Smoky Chickpea and Kale Rice Bowl

Smoky chickpeas and kale are sauteed with aromatic spices for a deep flavor with a healthy twist. This vegan rice bowl is simple and delicious.

Smoky Chickpea and Kale Rice bowl is plated in a white bowl with a side bowl of rice, a couple of spoons, and wedges of lemon for added color and zest.

Smoky Chickpea Rice bowl with Kale

If you love rice bowls, check out this loaded vegetable fajita bowl or this vegetable stir fry.

I have the perfect meatless meal for you- and it’s packed with protein and loads of flavor! This dish is super easy to make, comes together in minutes, and is so satisfying!

Chickpeas are packed with protein! Each ounce contains three grams of protein, which makes this a perfect meat substitute. The smoky aromatic spices really will draw your attention to how perfect the chickpeas and kale go together.

Making rice bowls is a simple solution to meatless meals. Everyone loves a good rice dish! This smoky chickpea rice bowl is just a step up! Twenty minutes from start to finish, and you have a nutritious, veggie-packed meal on the table!

Smoky chickpea and kale rice bowl is made easily in a stir fry pan.

Ingredients to make smoky chickpea rice bowl

  • White Rice– Uncle Ben’s white rice is a great brand that is available in most grocery stores. The rice cooks quickly, easily, and is always a great and consistent texture.
  • Chickpeas- Canned chickpeas work great for this recipe and really help make this meal a quick and easy recipe!
  • Kale- A fresh bunch of crunchy kale really is the highlight of this recipe!
  • Spices- A little onion, garlic, oregano, chipotle and smoked paprika powder is all you need for this smoky chickpea rice bowl!
Smoky chickpea and kale rice bowl ingredients include canned chickpeas, fresh kale, white rice, and a few spices.

Chef’s tips

Toast the spices

After heating the pan with a little olive oil, toss in the spices and let them get nice and toasty for a minute or two. You’ll notice the aromatic smell is absolutely tantalizing. Stay with me here!

Add more kale

Cook more kale than you think you are going to eat. The kale will wilt and shrink in size. I usually use the whole bunch of kale for this recipe.

How to make smoky chickpea rice bowls

  1. Cook the rice according to package instructions. I like to use Uncle Ben’s rice since it is so predictable and a very forgiving rice. It does not get mushy very easily.
  2. Heat olive oil in a medium pan. The pan should be large enough so the chickpeas and kale does not overcrowd the space.
  3. Toast the spices in the pan. Add the spices to the olive oil in the pan and allow them to to smell up your whole house with their aromatic goodness.
  4. Drain the chickpeas and add them to the pan. Canned chickpeas are the best to use because all you have to do is drain them and toss them in the pan!
  5. Chop the kale and add to the pan. Cut the stem out of the middle of the kale, then chop it into bite sized pieces. Add the kale the to pan, then add a tablespoon of water. Place the lid on the pan and let the kale and chickpeas cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Serve it up. First, place the rice in the bottom of your bowl. Add the kale and chickpeas and top with wedges of lemon for additional flavor. Mangia!
Smoky chickpea and kale rice bowl is plated in a white bowl and topped with small wedges of lemon for added color.

How to store smokey chickpea rice bowls

In the fridge

Store the smokey chickpea rice bowl in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

In the freezer

You can store your smoky chickpea rice bowl in the freezer if you can’t finish it within three days of fridge time. Put the rice bowl in an air tight, freezer safe glass container and freeze for up to 6 months. Remember to label it with the date and name!

Smoky chickpea and kale rice bowl is plated in a white bowl with a spoon to show color and texture.

Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram to stay in touch! I love to see your creations! Tag me at #SeaSaltSavorings to show me what you’ve made!

Smoky chickpea and kale rice bowl is plated in a white bowl and topped with small wedges of lemon for added color.

