20-Minute Broccoli and Za’atar Chickpeas with Yogurt Sauce

Jump to Recipe
Charred Broccoli and Za’atar Chickpeas with Yogurt Sauce is guaranteed to bring excitement to your weeknight dinner table. It’s a well-balanced meal with plenty of punchy flavors, veggies, and protein that comes together in just 20 minutes!
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 10 minutes
Total 20 minutes
5 from 56 votes

Charred Broccoli and Za’atar Chickpeas with Yogurt Sauce is a restaurant-worthy meal made with a short list of simple, wholesome ingredients. Better yet, it only takes 20 minutes to put together!

You can easily call this a vegan’s dream meal. Each bite is packed with plant-based protein, the gourmet flavors are bold and bright, and it’s well-balanced nutritionally! Turn to it on lazy weeknights or when you’re simply craving a medley of outstanding flavors. 

PS: If you’re looking for even more quick dinner recipes with show-stopping flavors, be sure to try my Tahini Pasta and 15-Minute Chili Garlic Noodles. And if you want more fun uses for broccoli, my not-so-average Vegan Broccoli Salad is a must-try.

Table of Contents:
1. Why this recipe works
2. Ingredient notes
3. Step-by-step instructions
4. Tips for making this recipe
5. Frequently Asked Questions
6. Recipe Card

Charred broccoli and spiced chickpeas on yogurt sauce with bread on a brown plate with fork.

Why this recipe works

A little bit of everything in every bite.
Well-balanced is the name of the game here. The yogurt sauce is creamy and bright, the spiced chickpeas and charred broccoli will fill you up without weighing you down, and the pickled chile peppers add complex and slightly sweet-and-spicy bites (which the yogurt helps to cool).

It’s also balanced nutritionally. Protein? Complex carbs? Healthy fats? Check. Check. Check. 

It’s surprisingly quick and easy.
When all is said and done, this meal only takes 20 minutes to prepare. It features 4 layers but each one comes together in no time. Plus, you can save time by multitasking and preparing some of the elements ahead of time (for instance, the quick pickled peppers can be made a couple weeks ahead of time). 

Hello, wholesome!
Yep, it’s true. This deceptively indulgent meal is made with wholesome ingredients only! You get healthy fats and gut-healthy probiotics from the vegan yogurt, complex carbs and protein from the chickpeas, anti-cancerous properties from the broccoli, as well as vitamins and antioxidants from the chile peppers. 

Ingredient notes

Ingredients for chickpeas and broccoli dish in separate bowls and labeled by ingredient name.

Yogurt. Think of the vibrant lemon yogurt sauce as a bed for the broccoli and chickpeas, so you’ll want to pick out the best vegan yogurt you can find and afford. If you have my cookbook, The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook, the Homemade Coconut Yogurt in there is an excellent option.

In general, thicker and tangier yogurts will help the sauce feel more substantial and creamy rather than watery, as well as more flavorful. For store-bought alternatives, my favorites are Culina, CocoJune, GT’s CocoYo, and Kite Hill Greek Yogurt. 

Chile peppers. A fresno or jalapeño pepper is best. Attention spice lovers: feel free to use a serrano pepper if you can handle the heat!

Broccoli. Both the broccoli florets and stalks taste delicious, especially when charred. You’ll be surprised that you can get perfectly browned and tender broccoli in just 5 to 7 minutes (the secret is a rippin’ hot cast iron skillet and a glug of oil).  

Chickpeas. Canned chickpeas are a quick and easy solution here (make sure you save the aquafaba for vegan baking!). However, if you prefer the flavor of freshly cooked beans, feel free to make them in the Instant Pot or on the stove ahead of time.

Za’atar. This fragrant Middle Eastern seasoning blend tastes citrusy, herbaceous, and slightly nutty. It should be easy to find in well-stocked grocery stores, Middle Eastern shops, and online.  You can also make za’atar yourself using a handful of spices.

Looking for more easy broccoli recipes? Try this seriously creamy Vegan Broccoli Soup!

Need more creative ideas for canned chickpeas? Try this Actually Good Quinoa Salad featuring tangy marinated chickpeas.

And for other uses for Za’atar, try it as a great topping for classic hummus or beet hummus!

Charred broccoli and spiced chickpeas on yogurt sauce with bread on a brown plate.

Step-by-step instructions

Pickle the peppers. Combine the chile pepper, vinegar, maple syrup, and salt together in a small jar or ramekin. The pepper will macerate and soften up while you work on the rest.

Pickled Fresno peppers in a small glass bowl on a brown table.

Prep the broccoli: chop off the woody bottom inch or so of the stalk, then peel the first layer, and slice the stalks thinly into rounds. Cut the florets into medium-sized pieces.

Raw broccoli florets and sliced broccoli stems on a large wood cutting board.

