Smoky Spanish Rice & Chickpeas

Smoked Paprika is the star in this vegan, gluten-free Spanish rice dish that is packed with nutrition AND flavour!
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Smoky Spanish Rice & Chickpeas Topped with Chopped Parsley on White Bowl

This Smoky Spanish Rice & Chickpeas recipe is one of my new favourites! It’s also a great one to break out when you have company that has allergies, or is vegan or gluten-free…the list is endless!

A vegan, a carb-free eater and a birthday boy walk into a bar…

Oh, no wait, they walked into my house.

On Mother’s Day.

You know, I’d like to consider myself a non-whiner when it comes to food preferences. I actually eat very high-protein and low-carb as much as I can when I’m not out and about. My son eats very little dairy, my daughter is picky…you all know this by now. You’ve heard the whines about that.

But man. I couldn’t even order out on Mother’s Day. Not that I would want to, but I mean really, who wants to get stuck – on Mother’s Day no less- with making meat for 95% of the table, no wheat for about 20% of the table, absolutely no carbs for 5 % of the table and vegan for the last 5%?

(I suck at math, in case you can’t tell)

I should have thrown a cauliflower into the middle of the table and told them to help themselves because it was damn well Mother’s Day, that’s what.

I actually just laughed out loud typing that. I saw myself doing it in my head and it was very therapeutic, so thanks for hanging in there through my selfishness.

It was also Mike’s birthday, so birthday > Mother’s Day and that’s ok. That’s the reason I sucked it up and took one for the team and became a short-order cook when technically this was the one day of the year that my feet should have been up with a glass of wine watching everyone else in my kitchen cook for me.

I was smart and ordered a gorgeous Black Forest Cake from local Edmonton company Sugared & Spiced, which took a load off of me, saving me from having to make his favourite cake for his birthday. We are part of their Cake Club and it’s absolutely wonderful being able to choose three cakes a year for whatever occasion we want.

Black Forest Cake in a gold cake holder and a cake can on the background

Company also means good times, regardless of eating preferences. Baby nieces who are now toddling around all adorably in dress-up clothes and one silver shoe help.

Look at that look I’m getting.

Sassy baby.

toddler standing in the carpet wearing one silver shoe

Back to the recipe.

I knew that I had to come up with something quick, delicious and full of protein for the vegan guest. Said vegan guest doesn’t like curries (WHAT THE??)  which limited my creativity by about 90%. (there’s that bad math again, rearing it’s ugly head.)

So I went with one of my favourite spices, smoked paprika.

Vegan Smoky Spanish Rice & Chickpeas in a white bowl on white background

This is a gorgeous, delicious vegan riff on Spanish Paella, which is one of the few dishes out there that is heavy on the paprika. Of course vegan means no seafood, no sausage, none of what I consider the best parts of paella, so while it’s definitely close, it’s more of a Spanish rice than anything else.

 Spooning a Vegan Smoky Spanish Rice & Chickpeas in a white bowl

And you know what?

It’s amazing. I love chickpeas, so this dish is chock full of them, two cans in fact.

Spooning a Vegan Smoky Spanish Rice & Chickpeas with smoked paprika and freeze dried oregano

The base of this is so good that I will be tackling my version of a paella soon, using that smoked paprika and the freeze dried oregano, which are the two secrets to why this tastes so amazing.

Spoon of Vegan Smoky Spanish Rice & Chickpeas on white background

So I don’t leave you hanging, the no-carb eater had deer steaks, cauliflower and salad.  The vegan had Smoky Spanish Rice & Chickpeas and the cauliflower. The rest of us had the best of all worlds: Mom’s perogies, deer steak, Smoky Spanish Rice & Chickpeas, salad, cauliflower and CAKE.

Mmmm cake. It’s taking all my willpower not to eat it for breakfast right now.

Happy cooking everyone! I hope that all you Mom’s had a wonderful day yesterday! Even though I was a short order chef, it was still a lovely day spent with my family.

Love you more than chocolate cake,


Smoky Spanish Chickpeas & Rice

Smoked Paprika is the star in this vegan, gluten-free Spanish rice dish that is packed with nutrition AND flavour!
4.72 from 14 votes
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Karlynn Johnston


  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon freeze dried oregano
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
  • 1 ounce can diced tomatoes 540ml/19
  • 2 millilitres can chickpeas drained and rinsed well 540 /19 oz
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt – or to taste
  • parsley to top if wanted


  • Place the olive oil in a large skillet that has a matching lid.
  • Add in the onions and fry on medium-high heat until soft and translucent, around 6-7 minutes.
  • Add in the garlic, sautee for 2-3 minutes, then add in the paprika and oregano. Fry for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Add in the uncooked rice and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add in the tomatoes, chickpeas and vegetable broth.
  • Add salt to taste (this will depend on how salty your broth is to start)
  • Stir until all ingredients are dispersed evenly throughout the skillet.
  • Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium and place the lid on top.
  • Simmer for 20-22 minutes, then remove the skillet – lid still on!- and let sit for another 5-6 minutes.
  • Remove the lid, fluff the rice, top with chopped parsley and serve.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 256kcal, Carbohydrates: 42g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 358mg, Potassium: 155mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 1050IU, Vitamin C: 3.4mg, Calcium: 27mg, Iron: 0.9mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Smoked Paprika is the star in this vegan, gluten-free Spanish rice dish that is packed with nutrition AND flavour! #chickpeas #vegan #rice

Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

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Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. jjensen says

    Measurements don’t make sense for chickpeas and tomatoes. Can you correct the recipe, please?1 star

  2. Elaine says

    We love garbanzo beans any way you fix em’—gonna cook up a batch of them tomorrow for this Spanish Rice recipe, and this weekend, gonna try the Linguine Alfredo recipe we found on your website–got them downloaded and saved for comfort food days—-love this site and all the yummy comfort foods –thanks for all you do—keep em’ coming!!!
    The Fields bunch in the lower 48

  3. Sarah says

    The ingredient measurements are confusing. Milliliters of chick peas??

  4. Ash says

    My rice never cooks all the way through when I cook it in broth/diced tomatoes. Any tips for future attempts?

  5. AmandeepSingh1 says

    Wonderful recipe for diet conscious people..will be great if you have video tutorial too 🙂

  6. CathrineCZT says

    Loved your Cowichan article. Interestingly enough friends and I have been talking of moving there for the past year. We are all from Edmonton and are looking for a cheaper, more laid back lifestyle. Can’t wait to hear you take the first step…..Cathrine

    • thekitchenmagpie says

      CathrineCZT Oooh yes, I dream of moving there. Maybe in ten years when the kids are in school? I think it’s on my bucket list….it’s so amazing! 

    • thekitchenmagpie says

      @Hafsa Thank you! It’s truly delicious!

4.72 from 14 votes (12 ratings without comment)

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