40+ Mouthwatering Ways to Use Chickpeas
Whether they're dried or canned, chickpeas are one of the most valueable assets in your pantry. Chock-full of nutrients like fiber and protein, chickpeas are just as filling as they are versatile. You can use them to highlight a key ingredient, such as chicken, or straight up make the chickpeas themselves the star of your meal. From stews to salads, here are familiar and innovative ways to use chickpeas.
Spiced Turkey-Chickpea Chili
Savory Chickpea Waffles
We swap sugary pancake syrup for a poached egg and use chickpea flour in place of refined for an extra punch of protein. Enjoy for a quick breakfast or dinner.
Creamy Tahini Hummus
The key to achieving this rich hummus’s creamy texture is an unexpected pantry staple: baking soda. Simmering dried chickpeas in a baking soda solution helps the legumes break down faster and more efficiently, resulting in an impossibly smooth spread. While 1/2 cup may seem like a generous measure of tahini, this is what will give your hummus its signature deeply toasty flavor—so don’t cut yourself short. We especially love Soom brand tahini, as this is a high-quality product made from single origin sesame seeds. Better than anything you’ll buy in your grocery store deli, this velvety and delicious homemade hummus is perfect served with warm, fluffy pita and crudite, or spread onto sandwiches.
Moroccan Butternut Squash and Chickpea Stew
A well-stocked spice cabinet is key for this stew. Each serving packs nearly half of your daily fiber, essential for better digestion and weight control.
Crispy Roasted Chickpeas
Chickpea "Meatballs" with Crunchy Romaine Salad
The expected chickpea dish might be falafel, but the flavor here is more akin to hummus. The chickpea mixture will be soft at first; it firms up as it cooks.
Cooked dried chickpeas have a firmer texture and better flavor than canned, so it's worth the time to make a lot. Choose plump-looking dried beans--they'll cook faster than more shriveled ones. Use these chickpeas in soups, salads, and pastas--anyplace you'd use canned chickpeas.
This recipe goes with: Sumac Hummus, Saffron Tomato Chickpeas.
Chicken and Chickpea Tagine
Hearty canned chickpeas hold up beautifully in the slow cooker, where they're combined with fragrant spices and just a little stock. Since the chicken cooks on top of the chickpea mixture and is not submerged in liquid, it can cook longer without suffering texturally.
Lemon, Wheat Berry, and Chickpea Salad
Vegetable and Chickpea Curry
Aromatic Indian spices mingle with chickpeas, green beans, and potatoes. Coconut milk is stirred into the cooked curry for a creamy finish. Serve over quick-cooking couscous.
Creamy Spinach Chickpea Soup
Curry, ginger, and mint give this soup a kick, while puréed chickpeas make it hearty enough to eat as a main course. For the best texture, purée until silky smooth.
Greek Cucumber and Chickpea Breakfast Bowl
Dill absolutely makes this salad, offering a fresh, herbaceous boost that livens up the canned chickpeas. It's a satisfying bowl of crunchy, creamy, chewy textures.
Curried Spaghetti-Squash-and-Chickpea Toasts
Spaghetti squash gets its name because once it's cooked, you can use a fork to pull the flesh into long, thin strands. Jonathon Sawyer makes his own curry and cooks his own chickpeas for this vegetarian dish, but this simplified recipe calls for store-bought curry paste and canned chickpeas. Sawyer roasts the seeds from the squash and uses them as a garnish; pumpkin seeds from the supermarket are a fine substitute.
Kale Salad with Spiced Chickpeas and Berries
To make this salad ahead of time, pour the dressing into the bottom of a portable container, and arrange the kale and all the toppings (except for the chickpeas) on top without mixing. When you’re ready to eat, combine all the salad components with the dressing. Bring chickpeas in a separate container so they’ll stay crunchy, and toss them on at the last minute.
Saffron Tomato Chickpeas with Spiced Freekeh and Shaved Brussels Sprouts
With its exotic notes of saffron and smoke, tenderness and crunch, this is a meal that doesn't get old. All of its components last at least a week in the refrigerator and months in the freezer, so you can thaw them and assemble whenever you like. Look for dukkah, an Egyptian spice blend, at well-stocked grocery stores, Middle Eastern markets, and online. Or make your own: Blend 1/4 tsp. each sesame seeds, ground coriander and cumin, dried thyme, and finely chopped roasted hazelnuts.
