Chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans, ceci, and bengal gram) are loved around the globe. Canned or dried, they’ve got a prime spot in our pantry. These nutritional overachievers are chock-full of fiber and protein.
One 1/2-cup serving of canned or cooked dried chickpeas gives you about 14 percent of your daily value of fiber, 6 grams of plant-based protein, 10 percent of your daily value of iron, and some calcium and potassium.
Research shows that eating chickpeas can help with weight management, regulate glucose and insulin, and prevent heart disease. So sign us up for the chickpea party.
When picking out a can of chickpeas, read the labels and choose low sodium. Or boil up a big batch of dried ones and store half in the freezer. It’s easy to cook them on a stovetop or in a slow-cooker or pressure cooker.
And now, on to the recipes. Don’t get us wrong — we love hummus. But there’s so much more to the chickpea than being unceremoniously puréed into yet another bowl of a creamy dip.
We’ve rounded up recipes that roast, simmer, and bake them into curries, salads, appetizers, entrées, and — get this — desserts. Sneaky! Here are 27 recipes that prove chickpeas deserve so, so much more.
1. Chana masala
It’s fun to make curry with a friend, right? Measure out spices and chop onion, garlic, and chile as you chat away. Lay out all your ingredients and stop and take a few Insta shots.
Plus, the process of Indian cooking — the stages of adding seeds, aromatics, spices, tomatoes — will fill your house with irresistible aromas. The richly seasoned sauce and chickpeas call out for basmati rice.
2. Thai chickpea almond curry
We don’t know if our favorite part of this curry is the fact that it’s packed with veggies and is super healthy or that it’s all made in one pot for easy cleanup.
It’s also super versatile: Don’t have eggplant? Use zucchini instead. No bamboo shoots? Go for protein-packed green peas.
3. Chana saag
This classic Indian dish pairs spinach with chickpeas and a whole bunch of wonderful spices, herbs, and aromatics. There’s also a recipe for a homemade version of the spice blend garam masala.
4. Spicy roasted chickpeas
Get outta here, potato chips — we’ve got a new favorite crunchy snack. Roasted chickpeas turn a glorious golden brown in a hot oven. These guys are seasoned with a spicy combo of chili powder, paprika, and cayenne.
5. Cinnamon Toast Crunch roasted chickpeas
We covered savory roasted chickpeas above, but if you’re looking to satisfy a sweet craving, this lightly sweetened, cinnamon-dusted substitute for popcorn (or cereal) can’t be beat.
Tahini helps coat the chickpeas with seasonings. They’re filling and lick-your-fingers good.
6. Crispy, crunchy roasted radish and chickpea tacos
No need to resort to processed meat substitutes to make meatless tacos — give chickpeas a chance! The chickpeas for these tacos are lightly seasoned and roasted.
Fill crispy taco shells with sweet, juicy roasted radishes; avocado; and a zesty yogurt sauce. Who wants to eat the same old tacos?
7. Chopped chickpea Greek salad
Greek salad gets an update with this no-cook recipe — garbanzos join salty feta, crunchy cucumbers, tomato, and lemony dressing. Eat it on its own or serve it over greens.
8. Confetti quinoa and chickpea lettuce wraps
This festive vegan party on a plate combines soft, fluffy quinoa with chickpeas and a confetti of veggies. A little Dijon mustard adds just the right amount of flair to the dressing.
9. Roasted garlic and tomato soup
You’d never believe that a soup so silky is vegan — but that’s the magic of garbanzos. In this decked-out version of the quintessential cool-weather dish, the beans provide the velvety texture usually created by heavy cream.
10. Minty yogurt parfaits
Who could say no to a dish with “parfait” in the name? Here, chickpeas are layered with walnuts, Greek yogurt, cucumbers, raisins, and mint for a sweet and savory explosion of flavors.
Even better, it travels. Lunch at your desk is looking good.
11. Deconstructed falafel salad
One of the most popular chickpea dishes out there is crispy falafel, but really, who’s got a deep fryer in their kitchen? Avoid the hassle with this deconstructed salad.
With roasted chickpeas providing crunch and veggies tossed with tahini dressing, this salad might even be better than the original dish. Falafel purists may call it bending the rules. We call it genius.
12. Broccolini and chickpea zucchini pasta with gremolata breadcrumbs
Lemony zoodles topped with herbed breadcrumbs sounds like a total dream, we know.
Add broccolini, chickpeas, and a grating of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and you’ve got a filling, healthy dinner that’s made almost entirely from vegetables.
13. Risotto with caramelized onions, mushrooms, and chickpeas
Searching for a way to catapult the humble chickpea into gourmet territory? Look no further than this luxurious but simple risotto.
Mushrooms, caramelized onions, and wine combine with Arborio rice in a pot of goodness. Chickpeas are the final addition. All it takes is a bit of stirring.