Smoky Chickpea and Kale Rice Bowl

Sea Salt Savorings
Smoky chickpeas and kale are sauteed with aromatic spices for a deep flavor with a healthy twist. This vegan rice bowl is simple and delicious.
4.92 from 49 votes
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • Small pot with lid
  • Medium pan with lid
  • Cutting Board
  • Sharp knife


  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1 15 oz can of chickpeas
  • 2 cups packed kale stems removed, chopped to bite size pieces
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1 TBS water
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • Heat 2 cups of water in a small pot to a roaring boil. Add 1 cup of rice and cook it according to package instructions.
  • In a medium pan, heat olive oil over medium low heat. Add all the spices and let them toast in the pan for one or two minutes.
  • Drain the chickpeas and give them a good rinse. Add the chickpeas to the pan of spices and stir them to coat them evenly.
  • De-stem the kale and chop it into bite sized pieces. Add the kale to the pan and stir well. Add 1 TBS of water to the pan to help steam the kale, and immediately cover with the lid. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • When the rice is done cooking, fluff it with a fork. Add rice to the bottom of your serving bowls, then top with the smoky chickpeas and kale. Mangia!

Nutrition values are estimates, for exact values consult a nutritionist.

Tried this recipe?Mention @seasaltsavorings or tag us #seasaltsavorings!

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4.92 from 49 votes (32 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I’m weak for a good chickpea recipe, and with how quick this one was it’s safe to say I’ll be making it again. Delicious!

    1. sherry brubaker says:

      Yay! I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe, I love a good, quick meal!

  2. Andrea Metlika says:

    5 stars
    I like the combination of flavors in this bowl. Smoky chickpea’s sound so good too.

    1. sherry brubaker says:

      Not only is it delicious, the flavor is even better and more developed when it’s refrigerated!

  3. Pam Greer says:

    5 stars
    This is going to become our go to lunch!! We are trying to eat more chickpeas and these are smoky and so delicious!

    1. sherry brubaker says:

      Chickpeas are a fabulous thing to eat more of! I love your idea!

  4. 5 stars
    This is a healthy bowl of rice meal. I love the combination of chickpeas and kale in this. And I think the chickpeas alone will be great in all sort of salad. 🙂

    1. sherry brubaker says:

      Yes, those smoky chickpeas could totally transfer to other delicious meals!

  5. 5 stars
    This is a great recipe to food prep for the week! Made a big batch on Sunday and took it to lunch all week.

  6. 5 stars
    I was looking for a quick recipe to use up some kale and came across this recipe. It was delicious. I will definitely make it again. Thanks.

  7. 3 stars
    Lacking flavour and sauciness. It’s pretty dry.

    1. Seasalt Savorings says:

      5 stars
      Thank you for your feedback and sorry to hear that the dish was lacking in flavor and seemed dry to you. Here are a few suggestions to improve your experience with this recipe:

      More Spices: You could increase the quantity of the spices to bring out more flavor. Feel free to experiment with additional spices that you like or increase the quantities of garlic, onion powder, smoked paprika, chipotle, and oregano in the recipe.

      Sauce: To tackle the dryness, you can consider adding a sauce. A simple tahini-lemon sauce or a vegan yogurt-based sauce could work well with the flavors of this dish.

      Lemon: Don’t forget to squeeze the lemon wedges served with the dish! It can add a refreshing zing and bring out the flavors more.

      Cooking Method: To prevent the dish from getting dry, ensure that the heat is not too high when sautéing the chickpeas and kale, and try to keep the lid on to lock in the moisture.

      Fresh Ingredients: Using fresh onion and garlic instead of the powdered versions could also enhance the flavor.

      Add Salt: Sometimes, all a dish needs is a bit more salt to enhance all the other flavors.

      I hope these suggestions help improve your next experience with this recipe! Let me know how it turns out!

  8. 5 stars
    I loved this recipe! I used fresh onions and garlic per your suggestion but otherwise followed your directions to a Tee. I used it in my favourite budda bowl and I very much enjoyed it!
    Thank you <3