This traditional baked chickpeas recipe is naturally vegan and gluten-free, plus it’s the tastiest method for preparing chickpeas!
These Greek traditional baked chickpeas (garbanzo beans) are ideal for a healthy dinner, naturally vegan and gluten-free! The recipe is very simple, with just a few ingredients and LOTS of flavor. Plus, you can feed many people without spending a fortune.
All of the above are some of the characteristics of traditional Mediterranean cuisine which consists of many dishes of the same philosophy like this Mediterranean vegetable orzotto with marinated cheese cubes or this Tuscan style white beans.
The only downside of this recipe is the long baking time. But then again, I just put it in the oven and forget about it for 4 hours, so I don’t complain!
Sifnos is an island of the Aegean Sea and it may not be as famous as Mykonos or Santorini, but it sure has a lot of beautiful scenery and amazing cuisine (for another island-inspired recipe you can check this easy Santorini sweet wine panna cotta).
These baked chickpeas are one of the most loved recipes on the island, so loved that they have special clay pots where they make this dish. The pot, when filled, is covered with the lid and secured with the help of a simple dough made with flour and water. The dough is kneaded into strips which are pressed on the seams between the pot and the lid. The purpose is not to let any steam get away.
Then, the pot goes into a wood-fired oven for 3-4 hours, and by the time it’s out, the chickpeas are incredibly soft, tender and delicious with and a subtle smoky taste.
This recipe uses dried chickpeas. Dried chickpeas can be found everywhere throughout Greece, in contrast with the canned ones that I still haven’t been able to find here.
If you can only find canned ones (which are already cooked) I’d suggest draining them and baking them with just half a cup of water, and the rest of the ingredients for 40-60 minutes. Broil for 5 minutes at the end so that the onions can caramelize and develop their entire flavor.
Some notes tips:
- If you don’t have a Dutch oven you can use any other oven-proof pot with a lid. Otherwise, you can wrap a deep pan firmly with foil.
- Ancient Greeks used sage to flavor their chickpeas, and I couldn’t agree more!
- The classic recipe from Sifnos requires only chickpeas, olive oil, salt and pepper, onions (a lot) and water. However, you can customize the spices/aromatics to your liking.
- You can substitute 1 teaspoon sweet paprika for the sweet red pepper flakes
You may also like these similar recipes:
Soy-free & protein rich vegan Bolognese sauce
Baked hummus balls
Share this post if you liked it (share buttons at the top!) and don’t forget to subscribe for new recipes or follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook
Oh! Just another thing... This is how your food will look like when you take it out of the oven. These are the caramelized onions at the top. Just shake it gently to reveal the soft chickpeas underneath!
Greek traditional baked chickpeas (Revithada)
- 1 pound (450 grams) dried chickpeas soaked overnight
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- Pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon sage leaves, fresh or dried
- 1 tablespoon sweet red pepper flakes, optional
- ¼ - ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- From the previous night, soak the chickpeas in a large bowl filled with water and 1 tablespoon salt. The water should cover the chickpeas by at least 2 inches.
- Drain the chickpeas and discard any that look bad. Sprinkle them with the baking soda and mix gently with your hands. Let them rest for 20 minutes and preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Rinse them very well and transfer them and the rest of the ingredients except the onions in a Dutch oven (or an oven-safe pot with a lid) and mix well. Cover the chickpeas with the chopped onions and add enough water to cover them by half an inch.Cover with the lid and bake for 3.5 – 4 hours.
- Serve with barley rusks and Kalamata olives. Eat!
- If you can only find canned chickpeas (which are already cooked) I’d suggest draining them and baking them with just half a cup of water and the rest of the ingredients for 40-60 minutes. Uncover and broil for 5 minutes at the end so that the onions can caramelize and develop their flavor.
Sounds interesting...cozy and comfort food!
Thank you vey much my friend!
Would this work equally well in a crockpot?
I haven't tried it this way, but I believe it will work if you set your crockpot at the highest temperature. You may have to cook them a little bit longer though, since the temperature of the crockpot is lower than the oven's... Please let me know if you try it!