14. Lemony egg in a spinach and chickpea nest
If chickpeas have never struck you as breakfast food, this recipe will be a game-changer.
Soft-cooking an egg in a nest of sautéed chickpeas and spinach starts your day with two servings of veggies before you’ve walked out the front door. A dash of lemon brightens the morning.
15. Shiitake green garbanzo patties
We’re big fans of any recipe that lets a blender do the work. Plus, these vegan patties use fresh green garbanzos for a gorgeous hue. Even better, the vegan aioli, made from silken tofu, is blender-ized too.
16. Vegan spanakopita
Phyllo can be challenging to work with, but don’t let that keep you from trying this showstopping Greek pie.
It looks more complicated than it is, we promise — and even if it were hard to make, the garlicky, creamy veggie-and-chickpea filling would be so, so worth it.
17. Chocolate chickpea truffles
These bon bons are the bomb-bomb! A chickpea and cashew butter base is sweetened with maple syrup, dunked in dark chocolate, and topped with cacao nibs.
We think these treats could give Godiva a little competition — don’t you?
18. Chickpea protein bars
Store-bought protein bars often contain sweeteners and preservatives. These homemade bars are packed with the goodness of chickpeas, dates, nut butter, pumpkin seeds, and dried cranberries, boosted with vegan protein powder.
It’s ridiculously easy to throw the ingredients in a food processor and press them into a pan. And it makes 10 servings. Hello, grab-and-go breakfast and 3 p.m. snack!
19. Pumpkin pie dessert bars
There’s always room for one more in our ever-expanding list of pumpkin-based treats. Here, a spiced purée of pumpkin, chickpeas, and dates is speckled with chocolate chunks.
It doesn’t matter if Thanksgiving is around the corner or months away — these pie-inspired goodies are irresistible year-round.
20. Peanut butter and jelly cookie bars
So far, we’ve seen peanut butter play a supporting role in these recipes as a binding agent or texture booster. But in this baked take on the classic sandwich, peanuts co-star with chickpeas.
Plus, you can get all artistic, swirling the homemade strawberry chia seed jam over surface of the batter. These bars smell sooooo good while they’re baking.
21. Flourless chickpea blondies with sea salt
Blondies are often brushed off as the less desirable sibling of brownies, but maybe that’s because nobody’s tried this gluten-free version.
The joint efforts of chickpeas, maple syrup, and nut butter give each square a pleasant chewiness and sweetness that’s offset by a sprinkle of sea salt.
Looks like brownies will have to share the spotlight — these blondies are ready for their close-up.
22. Chickpea and orange cake
This beautiful loaf cake calls for a mere seven ingredients, letting the subtle nuttiness of the garbanzos and the zest from the fresh orange shine through.
You’ll have to spend a few extra minutes skinning the chickpeas, but it’s well worth it for the end result: a gleaming caramel-colored loaf.
Dust with cinnamon sugar and serve with a piping hot cuppa for a lovely and light teatime snack.
23. Peanut butter chocolate chip chickpea cookies
Sure, cookie dough is great, but nothing beats a warm cookie fresh from the oven. And these bronzed, slightly crispy (but still soft!) nuggets are no exception.
Follow the recipe as written, using peanut butter and chocolate chips, or experiment by subbing peanut butter chips or another nut butter for a slightly different flavor.
Whatever you try, you’re just throwing ingredients into a blender (or food processor), so you’re always close to cookie time.
24. Dark chocolate chickpea brownies
One look at this fudgy goodness and you’ll want to race off to your pantry to gather the ingredients.
Before we lose you to the kitchen, let us make these gluten-free treats even more enjoyable by telling you they can also be vegan without requiring obscure, funky ingredients. OK — on your mark, get set, bake!
25. Healthy cookie dough dip
OK, so maybe this is just another way to say “dessert hummus,” but what’s in a name when you’re talking about one of the most famous chickpea-based sweets in the blogosphere?
Made with your favorite all-natural nut butter and studded with dark chocolate chips, it’s a vegan bowl of yum just waiting to be slathered onto a graham cracker or sliced apple.
26. Vegan, gluten-free chickpea thumbprint cookies
These cookies have similar ingredients to many other chickpea cookies, but it’s amazing how much more adorable they look when they’re dressed up with dollops of your favorite all-fruit jam.
The recipe makes only 12 at a time, so these party-worthy treats are perfect for when you’re baking for a small group.
27. Cookie dough ice pops
This time, chickpeas are getting a treatment that may be a little counterintuitive: They’re frozen instead of baked.
The base is made with peanut butter and coconut milk. Flaxseeds bind the mixture without eggs. Then you chill them until they’re frozen into those perfectly creamy pops. Great for vegans!
It’s time to venture beyond the hummus bowl. Chickpeas, a great source of protein and fiber, are essential for plant-based eating. Enjoy these beans with benefits in soups, salads, curries, and more.