Fresh, crunchy vegetables and protein-rich chickpeas tossed in an incredibly delicious sweet and sour sauce, served over rice – This quick vegan vegetable stir-fry is an easy 15-minute recipe that’s as delicious as the Chinese takeout dish, even though it’s made without chicken!
Chinese chickpea vegetable stir-fry with sweet and sour sauce
If you love Chinese cuisine and are looking for a quick and easy recipe without meat, this sweet and sour vegetable dish is absolutely perfect! It reminds of classic sweet and sour chicken, but it’s made with only healthy vegetables and chickpeas. Plus, this plant-based dish is super versatile and ready in just 15-minutes, making it the perfect weeknight dinner!
Healthy, delicious, and easy to make!
While the chickpeas are rich in protein and fiber, the veggies are packed with nutrients and vitamins. Combined with the flavorful homemade sweet and sour sauce and fragrant basmati rice, this dish is not only incredibly delicious, but also very healthy and filling!
Use any ingredients
As mentioned earlier, this recipe is very versatile because you can use other vegetables such as zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms, sugar snap peas, bamboo strips or mung bean sprouts. Instead of chickpeas, you could also use other legumes like beans or lentils. But also crispy tofu, vegan “chicken” or another meat substitute are great plant-based protein sources. You can also add exotic fruits like pineapple or mango if you like.
Ingredients for Sweet and Sour Vegetables
- Rice: I like to use basmati or jasmine rice, but you can also use another type like whole grain rice. Potatoes also go well!
- Oil: such as canola, peanut or sesame oil.
- Bell Peppers: red or yellow or both.
- Chickpeas: or beans, lentils or tofu.
- Sweet and sour sauce: homemade or any vegan Chinese sauce from the supermarket.
How to make sweet and sour vegetables with chickpeas
As always, I recommend checking out this step-by-step instruction and the recipe video first. Then you’ll find the full recipe with exact measurements in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Prepare sweet and sour sauce + cook rice
Make the sweet and sour sauce according to my recipe (you can also make this ahead). Also, cook the rice according to package instructions in a pot or rice cooker.
Step 2: make the vegetable stir-fry
First, sauté the vegetables in a pan or wok with a little oil for about 5 minutes. Once the vegetables are lightly browned, reduce the heat. Sprinkle a little salt over the vegetables and pour in a little water. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for about 5 minutes.
Step 3: Add the chickpeas and sauce
Once the vegetables are tender, stir in the chickpeas and sweet and sour sauce. Turn off the heat and let rest for 2-3 minutes with the lid on (if the sauce is too thick, add a little water).
Step 4: Serve
Divide the cooked rice into bowls. Top with the sweet and sour vegetables and sprinkle with scallions, parsley and sesame seeds if desired. Serve with limes on the side and enjoy!
How can I store leftovers?
You can make the homemade sweet and sour sauce ahead and store it in your fridge or freezer. Then you’ll always have some on hand when you want to make a quick Chinese or Asian-inspired meal.
It’s best to store leftover sweet and sour vegetables separately from the rice in an airtight container. It will last in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and tastes even better the next day once the flavors have combined!
You can freeze both the sauce and the entire dish for meal prep. Just take it out when needed and reheat in the microwave or pot. If it’s too dry, just add a little water.
This Chinese Chickpea Vegetable Stir-fry is:
- Quick and easy to make
- Meatless (Vegan, Vegetarian)
- Very delicious
- Ideal for using up leftovers
- Perfect for lunch, dinner, or meal prep!
More vegan Chinese, Japanese and Thai recipes from Asian cuisine
- Chinese Eggplants with Chili Garlic Sauce
- Thai Peanut Noodle Salad
- Dumplings (Gyoza/ Potstickers)
- Vegan Pad Thai with Veggie Noodles
- Thai Peanut Ramen Noodle Soup
- Chinese Steamed Buns
- Veggie Stuffed Bao Buns
- Japanese Tofu Katsu
- Scallion Pancakes
- Crispy Sesame Tofu with Tahini Sauce
- Asian Peanut Sesame Noodles
- Crispy Vegan Spring Rolls
- Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad
- Korean Bibimbap
- Smashed Cucumber Salad
If you try this vegan sweet and sour chickpea vegetable stir-fry recipe, feel free to leave me a comment and a star rating! And if you share a photo of your delicious Chinese dish on Instagram, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka because I love seeing your remakes! Happy cooking! 🙂
Chinese Chickpea Vegetable Stir-fry in Sweet and Sour SauceAuthor:
- 8.8 oz (250 g) basmati or jasmine rice
- 1 tbsp oil e.g. canola, peanut or sesame oil
- 1 onion cut into coarse pieces
- 7 oz (200 g) eggplant cut into coarse cubes
- 1 carrot roughly sliced or diced
- 1 bell pepper red or yellow or both, coarsely diced
- 1x14 oz (400 g) can chickpeas 8.5 oz (240 g) drained wight
- 1 recipe sweet and sour sauce
For garnish (optional)
- scallions sliced
- sesame seeds
*Note: Feel free to check out the recipe video + step-by-step pictures at the top of the post!
- Cook the rice according to package instructions in a pot or rice cooker.
- Heat the oil in a skillet and sauté the vegetables for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the vegetables are lightly browned, reduce the heat. Sprinkle a little salt over the vegetables and pour in a little water. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
- Meanwhile, prepare the sweet and sour sauce according to the recipe (this can also be made ahead).
- Once the vegetables are tender, stir in the chickpeas and the sauce. Turn off the heat and lest rest for 2-3 minutes with the lid on (if the sauce is too thick, add a little water).
- Divide the cooked rice into bowls. Top with the sweet and sour vegetables and sprinkle with scallions, parsley and sesame seeds if desired. Serve with lime wedges on the side and enjoy!
- Vegetables/Protein: You can also use other vegetables such as zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms, snow peas, bamboo strips or mung bean sprouts as well as other plant-based protein sources such as beans, tofu, vegan "chicken" or other meat alternatives. If you like, you can also add exotic fruits like pineapple or mango.
- Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days.
- More information about the recipe is at the top of the blog post!
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