Chickpeas are cheap and nutritious legumes with a rich history dating back over 7,500 years. They are a wonderful ingredient in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine -- one can of chickpeas can allow you to make hummus or falafel -- and if you prepare them properly, you can create some truly memorable dishes. Here are ten delicious, healthy and satisfying recipes using this ancient bean.

Salads

Chickpeas are a great addition to salads because they can bulk a dish up and add a different texture to crunchier greens with their soft interior. There's also the ease of being able to drain a can of chickpeas and toss it straight into a salad.

Chopped Chickpea Greek Salad

chickpea salad in a bowl

This take on the Greek salad adds a tin of chickpeas for added protein, making it a filling, low-calorie meal. All you have to do is throw together an assortment of chopped vegetables and a simple lemon dressing. This dish can be made in large patches with little worry of it going bad -- there are no leafy greens that immediately go bad and with the lemon dressing acting as a preservative, this salad can wait in the fridge for a few days and still taste just as fresh.

Curried Chickpea Salad

This curried chickpea salad is easy to put together and offers a more Indian-style flavor with its selection of spices, cilantro, cashews and raisins mixed with chickpeas and a whole lot of crunchy vegetables.

Sandwiches

For vegans and vegetarians, chickpeas provide an excellent source of protein, and with a few clever tricks, it can be made into different textures for exciting sandwiches that don't compromise on flavor.

Scrambled Chickpea and Spinach Pitas

cooking spinach and chickpeas stirring with a wooden spoon

This delicious vegan recipe is easy to prepare in advance, making it a great on-the-go breakfast option. The mix is packed to the brim with delicious vegetables and chickpeas that have been lightly blended for a satisfying substitute for scrambled eggs. The filling mixture takes under 20 minutes to prepare, which you can scoop into pita bread to eat right away or freeze it for later use.

Chickpea Sunflower Sandwich

a tasty chickpea filling sandwich

This chickpea sandwich recipe mashes chickpeas with crunchy sunflower seeds and adds select condiments and herbs to make a delicious filling. Spread it on the bread of your choice and top it off with some chopped red onions and lettuce for a delightful vegan sandwich.

Snacks

Want a healthy snack you can graze on during those mid-morning hunger pangs? Take some chickpeas, add some flavoring, give them a roast and you have yourself a tasty, crunchy snack you can munch on without guilt.

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

a bowl of spicy roasted chickpeas

These spicy roasted chickpeas are mixed with a few dried spices and coated with a generous amount of olive oil to ensure a crispy outside with a softer consistency in the middle.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Chickpeas

You can turn your chickpeas into a sweet snack to replace those sugar cravings. These Cinnamon Toast Crunch roasted chickpeas taste just like the cereal, but without any refined sugar. Instead, use maple syrup, cinnamon and coconut to create a sweet, crispy snack.

Curries And Stews

Chickpeas are a staple food of Indian cuisine and can be found in a variety of delicious curries and stews.

Aubergine, Spinach and Chickpea Curry

chickpea curry dish with pita

This curry is filled with aubergine, spinach and chickpeas, with a flavorful tomato base. If you prefer a spicier curry, add some chili pepper to give it some heat. Top it off with a spoonful of fresh yogurt, a sprinkling of cilantro and serve with some steamed rice or a fluffy flatbread for a delicious Indian treat.

Moroccan Chickpea Stew

This Moroccan stew has a long list of ingredients to work with, but the result is completely worth it. There's sliced almonds, sweet potato chunks, olives, berries and chickpeas, all cooked with a warming blend of spices and served with a heaping bowl of freshly made couscous.

Mango Curry Chickpeas

For those who like their curry on the sweeter side, this mango curry recipe should hit the spot. The sweetness of the mangoes and coconut milk is offset by the Indian spices, giving you a fruitier taste to your curry without being overindulgent. The recipe uses canned mango, canned chickpeas and canned coconut milk, which allow the dish to come together very quickly.

Dessert

Chickpeas have a relatively neutral flavor and a smooth, rich consistency, which makes them ideal for vegan and gluten-free baking.

Peanut Butter Banana Chickpea Blondies

chickpea blondies on a dish

These blondies are an excellent introduction to using chickpeas in baking, with the most straightforward recipe you are likely to see -- just blend all the ingredients, mix in chocolate chips, and spread onto a baking tray. The result is gluten-free, vegan blondies that satisfy any sweet cravings you may have.

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