Turmeric Chicken-and-Chickpea Soup
In place of noodles, which tend to swell in soups, we look to canned chickpeas, which add texture and boost fiber.
Collard and Chickpea Salad
Look for red palm oil in health-food stores, Whole Foods, and online—it is different from palm kernel oil. You may need to melt the red palm oil for it to be tossed evenly and easily with the chickpeas, as well as to incorporate into the dressing. Roasting the chickpeas adds a nice crunch to the salad. Pair this with a piece of grilled meat, and eat the salad immediately, as the oil absorbs quickly into the collards.
Bulgur Chickpea Burgers
Green onions, smoked paprika, and cumin infuse these super savory veggie burgers. A creamy, garlicky avocado mash is the perfect complement. Don't worry about mashing the chickpeas completely smooth; a few chunks provide great texture. The raw bulgur-chickpea mixture is delicate but firms up as it cooks; be gentle when turning the burgers in the pan so they don't fall apart. If you have leftover bulgur, these come together in a flash; use 1 1/3 cups cooked grains.
Roasted Carrots, Radishes, and Chickpeas
This is a lovely side dish that pairs with pretty much any protein—or serve it with a salad for a perfectly light spring dinner. Carrots and radishes are more flavorful in the spring, their true season, than any other time of year—the former have more intense flavor and the latter a sweeter, less pungent bite. Here, both get roasted with chickpeas, which cook to a crisp, dense texture. Just be sure to dry the chickpeas well first so they don’t steam.
Creamy chickpeas add a nice hit of protein to this fast sautéed summer squash while the crispy breadcrumbs add great crispy texture. Fresh tomato adds a little acid to round it all out. For an Italian-inspired version, use cannellini beans in place of the chickpeas and chopped fresh basil instead of chives. Eating fish? Serve with broiled salmon or grilled shrimp. Or, if you want to keep it vegetarian, spoon over whole-wheat linguine and top with an extra drizzle of olive oil and a grating of fresh Parmesan.
Charred Broccolini and Onion Chickpea Bowls
Vegan Chickpea Omelet
Some vegans will never be able to appreciate a Sunday morning omelet, so we decided to change that. Behold, the chickpea omelet. When protein-rich chickpea flour and the liquid from a can of chickpeas (also known as aquafaba) are whipped together with non-dairy milk and seasoning, the thick batter will fry up just like a real omelet. It may require a little more work than just scrambling a few eggs, but it’s oh so worth it.
The key to a light and fluffy omelet is the aquafaba. Weirdly enough, you can whip it with a whisk or a hand mixer into a substance that looks remarkably similar to egg whites. Fold it in gently and your omelet will be aces. Plus, you control the seasonings here, and the sky really is the limit. Chickpea flour’s mild nuttiness pairs just as well with za’atar and cumin as it does with smoked paprika and garlic powder. Cover the finished omelet with greens, sauteed vegetables, and sliced avocado.
Vegan Chickpea Omelet
Garlic-and-Herb Chickpea Fries with Whipped Feta
Reach peak frite with our herb-filled fries that are crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside—and yes, made from chickpeas. Dunk the Za’atar-flavored crisps in a fluffy whipped feta with just the right amount of lemony zing.
Carrot Salad with Red Quinoa and Chickpeas
This healthy salad is picnic-perfect, because the carrots stay crunchy and the quinoa and chickpeas keep their texture. (Regular quinoa works fine in this recipe, if you can't find the red variety.)
Picnic tip: This salad is delicious at room temperature, so if you'll be eating it within 2 hours, there's no need to pack it in the cooler.
Slow-Cooker Spanish-Style Chickpeas
Chickpea-and-Mint Green Beans
Roasted Strawberry Margaritas with Aquafaba Whip
Frozen, fruity, and boozy, this next-level margarita will be the star of any summer soiree or Fourth of July cookout. Roasting peak-season strawberries intensifies their sweetness and elevates the flavor. Aquafaba, the viscous fluid from canned chickpeas that you normally toss down the drain, has become the silver bullet to making plant-based whipped topping. The wonder ingredient has soared in popularity among the vegan culinary community. With results just as light and fluffy as traditional whipped topping, a generous dollop added to your frozen adult beverage only sweetens the deal. Bottoms up!
Roasted Strawberry Margaritas with Aquafaba Whip
This recipe originally appeared on Cookinglight.com.
