Slow-Cooked Chickpeas and Kale

With all the cookies and sweets coming out of my kitchen this month, it’s a wonder that Dan and I haven’t gone into diabetic shock.  So my new goal for the month is to come up with some light, healthy and protein-packed meals to balance it all out.  Eggs scrambled with diced tomatoes and Swiss cheese.  Tuna sandwiches with a side of carrots and hummus.  Whole wheat pasta topped with homemade marinara or pesto and vegetables I froze this summer.  And now, BBQ beans and kale, served over brown rice.

The best part is, of course, that the bulk of this dish takes 5 minutes to put together, and cooks all day while you work or bake or decorate for the holidays.  All you have to do at the end of the day is add the kale and cook the rice.

Slow Cooker 1w

Slow-Cooked Chickpeas and Kale

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours

Yield: 4-6 servings

Slow-Cooked Chickpeas and Kale

Ham hocks can often be found at the butcher’s counter for a very low price. If you can’t find a smoked hock, add an extra 1-2 teaspoons of smoked paprika when you cook the beans. These beans are best served over rice. For this dish, I recommend cooking 1 1/2-2 cups dry brown rice in twice as much water (3-4 cups). That should be plenty of rice for everyone.


  • 1 pound dried chickpeas
  • 7 cups water or low-sodium stock
  • 1 large smoked ham hock
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 bunch kale
  • Rice and BBQ sauce, for serving


  1. Combine the chickpeas, 6 cups of liquid, ham hock, onion, garlic, paprika and chili powder in a medium to large slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH for 6-8 hours. By then, the beans should be fork-tender.
  2. Slice the kale in half lengthwise, the chop crosswise into 1″ to 2″ pieces. Remove the ham hock from the slow cooker and discard. Add the kale and 1 cup of liquid to the slow cooker. Stir and cover to cook on HIGH for another 30-40 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, cook rice according to package instructions. Typically, I prepare 1-2 cups brown rice in twice as much water (2-4 cups).
  4. Dish the cooked rice into bowls, and top with the beans and kale. Drizzle with some of your favorite BBQ sauce.


Slow Cooker 3w


    • Julie @savvyeats says

      I don’t think it tastes bitter in this dish, but you could also replace the kale with spinach if you’re unsure!

  1. says

    We love kale and chickpeas. Both are super nutritious and taste great together!. I normally cook a similar recipe of kale with chickpeas and tomatoes. I’ve never added ham though. It sounds good, I’ll have to try it next time I have kale.