Lentils and Chickpeas with Sweet and Smoky Tomato Sauce

I was inspired to create this recipe by opening my pantry door. (Should I also mention it was close to 4:00 pm?)

Yes, you can be inspired by cans and spices, and still make quite the healthy dinner. Case in point: for this dish, other than the onion and garlic, everything came out of my pantry. So that clearly shows that simply by stocking your pantry well, you can make a great dinner! Okay, there is no meat or chicken involved (I would never keep those in my pantry anyway, lol) but it is still a very tasty and healthy meal. Feel free to shred any leftover meat or chicken you have leftover (hopefully it was kept in the fridge!)

Lentils and chickpeas are pretty much basic staples for a vegan. The creative ways in which they can be used are endless, so feel free to experiment with any spices or vegetables you have on hand and I’m sure you will be able to come up with something delicious.

Some people like to plan, shop and prep in advance and that is totally awesome! I would love to be that person too, but unfortunately, I rarely am. Standing in front of my pantry, it’s a challenge to come up with dinner, but when I do I feel like a chopped champion!

I would say a majority of my dinner recipes start with an onion or two, and this one is no exception. White, yellow or red, or even leeks or shallots will do the job as well. So get out your knife and start chopping. Then you can put it away, because this dinner practically prepares itself.

Lentils and Chickpeas with Sweet and Smoky Tomato Sauce

This easy vegan meal comes straight out of the pantry and onto your plate. Just add an onion to complete this savory dish for a delicious dinner.

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian, Mediterranean
Keyword dinner, vegan, lentils, chickpeas, quick meals, quick,
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes


  • 2 1/2 cups French lentils, cooked can use green or brown lentils, but they will break down
  • 1 large onion, red, yellow or white chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes 14.5 oz.
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup can use honey or agave
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 can cooked chickpeas rinse and drain
  • 2 cups couscous or rice cook according to package instructions


  1. Place a 4-5 quart pot, or large skillet on a medium high flame. After a minute or so add the olive oil.

  2. Add the chopped onion to the oil and cook for 2-3 minutes until the onion is softened.

  3. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for another minute.

  4. Add the tomato paste and stir, allowing the tomato paste to cook for 2 minutes,

  5. Add the smoked paprika and cumin to the pot, and continue to stir until aromatic.

  6. Add the can of diced tomatoes, with the liquid, the maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and sea salt until heated through. Then add the cooked lentils and chickpeas to the pot, and stir gently. Heat through, and add a bit of water if the mixture seems too dry.

  7. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.

  8. Serve over a bed of couscous, rice or mashed potatoes. Enjoy!