient and tasty recipe, then this is for you!

This has been my new go-to dish, especially when I’m pressed for time. What I love the most about this dish is that it will kill two birds with one stone, without actually killing any birds (the vegetarian in me had to make that joke ;)). By birds, I mean food groups: The protein and vegetable components of your meal will be taken care of with this one dish. I’m all about maximizing my time in the kitchen, and I’m sure you feel the same!

The protein in this dish comes from the tofu and the chickpeas; tomatoes, pepper and spinach comprise the vegetable category. If you’ve been following my blog, you know that balanced meals contain at least three out of the five food groups – specifically, protein, vegetables and carbohydrates. This recipe will get you two-thirds of the way there! Just combine this dish with a carbohydrate, such as brown rice, quinoa, farro or spaghetti squash, and you will have a balanced meal.

The other thing that I love about this recipe is that it stores well in the fridge (up to a week!) and it is super easy to pack for lunch. Heat some up in the morning and place it in a thermos to eat later in the day. You can pack some crackers or rice cakes to serve as your carbohydrate, or take along one of the grains mentioned above. You may get some envious glances if you eat this during class, but I’ve learned that it won’t take too long to get used to that ;).

A tofu and chickpea stew with onions, garlic, tomatoes, red pepper and spinach

A Tofu-Chickpea Situation

One dish, two food groups
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Course: Main Course, Protein, Side Dish
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Keyword: a tofu-chickpea situation
Servings: 7 servings
Author: Dena Don


  • High-heat oil, such as sunflower oil, avocado oil or vegetable oil, for sautéing
  • 1 block tofu, pressed and cut into cubes
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped (1 cup)
  • One 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • One 15-ounce can of fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained
  • ¼ to ½ cup tomato sauce
  • ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 to 4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen spinach leaves


  • Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large and wide saucepan.
  • Add the tofu to the saucepan. Cook for about 2 minutes, gently tossing every few seconds, until some of the edges are light yellow in color. You can cover the saucepan to accelerate this process. (Note: The tofu will cook more once you add the other ingredients, so make sure not to let it get too crispy now!)
  • Add the onion and garlic to the saucepan. Continue to sauté over medium-high heat, until the pieces of onion are translucent.
  • Add the red bell pepper and tomato. Continue sautéing over medium-high heat until the pepper is soft and the tomato is runny.
  • Add the chickpeas to the saucepan and stir. Add the fire-roasted tomatoes and tomato sauce and stir.
  • Add salt, pepper, fresh basil leaves and (optional, but highly recommended!) red pepper flakes. Stir. (Note: No, the red pepper flakes won’t overtake this dish – they just add a nice, subtle kick and complement the tomato and bell pepper flavors).
  • Cover the saucepan. Allow the dish to simmer for 20-25 minutes.
  • Stir in the spinach leaves. Allow the dish to simmer for 10-15 more minutes.
  • This dish makes between five and seven servings, depending on how hungry you are ;). Serve warm over spaghetti squash or your favorite grain. Some suggestions include brown rice, quinoa and farro.


Did you make this recipe? Please rate and comment below. I’d love to hear how it went for you!

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