A bright flavored healthy summery stir fry that comes together in under 30 minutes, making for the perfect weeknight meal.

lemon chickpea stir fry
Truth. I hate the “30 minute meal”.


You’re all rolling your eyes and are like, uh yeah…we know…we can see your ingredient lists.

Ha ha. So funny. All of you.


But seriously.

What I really mean is that I hate the “30 minute meal”. The meal that advertises itself as being quick! And easy! And totally weeknight friendly!


When what it really means is that it is 30 minutes or less if you have sous-chefs running around doing all the chopping, stirring, and multi-tasking for you. But in real life. In a home kitchen where distractions abound and we have to wash our own dishes…it’s more like a 90 minute meal, easy. (Miss Ray, I’m talking toΒ you.)


This meal is different, though.

It is the one and only ever-strived-for real life 30 minute meal. Including prep time.



And it contains so many vegetables and good for you things, which is BIG because most of the time the recipes that actually take you 30 minutes or less, are only quick because they use weirdo frozen cream of disgustingness for 90% of the ingredients.

Ain’t nobody got time for that crap (or the heart disease that will likely stem from it).


I made it for lunch one day during the work week and was able to cook it, eat it, and do some serious photo editing all before it was time to go back.


And it’s deliciously stuffed with bright lemony flavor, tons of summer flair, and goat cheese, which is timeless.

Get it on your dinner table tonight and I pinky swear you won’t regret it.


One year ago…Tempeh Lo Mein with Bell Pepper, Edamame and Scallions, Paneer with Peas, Cauliflower and Tomato-Chili Sauce

Three years ago…Zucchini Crudo

Four years ago…Louisiana Red Beans

Lemon Chickpea Stir Fry
A bright flavored healthy summery stir fry that comes together in under 30 minutes, making for the perfect weeknight meal.
Yield: 4 servings
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • fine grain sea salt
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 14 oz canned chickpeas
  • 12 oz extra firm tofu, drained and cubed
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped
  • 2 small zucchini, chopped
  • zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
  1. Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a pinch of salt, the onion, and chickpeas. Saute until the chickpeas are golden and the onion is tender. Stir in the tofu until it is heated through. Stir in the kale and cook until wilted. Remove everything from the skillet to a large plate and set aside.
  2. In the same skillet, heat the rest of the olive oil. Add in the zucchini, lemon zest and juice. Saute until golden, 3-4 minutes.
  3. Toss together the onion/chickpea mixture, zucchini, and goat cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ of recipe


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45 Responses to Lemon Chickpea Stir Fry

  1. Hey man, don’t knock the 30 minute meal!! I’m all over that stuff mid-week…it makes me not hurt people, annnnnd we get to eat curry more. It’s a total win!!

  2. Love it! I’m all about quick meals with whole foods…as much as that’s possible! And you definitely nailed it with this one!

  3. I never make tofu b/c hubby doesnt care for it. But this would be perfect fo rlunch for me!!

  4. Megan says:

    Hey now, I’ve made plenty of meals that advertise themselves as quick and easy, and under 30 minutes. They’re lifesavers πŸ™‚ This looks like a winning 30-minute-meal, too!

  5. Lynn says:

    This looks so good and is a great use for kale (which I don’t like raw.)

  6. Yay for a REAL 30-minute meal! Bonus points for how delicious it sounds.

  7. I love the idea of 30 minutes meal – i meant good for you ingredient ones. I could see the boyfriend disapproving tofu but I am sure I could substitute the chicken and everyone’s happy for dinner πŸ™‚

  8. Dude, don’t dis 30-minute meals. I am ALL.OVER.THEM lately. No seriously. You might think I have gone all raw, and crazy in this heat but really I am just LAZY!!! πŸ™‚

    Also, I totally bookmarked this recipe, too. Glad it met expectations. πŸ™‚

  9. Johanna GGG says:

    looks excellent – I hate 30 minute meals too because I like to take time and make a decent dinner but also because lots of them if not containing cream of crap, are just carbs with no veg and that isn’t very satisfying!

  10. Amy says:

    Lol. I say that all the time about Rachel Ray… love how when she pulls all her ingredients out of the fridge and cupboards, they’ll all conveniently right there. Cut up. Already marinated. Pffft. You had me at chickpeas!

  11. I wouldn’t even share this for money.

  12. SallyBR says:

    The 30 min Ray thing – I will give her some credit for actually doing all the chopping and the prep work under those 30 min or close enough. BUT there is NO WAY I’ll eat chicken thighs wrapped in prosciutto that were in the oven for (once all is said and done) for about 22 minutes. Either she is having chicken raw in the center, or so freaking tough from the high heat, that I will have nothing to do with it. And there are plenty of other examples of dishes she makes in under 30 that should not be subjected to that torture – chilis, complex sauces, stews. Those are supposed to take their time getting ready.

    back to your recipe: winner. I am pinning it

  13. I don’t know what I’m more excited to about- the goat cheese or the tofu! This is definitely a “husband’s not home for dinner” kind of meal, since he strangely doesn’t get the deliciousness of tofu. Nope, I don’t understand him either!

