Looking for the best recipe for roasted chickpeas you’ve ever had? You’ve come to the right place! This healthy couscous and chickpea bowl with avocado crema is a satisfying alternative to your everyday meal.
Spiced with harissa and topped with a cool avocado, this dish will have you licking the bowl clean.
This recipe is enjoyable because it is not only a healthy and filling meal, but is also a great recipe to meal prep!
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The ingredients and measurements below is for two hearty sized dinners. You can keep the measurements “as is” and make the portion sizes smaller to split it into four serving (which would end up being around 350 calories each). This makes a perfect lunch!
If you like a hearty meal prep, double the recipe and split into four servings.
What is Harissa?
Harissa is typically found in paste form, however can also be found as a powder. It originates from Tunisia and is a commonly used African spice.
It is made primarily of red peppers, chilis and spices such as garlic, cumin and coriander. A little addition of olive oil completes the smooth texture of these delicious ingredients.
It’s smoky, earthy and slightly spicy. Super flavorful and versatile. It can be used on roasted vegetables, as a rub on meats and poultry, or added as a kick to your favorite dip or dressing!
Don’t fear the heat of Harissa in this chickpea dish. It is offset with a wonderfully creamy and cool avocado drizzle.
Avocado Crema has become one of my favorite sauces. It’s quick and easy to make and you can take shortcuts when making it too! The recipe calls for fresh avocado, however you can use guacamole if you have it on hand instead.
If you’re using guacamole instead of fresh avocado, simply add the water and sour cream to the guac and mix well. Viola, it’s done!
Tips for making the best roasted chickpeas
Here’s how I make the best roasted chickpeas? Roasting them is so super simple! You’ll always want to start with a good base and use three basic ingredients: chickpeas (I prefer canned), extra-virgin olive oil, and salt. From there, you can layer and create endless flavor profiles.
To maximize taste and add dimension to your dishes, play around with spices. Chickpeas seasoning and spice combinations are a fun way to experiment with different flavor profiles. Since they are so mild in flavor in their original state, they really carry the flavor of spices well.
Here are some ideas for great flavor combos: garlic, paprika, honey, red pepper flakes and lemons.
Try adding dry spices before they go in the oven so they bake into them. Toss them in olive oil too.
They are super versatile and can be used as a protein in curries, topped with honey for a little sweetness and added to salads, and even as a snack all by themselves!
Eat them warm. After roasting chickpeas in the oven, they will come out with the perfect crunch and texture. For extra crispiness, keep them in the oven for a little longer. They don’t store well if put into the refrigerator after being cooked. Either plan to eat them quickly or store them at room temperature for a few hours until you eat again.
Health benefits of Chickpeas
Chickpeas are a healthy option if you are looking to reduce your meat intake. They are packed with nutrient rich vitamins and minerals. They are an amazing source of protein and fiber, which are two essentials for feeling satisfied and keeping hunger at bay.
Use chickpeas in salads or in rice bowls, like this dish, if you’re looking for ways to help you lose weight. They are low in calories and even help in the aid of digestion.
Chickpeas are also high in folate, a necessary B vitamin! There are so many health benefits, it’d definitely worth doing a little reading and finding fun ways to get them into your everyday diet.
How to cook couscous
Couscous is a simple little grain that can be compared to a rice or a pasta. It’s light, fluffy and a healthy alternative if you’re looking for a more complex carb. Note that it is not the same as quinoa as it does not provide the same level of protein nutritional value.
The most important step in cooking couscous is to add flavor right from the beginning. Use a healthy tab of butter and a flavorful broth or stock as your base. You can either fully substitute the water with a vegetable or chicken broth, or do a partial mix. Either way, adding one of these instead of plain water gives so much more depth.
You also want to ensure you are using the right couscous to water ratio. Stick to the ratio of 1½ cups of water (or preferred cooking liquid) per 1 cup of couscous.
Add your cooking liquid to a pot and bring to a boil. Then, add your couscous and butter, stir well, turn off heat and cover for 5-7 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Season with salt and pepper and your couscous recipe will come out perfect every time!
Roasted Chickpea Bowl with Avocado Crema and Couscous Recipe
Warning: you will crave these crunchy and soft little nuggets of deliciousness with everything after you try this!
To make your chickpeas crunchy, make sure you rinse them with water and dry them super well before you cook them. If they aren’t crunchy after you take them out of the oven, set them aside and allow them to cool off. Do not soak them in water or boil them prior to cooking if you’re using canned chickpeas.
Pat them dry and remove any excess moisture with a paper towel and put them back in the oven. While roasting, shake the pan to move them around a bit and allow each side to crisp up.
Roast them for 30 minutes and try to move them around every 10 minutes. If you like crunchier, continue roasting by adding 10 minutes until you reach your desired texture.
Recipes You’ll Love
Roasted Chickpea Bowl with Avocado Crema and Couscous
- 6 oz Sliced Carrots
- 15 oz Chickpeas
- 1 Red Onion
- 1 tsp Harissa
- 1 c Instant Couscous
- 1 Lemon
- 1 Avocado
- 1 tbsp Lime Juice
- 1/2 c Sour Cream
- 1/2 oz Vegetable Stock Concentrate
- vegetable oil
- 1 tsp butter
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash and dry all produce. Chop peeled carrots. Cut onion in half. One half will be cut into thin slices, the other half will be finely chopped to 1/4c. Drain and rinse chickpeas. Zest and halve lemon.
- On a baking sheet, add carrots to one side and drizzle with oil, 1/2 teaspoon of harissa and salt and pepper. Toss and then roast in the oven for 5 minutes.
- While the carrots roast, combine chickpeas and onion slices with a large drizzle of oil, 1/2 tsp harissa, salt, and pepper and set aside until the carrots finish their 5 minutes in the oven.
- Once the carrots have roasted for 5 minutes, add chickpea mixture to the sheet pan along with the carrots and return to oven. Roast for 15029 minutes, or until veggies are tender.
- As the carrots and chickpeas roast,, melt 1 TBSP butter in a small pot over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook until fragrant for 2-3 minutes. Stir in dry couscous with 1 cup water, vegetable concentrate, and a big pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then immediately cover and remove from heat. Keep covered until ready to serve.
- Chop cilantro and zest the lemon and cut in half.
- Once the roasted vegetables are done, remove from oven, fluff couscous with a fork, stir in lemon zest and 1/2 of the chopped cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Assemble bowls by dividing between bowls and top with roasted carrots and chickpeas. Top with avocado crema and cilantro leaves. Serve with remaining lemon halves as garnish.
For the Avocado Crema
- In a small bowl, add mashed avocado, sour cream, 1 TBSP water, and a squeeze of lime juice to taste. Season with salt and pepper. Top chickpeas and couscous once the bowl is assembled.