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Quinoa Protein Bowls with Roasted Chickpeas and Spicy Greens

Quinoa Protein Bowls with Roasted Chickpeas and Spicy Greens

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These hearty Quinoa Protein Bowls consist of three main components. It starts with a pilaf-style quinoa seasoned with lemon and garlic. The comes savory roasted chickpeas, spicy sautéed spinach, and a creamy homemade Chili Sauce made from just three nutrient-dense ingredients. The result is a flavorful, protein-packed meal that’s ready in under 30 minutes!

I love creating dinner recipes that have a balance of fiber-rich carbs, protein, and fat. I find that this combo helps me to feel full and satisfied on a vegan diet, and it helps maintain energy throughout the day. So with that in mind, I make this recipe pretty often as it contains all three, plus lots of vitamins and minerals.

I love the smokey flavor of the roasted chickpeas, and the spicy kick from the sautéed spinach. This grain bowl recipe has so much flavor, and since it’s well balanced with protein, fiber, and fat, it makes me feel good too.

How to Cook Quinoa

There are lots of ways to cook quinoa, some even claim to the “the best” but I think the best quinoa is cooked like a rice pilaf, meaning it starts with sautéed onions and garlic, then add the quinoa with lemon zest and let it toast in the pan along with the aromatic veggies. This deepens the flavor of the quinoa.

Then add vegetable broth, bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to Low. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, but make sure you don’t open the lid to check during this time. This allows the steam to escape and lowers the internal temperature of the pan. The quinoa needs the steam to cook properly, so be patient and let it do its thing.

After 20 minutes, remove the lid, drain any remaining water and fluff with a fork. Then let it sit for 5-10 minutes. This resting time allows any excess moisture to evaporate, and it’s actually a pretty important step.

Fluff once more, and you’ve got perfectly cooked quinoa that’s loaded with flavor!

How to Make Quinoa Protein Bowls with Roasted Chickpeas and Spicy Greens

The full recipe in on the recipe card below, but here’s a quick overview to show you how it works:

Step 1

Make the pilaf-style quinoa by sautéing the onions and garlic in a saucepan. Cook for 5 minutes, then rinse the quinoa and add it to the pan along with fresh lemon zest. Allow the quinoa to toast for 1 minute, then add the broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat, place a snug-fitting lid on top, and cook for 15 minutes.

Step 2

In the meantime, roast the chickpeas. Simply place the chickpeas on a baking sheet with olive oil and spices (listed on the recipe card below) Then roast for 15 minutes at 400 degrees, and remove from the oven. Finish with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast and set aside.

Step 3

Make the Tahini Chili Sauce. Simply combine the tahini, lemon juice, and water. The trick is to add one spoonful of water at a time. Mix until it’s absorbed, and then add more liquid. It takes a few seconds longer this way, but it’s worth it to make a perfectly smooth and creamy tahini sauce. Once combined, stir in the chili paste and set aside until ready to serve.

Then add a spoonful of chili paste and a splash of water to a frying pan with a lid and add the spinach. Cover and steam of 5 minutes to wilt.

Step 4

Remove the lid from the saucepan and allow the quinoa to stand off the heat for 5-10 minutes. Finish by fluffing it up with a fork and then distribute the quinoa-pilaf onto dinner plates. Top with the roasted chickpeas, sautéed spinach, and drizzle everything with Tahini Chili Sauce and an extra squeeze of lemon. Enjoy!

More Healthy Dinner Recipes to Try:

Quinoa Protein Bowls with Roasted Chickpeas and Spicy Greens

Nicole Vranjican
High protein vegan grain bowls made with pilaf-style quinoa, smokey roasted chickpeas and spicy greens, topped with homemade Tahini Chili Sauce.
Servings 6 servings


For the Quinoa

  • ½ large yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • cup dry quinoa
  • 3 cups veggie broth
  • 2 tsp lemon zest

For the Chickpeas

  • 2 cans chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp garlic granules
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast

For the Spinach

  • 10 oz fresh baby spinach
  • 2 tbsp Sabal Oelek chili pastę
  • 1 tbsp water

For the Tahini Chili Sauce

  • ½ cup tahini
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 6-7 tbsp water
  • 3-4 tbsp Sabal Oelek chili pastę



  • Finely chop the onion and mice the garlic, then set aside. Then drain and rinse the chickpeas, and set aside too.
    Zest a lemon and set aside, and then pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Make the Quinoa

  • Place a saucepan on the stove and set to medium heat. Add the olive oil and onions and cook for 5 minutes. Then add the garlic and then rinse the quinoa and add it to the pan as well. Add the lemon zest and a pinch of salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  • Add the broth, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cover with a snug-fitting lid. Cook for 15 minutes.

Roast the Chickpeas

  • In the meantime, place the chickpeas on a baking tray with the olive oil and spices. Toss to coat and bake for 15 minutes. Then remove from the oven and sprinkle with nutritional yeast. Toss to coat and set aside.

Make the Tahini Chili Sauce

  • Combine the tahini, lemon juice, and one tbsp of water in a bowl. Mix until the liquid is absorbed, and then add another tbsp of water.
    Mix and then repeat, adding just one spoonful of water at a time.
  • Then stir in the chili paste and mix well. Add salt and pepper if needed and set aside until ready to serve.

Sauté the Spinach

  • Add 2 tbsp of chili paste and 2 tbsp of water to a large pan with a lid. Then add the spinach, cover, and cook for 5 minutes to wilt the greens.


  • Remove the lid from the quinoa, drain any excess liquid, and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Then fluff with a fork and distribute into large bowls. Top with the roasted chickpeas, spicy spinach, and a generous drizzle of the Tahini Chili Sauce. Serve with extra lemon wedges on the side and enjoy!
Keyword chickpea recipes, chickpeas, chili sauce, high protein vegan recipes, how to cook quinoa, roasted chickpeas, tahini sauce, vegan dinner recipes

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Happy cooking!


Nicole Vranjican

Hey! I’m Nicole and I make practical vegan recipes for REAL life. I cook with simple, easy to find ingredients and I’m passionate about creating delicious plant-based meals that everyone will love!

I hope you enjoy my recipes and videos :) Happy Cooking!

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