Cook the chickpeas. Heat some oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the chickpeas and cook in a single layer (undisturbed) until they begin to brown. Toss and cook until they’re golden brown and blistered.

Sprinkle salt, cumin, coriander, and Za’atar on top. Toss to combine for a minute or two, then take them off the heat and squeeze on a little lemon juice.

Cook the broccoli. Meanwhile, heat some oil in a large cast iron skillet until lightly smoking. Add the broccoli florets and stems in an even layer. Cook undisturbed until they start to char. Flip and continue until both sides are charred.

Charred broccoli in a large cast iron skillet.

Make the yogurt sauce. Combine the yogurt, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper together in a bowl. Stir to combine and season to taste.

Time to assemble. Smear some yogurt sauce onto your plates. Add the chickpeas and broccoli on top of each. To finish, spoon the pickled peppers and a few spoonfuls of the pickling brine on top. Enjoy with the bread or grains of your choice.

Tips for making this recipe

Have (a little) patience.

Achieving a beautiful char on the broccoli is all about patience. First, you need to wait for the oil to get really hot in the skillet (you’ll know it’s ready when you start to see light wisps of smoke). 

Lay the broccoli in an even layer to prevent it from steaming. You can carefully do this by lowering the broccoli into the pan with a spider or slotted spoon. Give it time and don’t stir it around! That perfect char will come when the broccoli is left undisturbed.

A cast iron pan is the absolute best tool for charring the broccoli (and most foods). If you don’t have one, use another heavy-bottomed frying pan and make sure it’s over high heat.

Dry the chickpeas.

Once they’re rinsed, dry the chickpeas really well by patting them with a clean kitchen towel. Any water left on them will cause the oil to splatter in the pan and prevent the beans from crisping.

Multitasking is key.

You’ll have this meal ready in no time when you multitask efficiently. Always start it off by pickling the peppers so they have time to soften up and “pickle.” They’re fine to sit on the sidelines while you prep the broccoli and cook the chickpeas.

Get the charred broccoli going on a seperate burner from the chickpeas. While you wait or after the chickpeas and broccoli are done, make the yogurt sauce (it takes 2 minutes). It’ll be done before you know it!

Half eaten broccoli and chickpea dish with bread on a brown plate on a brown table.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can you serve with this?

Bread! While this meal is surprisingly filling on its own, you can stretch it further by serving it with hunks of toasted bread from your local bakery, or with pliable flatbread, like naan, pita, or roti. 

Alternatively, if you already have cooked grains in your fridge, serve the meal with them.

Is this meal gluten free?

Yes, this recipe is naturally gluten free as long (as it’s served with gluten free bread/grains).

How do you store the leftovers?

Each component can be stored in separate airtight containers in the fridge. The yogurt sauce will last for 5 to 6 days, the chickpeas and broccoli for 4 to 5 days, and the pickled peppers for 2 weeks.

The yogurt sauce is SO good! Where else can I use it?

First of all, make a double batch of the yogurt sauce so you have extra to spare. It stores really well in the fridge for 5 to 6 days. Enjoy it as a refreshing and cooling dipping sauce for Gobi Manchurian or Dal Makhani, drizzle it over vegan kebabs or grilled corn on the cob, as a dressing for a green salad or potato salad, use it as the base for a smashed cucumber salad or roasted eggplant, and anywhere else you need a creamy sauce.

Where else can I use the pickled chile peppers?

Keep a jar full of pickled peppers in your fridge at all times to use on top of tacos, nachos, grain bowls, and salads.

Spiced chickpeas and charred broccoli on yogurt sauce with bread on a yellow plate on a table.

If you love this broccoli and chickpea plate as much as we do, please be sure to leave a rating and review below :) And as always, I love seeing your remakes on Instagram!

Charred Broccoli and Za’atar Chickpeas with Yogurt Sauce

5 from 56 votes
Charred Broccoli and Za’atar Chickpeas with Yogurt Sauce is guaranteed to bring excitement to your weeknight dinner table. It’s a well-balanced meal with plenty of punchy flavors, veggies, and protein that comes together in just 20 minutes!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Serving size: 2 (or 3 with bread)


  • 1 Fresno chile or jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced
  • ​​3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 12 ounces (340g) broccoli
  • 3 ½ tablespoons avocado oil or high-heat oil, divided
  • 1 (15-ounce) (425g) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to season
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons of Za’atar*

Yogurt Sauce

  • 5 ounces (140g) plain-flavored vegan yogurt (ideally, a creamy and thick variety with a tart flavor)**
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated or crushed with a press
  • 1 medium lemon, zested + 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For serving

  • A few slabs of bread or cooked grains of choice (optional)


