Quick & Easy Chickpea Scramble

Quick & Easy Chickpea Scramble | The Full Helping

One of the first recipes that I learned as a new vegan was tofu scramble. I must have made it at least three times a week for a year. It was quick, easy, nutritious, and it made for good breakfast or take-to-work lunch leftovers. The other evening, I was craving tofu scramble but realized that I didn’t have any tofu in the fridge. What I did have was a couple cans chickpeas, and this quick & easy chickpea scramble is the wonderful dish that resulted.

Like traditional tofu scramble, this dish features sautéed veggies, turmeric and other spices, and nutritional yeast. It’s just a different protein base, and in many ways it’s a nice change of pace; chickpeas are more toothsome and impart more texture than tofu, and if you let them crisp up a little in the skillet, they’re especially delightful. The recipe is also a nice option for those with soy allergies.

Quick & Easy Chickpea Scramble | The Full Helping

You can use either home-cooked or canned chickpeas in this recipe; both will work very nicely. And if you don’t have chickpeas, try using black beans, pinto beans, black-eyed peas, or cannellini beans instead.

Bean skillets are quick, economical, and easy. The fact that chickpeas (and most legumes) are rich in protein, iron, zinc, and folate means that you won’t sacrifice nutrient quality for convenience. This is the sort of meal that makes me love vegan food — a reminder that a few humble, plant-based ingredients can create something that’s as delicious as it is nourishing.

Quick & Easy Chickpea Scramble | The Full Helping

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Quick and Easy Chickpea Scramble

Author - Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yields: 4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive grapeseed, or safflower oil
  • 1 small white or yellow onion chopped (about 1 - 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 cup seeded and chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 cup seeded and chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 small poblano pepper seeded and chopped (optional)
  • 8-10 ounces white button mushrooms cleaned and sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric ground
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Dash red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas or 2 cans, rinsed and drained
  • To serve: parsley lime wedges, and 3 cups cooked quinoa or rice


  • Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onion and peppers. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes, or until the onion is clear and soft. Add a few tablespoons of water as needed to prevent the vegetables from sticking.
  • Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Mix the vegetables and cover the skillet. Allow the mushrooms to cook for another five minutes, or until they've released their liquid and are soft and cooked through.
  • While the vegetables cook, mix your spices (salt, turmeric, chili powder, smoked paprika, and pepper flakes) together. When the mushrooms are cooked, add the spice blend, the nutritional yeast, and the chickpeas, as well as about a third or half cup of water. Stir the mixture thoroughly to be sure everything is well combined. Continue to cook for another 3-5 minutes, or until everything is hot and tasty. Check the mixture for seasoning and season to taste with additional spices, salt, or pepper.
  • To serve, divide the chickpea scramble over even portions of cooked rice (basmati would be lovely here) or quinoa, and garnish with lime wedges and a sprinkle of parsleys. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to three days, and they can be frozen for up to four weeks.


Leftover chickpea scramble will keep for up to 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge.

Quick & Easy Chickpea Scramble | The Full Helping

I should note that this spice blend is my standard for scrambles, but it’s totally customizable. If you’d like to add some curry, cumin, or oregano to the mix, that would be great, too! The recipe also presents you with a chance to use up any vegetables that need using (the half head of broccoli you’ve got in the fridge, the zucchini you forgot about, the kale that’s about to wilt). You don’t have to serve with rice or quinoa, either: any whole grain you love is a good accompaniment to this easy, one-skillet dinner. I used red quinoa for some color contrast, and the simple, nutty flavor was a great counterpoint to the spicy scramble.

Hopefully this recipe will come in handy the next time you need to throw together something special in a pinch. For my part, I’m very grateful (and excited) that Steven and I actually succeeded in leaving enough for dinner leftovers tonight (we rarely do).

Enjoy the recipe, and I’ll be back on Thursday with a giveaway that I know you all will love!


Images courtesy of Lighter.

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  1. Mmmm I love tofu scramble! And this chickpea version sounds great (especially the mushrooms). I like the idea of adding a side of quinoa for that extra punch of protein. Have you tried black salt? It gives it a great taste for scrambles =)

  2. Thanks for the recipe, Gena! I made it for dinner and served it over barley. Yum. I will probably experiment with adding different veggies in the future.

  3. I never know what to call this when I make a similar dish – I like the sound of scramble! I find myself making something like this over and over again; it’s just so easy and satisfying. To keep it interesting, I mix up the beans I use, add sweet potatoes or plantains to the skillet instead of serving over a whole grain, add baby spinach, top with avocado or olives, or add a few spoonfuls of coconut milk.

  4. Yummy! Might pour this over kale for lunch. 🙂 Thanks!!! As always, you are the best!

  5. Thank you for sharing! I’m always looking for better breakfast choices for myself and the kids, this will be PERFECT! I’m going to pin this to my pinterest board for later (:

  6. Looks delicious! I just wanted to say the work you’ve put into your photography skills this year is really paying off! Just gorgeous! xoxo

  7. Gena, Just curious–what are your thoughts/reasons on using safflower oil? I typically stay away from it due to its higher omega-6 fat levels. Thanks!

    • Hi Sarah!

      I think safflower oil is a suitable option for high heat cooking (so is grapeseed and for sautéing, so is olive oil). Coconut oil is a good option, too, but I don’t love the way it flavors food, so I prefer it for baking. It’s true that safflower is high in Omega-6s, which have a pro-inflammatory effect when eating disproportionately, but I get a lot of Omega-3s in my diet from flax and chia and hemp and walnuts, as well as flax oil, and I don’t consume most of the things that can create an Omega-6 imbalance (processed foodstuffs, factory farmed meat). So, I think my balance between Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids is probably OK, and I don’t worry too much when I want to enjoy sunflower seeds or safflower oil in moderation.

      I hope this helps!


  8. I love chickpeas done any way (well, so far, at least!!!) and this looks delicious – I think my other half would love it with a good jacket baked potato:) thanks for sharing

  9. I’m a chickpea girl and would take those over tofu any day so this sounds great! All the spices you used are favourites of mine so I’m sure I’d enjoy this.

  10. Thanks Gena–this looks great–my kinda meal! 🙂 I was pondering which kind of beans to soak for cooking tomorrow, and now it will be chickpeas. 🙂