If you’ve never had pesto and chickpeas together, I highly recommend that you give it a go. I had this for the first time about a week ago, and I’m pretty sure its going to be a part of my regular weekly menu.

It is so easy and so delicious, you can make it in 10 minutes or less! You don’t have to have this rice, you can have it with pasta, as a sandwich or burrito filling or just on its own.



  • Author: somiigbene
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x


Basil pesto chickpeas




  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 30g fresh basil leaves, plus extra to garnish
  • 10g fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 20g sunflower seeds
  • 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 5080 ml water
  • 300g rice
  • 200g broccoli
  • 2 avocados, halved
  • 2x 400g tins of chickpeas


Start by cooking your rice according to the packet instructions.

Steam or cook the broccoli in salted water then set aside.

In the mean time, cook the garlic in an oven at 180°C for about 2 minutes or until softened. I like to do this because I don’t like the harsh flavour of raw garlic. Cooking it also releases the flavour of the garlic and increases the flavour of the pesto, in my opinion. If you don’t mind the flavour of raw garlic, skip this step and go to the next step. 

Add the garlic and salt to a food processor then pulse a few times into a rough paste. Add the basil and spinach leaves and pulse again. Then add the sunflower seeds and pulse. Continue pulsing until you get a paste, but don’t over do it, as the the heat of the machine may turn the pesto bitter. Gradually add the water, pulse as you go until just combined.

Drain the chickpeas, reserving a little bit of its water (make sure you use chickpeas in water without any preservatives). Tip the chickpeas plus its water into a pan on a simmer and allow it to get warm. Once warm, drain any excess water and then stir in the pesto and add the broccoli. Take it off the heat so you don’t cook the pesto at all. Stir it thoroughly to combine and to ensure that the pesto evenly coats the chickpeas and broccoli.

Serve the chickpeas with rice and a side of avocado. Garnish with fresh basil leaves if you desire.

  • Category: Lunch/Dinner

Keywords: Basil, Pesto, Chickpeas



  1. 8th July 2017 / 8:30 PM

    This seems easy enough ? Plus it might actually help me get some use out of the nutritional yeast gathering dust in my cupboard haha. Thanks Somi!

    • 8th July 2017 / 8:54 PM

      haha you’re welcome hun! Please use that nutritional yeast otherwise send it to me, lol!

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