This quick and easy Chickpea Bowl with Oil-Free Dressing is gluten-free, high in protein, and ready in less than 15 minutes. It is the perfect weeknight dinner or meal prep lunch. Plus, it is pantry and budget-friendly.
Eating more vegan dinners might feel intimidating at first. But once you build more of these types of simple healthy dishes into your repertoire, it will become much easier. And the best part is, you do not need to sacrifice on flavor, or spend a lot of money.
This bowl was inspired by my Simple Chickpea Farro Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce on this site, as well as this recipe for High-Protein Quinoa & Lentils Without Oil.
The oil-free Buffalo-style sauce for the chickpeas requires only 6 ingredients, and they are all budget and pantry-friendly.
- Chickpeas are a good source of plant-based protein, iron, and fiber. They are a great addition to vegan bowls because they readily absorb the flavors of marinades and sauces.
- Tahini is made from hulled, ground, and toasted sesame seeds, which are an excellent source of nutrients including iron, calcium, protein, fiber, and heart healthy fats. Try to find a brand without added oils or salt.
- Tamari: For a gluten-free meal, use a gluten-free brand of tamari, and read all condiment labels. Try to find one that is lower in sodium.
- Hot sauce: Frank's RedHot Sauce is traditionally used to make Buffalo sauce, but any hot sauce, including sriracha, will work.
The oil-free yogurt dressing is optional. Feel free to use store-bought dressing instead, or skip it altogether.
- Cilantro: A variety of fresh herbs will work with this recipe. Use what you have on hand. Chives, parsley, and dill are great substitutes.
- Unsweetened nondairy yogurt: Cashew, almond, coconut, and oat are the best options.
See recipe card for quantities.
If you plan on serving wild rice with this dish, make it ahead of time, as it typically takes 45 minutes to cook. Or use a wild rice blend. They usually cook in just 20 minutes. For quinoa, either make it ahead of time, or start cooking it before making the sauce. Quinoa cooks in 15 minutes, so it will be ready just in time for serving.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas, and slice the cucumbers, before making the sauce and dressing. Mix the ingredients for the Buffalo-style sauce, plus water to thin, in a medium bowl. Prepare the yogurt dressing in a separate medium bowl.
Transfer the chickpeas to a medium nonstick skillet and cook over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes, or until they are warmed through. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the sauce.
Serve them with the desired grain, sliced cucumbers, and a generous drizzle of the yogurt dressing.
More serving suggestions:
- Make a wrap. Add the chickpeas, thinly sliced cucumbers, avocado, lettuce, and yogurt dressing along the center of a warmed soft tortilla. Wrap and serve.
- Use as a filling for flatbreads. Warm the flatbread and stuff with the Buffalo chickpeas, cucumbers, lettuce, and a drizzle of yogurt dressing.
- Make a salad bowl. Serve the Buffalo chickpeas with chopped lettuce, bell peppers, corn, red onion, celery, and yogurt dressing.
- Chickpeas - Substitute them for baked tofu cubes to change things up. Bake the tofu cubes at 375ºF for 15 minutes before adding them to the skillet with the sauce.
- Tahini - Use smooth cashew or almond butter in the Buffalo sauce and yogurt dressing, instead. (More water may be needed to thin out the sauce.)
- Cilantro - Chopped chives, parsley, and dill are all good substitutes. Use what you have on hand, or omit as desired.
For more healthy, high-protein, oil-free bowls, see my Veggie Bowls recipes page.
It is easier to heat the sauce in a nonstick skillet. Otherwise, it tends to stick to the pan as it heats up.
Refrigerate any remaining Buffalo chickpeas in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Add water to the saucepan for reheating until the desired consistency. Add more tamari, hot sauce, or some fresh lemon juice for more flavor.
Refrigerate any remaining yogurt dressing in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
These ingredients don't stand up well to freezing.
Not exactly. Hot sauce is basically hot peppers, vinegar, and salt. Vegan Buffalo sauce is hot sauce whisked together with melted vegan butter. To make it oil-free, I used tahini instead instead of vegan butter.
For a non-spicy version, substitute the hot sauce in the Buffalo sauce with ketchup, and omit the maple syrup.
Canned chickpeas are very convenient as they save a great deal of time. However, if you have the time to cook your own, this is a healthier option, plus fresh chickpeas taste better.
Substitute one (15-ounce) can for 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas.
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Easy Oil-Free Chickpea Bowl Recipe
- 15 ounces chickpeas canned, drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoons maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
For the lemon garlic yogurt dressing:
- 5.3 ounces unsweetened nondairy yogurt (1 carton- about 150 grams)
- 1 ½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon tahini
- 1 ½ tablespoons chopped cilantro or fresh herbs
- 1 garlic clove
- Fresh lemon juice to taste
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 medium cucumbers sliced
- 2 ½ cups cooked wild rice blend or quinoa
- Make the buffalo sauce: Mix the tahini, hot sauce, tamari, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and smoked paprika in a medium bowl. Add ¼ cup water and stir until fully incorporated.
- Make the yogurt dressing: Transfer the nondairy yogurt, apple cider vinegar, tahini, and fresh herbs to a medium bowl. Grate the garlic into the bowl using a microplane or fine grater. Add water to thin until the desired consistency. Mix to combine. Season with fresh lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
- Heat the chickpeas and sauce: Transfer the chickpeas to a medium skillet. Cook them over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes, or until warmed through. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the buffalo sauce and cook for about 2 minutes more, or until warmed through, stirring frequently.
- Serve the chickpeas, cucumber, and grain of your choice with a generous drizzle of yogurt dressing.
- For gluten-free, use gluten-free tamari. Read all labels.
- Chickpeas: Substitute canned chickpeas with 1 ½ cups cooked.
- The yogurt dressing is optional. Feel free to use store-bought dressing, or skip it altogether. Use unsweetened cashew, almond, coconut, or oat yogurt to make the dressing.
- Other serving suggestions: Make a wrap, stuffed flatbread, or salad with the Buffalo-style chickpeas, cucumbers, and yogurt dressing. Add chopped lettuce, red onion, and other desired toppings or fillings.
- Tahini: Substitute with smooth cashew or almond butter. You may need to add more water to thin the sauce.
This information is provided as a courtesy and is an ESTIMATE only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe.
Buffalo style, amazing!
It's so flavorful!
Great protein dish, buffalo style chick peas which is great with quinoa and can be made so quickly in just 15 minutes.
Add some cilantro as it lends a great flavor.
Yes it's so quick and easy. Kids love this one too.