Cheesy Chickpea and Broccoli Bake

Looking for a new kid-friendly recipe to serve this Thanksgiving? Why not try this cheesy chickpea broccoli bake?  Our students love eating broccoli for school lunch, so it is a great way for them to also enjoy it at home.  The cheese helps provide ample calcium, broccoli is full of  vitamins and minerals, and chickpeas provide fiber and protein!

While this recipe uses traditional bread crumbs, if you need to make the recipe gluten free, just swap the breadcrumbs to a gluten free version. This recipe is also a wonderful vegetarian side dish and can be transformed into a vegan side dish by swapping the traditional cheese to a vegan variety such as cashew.broccolicheesebake

1 large bunch (about 1 pound) fresh broccoli, rinsed and cut into medium pieces (include tender parts of stems and leaves) or a 1-pound bag frozen broccoli florets (thawed)
1 15½-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 cup shredded Gruyere, cheddar or mozzarella cheese
⅓ cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. If using fresh broccoli, lightly steam it first: Place raw broccoli pieces in a steamer basket inside a saucepan filled with 1 inch of water. Steam on medium heat for 5 minutes or until broccoli is just tender and bright green. Or, steam fresh broccoli in the microwave: Place raw broccoli pieces in a large microwave-safe dish or bowl with ½-inch water at bottom. Cover with a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high for 3 minutes or until just tender and bright green. Drain water.
  3. Toss steamed broccoli and chickpeas with olive oil. Place in a 9-by-9-inch baking pan.
  4. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Top evenly with grated cheese, then top evenly with breadcrumbs.
  5. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and breadcrumbs are lightly browned. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Recipe and photo from Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 

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