Meat Free Monday: Chickpea Alla Puttanesca

This not so traditional Chickpea Ala Puttanesca was inspired by the Italian Spaghetti Ala Puttanesca. Instead of pasta, this dish uses chickpea but without anchovies and served with either bread or steamed rice.

What is Puttanesca?  

Puttanesca relates to a pasta sauce made with tomato, garlic, olives and anchovies. Several variations are all over the internet now depending on preferences. Some variations do not have anchovies, some have additional vegetable like bell peppers.

Some Facts About Chickpea 

  • Chickpeas can come in many different colors. Depending on the breed, there are green, black, brown, red and pinkish ones as well on top of the regular biege color that we all know.
  • Eating chickpeas regularly can lower bad cholesterol
  • Chickpea, also known as garbanzo have another names: Bengal gram, Cecci, Ceci bean, Chana dal, Chick pea, Chickpea, Egyptian pea, Garbanzo, Garbanzo bean, Gram
  • Chickpeas Are 23% Protein, so if you are looking to up your protein, chickpea is a good source to get it

Not Really a Traditional Puttanesca

This version is slightly different from the traditional Puttanesca, some people may even say it is not a Puttanesca at all. Maybe that is correct, but I am not that concerned about that as long as it taste good. Call it whatever you think suits it, at the end of the day we shall all end up with a happy tummy. As I mentioned above, traditional Puttanesca is served with Pasta. This version I like serving it will artisan bread or any crusty bread. Sometimes I have it with steamed rice as well. Anchovies is common in some Italian Puttanesca version, but I don’t like using anchovies in my cooking because of strong taste and smell. Instead, it was replaced with canned Artichoke, not even close to anchovies but I like that it gave a nice illusion of meat in the dish, and it made the dish more filling. Aside from this two, the rest of the ingredients are similar if not exactly the same. You can always use anchovies instead of artichoke if you want to keep the close to get original version, I’ll leave that decision to you, it will be delicious either way. This dish is so flavorful and delicious. The olives and capers gave a nice salty taste which enhances the tomato sauce of the dish. This is a quick meal to prepare, dinner in 30 minutes or even less!   


  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Yellow Onion
  • 1 clove Garlic – minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes 
  • 2 tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • 1/2 cup canned Diced Tomato
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon White Sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Capers – optional
  • 1/2 can Chickpea
  • 1/2 can Artichoke Heart 
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata Olives
  • 1 teaspoon Cilantro – chopped
  • 1/2 Lemon


In a heated pan, add oil and onion. Saute until onion is no longer translucent. Add minced garlic, red pepper flakes, tomato paste, diced tomato, Italian seasoning, sugar, salt, black pepper, capers, chickpea, artichoke heart and kalamata olives. Mix and cook for about 5- 10 minutes in medium heat. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Squeeze lemon juice and add chopped cilantro. Mix then taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Transfer in a serving dish and serve with bread or steamed rice.

Serves 2

Nutritional Information

Nutritional Information was calculated using Veryfitwell Recipe Calorie and Nutrition Calculator. For details about Nutritional Information in this website, please read the Disclaimer page.

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