Chickpeas are cheap, filling, and extremely good for you, packing plenty of protein, fiber, and vitamins. You can make delicious hummus and falafel with just a tin of chickpeas, but the possibilities are not only limited to those two. Here are ten delicious, healthy, and satisfying recipes using the most underrated bean of them all.
Chickpeas are a great addition to salads because they can bulk a dish up while adding a delicious creamy texture that contrasts beautifully with the crunchy greens. There’s also the benefit of being able to drain a can of chickpeas and toss it straight in, which is a relief in the middle of all that chopping.
1. Chopped Chickpea Greek Salad
This take on the greek salad adds a tin of chickpeas for added protein, making it a filling low-calorie meal. A bit of chopping and a super-easy lemon dressing is all you have to do, and you can even make a significant portion for meal prep: because there is no lettuce or fragile leaves, this salad can wait in the fridge for a few days and come out tasting just as good.
2. Curried Chickpea Salad
If you prefer your flavors Asian rather than Mediterranean, this curried chickpea salad packs is just as easy to put together but makes for an entirely different meal. With Indian spices, cilantro, cashews, and raisins mixing with chickpeas and a whole lot of crunchy vegetables, you will actually be looking forward to eating your packed lunch.
Vegans and Vegetarians often face the dilemma of not knowing what to put in their sandwich: after all, sandwiches feel like the domain of deli meats. Chickpeas provide an excellent source of protein and, with a few clever tricks, can be made into different textures for exciting sandwiches that don’t compromise on flavor.
3. Scrambled Chickpea and Spinach Pitas
This delicious recipe from The Kitchn is easy to prep in advance, making it a great healthy on-the-go breakfast option. The recipe is vegan and is packed to the brim with delicious vegetables and chickpeas that have been lightly blended for a satisfying scrambled egg substitute. The filling mixture takes under 20 minutes to prepare, and then you can scoop it into pittas to eat right away or keep in the freezer for later.
4. Chickpea Sunflower Sandwich
This chickpea sandwich recipe mashes some chickpeas with crunchy sunflower seeds and a few select condiments and herbs to make a delicious filling. Spread it on some hearty thick-cut bread and pair with some fresh onion and lettuce, and you have yourself a sturdy lunchtime meal to get you through the afternoon.
Want a healthy snack you can graze on during those mid-morning hunger pangs? Take some chickpeas, add some flavoring, and voila: a tasty, crunchy snack you can munch on without guilt.
5. 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 creamy, chewy consistency in the middle. Keep a bag of them at your desk at work, or bring out a bowl of them hot from the oven during drinks with friends.
6. Cinnamon Toast Crunch Chickpeas
If you are more of a cookie person than a chips person, you can also turn your chickpeas into a sweet snack. These Cinnamon Toast Crunch roasted chickpeas taste just like the cereal but do not use any sugar. Instead, use maple syrup, cinnamon, and coconut to create a sweet, crispy snack that is as healthy as they come.
Curries & Stews
Chickpeas are a staple food of vegetarian Indian cuisine and can be found in a vast variety of delicious curries. They also work nicely as the basis for a meat-free stew and stand up well to cooking for a long time without losing their texture.
7. Aubergine, Spinach, and Chickpea Curry
This hearty curry is filled with sweet aubergine, fresh spinach, and creamy chickpeas, with a flavorful tomato base. This recipe does not go too hard on the spice, but you can kick it up a notch with some chili pepper if you like your curries hot. Top with a dollop of fresh yogurt and a sprinkling of cilantro and serve with some steamed rice or a fluffy flatbread, and you have yourself a delicious Indian feast.
8. Moroccan Chickpea Stew
This Moroccan stew has a long list of ingredients, but the result is completely worth it. There’s sliced almonds, sweet potato chunks, olives, berries, and of course chickpeas, all cooked with a warming blend of spices and served with a heaping bowl of freshly made couscous. Perfect for dinner on a cold, rainy night.
9. Mango Curry Chickpeas
For those who like their curries fruity and a bit sweet, this mango curry recipe should hit the spot. The sweetness of mango and coconut milk is offset by the Indian spices, giving you an indulgent curry without being sickly. The recipe uses canned mango, canned chickpeas, and canned coconut milk, which allow the dish to come together extra fast.
Yes, dessert! Chickpeas have a relatively neutral flavor and a rich, creamy consistency, which makes them ideal for vegan and gluten-free baking.
10. Peanut Butter Banana Chickpea Blondies
These insanely good 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, featuring the holy trinity of flavors that is chocolate, peanut butter, and banana.
Now that you’ve seen the wide variety of excellent meals you can prepare with chickpeas, there’s no more excuse for just using them for hummus. Its time to get out that can that’s been sitting at the back of your pantry and get cooking.