I think so ... even better and add more garlic and diced tomatoes
you can certainly customize this according to your preference 🙂
Oh my goodness. I think I've found my new favourite thing! *Runs to supermarket to buy ingredients*
This sounds so so good, I love a recipe you can shove in the oven and forget about, and it sounds so simple! Plus... chickpeas are life. Thank youuuu!
can you add garlic?
Yes you can! Probably 2 cloves are enough, but that depends on your taste 🙂
From the photographs, it appears that there are whole sage leaves in the stew but whole sage does not measure well with a tablespoon. How much sage you can fit into a tablespoon would depend on how finely the sage is chopped. Do you have any weight equivalents or, in the case of sage, how many fresh leaves should be added to the stew? Sage is pretty powerful and it would be easy to add too much.
Hi Bob, yes there are whole dried sage leaves. I lightly pack a tablespoon and it's about 2-3 grams or 8-10 leaves. If you don't like them you can omit them or replace them with paprika
thank you for your elaboration: 2 to 3 grams or 8 to 10 sage leaves. It's my intention to try as many variations as I can. Thank you for your web page; I plan to explore it more. A few months ago I could find chickpeas just about anywhere and in ample amounts but now the shelves are rather cleared of chickpeas and red lentils in particular but most bean varieties are rare. I hope people don't throw them out when there usual foods become more available when the pandemic abates.
I hope the same, I hate wasting food! Maybe that's a nice opportunity for people to find out more ways to incorporate legumes in their diet 🙂
What’s the purpose of resting the chickpeas in baking soda? I’ve never heard of that being done before.
They cook faster and become much more softer. It's a common Mediterranean practice
Cook’s Illustrated often comments on the use of baking soda to assist in the breakdown of cell walls in beans, corn (for polenta) and potatoes. I don’t know the biochemistry but baking soda weakens the pectin structure of these foods to soften them faster then just using hot water. But it doesn’t take much — a teaspoon or less for 5 or 6 cups of water and I’ve seen a recipe for chickpeas calling for a half cup of baking soda for a pound of chickpeas which seems excessive. There are some reports that baking soda will destroy some B vitamins.
In my family we don't add the baking soda in the soaking water, but 20-30 before we cook the chickpeas. That seems to work better for us since the chickpeas become very soft. The part about the B vitamins is probably true, but I guess that a big amount of vit.B inside the legumes stay intact 🙂
Thank you, Makos and Bob, for the information on the baking soda. I made these for my lunch today and they were wonderful. I really like the combination of flavors with the sage, onions, and chickpeas.
I had this when I was on Serifos, Greece many years ago. They made it like this but with lemon added to it and no red pepper. I’m making it exactly like your recipe to try this version. Thank you so much for the recipe.
Thanks for trying this, hope you like it!
These were so tasty and I don’t usually enjoy chickpeas the onions were the key i think as well as the reckoning of canned beans. Thank you spool much for the recipe xx
I'm very happy to hear that! Thanks for the feedback!
I’ve eaten this dish in Greece and it was incredible. I have made it using a different recipe that uses fresh rosemary instead of sage and it is amazing – but in that recipe you have to caramelize the onions separately in a different pan and stirring all those onions takes forever so I am curious to see if this cooking style works because I will make this much more often if it does.
It does! The onions caramelize from the long baking time, you don't have to cook them before. Also, you can use whatever herb you want instead of sage or even leave them plain!
Hi! And suggestions for doing this in an instant pot?
Hi Jasmin, the magic of this recipe is the flavor the chickpeas get when baked. My mom makes them in an instant pot, but they're the same as boiled. Unfortunately I don't have a recipe, but I can ask her if you want
How to cut those onions? In rings? In little cubes or halve rings?
Hi Johanna, it doesn't really matter. I usually cut them in halve rings though 🙂
🙂 thanks! Looking forward making it!
So good! So easy! Thanks for another great recipe.
Hi Dimitrios, thank you so much! I'm very happy you liked it, especially because this is one of my most favorite recipes!