  14. I love this idea and this post! Thank you for sharing!!

  15. Chickpea, tofu…a protein loaded stir-fry, Joanne. Good for the runners.

  16. Jessie says:

    Nicely done with this protein-packed quick dish! I’m also not enamored with the idea of 30 minute meals – not true at all, unless they mean the cleaning up afterward only takes 30 (or so) minutes. Lame. But THIS stir fry is a meal I can get behind! πŸ™‚

  17. Sam says:

    This might be dinner tonight. I have all of these things in my fridge right now. Yum!

  18. I totally agree on the 30 minute meal thing! They either assume you’re some kind of superhero who has their rice made in advance and can do 8 things on the stove at once, or it’s basically open this can of nastiness. I like your 30 minute meal so much better.

  19. gloria says:

    this look ans sounds delicioso! Joanne
    I visit your meringue dessert is to die for!!!

  20. I’d sub for chicken, because I’m a tofu-hating-meat-eater, but other than that this looks lovely! πŸ™‚ And deeelish. Love me some veggies.

  21. Beth says:

    Nice recipe. I might sub for the tofu (no one here is big on it), but otherwise it’s a winner.

  22. This sounds fresh and delish! You are so right about Rachael Ray- so much chopping really eats into your time!

  23. Eileen says:

    Hey, I make a lot of meals that take less than 30 minutes! They’re just called “toaster oven quesadillas with canned refried beans” instead of something actually interesting. πŸ™‚ However! This stir-fry sounds great. Greens and beans, together forever.

  24. i’m all about the 30 min healthy meal (vs. the microwaved nachos i’m so fond of ha), esp since i’m trying to lighten meals up after an indulgent vacation!

  25. 30 Min meals are really hard to pull off but when they work out, it always feels so good!

  26. Good for you PLUS delicious and quick? Um, yes!!

  27. Ashley says:

    Love the idea of this combination! And LOVE that it really is feasible in 30 minutes πŸ™‚

  28. Kate says:

    I agree with you that many of RR’s recipes are not true 30 minute meals. And I agree I hate recipes that promise that – as long as your ingredients are chopped, prepared, and in bowls waiting to be used when that 30 minutes begins.
    BUT I don’t know how I’d survive without true meals that are ready in 30 minutes or less!

  29. I feel the exact same way about the purported 30-minute meal! Most require tons of prep and cleanup (which of course don’t count toward the 30-minutes) or call for crap pre-made ingredients. Except for a hearty salad like this, which I completely live on during summer. I never thought to put tofu in it though….you’ve opened a whole new world for me!

  30. debbie says:

    Just posted a tofu recipe myself!!! I am so, so, so making this soon! I love this and thank you!

  31. Suzie says:

    I hear you, most of them are not 30 minute meals! This I can see being quick and easy. It sounds great too and perfect for summer nights!

  32. Christine says:

    Totally with you on the 30 min. meals where prep work isn’t included in the time, as well as those meals based on cream of whatever too. I run from those recipes when I see “cream of” in the ingredients. This really looks like it lives up to the 30 min. meal title! Perfect for summer.

  33. Christina says:

    This is right up my alley πŸ™‚ yum

  34. We love chickpeas over here! This looks SO tasty, tasty, J!!!

  35. I love chick peas, and the way its incorporated with tofu, kale and zucchini is really interesting and I bet the taste must be amazing!

  36. Katie says:

    Wow! This dish looks fantastic, but even more than that I’m in love with your new blog design. I was out of the country for the last while and totally missed the change! The look just drew me in!

  37. Hotly Spiced says:

    I cook Jamie Oliver’s 30-minute meals and if I can get them on the table within 90 minutes I congratulate myself. And then there’s the mess! About another hour’s worth. I trust you more than Jamie! xx

  38. This is such a great dish – I have a tin of chickpeas at home just waiting for some inpiration πŸ™‚

  39. I hate 30 minute meals for that reason too. Complete misrepresentation! Also a recipe to feel badly for being so inefficient in my own preparation time…this recipe of yours is far more like it πŸ™‚

  40. cquek says:

    These look so good! Never heard of them before now.

  41. Rhonda says:

    You could put goat cheese in a bowl of rocks and I would probably finish the whole thing. This looks so delicious and low carb friendly!

  42. Reeni says:

    I wouldn’t touch any of her recipes with a ten foot pole. This, on the other hand, I could eat on a weekly basis for lunch and dinner. I love every single thing about it!

  43. Colynn says:

    The title of this recipe tells me all I need to know…yum!!!

  44. Shannon says:

    looks good to me! avocado toasts are my favorite 15minute b/l/d πŸ™‚

  45. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    Oh yum! This looks so wonderful and full of flavor πŸ™‚ can’t wait to taste this!

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