Have you ever tried using garbanzo beans in chili? Chili with chickpeas is a twist on tradition. Adding Moroccan spices and figs takes the classic stew in a whole new direction.
Why This Garbanzo Beans in Chili Recipe Works:
Recipes for chili are typically geared toward a crowd, so we knew that creating a scaled- down version for two would require a careful balancing act.
Spicing Up Chili with Chickpeas
Cumin, coriander, paprika, ginger, oregano, and cayenne give the chili a heady aroma and adding them early—along with the aromatics—helped to develop their flavors fully.
Meat to Bean Ratio
Twelve ounces of beef and ¾ cup of canned chickpeas provided just the right meat-to-bean ratio. The juice from a can of diced tomatoes and a little tomato sauce was all the liquid we needed, creating a chili that was thick, rich, and utterly satisfying.
Chopped Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Mission Figs complement the spices of the chili with chickpeas and add an earthy sweetness. You could also use Golden Dried Figs too, though mission figs stand up better to the bolder spice profile and beef.
Chill Out with Chili
At first the idea of figs in chili might feel a bit far out, but hear us out. We use mission dried figs as the base for our Texas-Style Chili where they not only add to the flavor of the stew, but they also add to the texture of the stew, thickening it naturally (and also adding a nutritional boost with the fiber, potassium, and other nutrients naturally-occurring in dried figs.
Main Dish Sidekicks
So, the only question we have left is how do you like to eat your chili? Try ladling it over a scoop of steamed rice. Crush up some corn chips to scatter on top. Or, one of of our favorite ways to chow down on chili is a cornbread with honey butter.
Beef Chili with Chickpeas, FIgs and Moroccan Spices
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 small onion , chopped fine
- 1/2 red, green, or yellow bell pepper , cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Salt and pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 12 ounces 85 percent lean ground beef
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 3/4 cup canned chickpeas , rinsed
- 1/4 cup chopped Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Mission Dried Figs , stemmed and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice , plus extra for serving
- Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, cumin, paprika, ginger, coriander, oregano, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cayenne. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables begin to soften and spices are fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add ground beef and cook, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, until no longer pink and just beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and their juice, tomato sauce, chickpeas, and figs and bring to simmer. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes.
- Uncover and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until beef is tender and chili is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. (If chili begins to stick to bottom of pot, stir in ¼ cup water.) Stir in lemon zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, passing lemon, sour cream, and cilantro separately.