  • In a ramekin or very small jar, combine the chile pepper, vinegar, maple syrup, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and set aside to macerate, for 10 minutes (or longer), stirring once or twice (or shaking the jar up and down a few times).
  • Prep the broccoli: Cut off the tough one or two inches from the bottom of the broccoli stalk. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the first layer of the broccoli stalk. Cut the broccoli into small-to-medium sized florets. Slice the stems thinly into rounds.
  • Cook the chickpeas: Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Once hot, add the chickpeas and spread out in a single layer. Cook undisturbed for 2 to 3 minutes to allow some browning. Toss and cook for another 3 minutes, or until brown and blistered in spots. Add ½ teaspoon kosher salt, cumin, coriander, and Za’atar, and toss well to coat the chickpeas. Cook for 2 minutes to allow flavors to blend, then take off the heat and hit with a squeeze of lemon juice.
  • Meanwhile, cook the broccoli on a different burner: In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the remaining 2 ½ tablespoons of the oil over high heat. Once you start to see light wisps of smoke, add the broccoli florets and stems in an even layer as much as possible. Season with a bit of salt. Cook undisturbed for 2 to 3 minutes to char, then stir/flip, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more until broccoli is nicely charred. Turn off the heat and squeeze just a bit of lemon juice on top.
  • Make the yogurt sauce: Mix together the yogurt, garlic, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, cumin, coriander, a few pinches of salt, and pepper to taste. Taste, adding more salt, pepper, or lemon juice as desired.
  • To serve: Smear some yogurt sauce on the bottom of two or three plates, plate some chickpeas and broccoli on top of each, and spoon some of the pickled peppers on top along with a few spoons of the pickling liquid. Scoop up with bread of choice.


* You can find Za’atar at well-stocked grocery stores, Middle Eastern shops, and online (this is my favorite Za’atar, made by a Palestinian-American family – affiliate link).
** Recommended vegan yogurt brands that fit the bill: Culina, CocoJune, GT’s CocoYo, and Kite Hill Greek Yogurt.
*** If using a stainless steel pan, you might need a touch more oil to prevent the chickpeas from sticking.

Calories: 570kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 19g | Sodium: 1243mg | Potassium: 1001mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 1226IU | Vitamin C: 200mg | Calcium: 312mg | Iron: 6mg

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @rainbowplantlife and hashtag it #rainbowplantlife

Leave a Comment & Rating

If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider giving it a star rating along with your comment! It helps others discover my blog and recipes, and your comments always make my day :) Thank you for your support!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe

106 comments on 20-Minute Broccoli and Za’atar Chickpeas with Yogurt Sauce

  1. Roberta

    3 stars
    Least favorite of all RPL recipes I have tried?

    I would not add salt to the chickpea mixture. My Z’atar has salt.

    I know I don’t like my broccoli charred, but thought I would try it one more time….

    Should have steamed!

  2. Miriam

    5 stars
    Honestly one of the best recipe i’ve ever made. So simple yet unbelievably delicious, thank you so much for this recipe!!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      We’re over the moon to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Miriam. Thanks for your kind words!

  3. Ashley

    5 stars
    This was amazing. I didn’t have big expectations because it seems so simple, but it was so so good. Everyone loved it. Will make again and again. Thanks!!!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Your review made our day, Ashley! Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and for trying out the recipe.

  4. Jen

    5 stars
    I LOVED this and it was so easy. I need to get more broccoli into my diet and this was perfect. The combo of the broccoli and yogurt sauce is perfect. Super quick as well.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Jen, it’s great to hear you had success with the recipe. Thanks for the review!

  5. Lmsteig4

    5 stars
    Amazing! I didn’t make the pickled peppers.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi there, we’re so happy you enjoyed it! Thanks for leaving a review :)

  6. Lynn

    A question, rather than a comment: I can’t eat chickpeas… I know it’s a shame since they are so wonderful. I substitute them with other beans, but in a dish like this and some of the other chickpea dishes that Nisha makes, can you suggest a bean that would be comparable? Any thoughts would be very much appreciated.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      From Nisha: “Hi Lynn, sorry to hear you can’t eat chickpeas! My favorite bean of choice is cannellini beans, which are creamy on the insides like chickpeas and I pan-fry them with spices like this all the time. I’d suggest making sure they’re dried well (in salad spinner or w/ a dish towel), as this will lead to the best texture. You can play around and try using your favorite beans and see which you enjoy most!”

  7. Suzy Pritchard

    Well my fussy vegan daughter has actually requested this and bought broccoli to make sure I took the hint!!
    Thank you for an easy healthy recipe

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Awesome to hear it, Suzy, and you’re welcome! We hope you loved it :)

  8. Cassandra Chowdhury

    5 stars
    Fantastic. Truly so simple and delicious.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Cassandra, we’re so happy you enjoyed it! Thanks for leaving a review :)

  9. Daria

    5 stars
    It’s so simple and yet delicious. Love the chickpeas.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      We’re so happy that the dish turned out well for you, Daria. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment and for trying out the recipe!

