A bowl of stewy chickpeas with tomatoes and feta.

A few weeks ago, while flipping through the beautiful I Love New York, I came across an enticing photo of a warm panzanella, which sent me right into the kitchen to make it or sort-of it immediately: in place of the bread, I swapped in chickpeas, which I had just cooked, and which worked beautifully, the result being a stewy mix of chickpeas, tomatoes, basil, and feta. We devoured most if it immediately with crusty, olive oil-toasted bread, then snacked on the leftovers for days.

Here’s how you make it: After sweating some garlic in olive oil, add 4 cups of cooked chickpeas:
A sauté pan with chickpeas, garlic, and olive oil.

Then add a ton of tomatoes, basil, capers, and vinegar:
A sauté pan with chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, basil, and capers.

Crumble feta over top:
A sauté pan with chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, basil, capers, and feta.

A sauté pan with stewy chickpeas, tomatoes, garlic, and basil.

While any toddlers nearby inspect,
Tig stirring the stewy chickpeas on a table.

toast slices of crusty bread in a hot skillet with olive oil. Serve immediately:
A bowl of stewy chickpeas with tomatoes, basil, feta, and olive oil toasted bread.

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stewy chickpeas with tomatoes and feta.

Stewy Chickpeas with Tomatoes and Feta

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Inspired by a recipe for a warm panzanella salad with tomatoes recipe in Daniel Humm and Will Guidara’s I Love New York, this recipe replaces the bread with chickpeas and adds feta (then adds back olive oil-crisped bread on the side).

You need juicy tomatoes here to create a broth, which is why heirloom is suggested, but feel free to add a handful of cherry tomatoes to the mix, too—the different colors and shapes make it pretty/potentially more appetizing. Totally optional.

I like the brine-soaking method for cooking beans/legumes, but feel free to cook your chickpeas however you like or to use canned.


Cooking the chickpeas:

  • 1 pound dry chickpeas
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Few sprigs thyme
  • Half an onion

Stewy Chickpeas with Tomatoes:

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled, and smashed
  • 4 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 cup diced red onion
  • 4 cups diced heirloom tomatoes (see notes above)
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar, white balsamic or red wine or whatever you have on hand
  • 1 bunch basil (about a cup of leaves), roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, and freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup feta
  • Good, crusty bread, optional (see notes above)


  1. To cook the chickpeas: Dissolve the 3 tablespoons of salt into a large bowl of water (your largest mixing bowl, or about 4 quarts water). Add the chickpeas and soak for 8 to 24 hours. Drain, and place in a pot with the onion, thyme, and remaining teaspoon of salt. Cover with water by three inches. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and cook at the gentlest simmer for about an hour or until the chickpeas are cooked through. Let chickpeas cool in their cooking liquid. Discard thyme sprigs, and onion. Store chickpeas in their cooking liquid.
  2. To make the stewy chickpeas: In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the 4 cups cooked chickpeas and 1 teaspoon sea salt and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until heated through.
  3. Lower the heat to medium-low, add the red onion and cook for 1 more minute. Add the tomatoes and cook for 1 more minute or until they begin to break down. Add the vinegar, capers, and basil, and toss to coat. Season with pepper to taste. Turn off the heat. Crumble the feta over top and toss to coat. Taste, and add more salt, pepper, capers, or feta to taste.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian