Were you wondering how many packages of bacon I have in my fridge right now?

Because the answer is four. Four packages. One less package than I had yesterday.

Sometimes I can be a bit excessive.


Would you still be my friend if I told you I buy butter in bulk? How about if you saw the purple tie-dyed scrunchy I wrap my hair up with when I wash my face at night? Or the catastrophe that I call my closet? Or even worse, my makeup drawer, dusted with bits of glittery Midnight Cowboy? That’s an Urban Decay eye shadow by the way. I don’t hoard burly men wearing cowboy hats in the middle of the night inside my dresser drawers.

Or the fact that I made a strawberry peach crumble and ate the entire thing in 24 hours?

Or what if you knew that I forgot to shower for two days? Wrong? Mr. How Sweet thought so. I didn’t mind.

How about if I told you that I toasted these chickpeas in bacon grease? Good? Bad? Indifferent? Appalled?

Raise your hand if you believe that bacon should be rewarded with a national holiday.  Twice a year even. I’d celebrate. I’d throw the party. You’re all invited.


This chickpea salad is a dream come true. And yes, my vegetarian friends, I will use the word ‘salad’ loosely. Because I can only get away with frying something in bacon grease and calling it a salad so many times. It’s bratty. Nobody likes a brat.

The way I see it, this chickpea concoction should be at the top of your list. It has fiber. It’s kinda crunchy. It has green peppers and red onion and garlic that have been sizzled in salty bacon grease, in turn making it slightly reminiscent of a cheesy pizza coated with bacon crumbles. It’s sprinkled with freshly shaved parmesan cheese that holds everything together like glue. Savory, creamy glue. Delicious right? Don’t worry. Tastes much better than it sounds. Note to self: buy a thesaurus.

Toasty Parmesan Chickpea Salad

serves 2

1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 slice of bacon, chopped

1/4 red onion, chopped

1/4 green pepper, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

a bunch of freshly chopped parsley

Heat a skillet on medium heat. Add bacon and fry until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel, leavng grease in the skillet. Add onions and green peppers to the bacon fat, and cook for 2 minutes.

Make sure chickpeas are dry and toss with paprika and pepper. Add to onions and peppers, stirring and toasting for 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one minute. Turn off heat and add parmesan cheese and parsley. Sprinkle on bacon. Serve immediately.

Would you still be my friend if I told you this really only served one person? I was a little hungry.

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118 Responses to “Toasty Parmesan Chickpea Salad.”

  1. #
    chelsey @ clean eating chelsey — April 14, 2011 @ 7:10 am

    It’s in a bowl – that makes it a salad.. right?


  2. #
    Nicole — April 14, 2011 @ 7:11 am

    OMG. I have all those things in my fridge or pantry RIGHT NOW.

    AND it’s lunch time here. Sweet.


    • Nicole — April 14th, 2011 @ 8:07 am

      the flavours in this are amazing! (unfortunately I forgot that I’m not that big on chickpeas….)


  3. #
    nancy k — April 14, 2011 @ 7:11 am

    One slice of bacon= easily just one serving…right? This dish looks simply delicious. I love chickpeas so partnered with bacon…yum. I will have to break out the bacon later today to make this dish for lunch…for just me.
    Thanks for sharing the how to’s!


    • Jessica — April 14th, 2011 @ 7:14 am

      I ate it for lunch yesterday… it was so good!


  4. #
    Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg — April 14, 2011 @ 7:12 am

    Haha…hey, I still say this is a salad. Just a different *kind* of salad :-)


  5. #
    The Teenage Taste — April 14, 2011 @ 7:13 am

    When you asked what our reaction would be if you roasted the chickpeas in bacon grease you left out one word. Genius! I love that idea! :-)


  6. #
    Nicole @ Making Good Choices — April 14, 2011 @ 7:15 am

    I love making bean salads, and this totally is a salad, so don’t worry. Yum!


  7. #
    Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) — April 14, 2011 @ 7:16 am

    dude i totally wear scrunchies to wash my face with! or really clunky “butterfly” hair clips to clip it up circa 1992. I am classy that way :)

    love the chickpea action, toasted, kinda crunchy. I dig that!


  8. #
    Cait @ Beyond Bananas — April 14, 2011 @ 7:20 am

    Scrunchies are so in right now! I totally sport them all the time… seriously though.. they are definitely less hard on your hard then regular elastics!


  9. #
    Hannah — April 14, 2011 @ 7:22 am

    Honestly, I’d let you forget to shower for a week if you brought this to my house right now.


  10. #
    J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) — April 14, 2011 @ 7:27 am

    Oh YUMMY! That looks sooo good! For some reason, I want to put a runny-yolk egg on top.


  11. #
    Kim in MD — April 14, 2011 @ 7:34 am

    I love this post! The recipe looks amazing, of course, but what I really love is your witty writing style and sense of humor. Reading your post every morning always puts a smile on my face!

