A quick and easy creamy chickpea recipe that is pure luxury! The sundried tomato and harissa sauce is based on the popular “marry me chicken” but with a spicy kick. The fusion flavors of this dish can work in so many meals: over pasta or rice, with bread or as part of a mezze or small plate style meal.

It’s “Marry Me” Chickpeas with a Twist!

Have you seen the “marry me chicken” and every. single. possible variation doing the rounds on social media? Me too! This creamy sundried tomato sauce is having a moment and I am beyond trying to resist it! So here we are, with my own little twist on things.

For those who have no idea what I am talking about, the “marry me chicken” recipe is supposed to be so delicious that it inspires partners to propose immediately. In this recipe, we’re making the sauce all spicy and using chickpeas, which might nullify that promise. I am just going to assume you aren’t pinning your hopes of betrothal on me. But I still hope you love it because it is DELISH.

The base sauce is a sundried tomato, cream and parmesan sauce and you can’t exactly go wrong with all that. But for me, adding harissa was the magic that we needed to make this work with chickpeas. Since chickpeas bring no real flavor of their own, they need a more punchy sauce than chicken might need. Harissa is nothing if not punchy, and combining it with sundried tomato makes for a rich, deep flavor that works wonders here. This has become one of my favorite chickpea recipes of all time and I hope you love it too.

Ingredients & Swaps

Given how much easy flavor we are throwing into this pan, it’s not too finicky if you need to swap things around. You can also use budget versions for your ingredients without compromising anything.

  • We use sundried tomatoes AND sundried tomato paste for a rich flavor in the sauce. I understand that sundried tomato paste is kind of a niche ingredient so you might not want to buy it – if that is the case, you can just use more sliced sundried tomatoes + normal tomato paste instead.
  • Any harissa paste (plain, smoked, rose, etc) will work here and given all the cream we’re adding to the sauce, it turns out pretty mild. Add some chili or red pepper flakes if you want to create something with more of a spicy kick.
  • I use an Italian herb mix but if you don’t have a ready made blend to hand, you could just use a teaspoon each of dried basil, oregano and thyme.
  • Your onion doesn’t need to be red. A white onion or a shallot will do nicely.
  • The lemon is an optional garnish – I love to add a squeeze of lemon at the end but the recipe will be fine without it.
  • Parmesan or another Italian hard cheese (pecorino, asiago, etc). If you are in the EU, anything labelled parmesan will contain animal rennet so fellow vegetarians should look for a generic Italian hard cheese.

This is an Easy One Pot 30 Minute Recipe

Honestly, gathering your ingredients is the longest part.

Cookware: To make this as easy as possible, I recommend a large deep non-stick saute / frying pan with a lid. I personally love my Carote pan and find it a joy to cook with (you can check it out on Amazon US or Amazon UK). I did transfer the chickpeas to the pretty yellow skillet for the photographs, but in real life you don’t want something that shallow.

Serving Suggestions

  • If you’re looking at this and thinking it needs some kind of vegetable to redeem it – go ahead! You can definitely add some leafy greens to the pan – a couple handfuls of spinach or kale added alongside the cheese will wilt in nicely.
  • Spoon it over some buttery baked sweet potatoes (these air fryer sweet potato halves will cook quickly and easily while you make the chickpeas).
  • You can make a quick meal of this by adding a loaf of fresh bread or a baguette for dipping (I added focaccia on photoshoot day).
  • It’s also great served on top of a bed of spaghetti or angel hair pasta or some coconut rice.
  • This would be a great side dish for grilled portobello mushrooms or an oyster mushroom steak.

Creamy Harissa “Marry Me” Chickpeas

A quick and easy creamy chickpea recipe that is pure luxury! The sundried tomato and harissa sauce is based on the popular "marry me chicken" but with a spicy kick. The fusion flavors of this dish can work in so many meals: over pasta or rice, with bread or as part of a mezze or small plate style meal.
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  • 14 oz (400 g) can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ½ medium red onion
  • 1 tbsp crushed or chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning / mixed herbs
  • 2 tbsp sundried tomato paste
  • 1.5 tbsp harissa paste
  • cup (5 tbsp) sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 tbsp white wine
  • ½ cup (120 ml) vegetable stock
  • ½ cup (120 ml) heavy (double) cream
  • ¾ cup (75 g) parmesan style cheese, grated
  • 1 small bunch basil, chopped
  • lemon , cut into wedges for serving


  • In a large, deep frying pan, heat a little olive oil over a low-medium heat. Saute the onion until soft. Add the garlic and herbs and cook until they are just fragrant.
    1/2 medium red onion, 1 tbsp crushed or chopped garlic, 1 tbsp Italian seasoning / mixed herbs
  • Add the sundried tomato paste, chopped sundried tomatoes and harissa paste and mix with the onions and garlic.
    2 tbsp sundried tomato paste, 1/3 cup sundried tomatoes, 1.5 tbsp harissa paste
  • Add the wine to the pan. Mix through, letting it bubble and reduce. It might smell strongly at first but after a couple of minutes it will settle down and be absorbed into the paste.
    3 tbsp white wine
  • Add the chickpeas to the pan. Mix through and cook for a few minutes to get them all well coated in the sauce.
    14 oz can of chickpeas
  • Add the vegetable stock and the cream. Simmer over a very gentle heat, stirring regularly, for 5-10 minutes until it has thickened up to your liking. You can add extra broth or cream to taste, if it reduces too much.
    1/2 cup vegetable stock, 1/2 cup heavy (double) cream
  • Once you're ready to serve, add the basil and cheese to the sauce and stir through until the cheese has melted into the sauce.
    1 small bunch basil, 3/4 cup parmesan style cheese
  • Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing.
Calories: 408kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 18g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 46mg, Sodium: 661mg, Potassium: 727mg, Fiber: 10g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 1166IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 333mg, Iron: 5mg