Chickpea and Kale Curry
Embrace the comfort of Indian flavors with a 25-minute curry that also happens to be vegan. This meatless main offers plenty of protein thanks to quinoa and chickpeas, and boasts 40% of your daily fiber goal. Coconut milk lends velvety richness, while a mix of peanut butter and spices give the sauce rich flavor. A flourish of fresh herbs at the end brightens and freshens the dish.
Sweet Potato Medallions with Almond Sauce and Chickpea Salad
It may seem too good to be true, but it's not: This impressive plate requires only 5 ingredients (water, oil, salt, and pepper are freebies). In place of almond butter, you can use any nut butter you like--try peanut, cashew, or sunflower butter. And if canned chickpeas aren't in your pantry, try cannellini or navy beans.
Sumac Hummus with Kale Ribbons and Roasted Delicata Squash
This beautiful, nourishing platter needs only some warm flatbread and a pot of herb tea to make you feel energized to face the world.
Harissa-Roasted Chicken with Chickpeas
Tangy yogurt meets bold harissa in the topping for this gutsy chicken dish. Fletcher adapted the recipe from one by her friend Ed Blonz, author of the syndicated column On Nutrition.
Strozzapreti with Grilled Calamari, Roasted Tomato Sauce, and Crispy Chickpeas
Roasting fresh plum tomatoes (such as Roma or San Marzano) intensifies the flavor and gives this sauce a caramelized robustness lacking from tomatoes straight from the can.
Sesame-Ginger-Chickpea-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Sesame, especially toasted sesame oil, is a key flavor in many Asian cuisines. It makes sense that tahini would fit here too, especially as a finishing touch for roasted sweet potatoes with Sriracha.
When a Middle Eastern main takes a trip to Italy via the Mediterranean, you get this fantastic vegetarian pizza. The chopped falafel warms through and toasts until crisp while the pizza bakes. Sun-dried tomatoes and kalamata olives give this quick pizza its bold, intense flavor (and dried tomatoes won't compromise the crispy base).
Creamy Hummus with Spiced Ground Beef
Typically, this style of supersmooth hummus starts with dried chickpeas; we discovered a shortcut with canned chickpeas where a little baking soda softens or dissolves the peas' skins. Be sure to use a blender; a food processor will not get the hummus this smooth. Serve with soft whole-wheat pita and crudités.
Pesto Chickpea Salad with Summer Squash
Stop searching, because we’ve got the best 15-minute summer side dish right here. The fresh aroma of basil, the nutty flavors from raw squash and pungent red onion all combine for a taste that perfectly reflects the season. The chickpeas offer a little more substance, making it hearty enough to leave you satisfied, which the light, lemony dressing and Parmesan make your taste buds happy. Bonus points if you can pick your own basil and squash from your garden.
Chickpea Salad Boats
This recipe captures all of the bright, fresh appeal of a salad in a pretty, portable bite. Sturdy endive leaves have a nice cup shape for filling; you also could use Little Gem or small Bibb lettuce leaves. To get a head start, make the filling (minus the pears) up to a day in advance. About an hour before guests arrive, gently stir in the pear and fill the leaves.
Roasted Kale and Chickpea Snack Mix
This fiber-filled, gluten-free snack mix is great sprinkled over salads to give them a little spicy crunch.
Greek Chickpea Lunch Salad
Crunchy, sturdy romaine lettuce holds up well as the base for this salad. The flavors are bright, fresh, briny, and herby—even after 3 or 4 days. Be sure the lettuce is well-dried before assembling the salads; wet leaves tend to sog out quickly. For a heartier salad, you can add 4 ounces of cooked chicken breast or shrimp; the chicken will add 187 calories and 35g protein, and the shrimp will contribute 135 calories and 26g protein.
Instant Pot Chana Dal
For the ideal bowl of soul-warming comfort, look no further than chana dal. Hearty and tender split chickpeas absorb the toasty goodness of an aromatic, deeply flavorful broth, which is complimented by a bright yogurt topper. One taste is all it takes to become enamored with the way toasted cumin seed and curry powder, balanced with a handful of other spices and aromatics like turmeric and fresh ginger, infuse chana dal with dynamic flavor and a gloriously golden color. The Instant Pot makes easy work of preparing this classic Indian dish, making it a perfect vegetarian recipe to add into your meal-prep rotation. Dried split chickpeas can be found at specialty Mediterranean markets as well as online.