    Chickpea salad? Hmmm…I think it should be named Bowl Of Chickpea and Bacon Heaven! And yes…bacon does deserve it’s own holiday. National “Bacon Makes Everything Better” day! ;-)


  12. #
    Riss — April 14, 2011 @ 7:37 am

    Your appetite still astounds me! This looks simply incredible, and I have to second J3nn’s comment: a runny-yolk egg would make this positively divine!


  13. #
    Holly @ The Runny Egg — April 14, 2011 @ 7:46 am

    Jessica this looks delicious — my sister made me a salad once that used bacon grease as the dressing. It was unbelievable. Now I put some bacon in as many meals as possible.


  14. #
    Marisa @ Loser for Life — April 14, 2011 @ 7:52 am

    Mine kinda salad, for sure!


  15. #
    Marisa @ Loser for Life — April 14, 2011 @ 7:53 am

    Uh, that would be MY kinda salad! Where’s the coffee… ;)


  16. #
    Gen — April 14, 2011 @ 7:56 am

    I’m definitely still your friend! :P This looks awesome!


  17. #
    Liz @ Tip Top Shape — April 14, 2011 @ 8:05 am

    Such a unique recipe!!! Love this!


  18. #
    Molly — April 14, 2011 @ 8:09 am

    I like the way you think! This is a great recipe to mix up the mundane dinner rut I get into.


  19. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — April 14, 2011 @ 8:17 am

    oooh i like the sounds of this!! if you ever hold a bacon party and serve this, i’ll be there in a heartbeat!


  20. #
    marla {family fresh cooking} — April 14, 2011 @ 8:21 am

    Love all the flavors in this chickpea salad – only one strip of bacon?? Amazing how much flavor that can add. Love Urban Decay makeup. And cowboys ;)


  21. #
    Amanda @ The Artsy Kitchen — April 14, 2011 @ 8:29 am

    Yum!! Chickpeas and parmesan sound like an amazing combo! I bet this is one of those things that’s even better the next day after the flavors really marinate!


  22. #
    Jessica — April 14, 2011 @ 8:30 am

    Love the chickpea + bacon combo :)


  23. #
    thehealthyapron — April 14, 2011 @ 8:33 am

    Omg I love midnight cowboy! I wore it all through college! This makes me want to head to the mall now and pick more up!

    I love the idea behind this salad but I don’t think I could honestly cook something in bacon grease (other than bacon) lol. Looks really good though!


    • Jessica — April 14th, 2011 @ 8:38 am

      It’s just fat like olive oil or butter – but it flavors food like nothing you’re ever tasted. You must try!! :)


  24. #
    Jessica — April 14, 2011 @ 8:34 am

    the pictures were especially lovely on this post. Perhaps because they were of all things I love. Oh, and I love you and would like to be your neighbor so I could come over and you could give me leftovers, k? :)


    • Jessica — April 14th, 2011 @ 8:37 am

      Thanks! That sounds good. :)


  25. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — April 14, 2011 @ 8:50 am

    These things just make me like you more! Do you think this would store well? I’d love to make it ahead of time and take it for lunch!


    • Jessica — April 14th, 2011 @ 8:51 am

      I definitely think so! But I really liked it warm… I’m wondering if it would lose some of it’s crunchiness if reheated??


      • Lauren at Keep It Sweet — April 14th, 2011 @ 9:35 am

        That is what I was thinking… guess I’ll have to try it both ways:-)

  26. #
    Shanna, Like Banana — April 14, 2011 @ 8:51 am

    I’ll be your friend ;)

    Parmesan on chickpeas — I’m liking this..now I just want some marinara too!


  27. #
    Aimee Shugarman — April 14, 2011 @ 8:51 am

    The flavors sound good, maybe I’ll try it. Will Mr.Sweet eat this type of salad? My husband wouldn’t go near this if I paid him. If I paid him in bacon. Or anything. Guess this is a girls lunch in my house!


    • Jessica — April 14th, 2011 @ 8:53 am

      He would eat it, but only as a side dish. There isn’t enough meat in it for him to consider it a meal!


  28. #
    Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) — April 14, 2011 @ 8:58 am

    We have a case of bacon that we brought back from TN. That may be a little much even for us, but Tony’s dad gave it to us and I’m pretty sure it’s against any man code to refuse bacon. I’ll have to do this for the boys, I know they would love it. It looks delicious and it’s still a salad even if it’s got bacon in it.


    • Jessica — April 14th, 2011 @ 9:05 am

      A case?! Can I come visit?


