Skip the Chinese takeout and make your own vegan sweet and sour chickpeas instead ! It is rich, flavorful yet healthy at the same time.
This recipe has been updated with new photos and helpful tips.
Is there anything more comforting than Chinese food ? Especially this hearty, satisfying and delicious sweet and sour chickpeas. The best part is, it is super quick and easy to fix, and can be made in 30 minutes !
I especially love serving this dish with black bean sauce tofu and some vegan gyoza. Well, you will never go wrong with a Chinese takeaway inspired dinner, am I right ?!
🍍What you will need
📓Notes / substitutions
- To make it oil-free, use ¼ cup of vegetable broth or water to saute the veggies instead of oil.
- Make it gluten-free by using gluten-free soy sauce or tamari.
- If you do not have rice vinegar on hand, apple cider vinegar can be used in place.
- Dates can be substituted with 2-3 tablespoon sweetener of choice like maple syrup , coconut sugar or sugar substitutes.
- You can either use canned chickpeas or chickpeas cooked from scratch. As for salted or unsalted, it totally depend on how salty you like you food to be !
- Not a fan of chickpeas ? Swap it with some pan-fried extra-firm tofu cubes, tempeh or even slices of seitan.
- Feel free to swap the veggies used in this recipe for any veggies you have on hand. I recommend sticking with crunchy vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, green peas or carrots.
🔪How to make
Make the sauce by placing all ingredients needed into a blender and blend until smooth.
Heat ½-1 tablespoon of neutral oil in a non-stick pan / well seasoned cast iron skillet on medium high heat. Add in onion and saute until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
Next, stir in garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add in the rest of the vegetables and pineapple cubes now and cook until they have softened for 4-5 minutes, stirring every so often.
Stir in chickpeas along with the sauce and bring everything to a gentle simmer. Cook until sauce has reached desired thickness. Give it a taste and add more soy sauce, if needed.
Serve it on some freshly cooked white or brown rice, and enjoy !
✔Other helpful tips
- If you like your sweet and sour chickpeas to be extra saucy, simply double the sauce and you will have enough to drizzle a generous amount on your rice !
- I will not recommend skipping the onion, garlic or both, as it provides tons of flavor to this dish.
- You can certainly make the sweet and sour sauce without blender, but it is highly recommended to use liquid sweetener like maple syrup to ensure even distribution.
- To give this an extra kick, try adding some chili flakes, cayenne pepper or even a generous drizzle of Tabasco.
- Leftovers can be refrigerated for 3-4 days in a sealed container.
🍚How to serve
- Serve it with some fresh fluffy white or brown rice to soak up the delicious sauce !
- Or, you can cook up your favorite noodles ( rice noodles, soba, wheat noodles etc. ) and stir them in. You will want to double the sauce though. 😉
- For a lower carb version, cauliflower rice or broccoli rice will pair nicely with this dish.
- This sweet and sour chickpeas also goes well with stir-fry vermicelli noodles or even some flavorful tom yum fried rice.
❔Commonly asked questions
Due to its high oligosaccharides content, chickpeas might cause bloating or discomfort for some people. One way to solve this is to thoroughly rinse and drain canned chickpeas. If you are cooking chickpeas from scratch, soak them for at least 12 hours before cooking.
Chickpeas can be substituted with drained and pressed firm tofu, cut into cubes. You can even choose to pan-fry them first. Other alternatives includes seitan, tempeh or your favorite brand of chicken tenders.
🍽More chickpea recipes
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Vegan Sweet And Sour Chickpeas
For the sauce
- ½ cup water
- 1 medjool dates *
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- 3 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 ½ tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
Veggies and chickpeas
- 1 15 oz can chickpeas rinsed and drained ( or 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas )
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 medium red onion diced
- 1 medium red pepper diced
- 1 medium green pepper diced
- ½ cup pineapple cubes
- Make the sauce by placing all ingredients needed into a blender and blend until smooth.
- Heat ½-1 tablespoon of neutral oil in a non-stick pan / well seasoned cast iron skillet on medium high heat. Add in onion and saute until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
- Next, stir in garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add in the red pepper, green pepper and pineapple cubes now and cook until they have softened for 4-5 minutes, stirring every so often.
- Stir in chickpeas along with the sauce and bring everything to a gentle simmer. Cook until sauce has reached desired thickness. Give it a taste and add more soy sauce, if needed.
- Serve it on some freshly cooked white or brown rice, and enjoy !
Nutrition info calculated is just a rough estimate and is provided as a courtesy. Bear in mind that value will vary based on variables like specific brand or type of product used. To obtain the most accurate representation, it is highly recommended that you calculate it on your own with the actual amount and type of ingredient used.
This was fantastic. I’ve recommended it to friends. For the lazy, if you use maple syrup you don’t have to blend anything
Happy to hear that!
Can you substitute arrowroot for corn starch?
Yes you can! 😁
Is it 1 cup of medjool dates or just 1 medjool date? Want to make this today.
Thank you so much
It is just 1 pitted medjool dates ! 😉 Enjoy