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Pressure cooker or Instant Pot chickpea gremolata with green olives, pine nuts and raisins {vegan, gluten-free}

Chickpea gremolata with olives and raisins #vegan #glutenfree

Other than in hummus, chickpeas don't turn me on. Or they didn't, until I tried this chickpea gremolata and pumped it up with pine nuts and raisins and green olives. This dish was the kind of perfect storm that can occur when you have a perfect pantry: a long-forgotten gift package of dried chickpeas discovered on the back shelf of the cupboard; a bag of giant mixed raisins from Trader Joe's; and a pressure cooker standing empty. The best thing about this dish is the texture of the chickpeas. Without any presoaking, add the dry chickpeas to the pressure cooker or Instant Pot, and what comes out is not in the least bit mushy or overcooked, without any canned-chickpea aftertaste. Then, toss those un-mushy chickpeas with robust fresh ingredients for a quick marriage of sweet and salty and olive oil and heat. Divine.

Pressure cooker chickpea gremolata: a vegan side dish or main course. #glutenfree

Chickpea gremolata with green olives, pine nuts and raisins

From the pantry, you'll need: garlic, bay leaf, extra virgin olive oil, fresh parsley, dried oregano, lemon, olives, pine nuts, raisins, kosher salt, fresh black pepper.

Adapted from a recipe for chickpeas with lemon, oregano and olives in The Pressure Cooker Cookbook by Tori Ritchie. Serves 6 as a side dish, 4 as an entree.

Note: I use my Instant Pot or an electric pressure cooker, so if you use a different type, you might need to adjust the cook time.


1-1/2 cups dried chickpeas
4 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
1 bay leaf
Pinch of kosher salt
5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Heaping 1/4 cup pine nuts
1-1/2 cups chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp lemon zest
2 Tbsp lemon juice (1-2 lemons, depending on size)
1/2 cup pitted green olives, roughly chopped
Heaping 1/4 cup raisins (gold, brown, or a mix)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper


Rinse the chickpeas under cool water, and pick out any stones. Add the chickpeas to the pressure cooker or Instant Pot, along with 6 cups of water, 2 of the garlic cloves, bay leaf, and a large pinch of kosher salt. Drizzle in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.

Lock the pressure cooker top. Cook at High Pressure for 40 minutes, then use Natural Pressure Release to finish the cooking. When the pressure valve drops, carefully open the pressure cooker. Taste one of the chickpeas; it should be cooked through, but not mushy. If the beans are not quite done, lock the top again and cook at High Pressure for an additional 5 minutes. Quick Release the steam so the chickpeas don't get overcooked. Turn off the cooker.

Drain the chickpeas, and reserve 2 cups of the bean cooking liquid. Discard the bay leaf.

While the chickpeas are cooking, toast the pine nuts. Heat a small nonstick frying pan, and toast the nuts over medium heat, shaking the pan often to keep the nuts from burning, for 3-4 minutes. The pine nuts should be aromatic and just slightly browned. Remove the pan from heat and set aside.

On a cutting board, roughly chop together the parsley, oregano, olives, remaining 2 garlic cloves, and lemon zest.

Set the pressure cooker to Sauté, and heat the remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir in the parsley mixture, and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Add the chickpeas, lemon juice and raisins, plus the salt and pepper. Pour in 1 cup of the reserved chickpea cooking liquid. Stir everything together and cook for 2-3 minutes, uncovered, until the flavors come together and most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Add the toasted pine nuts, and stir gently. Season with more salt and pepper if needed.

Serve hot, warm or chilled.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More chickpeas, not in hummus:
Vegan butternut squash and chickpea stew, from The Perfect Pantry
Spaghetti squash with spicy marinara sauce and chickpeas, from The Perfect Pantry
Garlicky roasted chickpeas (garbanzo beans) with feta, mint, and lemon, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Cauliflower purée with chickpeas, from Love and Lemons
Spicy chickpea and bulgur soup, from 101 Cookbooks

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


This sounds really good. I recently read another post somewhere about cooking unsoaked chickpeas in the pressure cooker, and I must try it!

Kalyn, it was great to be able to use the chickpeas without presoaking. In fact, the pressure cooker has made me a much more spontaneous cook.

will give it a try soon.

SO creative - MUST try!

David, I hope you do!

Donna, this one is such a great (and easy) side dish or even a main dish. Great flavors.

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