Slow Cooker Barbecue Chickpeas
Traditional flavors combine in this Slow Cooker Barbecue Chickpea recipe, a satisfying and completely plant-based twist on classic barbecue.
“Wow!!! This was so easy to make and so delicious!!” ~ Victoria
I hope I can convince you guys to try this recipe. I’m guessing if you’re a vegetarian or if you eat a primarily plant-based diet then you won’t need much convincing at all. Because you know this is going to be good.
But if you’re an omnivore and maybe a bit skeptical as to whether beans are substantial and tasty enough to make a meal, let me just tell you that they absolutely are.
The idea for this recipe came to me when we were eating lunch with friends at Prasad, one of my favorite Portland eateries.
The menu is entirely plant-based, and since Andrew was looking for something hearty and flavorful he was not optimistic that a bowl of veggies was really going to cut it.
He decided to order the barbecue plate, which included chickpeas bathed in a sweet and spicy barbecue sauce, along with slow cooked collard greens and house-made corn bread.
It was so delicious that he had to ban me from stealing bites off his plate, and as soon as we got home I set to work recreating an at-home version.
I chose to go the slow cooker route because chickpeas stand up so well to the low and slow treatment, making this a perfect make ahead weeknight dinner.
The sauce couldn’t be simpler, and since there’s no chopping required you can get this one prepped in under 5 minutes.
Feel free to use these chickpeas anywhere you would use barbecue chicken: piled high in rolls topped with creamy cabbage slaw, as a part of a barbecue plate, in bowls, or in wraps.
Really, anything goes. Now, let’s make some barbecue!
RECIPE & KID-FRIENDLY ADAPTATIONS
1 | Serve the barbecue chickpeas pilled high on whole wheat or gluten free buns, topping with slaw and hot sauce if you like things spicy.
2 | Or, serve a generous portion with cooked greens and cornbread to make substantial and satisfying vegetarian barbecue plate.
3 | 5-Ingredient Everyday Creamy Cabbage Slaw, One-Bowl Cornbread Muffins, and Sun Dried Tomato Pasta Salad make for easy and tasty side dishes.
THIS RECIPE IS . . .
Dairy FreeGluten FreeNut FreeVeganVegetarian
Slow Cooker Barbecue Chickpeas
- 3 (15-oz) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 (6-oz) can tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup, or honey (if not vegan)
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, blackstrap molasses
- 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup water
- Combine all the ingredients in a 6-quart slow cooker, stirring to combine.
- Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6.
- Taste and add additional salt or vinegar if you like. If the chickpeas are dry or you prefer a saucier consistency, add more water.
I made this for the 4th and it turned out great! I had half a white onion leftover and I chopped it into the slow cooker and reduced the onion powder. Will make again! Thank you.
Kathie, love that you made this for the 4th. And using a fresh onion was a great idea. Hope it was a hit! 🙂
What is the blackstrap molasses for? We’re on a budget and I pay $7 for the maple syrup. If the molasses costs that much, I’m wondering if I could use a substitute since I’ve never seen it in a recipe. Thanks for your time!
Hi Kristi, molasses is a sweetener often found in bbq sauces, but you can certainly leave it out if you don’t want to purchase it just for this recipe. It adds an additional layer of depth, richness, and sweetness, but the sauce should be fine if you leave it out altogether and add a bit more maple syrup in its place.
Ok. Thanks so much! Getting my grocery list together now and I’ll be trying this soon!
Fantastic, I hope it’s a hit Kristi!
This was delish! I love the dressing on the coleslaw- so tangy! I think I will add a little onion to the barbecue next time, but it’s a great meatless meal. Thank you!
So glad you enjoyed, Alison!
Wow! This was incredible! I love that it’s vegan, high protein and low fat. Thanks!
So glad you enjoyed, Louanne!
Do you have a cook adjustment for dried beans? Thanks!
Merideth, I haven’t tested this one with dried beans, and I’m not sure it would work, as there isn’t enough liquid. I’d suggest cooking the dried beans first and then adding them to the recipe.
Does this recipe fill the slow cooker? Could I double it?
I think you can double this if you use a 6-quart. You may need to add a bit more time, but it should work!
Wow!!! This was so easy to make and so delicious!! My husband and I gobbled it up. I didn’t have any molasses and just substituted some extra maple syrup. It was perfect and my husband is requesting I make it again next week.
Woohoo, love it when that happens. So glad you both enjoyed!
I was on the search for some new recipes for my family’s rotation and happened to stumble upon this one. My husband and I started a vegetarian lifestyle almost 2 years ago and we like to find recipes that are flavorful and will appeal to our 2 children (ages 4 & 7). This recipe was a HIT with everyone–even my older daughter, who does not like condiments at all, was asking for more of this barbecue! We subbed 2 Tbsp of honey for the molasses as we are not fans of that flavor and it was delicious. Thank you for a wonderful new recipe in our monthly rotation!!
Natasha, yay, so happy to hear you and your crew enjoyed this one! Thanks for the tip on swapping honey for molasses as well–I know others will find that useful. Cheers!
I made this for the first time for a potluck, and it was not a hit. It was edible, but my friends thought that it tasted like chickpeas and tomato paste. I think I would have been better off just cooking the chickpeas and a couple of cups of barbecue sauce.
Lisa, that’s definitely an option in the future! This recipe is significantly lower in sugar (no refined sugar at all) and salt than store-bought bbq sauce–the first ingredient in bbq sauce from the store is typically sugar or high fructose corn syrup–so if you’re crew is used to that flavor, this one will definitely taste more tomato-y.
I love this recipe. So simple, just throw it all in and walk away. Also very serious about the it’s actually a filling vegetarian meal! I make this all the time! Panty ingredients makes it so easy. Sometimes I mix up the beans just bc I love all the beans and use what I have on hand. Also so good for meal prep!
Yay, so glad you enjoyed this one – love a simple pantry recipe! Thanks so much for leaving a review!
Do you think adding BBQ seasoning would create more of a barbecue flavor? I saw in the comments that it tasted too tomato-y and I’m worried that’ll be the case if I make it. How much would you recommend?
I think that could help! You could also use pre-made bottled BBQ sauce as well. If you add the seasoning, I’d go with 2 teaspoons. You may need to adjust the salt if the seasoning has salt added. If you try it let me know how it turns out!