Chickpea Spinach Nuggets (Vegan and Gluten Free)

Chickpea-Spinach Tots

Apparently, Americans have discovered a love for spinach and are now eating record numbers. At least that’s what the statistic people who count those plastic boxes of spinach at the grocery store say.

But I have a theory.

I think those statistics get skewed by people like me who, while wandering through the grocery aisle looking for onions, happen to come upon those big, plastic boxes with their very healthy-looking label and filled with those green, fluffy leaves, and, feeling extra motivated by all those healthy-looking people on Pinterest, they courageously and determinedly put 2 boxes in their cart.

And then they take them home and put them in their frig.

And there they stay.

Because, well, um, because green Styrofoam.

And there they stay. Until, they start to look furrier than a cat.

And then, into the compost pile they go.

Two boxes of spinach purchased. But ZERO eaten. (Did you hear that Mr. Statistic guy?)

Chickpea-Spinach Nuggets

Enter these Chickpea Spinach Nuggets.

No, spinach does not hold the same special place in my heart that avocados do. But these Chickpea Spinach Nuggets are a whole ‘nother story.

Oh, my dear spinach-hating comrades, I have found the secret to eating spinach. These Chickpea Spinach Nuggets are totally yummy. Deeeelicious!! Wow. Wow. Wow. I am a convert. I think you will be one too.

Chickpea-Spinach Nuggets

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Chickpea Spinach Nuggets (Vegan and Gluten Free)

A delicious way to get spinach-haters to eat spinach.
Prep Time 14 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 44 mins
Course Main Course
YIELD 21 nuggets
All recipes on are property of jennifer’s kitchen and cannot be republished without written permission.



  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Place bread crumbs, onion, brown rice, and seasonings in food processor. Pulse 4 or 5 times.
  • Add chickpeas and spinach pulse 8 or 9 times or until chickpeas are coarsely chopped. Some of the chickpeas should still be whole. Don’t over mix or the balls will be mushy.
  • Add remaining ingredients and pulse just until mixed. Mix a few times by hand to be sure ingredients are mixed. Mixture should stick together, but not be mushy.
  • Using a 1 1/2-tablespoon cookie scoop , form into balls and place on oiled baking sheet.
  • Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes or until bottoms are browned. Serve hot.


1. Freshly cooked, hot rice works best for this. But cooking a fresh pot of rice every time you want to make this recipe would add quite a bit of time to the process. I like to cook a batch of rice at the beginning of the week and have it on hand for lots of delicious meals throughout the week. So then, if I’m using leftover rice in this recipe, I just reheat in a covered pan with a tablespoon or two water before using.
2. These are especially delicious dipped in my vegan Creamy Italian Dressing
Make Ahead Tip: These freeze nicely. To reheat, place frozen Chickpea Spinach Nuggets in a baking dish, place in oven (uncovered) at 350°F for 25 minutes.

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I hope you love this recipe as much as I do. Have a great week! As always, I love hearing from you guys! If you try this recipe, let me know in the comments : )

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  1. 5 stars
    I agree. . . these Chickpea Spinach Nuggets are Deeeelicious!! I like to freeze any leftovers, so when I get a craving for them, I’ll have some handy. Thanks for another yummy, healthy recipe.

  2. These look delicious! We cannot have gluten. What would you recommend substituting for the breadcrumbs? Could I use gluten free oats?

    1. Hi Molly,
      I’ve used gluten-free bread crumbs and they turned out great. I also tried them with gf waffle crumbs (no vanilla, no sugar in the waffles) and they were pretty good. But gf oats make them a bit gummy.

      I hope you enjoy!


  3. Hey there!
    Is it possible to use fresh spinach for this recipe? I have no frozen spinach on hand but I definitely have a few bags in the fridge that I don’t foresee making it past the weekend haha.
    Thanks in advance,
    Ben 🙂

    1. HI Ben,
      I’ve never tried this with fresh spinach. My guess is that it would add too much water/liquid to the recipe. (Frozen spinach has less water than fresh.) However, you could cook the spinach first, drain the excess water off, and then add it to the recipe.
      I hope this helps.

  4. 5 stars
    Yummy! Worth the time to make. Really, anything that gets more of your Italian dressing in my mouth is worth the effort 🙂 Love these!

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