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Paprika Chicken with Chickpeas

Paprika Chicken with Chickpeas

One pot easy baked chicken thighs with smoked paprika, onions, and chickpeas!

Photography Credit:Elise Bauer

Do you ever cook with smoked paprika? It’s one of my favorite spices, reminds me of barbecued potato chips. It’s great with chicken and also perfect with chickpeas.

So for this dish, I decided to marry the two—chicken and chickpeas, all coated with smoked paprika (and some pepper and oregano), and bake them on a bed of sliced onions.

Perfect! Especially for a no-fuss midweek meal.

The chickpeas provide enough starch for the chicken, so there’s no need for rice or potatoes. The dish does need a splash of green, which is ably accomplished by the addition of either chopped cilantro or parsley.

Paprika Chicken with Chickpeas Recipe

Feel free to add other spices if you have them on hand, like ground cumin, coriander, even a pinch of cinnamon.


  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 2 pounds chicken thighs (we used bone-in, skin-on), trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 14-ounce can chickpeas, drained
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley


1 Coat chicken with spices: Stir together the smoked paprika, salt, garlic powder, pepper, and ground oregano in a large bowl. Place the chicken thighs in the bowl and toss to coat completely with the spices.

You can do this several hours ahead, or right before cooking. Your choice. The longer the chicken sits in the rub, the more the flavors will permeate.

2 Preheat oven to 350°F.

3 Layer a casserole dish with sliced onions: Place the thinly sliced onions in the bottom of a casserole dish large enough to hold the chicken pieces with room in between.

Toss with about 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and spread out in an even layer at the bottom of the dish.

4 Add chickpeas, lemon, oil to chicken: Add drained chickpeas, lemon zest, lemon juice, and remaining olive oil (2 Tbsp minus 1 teaspoon) to the bowl with the chicken and spices.

Toss to coat the chicken evenly with the lemon and oil, and make sure that the chickpeas are coated with the spice mixture as well.

5 Arrange chicken and chickpeas over onion slices: Arrange chicken pieces, skin-side up, on top of the sliced onions in the casserole dish. Arrange the chickpeas between the chicken pieces.

6 Bake: Bake uncovered at 350°F for 40-45 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken thighs is at least 165°F when tested with a meat thermometer, and the top is lightly browned.

Sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro or parsley. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with a side salad.

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Recipe Summary

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 head escarole, roughly torn
  • 2 cups watercress, tough stems removed (from 1 bunch)
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and shaved into thin strips using a vegetable peeler
  • 3 small radishes, trimmed and very thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Stir together smoked paprika, cumin, salt, garlic powder, and cayenne in a small bowl.

Place chickpeas on a small rimmed baking sheet lined with several layers of paper towels pat dry. Transfer dry chickpeas to a medium bowl add 3 tablespoons of the oil and 2 tablespoons of the spice mixture, and stir to coat. Spread chickpeas in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper reserve the bowl. Bake, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 45 minutes.

While chickpeas bake, add chicken and remaining 3 tablespoons oil to bowl with remaining 2 tablespoons spice mixture toss to coat. Arrange chicken in a single layer on a small rimmed baking sheet, and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Add chicken to oven during last 15 minutes of the chickpea baking time, and bake until a thermometer inserted into the center of a chicken thigh registers 165°F, about 15 minutes. Remove chickpeas and chicken from oven, and let stand 10 minutes. Shred chicken with two forks.

Whisk together oil, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a very large bowl. Add escarole, watercress, carrots, and radishes toss gently to coat. Divide salad among 4 large plates top evenly with chicken and crispy chickpeas and serve immediately.

Paprika Chicken with Chickpeas - Recipes

Paprika Chicken with Crispy Chickpeas and Tomatoes

10min Prep, 15min Cook, 25min Total


  • 12 oz tomatoes
  • 8 cloves garlic, smashed, in their skins
  • 1 (15-oz) can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 (6-oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp paprika


  1. Heat oven to 425°F. On rimmed baking sheet, toss tomatoes, garlic and chickpeas with 2 Tbsp oil and ¼ tsp each salt and pepper. Roast 10 min.
  2. Heat remaining Tbsp oil in large skillet on medium. Season chicken with paprika and ½ tsp each salt and pepper and cook until golden brown on one side, 5 to 6 min. Flip and cook 1 min. more.
  3. Transfer to baking sheet with tomatoes and chickpeas and roast until cooked through, 6 min. more. Before serving, discard garlic skins.

Nutritional Information

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Roast Chicken on a Weeknight? Yes! Melissa Clark’s Smoky Paprika Chicken with Crispy Chickpeas, Roasted Lemon and Baby Spinach

Melissa Clark’s “Dinner. Changing the Game” (Clarkson Potter 2017) arrived just a little late. The Instant Pot epidemic was fully underway and so this book took a back seat to her “Dinner in an Instant.75 modern recipes for your Pressure Cooker, Multi Cooker Instant Pot” (Clarkson Potter 2017). That is truly a shame. One day soon, I will tackle my experiences with the Instant Pot, not all of them as ecstatic as most reviewers have been. But today I’d like to embrace the philosophy of “Dinner. Changing the Game”.

