Chickpea and Kielbasa Bake

This week’s theme is strategies for getting dinner on the table, including this recipe for cumin scented chickpeas with chicken sausage.

I’m not great at dashing madly around the kitchen for half an hour.

Well, I can do it if G’s at work, J’s napping and NPR’s talking on my headphones. I cannot do it when G’s just gotten home, J’s rangy and Barney’s taunting that he loves me. Need I say arsenic hour?

I like recipes with minimal prep that go in the oven and mind their own business ’til I’m good and ready for ’em. Even better if I can do the prep earlier in the day before all crankiness breaks loose.

Cumin Scented Chickpeas with Chicken Sausage

With the tiny bit of prep done, dinner cooks while I ask G about his day (and listen to his answer!), read J a story and swap Barney for some Jack (my two faves: Upside Down and Better Together).
I make this dish when the fridge is bare but there’s no time for the grocery store. If I can summon the inner strength to resist dialing 1-800-PIZZZZA, I raid the pantry, scavenge in the back of the fridge and freezer, season, stir, heat and serve.

Don’t stress over the exact ingredients. See the bottom of the recipe for possible substitutions.

The side dish comes together really quickly. You’ll find the sweet pops of raisin amid garlicky couscous add brightness to the hearty chickpeas and sausage.

Oh, and if you like dishes that come together quickly and require very few ingredients, be sure to also check out my recipe for Summer Vegetable and Sausage Pasta Dinner

Summer Vegetable and Sausage Pasta Dinner


Are you hungry?  Let’s make this recipe for Cumin Scented Chickpeas with Chicken Sausage

Chickpea and Kielbasa Bake

Black beans and cumin scented chickpeas are cooked up with organic chicken sausages for a delicious, easy, and quick weeknight meal.


  • 2 (15 oz.) cans low-sodium chick peas, drained
  • 1-14 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 12 oz kielbasa, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or chibes (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  2. In a 9x13" baking dish combine chickpeas, tomatoes, kielbasa, onion, bell pepper, black pepper and cumin.
  3. Cover with a tight-fitting lid or with foil and bake until heated through, 30 minutes.
  4. Garnish with cilantro or chives (if using) before serving.

This recipe can be made earlier in the day: Cover and refrigerate until an hour before dinner time. Let the pan come to room temperature a bit on the counter while the oven preheats and then bake as directed above.


1 cup chopped jarred roasted peppers for the bell peppers (or for 1 of the bell peppers);

1 to 2 cups frozen peas and/or corn (defrosted) for all or some of the bell peppers;

omit the onion and add chopped green onion before serving;

any 3-15oz cans of plain beans (i.e., not baked beans) can be used instead of the 2 cans of chickpeas and 1 of black beans;

3/4 cup raisins or 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots instead of the black beans (with this variation I also add 2 cloves minced garlic and a pinch or two of red chili flakes);

1 cup salsa instead of the canned tomatoes;

8 to 12 oz. ham, cooked bacon or any smoked fully cooked sausage instead of the organic chicken sausage;

12 oz. fully cooked boneless chicken (leftovers work) for the sausage, but consider adding a bit of salt (1/4-1/2 tsp) to the casserole before baking since you won’t have as much seasoning without the smoked/cured meat;

12 oz. fully cooked ground poultry or ground beef (see info about salt in the point directly above this one). I especially like to use meat leftover from taco night. Then substitute 1 cup salsa for the tomatoes and throw in 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese as well. Top servings with sour cream if desired;

1 tsp oregano and 1/2 tsp basil instead of the cumin and coriander. If doing so, 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella is a nice addition;

2 tsp chili powder as well as, or instead of, the cumin and coriander;

1 tsp curry powder as well as, or instead of, the cumin and coriander.

Garlic Couscous Peppered with Golden Raisins: Fill a kettle with water and put it on to boil. Into a small saucepan that has a tight-fitting lid measure 1 cup couscous, 1 cup golden raisins, 3 to 4 cloves of minced garlic, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp fine kosher salt (or table salt), 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes. Add 2 cups boiling water. Stir and cover pan with lid. Wait 5 minutes. Remove lid, fluff couscous gently with a fork and serve.

14 Responses to “Chickpea and Kielbasa Bake”

  1. Katerina — February 4, 2011 @ 6:06 am (#)

    This is such a beautiful dish. i love the combo of sausage and legumes.

    • cookthestory — February 4, 2011 @ 6:17 am (#)

      Thank you Katerina! That combo is one of my favorites too.

  2. Phyllis — February 3, 2011 @ 6:24 pm (#)

    I forgot to add that the leftovers would make a great soup with the addition of some chicken broth.

    • cookthestory — February 3, 2011 @ 7:26 pm (#)

      Actually, I think you may have sampled that exact leftover soup a week or so ago. The chickpea leftovers and the couscous leftovers with chicken broth worked really well together. Today, the fam and I had that exact same thing for lunch but it also had some leftover roast pork and potatoes in it, an Everything but the Kitchen Sink kinda soup. Way too good! Remind me to tell you about my chicken stock revelation too!

  3. Phyllis — February 3, 2011 @ 6:21 pm (#)

    There seems to be endless ingredients you can substitute in this recipe. Delightful. I think I would even serve this cold on a hot sunny day.

    • cookthestory — February 3, 2011 @ 7:24 pm (#)

      I’ve never thought of doing it as a cold salad. Great idea! Maybe with a bit of lime juice and olive oil. I’d probably skip the sausage then. Oh wait. This would be the PERFECT side dish for a grilled sausage in a bun. Thanks for the idea!

  4. Liz — February 3, 2011 @ 4:29 pm (#)

    This is *my* kind of comfort food, right here!

    I think I’ll try it with the added curry, because I have a curry addiction I need to take care of, and sub out the black beans. I love black beans, but they don’t love me. ‘Nuff said.

    • cookthestory — February 3, 2011 @ 5:32 pm (#)

      With the curry and without the black beans would be great. To take it further you could use a sweet onion and add 1/2 to 1 cup raisins, 2 cloves sliced or roughly chopped garlic, a few handfuls of fresh spinach (it’ll wilt down) and 1/4 tsp cardamom or a dash of cinnamon and a bay leaf or two. That would be awesome with plain basmati rice or wrapped up in warm naan bread.

    • Liz — February 5, 2011 @ 1:10 pm (#)

      Oh, yeah. Brown basmati is my go-to rice.

      You seem to know me . . . have you been rifling through my cabinets? Hahah!

  5. Dani — February 3, 2011 @ 2:48 pm (#)

    I’m always up for a good throw together meal with lots of substitution options! We eat a lot of couscous, too.

    • cookthestory — February 3, 2011 @ 3:00 pm (#)

      Yeah, I love having a recipe (or general meal concept) that I can play around with based on what’s on hand. Makes mid-week so much easier to face if you have a few of these in your repertoire.

  6. The Mrs — February 3, 2011 @ 2:27 pm (#)

    Thanks for reminding me about couscous. Any dish that involves boiling water and then waiting for five minutes needs to get back into my dinner rotation.

    • cookthestory — February 3, 2011 @ 2:31 pm (#)

      You’re welcome. It is too easy for words. And satisfying. And versatile. You can even get whole wheat versions these days (they take longer to cook).


  1. Permission, Imperfection and Pizza = The Best Baby Gifts of All « Cook the Story — February 4, 2011

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