Quinoa, Chickpea and Pesto

Quinoa, Chickpeas and Pesto

I’ve been feeling a little rushed lately; at work and at home… even my thoughts seem hurried and moments feel hastened.

I’ve never been a fan of this culture of busyness, what a truly bizarre way to live – It’s like everything I do is just so I can get to the next important thing,

I promised myself I’d have a real summer this year, so I’ve made a summer bucket list of sorts, of all the idyllic ways I want to spend this summer.

It’s not a crazy list, just a few perfectly ordinary things… like long hazy sun-drenched days on the beach, impromptu picnics with old friends, lazy al fresco dining, endless road trips, and cozy evenings by a secluded lake alternating between naps and reading trashy novels.

Quinoa, Chickpeas and Pesto

With that in mind, I’m trying to step back from this constant itch to be dynamite and surge through everything.

I’m taking the slower approach and living more in the moment; the other day it occurred to me that we were already in the throes of summer and I hadn’t tackled my list yet.

So while I go off taking a shot at a memorable and slow summer, I’ll leave you with this ridiculously easy quinoa and chickpea tossed in pesto. It’s more of a concoction than a recipe, an addition to your ways-to-eat-pesto dish repertoire, especially if you’re as obsessed with making pesto as I am.

Marcona Almond and Mint Pesto Quinoa, Chickpeas and Pesto
Quinoa, Chickpeas and Pesto Quinoa, Chickpeas and Pesto

This meal requires turning on the stove, which I guess isn’t a very summery activity when temperatures are high, but it’s quick, can be made ahead of time and ideal for dinner on the beach or enjoyed al fresco on your patio or balcony with a glass of rosé.

I always almost have a jar of pesto in the fridge; you’ll remember this marcona almond and mint pesto from a few posts ago.
It’s delicious with quinoa; I sauté onions and sundried tomato in olive oil, throw in some cooked chickpea, a generous heaping of pesto, and add cooked quinoa – and that’s it, a nice change from the traditional pasta dish.

I can’t wait to share my wonderful summer escapades, hope you’re having a wonderful summer too; even if it’s not summer where you are, – savour the moment!

Quinoa, Chickpeas and Pesto
Quinoa, Chickpeas and Pesto


Quinoa, Chickpea and Pesto


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or less, there’s oil in the pesto already)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons chopped sundried tomatoes (or a handful of cherry tomatoes)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1/4 (4 tablespoons) cup pesto plus more
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste


  1. Heat olive oil in a saucepan or skillet over medium heat
  2. Cook cumin and garlic in oil for about a minute until fragrant, stir frequently
  3. Add onions and sundried tomatoes and sauté for another minute or so until onions are tender
  4. Add chickpeas, stir and cook for another minute or so and let the chickpeas warm through
  5. Stir in pesto and cook for just about another minute
  6. Add the quinoa, toss with the rest of the ingredients and cook for an additional 2 minutes
  7. Add salt to taste
  8. Serve topped with more pesto and freshly ground pepper
  9. Enjoy


Quinoa, Chickpeas and Pesto

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  • Reply Bintu @ Recipes From A Pantry

    Impromptu picnics, trashy novels and this recipe.. my kind of summer bucket list.

    17 July, 2014 at 7:09 am
    • Reply Elsa

      See, that’s why I like you! You and I, we think alike… great minds, my friend 🙂

      18 July, 2014 at 12:30 pm

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