Creamy Tomato Pesto Chickpeas (Vegan High-Protein)

These 30-minute Creamy Tomato Pesto Chickpeas are saucy, packed with tomato pesto and chickpeas and are high in protein and fibre. This plant-based meal is great to meal prep or to feed a crowd.

If you love creamy dishes, without being “creamy” or containing any cream or diary then these beans are for you. They are similar to my other creamy bean dishes, where some of the beans are blended into a sauce while the others are stirred into the pan, resulting in the most delicious fibre- and protein-packed meal. These are subtly flavoured with vegan tomato pesto, Italian seasoning and are delicious mopped up with your favourite bread or served over wholegrains like rice or quinoa.

A pan of Creamy Tomato Pesto Chickpeas with bread
Creamy Tomato Pesto Chickpeas

Why will I love these chickpeas?

These chickpeas are so delicious:

  • Creamy, saucy and tomatoey
  • Herby, rich and delicious
  • High in protein and fibre
  • Naturally vegan, egg-free, dairy-free, nut-free and gluten-free
  • Ready in 30 minutes
  • Ideal for meal prep or a midweek meal
  • Feeds a crowd or freezes well
  • Perfect for serving with bread or wholegrains
  • Packed with vegetables and antioxidants
  • Delicious as leftovers with jacket potatoes or wraps
  • Wholesome, healthy and nourishing
  • Great all year round

If you already love the sound of these chickpeas then skip ahead to the recipe card below. Or, first let’s discuss the recipe in more detail.

What ingredients do I need?

You can see the ingredients by weight in the recipe card below and see my favourites in the “shop the recipe” section.

For the sauce:

  • Chickpeas: either use two tins of chickpeas or one larger jar of chickpeas (the Bold Bean Co ones are amazing and I really think the quality of the chickpeas elevates this dish). We use the liquid known as aquafaba for the sauce, too, so don’t drain this away.
  • Vegan tomato pesto: I use the Sacla’ vegan pesto which is amazing and is naturally wheat and gluten-free, as well as being dairy-free. it has so much flavour and I love the subtle tomato goodness. You can also use other pesto here in other flavours like regular green pesto or chilli pesto. Feel free to also make your own Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto which is so delicious.
  • Thick coconut yoghurt: makes the sauce creamy and saucy without any cream. Make sure it’s thick and scoop-able like Cocos Organic and that it is unsweetened, too.
  • Plant based milk: make sure this is also unsweetened to keep the savoury flavours. I like an organic soya milk but almond, coconut or hemp will also work (oat is fine but it is naturally sweeter).

For the pan:

  • Olive oil: for frying. Or you can use coconut, avocado or another nut oil.
  • Onion and garlic: are the base flavours. Use white or red onion or even spring onions or shallots.
  • Red pepper: or another colour pepper. If not, try using courgette or aubergine chunks.
  • Dried herbs: this recipe uses dried basil and oregano for rich Italian flavours.
  • Fresh tomatoes: I use big juicy tomatoes or smaller cherry tomatoes in half to create the tomatoey sauce.
  • Chickpeas: as above.

Are these gluten-free and nut-free?

These are naturally gluten-free and nut-free, just check your pesto and bread/grains when serving.

How do I make them?

These chickpeas are ready in a few steps:

  • Blend together the ingredients for the sauce: until smooth.
  • Fry off the onion garlic and pepper in a pan: before adding in the seasoning.
  • Add in the tomatoes, chickpeas and all the sauce: and allow to warm through.
  • Serve hot with bread or grains: and some fresh herbs and coconut yoghurt swirled through.

How long will they last?

Store these chickpeas in the fridge in sealed containers for 2-3 days or in the freezer for 1 month and allow to defrost and warm through before serving.

A bowl of Creamy Tomato Pesto Chickpeas with bread
Creamy Tomato Pesto Chickpeas

What else can I make?

If you are looking for more ideas:

A pan of Creamy Tomato Pesto Chickpeas with coconut yoghurt

Creamy Tomato Pesto Chickpeas (Vegan High-Protein)

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

These 30-minute Creamy Tomato Pesto Chickpeas are saucy, packed with tomato pesto and chickpeas and are high in protein and fibre. This plant-based meal is great to meal prep or to feed a crowd.


For the Pan:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, small dice
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 red pepper, small dice
  • ½ tsp each: dried basil and dried oregano
  • 400g fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 x 400g tins chickpeas, divided

For the Sauce:

  • 4 tbsp (60g) Sacla’ Vegan Tomato Pesto
  • 100g thick coconut yoghurt
  • 60ml unsweetened plant-based milk

To Serve:

  • Extra Sacla’ Vegan Tomato Pesto, extra coconut yoghurt
  • Fresh basil, bread or wholegrains


  1. Divide the chickpeas: drain both tins and save the water. For the pan, you’ll need 340g chickpeas and 140g chickpeas for the sauce, along with 60ml of the aquafaba (liquid from the tin) and you can discard the rest (or save for other recipes).
  2. Into a large frying pan: add the olive oil and once hot, add the onion, garlic and red pepper and fry for 5 minutes, to soften. Now add the dried herbs and fry for 1 minute until fragrant. Add in the chopped tomatoes and cook with a lid on for 10 minutes, until they release their juices. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Meanwhile, make the sauce: add all of the ingredients to a small blender and process until really smooth.
  4. Return to the frying pan: now add in the chickpeas and all of the sauce and stir well. Bring to a gentle bubble and cook with a lid on for 10 minutes, until warmed through.
  5. To serve: spoon into bowls and spoon over some coconut yoghurt, extra swirls of Sacla’ Vegan Tomato Pesto and add on some fresh basil and serve with your favourite bread or wholegrains.
  6. Save leftovers in the fridge for 2-3 days in sealed containers and they are great served in jacket potatoes, tortilla wraps or warmed back up. You can also freeze the chickpeas for 1 month and allow to defrost before enjoying.

Shop the recipe

Stay in touch

I look forward to hearing what you think of these Creamy Tomato Pesto Chickpeas so please let me know in the comments below. If you do make them, I’d love to see them so please tag me in your oats, I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest  – please say hello!

With creamy pesto love x

p.s. this recipe was first made with Sacla’ and their vegan pesto, but this blog post is not sponsored and all opinions are my own.

  1. Aoife says:

    An you swap the chickpeas for butter beans or cannelloni beans?

Leave a Reply

Skip to Recipe