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A bowl of chickpea puttanesca, with napkins, a spoon, cherry tomatoes, and parsley in the background.

Chickpea Puttanesca

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


Chickpea Puttanesca is a one-pan mix of Mediterranean flavors, with chickpeas, smoked paprika, coriander, olives, cherry tomatoes, and orecchiette pasta.

Adapted from Ottolenghi Flavor by Yotam Ottolenghi.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 15-ounce can Chickpeas (aka Garbanzo beans), drained
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (zest from about ½ a lemon)
  • 2 teaspoons paprika (preferably smoked Spanish paprika)
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander (or substitute cumin)
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (or more water)
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt (if using homemade vegetable broth)
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
  • ½ cup sliced green olives (aka Spanish olives)
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 8 ounces Orecchiette pasta (or another small pasta shape, like elbows)
  • More minced parsley for garnish


  1. Prep work: Drain the can of chickpeas, zest the lemon, peel and smash the garlic cloves, slice the olives, and chop the parsley leaves.
  2. Sauté the chickpeas and the spices: Heat the olive oil in a large fry pan over medium-high heat until the olive oil starts to shimmer, about 3 minutes. Add the drained chickpeas to the frypan, and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of salt. Cook the chickpeas, occasionally stirring, until they start to brown and get crispy, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the garlic, lemon zest, paprika, coriander, red pepper flakes, and ground pepper over the chickpeas. Toss to coat the chickpeas with the spices, then cook for 1 more minute, stirring often, to toast the spices a little.
  3. Everything in the pan: Pour in 1 cup of water and scrape the bottom of the pan with a flat-edged wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits of chickpeas or spices. Stir in the vegetable broth, tomatoes, olives, capers, parsley, and orecchiette pasta. 
  4. Simmer for 15 minutes: Turn the heat to high and bring the pan to a simmer. Stir one more time, and try to get as much of the orecchiette submerged in the liquid as possible. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Serve and enjoy: Stir the pot one last time to make sure everything is evenly mixed. Scoop the chickpea pasta into bowls, and sprinkle with a little more parsley to garnish. Serve, and enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Weeknight Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Eastern Mediterranean

Keywords: Chickpea Puttanesca