How Kansas City Chiefs Dietitian Makes Players’ Junk Food Healthy

How Kansas City Chiefs Dietitian Makes Players’ Junk Food Healthy

How Kansas City Chiefs Dietitian Makes Players’ Junk Food Healthy

5. Chickpea patties

Chickpea patties

Chickpea patties

These chickpea patties are really popular with the team and very delicious, Bonci said. 

“It’s getting in the health without it being so blatantly obvious,” Bonci said, adding that the patties provide extra fiber, protein, and vegetables, which the players don’t always actively choose to eat.


  • 1 ½ cup dry (uncooked) chickpeas

  • ½ cup packed fresh chopped parsley

  • ½ cup packed fresh chopped basil

  • ½ cup chopped yellow onion

  • 6 garlic cloves, fresh

  • ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice

  • 1 ½ tablespoons ground cumin

  • ½ teaspoon turmeric

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 tablespoons tahini

  • Oil for cooking


Rinse the chickpeas in a strainer and add to a large pot. Cover with two inches of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for one minute then cover, remove from the heat, and let sit for one hour, before draining and rinsing.

In the meantime, add parsley or basil, onion, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes to a food processor. Mix until well processed then set aside.

Once the chickpeas are slightly cooled, add to the food processor, along with cumin, turmeric, salt, pepper, and tahini. Mix to combine thoroughly, scraping down the sides as needed. Add more tahini or a bit of water if the mixture is looking too crumbly or dry. Add spices/salt/herbs to taste and refrigerate for half an hour or more to firm the mixture up.

Remove from refrigerator and gently form into four to six even patties using your hands. If the patties aren’t holding together, the mixture may need to be blended more thoroughly, or blended with a bit more tahini.

To cook, heat a large metal or cast iron skillet over medium/medium-high heat. Once hot, add enough oil to create a thin layer on the bottom of the pan and wait one to two minutes for the oil to heat up. 

Place only as many patties as will fit comfortably in the pan and cook for two to three minutes on each side. Once the bottom side is evenly browned, flip gently, as they can be fragile. Continue until all patties are cooked. Adjust heat as needed if they’re browning too quickly, or aren’t cooking quickly enough.

Serve with dips such as tomato sauce or aioli.