BBQ Chickpeas

Sweet, tangy BBQ for vegetarians with chickpeas. One of our all time favorite recipes (sweet and sour chickpeas) updated for BBQ and tailgating season.

BBQ Chickpeas

I love BBQ sauce. I love the ways you can adjust it for the season by adding slightly different spices or vinegars, or in our case produce. We love adding jams to our BBQ sauce for a little bit of sweetness and top note fruit. We've done fresh peaches as a BBQ sauce, we've done raspberry and fig. We've used vegetables for client recipes. It's all good, as long as it's balanced. But then there's the question of the vehicle for said sauce. What do you put the sauce on?

How about chickpeas?

Chickpeas are one of my favorite pulses.  They keep their shape and texture well in a sauce as well as after reheating. They're very likable for most people (the people love hummus). So whether you try this out for Meatless Monday or a vegetarian alternative for a summer or football season potluck, chickpeas are a crowd pleaser. Thanks to the method we use for the chickpeas before adding the BBQ sauce, this dish isn't sloshy or too liquidy. The perfect scoop on a plate situation.

BBQ Chickpeas

BBQ Chickpeas


  • 1 cup dried couscous
  • 1 cup chicken broth or vegetable broth


  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 15.5 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon MSG *note to read about MSG click here*
  • 1/4 cup raspberry jam
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons molasses
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke

Chickpeas *note: to use all sauce at once, use 2 cans chickpeas and double cornstarch

  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 1, 15 oz can chick peas (drained, rinsed and patted dry with a paper towel)
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • fresh cilantro to garnish



  1. To cook couscous, bring broth of choice to a boil, add couscous and stir. Cover with lid, remove from heat and leave for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and season with salt and pepper.

  2. To cook sauce, add olive oil to a medium sauce pan over medium low heat. Add garlic and cook about 3 minutes until fragrant.

  3. Add tomato paste and spices. Stir to combine and cook for about a minute before adding tomato sauce, jam, and remaining ingredients of sauce to the pan.

  4. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Reduce to low heat and cook for about 25 minutes to bring flavors together.

  5. While sauce cooks, in a separate large, shallow pan, heat canola oil.

  6. Pat rinsed chickpeas dry chickpeas dry with a paper towel and toss in a bowl with cornstarch until covered.

  7. Add chickpeas to heated oil in pan in a single layer. Do not crowd. Stir occasionally until chickpeas are lightly brown.

  8. Add sauce to chickpea pan with a ladle, one or two spoonfuls at a time and stir to coat.

  9. When sauce and chickpeas are thoroughly heated, turn off heat and serve with couscous and cilantro. 

BBQ Chickpeas
BBQ Chickpeas

Dietitian Nutritionist and cookbook author sharing flavor-forward recipes and simplified science-driven wellness.