  29. #
    lisa {smartfoodandfit) — April 14, 2011 @ 9:10 am

    I love chickpeas salads. I have some pancetta (Italian bacon) in my fridge and have to make this for lunch today. :)


  30. #
    Miranda @ Living One Bite at a Time — April 14, 2011 @ 9:13 am

    Oh my gosh, I love your photography… I’m so jealous. I can’t wait until I can buy my new fancy shmancy camera with my tax return money :) Also, just thought I’d let you know that I turned your Blueberry Crumble Bars into muffins for a post on my blog. Turned out great! Just added about 1/4cup of water to make it a little more batter-y and it was perfectly yummy :)



  31. #
    Nicole, RD — April 14, 2011 @ 9:14 am

    I love that spin on a salad…chickpeas…mmm :) I have all ingredients on hand, too!


  32. #
    EatLiveRun — April 14, 2011 @ 9:18 am

    Chickpeas are, oddly enough, the one “non-meat” food that Adam really loves. I’ll have to make this for him next week!


  33. #
    amanda @ fake ginger — April 14, 2011 @ 9:19 am

    Midnight Cowboy will forever be my favorite eyeshadow – even though I feel like I’m past the age of wearing chunky glitter. :(

    Toasty chickpeas sound amazing! And definitely a salad. If people can mix chicken with mayo and call it a salad, you can fry chickpeas in bacon grease and call it a salad! Amen.


    • Jessica — April 14th, 2011 @ 9:25 am

      Tell me about it. The worst is when I put it on then two hours later have glitter all over my face because it has fallen from my eyelids.


  34. #
    Toni Martina — April 14, 2011 @ 9:21 am

    A pack of bacon is nothingggg! no really… I mean … it gets all tiny and skinny when you cook it… practically disappears if you ask me… :)


  35. #
    Julie @ Shining From Within — April 14, 2011 @ 9:27 am

    I’m making this today! Minus the bacon ;)


  36. #
    Rachel @ Rachel's Recipe Reviews — April 14, 2011 @ 9:45 am

    Yum! This looks great!


  37. #
    Mila @ loftyappetite — April 14, 2011 @ 9:47 am

    I love that you are a food blogger that eats meat, I was starting to think I’m the only non gluton-free-vegan out here and completely behind on this new trend. But I don’t think I could, so I’m glad you are here too. And make what seems to be a vegetarian dish, with bacon. *love it*
    P.S. I am totally wearing midnight cowboy right now! urban decay eyeshadows are my favorite.


  38. #
    Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} — April 14, 2011 @ 9:48 am

    I don’t care what you call it, this looks fantastic.


  39. #
    Kelly — April 14, 2011 @ 10:00 am

    This looks beautiful, Jess.


  40. #
    rebecca lustig — April 14, 2011 @ 10:00 am

    scrunchies: top 5 favorite greatest contributions of the 90’s.

    I gotta try this recipe sans bacon!


  41. #
    megan @ whatmegansmaking — April 14, 2011 @ 10:05 am

    I’m trying to make myself like chickpeas. It’s a texture thing. How crunchy are these exactly? Are they still bean-like? I guess I could always toast them longer.


    • Jessica — April 14th, 2011 @ 12:57 pm

      These are crunchy, but not as crunchy as roasted chickpeas! Have you tried them? They are so delicious. I coat with olive oil and spices and roast for 30 minutes at 400 degrees while flipping a few times. SO GOOD!


  42. #
    d.liff @ yelleBELLYboo — April 14, 2011 @ 10:21 am

    As soon as I saw the title of this recipe, my first thought was “I hope this has bacon in it”… you never disappoint! I might even blend this and create a bacon hummus :)


    • Jessica — April 14th, 2011 @ 10:31 am

      That would be dreamy.


  43. #
    R @ Learning As I Chop — April 14, 2011 @ 10:36 am

    I am loving these photos.


  44. #
    vanillasugarblog — April 14, 2011 @ 10:46 am

    genius! printing this one. i love it!


  45. #
    Caitlin — April 14, 2011 @ 10:50 am

    “Nobody likes a brat.” <– Correction. I like brats. (You attract what you are?)

    The scrunchie, however? Not sure about that one.


  46. #
    kate@ahealthypassion — April 14, 2011 @ 10:59 am

    Lucky for me I have a giant container of chickpeas in the fridge mmmm!


  47. #
    Amy W — April 14, 2011 @ 10:59 am

    If by buying butter in bulk means you have 6 lbs of it in your fridge, we should be friends. I freak out that I’m running low when there’s only 2 lbs left. I must get that from my mother. My dad just doesn’t get why we need so much…

    If potato salad can be called salad, this most definitely is a salad. A totally amazing salad.


  48. #
    Tina (My Life as a Mrs) — April 14, 2011 @ 11:06 am

    This looks DIVINE. Anything fried in bacon grease rocks my world! :)


  49. #
    Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food — April 14, 2011 @ 11:15 am

    I may have finally found one ingredient that I disagree with in a recipe.

    I say romano is 10x better than parmesan, but that’s just me ;)

    looks delicious as always! :)


  50. #
    Shari @ Chicago Cuisine Critique — April 14, 2011 @ 11:19 am

    Looks great!



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