Side Dishes

Your New “Sidechick”: Chickpeas with Bacon and Arugula

Chickpeas Arugula BaconPlease forgive the bad title pun. I am slightly sleep deprived. In all seriousness, if you’re a fan of easy, quick side dishes that come together in fewer than 15 minutes, this post is for you. It’s just a bonus that my 4-year-old adores chickpeas. In fact, when I told him chickpeas were for dinner, he ran around the house screaming, “Chickpeas! Yes! Chickpeas! Yes!” And he actually ate his whole serving. The addition of bacon helped a bit, I think. (No, I don’t put bacon on/in everything, despite its presence in almost all of my posts so far). 

Chickpeas are having a moment right now, most popularly in vegan cuisine. The fancy word for the liquid in a can of chickpeas or cooking liquid is aquafaba, which is used as a substitute for egg whites in meringue (who knew!?). I’ve seen recipes for vegan and gluten-free “cookie dough dip” with pureed chickpeas as the base.  This recipe is far from vegan, but it is still chock full of those little protein and fiber powerhouses.

I’m not exactly sure when S. became enamored with chickpeas, but it was apparent when asked what he wanted for his special dinner for his 4th birthday and he replied, “chickpeas, rice, and chicken legs.” I couldn’t argue with that. Last night, he was skeptical of the arugula when tasting it raw, but he declared he liked it “cook-ed.” The over-four set was pretty happy with this meal, too. I paired it with some seared Italian sausage, but it would be perfect with grilled chicken, steak, or even by itself as a main course.

Chickpeas with Bacon and Arugula


  • Cook Time: 15m


  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained (reserve aquafaba for something cool)
  • 3 -6 slices of bacon, chopped (depending on how bacony you want it)
  • 3 handfuls of arugula
  • juice of 1/2 lemon or 1 tablespoon of red or white wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper


  1. Cook bacon in a medium skillet until browned and crisp. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of fat off (eyeball it). Add the chickpeas to the skillet and sauté until warmed and cooked. Add handfuls of arugula and vinegar or lemon juice and stir until arugula is wilted. Season with salt and pepper and serve! Told you it was that easy.

Voila! Arugula!

Voila! Arugula!


  1. Allison

    I’m obsessed with this dish! Have you made this dish with dried chickpeas? If so, please send me your tips on dried bean dishes vs. canned.
    Love this food blog!
    Thank you

    1. Amanda Author

      I have not made the dish with dried chickpeas, although I imagine it would work just as well. If you’d like to use dried chickpeas, be aware that after soaking and cooking, they will double in volume. So for a 14-ounce can as called for here, I’d use 3/4 of a cup of dried chickpeas. Soak them overnight, and then rinse and drain and combine with plenty of salted water in a pot. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, and then cook for 60 – 90 minutes. After they’re tender, you can throw them into the bacon fat and proceed with the recipe. Thanks for the question, Allison!


Tell us what you think!