  10. Sneha Parikh

    5 stars
    This was so good. Everyone (including my kids) loved it. Thank you for a quick and easy recipe! I didn’t have vegan yogurt so I paired it with your cashew cream sauce (left out the nutritional yeast).

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Sneha, thank you so much for your kind review!

  11. Beth Wolny

    5 stars
    WOW!!! This is amazingly delicious. I love the Za’tar and lemon. It goes really well over quinoa. Thank you! Great weeknight dinner.

  12. Debi-jo

    5 stars
    Easy and delicious. I did not have za’atar, so I used Italian seasoning as suggested by another reviewer but I will hunt for some za’atar for next time.

  13. Meiji

    5 stars
    the individual components of this dish are great on their own. but having them together is awesome! such a balanced blend of complex flavors from tanginess, creaminess & herbaceous. a must to add to my growing vegan arsenal

  14. Keni

    We loved this dish!!!! I was skeptical at first but wow it was great!
    I did not have Za’atar and read on-line that Italian seasoning was a good substitute. It worked perfectly. My husband loved it!!!!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Keni, we’re thrilled to hear you two enjoyed this recipe! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating alongside your review? Star ratings are big help to readers who are thinking of making the recipe. Thanks!

  15. Joan

    5 stars
    Just wanted to add that I dropped three lbs since I started this challenge. Nice side benefit to eating lots of delicious food.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      I hope you’re feeling super healthy, Joan!

  16. Joan

    5 stars
    I liked this way more than I expected. The yogurt sauce was a nice contrast to the sweet, warm broccoli and the recipe was easy and quick.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for sharing, Joan!

  17. Erin Burns-Flett

    I have been hesitant to make a number of the recipes in the Vegan Challenge as most have some sort of hot pepper – and they look sooooo gooood. Sadly, I cannot tolerate any chilis, jalapeños, or cayenne. Will the recipe survive without these?

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Erin, can you tolerate half a jalapeno with the seeds and membranes removed? That shouldn’t be too spicy at all. Otherwise, yes, most of the recipes will be okay without them!

    2. Erin Burns-Flett

      Thank you for getting back to me – sadly, I cannot tolerate any hot peppers – it’s not the heat, but a whole body physical response. Will give it a shot without the pepper. Thanks again

      1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

        Ahh, sorry to hear it Erin! We think you’ll enjoy it without the pepper, though :) Enjoy!

      2. Penny Mallett

        5 stars
        Hi Erin,
        I have the same problem as you. I have found, over the years, that white pepper can add heat, far more than black pepper. I haven’t tried this recipe yet but am looking forward to during the week.

        1. Hannah @ Rainbow Plant Life

          Hi Erin, white pepper definitely has a kick! Come back and let us know what you think once you’ve made it too! :)

      3. Lisa

        Hi Erin – don’t worry about leaving out the hot peppers. I cook for people who can’t tolerate any hot spice (except maybe a very small amount of black pepper). So I make most things without the hot peppers – and reduce the salt by a lot because of other health issues. I add red pepper flakes, hot sauce, salt & pepper to my own portion when I plate my meal. That way I can share it with everyone and still enjoy the moderate spiciness that I like. They taste the dish a little differently – but it still tastes great to them because they don’t ever want hot, spicy food!
        The pungency that perks up some of these dishes can be attained by the lemon squeeze, lime, or vinegar – but start off with a small amount so you don’t go too far! And sometimes a little wine or vodka or sherry adds a nice dimension.

  18. Lalita

    5 stars
    Amazing flavor combination! Made it last week and going to make it again this week.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for the lovely feedback, Lalita!

  19. Sonja

    5 stars
    This is SOO good. Literally Eating it right now lol. I switched up the order of events to make it a one pan thing. Made the yogurt dressing first so flavours had more time to sit. Did the broccoli next with some kale too and then in the same pan did the chick peas! Added some mushroom brown rice as a side. Had to stop myself from eating all the chickpeas so my bf can try it when he gets home later lol! 5/5

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Sonja, So glad to hear you loved this recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  20. Larissa Ione

    5 stars
    This was EXCELLENT. I might need to up my prep game, because it took me longer than 20 minutes, but it was SO GOOD. My husband also thinks it’s a keeper recipe. The ONLY thing I did differently was use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar (it was all I had, and it turned out fine.) Next time I’d go ahead and use the apple cider vinegar and prepare two cans of chickpeas instead of one, but otherwise, this is just a delightful recipe. LOVE.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for sharing, Larissa! We’re so happy you enjoyed the broccoli and chickpeas with yogurt sauce :)

Development Alchemy + Aim
braised chickpea stew in dutch oven

5 Secrets for Amazing Vegan Cooking

free email series

Learn the pro-tips that will take your plant-based cooking to the next level!