Ms. Clark, a staff writer for the New York Times, writes: “Dinner often means a protein and two sides, a meat and two vegs. And this can make cooking dinner night after night a challenge.” No argument there as I count the nights till we eat out. It is almost daily struggle to come up with what to eat. However, Ms. Clark points out that our tastes are changing, the range of ingredients at our disposal are expanding constantly. Our immigrant population has made our grocery stores havens for new food inspirations.

“We’ve fallen in love with all kinds of diverse ingredients: preserved lemons, kimchi, miso, quinoa, pork belly, panko.” Ms. Clark points out. I note that she left out Kale on her list. In fairness I should tell you that today’s recipe used Baby Kale in lieu of Baby Spinach. In my search for fresh ingredients, I draw the line at Kale. But feel free if you are so inclined.

Who doesn’t love a crispy skinned Roast Chicken? This recipe starts out by applying the principle of ‘air-drying’ the chicken to get it’s the skin the crispiest. The bird rests in the fridge an hour (or more) and then goes into a hot oven all alone on a sheet pan. While it’s off sizzling in the oven, Meyer Lemons are sliced into thin triangles, blanched in boiling water and then added to canned chickpeas, olive oil and both sweet and hot smoked paprikas. That mixture is added to the ever-crispier chicken where the chickpeas too become crispy. Finally, the chicken is removed from the oven to rest. At that moment, the Baby Spinach is tossed in with the chickpeas, Meyer lemon juice tops the vegetables and the mixture is lightly salted.

The result lives up to Ms. Clark’s concept of Dinner: Wonderful fresh flavors and an old favorite in one pan and in 1 ½ hours all told – minus of course, that dry chilling time in the fridge. Here is the recipe.

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Smoky Chickpeas

Warm up and wind down with this simple yet hearty weeknight meal.

Warm up and wind down with this simple yet hearty weeknight meal.

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Heat oil in large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Cook, in batches, skin side down until skin is browned and crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate reserve skillet.
  2. Add onion and garlic to reserved skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in paprika and cumin and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and chickpeas, and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Nestle chicken into mixture, skin side up.
  3. Roast in oven until the internal temperature of chicken reaches 165°F, 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. Serve sprinkled with fresh thyme leaves and yogurt alongside.

PER SERVING: protein: 65 g fat: 38 g carbohydrate: 45 g fiber: 9 g sodium: 452 mg cholesterol: 304 mg calories: 793.

Let’s Make Paprika Chicken Pasta, Ready GO.

Okay, first up. Bake your chicken. I used the internet’s favorite brine / brush / bake method.

But basically it’s like this:

Now onto the pasta, and since we are working with so few ingredients here, please select good quality pasta! (Translation: please find some DeLallo pasta, or better yet, order yourself a nice lil stock of it so you always have it on hand.)

Boil the pasta and toss it with your creamy sauce.

OH MY GOSH. Look how beautiful and creamy and paprika-y.

Chicken goes on top, or mixed in, however you like it.

Send your fork into that luscious bowl of paprika chicken pasta goodness and call it a day.

Paprika Chicken with Chickpeas

I have been waiting until the weather turned cool enough to turn the oven on. This Paprika Chicken with Chickpeas is worth the wait.I think it would be a great dish for company or a family dinner. I usually eat white meat, but in this case I used bone-in/skin-on thighs. You are the boss of your food so if you want to use white meat or boneless chicken I think it would be fine.

There are few ingredients. I used paprika, garlic powder, and oregano, but I think it would be delicious with any combination of your preferred flavor.

Next time I make this dish and I will definitely will be making it, I will put it together differently. The recipes I looked at on the web suggested applying the rub and letting it sit for overnight or a few hours if you only have the time. I would only add the spice to the underside of the chicken, and leave the skin-side bare until browned, and then I would sprinkle on the spice. This would avoid the accidently burning of the spices.

As for the onion, just halve an onion and cut into thin half-rings, rinse a can of chickpeas – I like to remove the skin, but I will not ask that of you, unless you want a better mouth-feel.

Brown the chicken skin-side down, remove and set aside. Add the sliced onions and chickpeas, nest the browned chicken thighs on top of the chickpea and onions. Place the pan uncovered into a 350 F. degree oven until done.

If you want your Paprika Chicken with Chickpeas to cook more quickly do what Jacques Pépin does. Take a paring knife and make a cut to the underside of the thighbone, but don’t cut completely through the thigh. It will speed up the cooking by about ten minutes.

Paprika Chicken with Chickpeas is such a satisfying meal. I made a yogurt base dressing for a few salad greens and this balanced out the meal.

I think if you made my Almond Ricotta Cake to finish off the meal you would have some happy guests.

