Paprika chicken or tofu with chickpeas

Contributed by Food for health editors

Paprika chicken or tofu with chickpeas
This warm and flavorful dish, adapted from Simply Recipes, can easily be made vegan if you use tofu instead of chicken thighs. From start to finish, you can get this on the table in under an hour. Or you can prepare the chicken or tofu (step 1) in advance for an even easier and faster start to your dinner.

Servings: 4 to 6

Prep time: 10 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 2 pounds chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat or 14 ounces of firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch “steaks” (roughly 8 pieces of tofu)
  • 6 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 14-ounce can chickpeas (low sodium or no salt added), drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley


  1. Measure the spices (paprika, salt, black pepper, garlic powder and ground oregano) into a large bowl and stir to combine. For chicken: Place the chicken thighs in the bowl and toss to coat completely with the spices. For tofu: Lightly brush tofu steaks with olive oil before gently tossing with the spice mixture. For either: If preparing in advance, you can refrigerate at this point. The longer the chicken or tofu sits in the rub, the more the flavors will permeate. Just remove from the fridge to come up to room temperature when you’re ready to go to step 2.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  3. Toss the sliced onions with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, then spread the onions in an even layer on the bottom of a casserole dish. 
  4. For chicken: Add remaining oil (5 teaspoons), chickpeas, lemon zest and lemon juice to the chicken; toss to combine. For tofu: Remove tofu from bowl before adding chickpeas, lemon juice, lemon zest and the remaining oil to the spices in the bowl. Toss chickpeas until coated with spice mixture.
  5. Arrange chicken or tofu and chickpeas on top of the sliced onions in the casserole dish, making sure to spread chicken or tofu so there is some space between each piece.
  6. For chicken: Bake uncovered for 40 to 45 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken is at least 165 degrees. For tofu: Bake uncovered for 30 to 35 minutes. 
  7. Sprinkle with cilantro or parsley and serve on top of zucchini noodles or with a side salad.

Nutrition information (chicken — per serving)

  • Serving size: 1 chicken thigh
  • Calories: 245
  • Total fat: 14 g
  • Saturated fat: 3 g
  • Cholesterol: 48 mg
  • Sodium: 612 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 17 g
  • Dietary fiber: 4 g
  • Total sugars: 1 g
  • Protein: 13 g

For tofu (6 servings):

  • Calories: 170
  • Total fat: 8 g
  • Saturated fat: 1 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 577 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 18 g
  • Dietary fiber: 4 g
  • Sugars: 1 g
  • Protein: 9 g