Nivik (Chickpeas and Spinach)


By Allison Hammett

You’re frazzled with holiday shopping, Christmas programs, family gatherings, or stuck in traffic on the way home from work and forgot to take something out of the freezer.  Dinner is looming on the horizon and your brain is too exhausted to think of one more thing to do. Instead of picking up take out, try this recipe instead. It will be on the table in less than 30 minutes, and is inexpensive and filling! It would also be a great beginner recipe to teach your children how to cook. It’s a one pot wonder!

Nivik is a middle eastern recipe of Armenian descent. While the original recipe calls for soaking and cooking your own chickpeas and using fresh spinach, canned chickpeas and frozen spinach substitute beautifully and transform this into a quick meal. I always keep these ingredients on hand for a quick, impromptu meal. Nivik is a very easy and forgiving recipe, and is simple to double or triple. I usually use four cans of chickpeas for our family of six. Let me know if you give it a try!

 Nivik (Chickpeas and Spinach):

  •  1 large onion diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 cans of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) drained
  • 1 cup frozen chopped spinach
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Small amount of water if necessary

Sauté diced onion and garlic in butter or oil in a large sauce pan until onion is translucent. Add frozen spinach and cook; stirring occasionally until spinach is no longer frozen. If you purchase frozen, bagged spinach instead of the boxed block it will be easy to measure out the desired amount.  Add tomato paste and cook until melted. Add the drained chickpeas and warm through, adding a little water if the mixture is too dry. Nivik should be moist, but not soupy. Add salt and pepper to taste.

If you have a few extra minutes, and the ingredients on hand, a cucumber yogurt sauce is a delicious condiment served with this dish. You can also top your dish with a dollop of sour cream, or sprinkle generously with hot pepper flakes!

 Cucumber yogurt sauce:

  •  1/2 cucumber peeled, de-seeded and grated
  • 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 Combine ingredients and serve.


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Comments 2

  1. I´m always looking for easy and nutritions récipes. This one was a real winner with my family. I was surprised at how good it tasted with the cucumber sauce. Being a missionary in Mexico, I usually have to de-Americanize my récipes, so I cooked my own chick peas and used fresh spinach like the original récipe. I´ll be watching for more of these types of récipes in the future. Thank you!

  2. Hi my name is Carrie I got married two years ago and my husband is Armenian and he asked me to make this dish so I
    Looked it up and I found your website I was so pleased because we are also believers in Jesus Christ we belong to
    Global Kingdom Ministries in Canada.I made your recipe and we really enjoyed it so thank you and God bless.

    Carrie Merdjanian.

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