Heat oven to 425°F. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken breasts with Adobo and paprika add 3 breasts halves to skillet, skin-side down. Cook until skin is dark golden brown and crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate skin-side up and repeat with remaining oil and breasts.

Add sherry vinegar to same skillet return to heat bring vinegar to boil, scraping up any bits from bottom of pan. Add chickpeas in sauce and cherry tomatoes to skillet. Bring liquid from beans to boil, stirring occasionally. Transfer chickpea mixture to 9”x13” baking dish. Nestle chicken breasts into chickpea mixture skin-side up.

Bake chicken and chickpeas, uncovered, until chicken is cooked through (internal temperature registers 165°F on quick-read thermometer), about 40 minutes. Sprinkle chicken and chickpeas with parsley. Serve.

More Cooking Tips

One Pot Spanish Chickpea Chicken

I know a common one is to live a healthy lifestyle, either through diet, exercise or both. The tricky part is sticking with those healthy goals long-term, right?

I’m proposing that instead of trying to follow some crazy restrictive healthy diet, we commit to meal planning and preparing nutritious meals for ourselves and our families each day. Home cooked meals are more satisfying and nourishing than takeout, every time. And knowing what goes into the food that you put into your body is so important.

This time of year, when we’re still in the thick of winter, I crave home-cooked meals that are not only healthy but also hearty and comforting. This One Pot Spanish Chickpea Chicken is both. It’s made with fresh vegetables, brown rice and chickpeas, all of which offer fiber and other nutrients.

Chickpeas are one of my very favorite ingredients. I use them all the time in my kitchen, as evidenced in these make ahead mason jar salads, these sweet potato noodles, and this favorite slow cooker chili.

I’ve known for a while that chickpeas pack a nutritious punch, but I’ve just recently learned that they belong to a group of foods called pulses. Pulses include dry peas, chickpeas, lentils and beans, and are protein-packed, sustainable foods. So when we cook with pulses we’re making our food both more wholesome and tasty, all while helping to protect the environment.

All pulses are a good source of both protein and fiber. Chickpeas in particular are an excellent source of folate. They contain three times as much folate per serving than kale! I always have a stock of lentils, chickpeas and beans in my kitchen. Not only are they an affordable source of protein, they can be used in a variety of recipes and make getting dinner on the table a snap!

A simple and healthy baked chicken recipe with fresh tomatoes and a slightly spicy paprika yogurt sauce.

It might shock you, but I have a quasi-schedule here at Macheesmo that I try to keep. To try to keep this schedule, I like to have a few back-up posts ready in case I need to remove myself from the Internet for a few days.

This post has been sitting in that backup queue for awhile now and I decided to move it straight to the top. I’ve noticed thanks to some keen Twitter followers (@thegastronome) that my last few posts have been a bit on the unhealthy side: A cheese and honey sandwich, an alcoholic beverage, and delicious breakfast rolls. This was not on purpose.

I promise it is not my goal to make you larger. It is my goal though to get you excited about cooking. I think this dinner will do that and it just so happens to be pretty healthy!

As a rule, I don’t like boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I find them to be completely flavorless. They need a lot of help, in my opinion, to end up as a tasty dinner. I know a lot of people use them as their default, but I’ve never really been a fan.

I use them in this dish though (healthy!) because there is so much flavor given to the chicken from the awesome paprika oil rub that goes along with it. Let’s make it!

Smoky Roasted Chicken Breasts with Tomatoes and Chickpeas

Sometimes you know a recipe is a keeper. The minute I saw this chicken recipe in Bon Appétit I knew it would be great. Normally I change recipes up quite a bit, but in this case I only made a few minor tweaks – and ended up with a simple and flavorful dinner that I will be making again (and again). The ingredients are straightforward and likely already in your kitchen, and the whole dish may be prepared in less than 45 minutes – perfect for the weeknight. So file this one – you won’t regret it!

Smoky Roasted Chicken Breasts with Chickpeas, Tomatoes and Cilantro

Slightly adapted from Bon Appétit. Serves 4 to 5.

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 cup Greek whole milk yogurt
4 large chicken breasts with skin, de-boned, 6 to 8 ounces each
2 cups grape tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzos), drained and rinsed
1 cup fresh cilantro sprigs, divided (or Italian parsley)

Whisk oil, garlic, paprikas, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper and crushed red pepper in a small bowl. Transfer 1 tablespoon of the oil to another bowl and whisk in the yogurt. Set aside until serving.

Place chicken, skin-side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Rub all over and between skin and meat with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Place tomatoes, chickpeas and half of the cilantro in a bowl. Add remaining oil and stir to coat. Pour onto the baking sheet around the chicken. Turn to coat the chicken with any extra oil. Be sure to keep the skin side up for roasting. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt.

Roast chicken in oven until cooked through, 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer chicken to serving plates or a platter and spoon the beans and tomatoes over. Garnish with cilantro and serve with yogurt sauce.