There are a handful of staples that everyone should keep in the pantry year-round, and chickpeas are near the top of the list. Inexpensive, healthy, and just plain tasty, I like to have both canned and dried varieties at home—the former for when I want to throw together a quick dinner and the latter for when I have more time (or the forethought, really) to make the best meal possible. Chickpeas lend themselves to all sorts of uses—you can toss them into a filling salad, simmer them in a stew, blend them into hummus, and more. From a creamy squash and chickpea dip and a chickpea salad with bacon and cotija to pressure cooker chicken masala, keep reading for 20 of our favorite chickpea recipes.
A note on canned chickpeas: while these recipes focus on the beans themselves, you don’t want to waste the liquid they come packed in. Known as aquafaba, it is packed with protein and can be used as an egg replacement in mayonnaise, pancakes (regular or oatmeal), and more.
Appetizers and Snacks
Israeli-Style Extra-Smooth Hummus
Our hummus starts with dried chickpeas (which give it much better flavor than any store-bought brand) that we purée hot in a food processor for an ultra-smooth texture. For extra flavor we use a homemade tahini sauce made with tahini paste, lemon juice, and a whole head of unpeeled garlic. Want something different? Check out hummus masabacha, a hummus variation that incorporates whole chickpeas.
Roasted Zucchini-Chickpea Dip With Za’atar
Growing up in an Arab-American house we only had one kind of hummus, so I was shocked the other week when I went to Whole Foods and saw the seemingly endless varieties on offer. Our version of a hummus-inspired spread pairs the chickpeas with roasted squash to make a light, silky dip. Finishing with generous amounts of olive oil and za’atar brings this not-quite-hummus back into my comfort zone.
7-Layer Make-Ahead Salad With Chickpeas, Endive, and Yogurt Dressing
This upgraded 7-layer salad uses a chickpea base and piles on endive, cucumber, pickled red onion, celery, radishes, and feta. 7-layer salads are typically made with mayonnaise, but while there are no mayo-haters at Serious Eats (it’s not allowed!) we think it’s a little too heavy given how much you need for the salad. To keep the salad lighter we turn to Greek yogurt mixed with lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, and chopped dill and mint.
Farinata (Italian Chickpea Pancake)
Farinata is a relic from at least ancient Rome, when chickpea flour was cheaper than wheat flour. The pancake often tastes the way its modest roots suggest it might: dense, dry, and generally unpleasant. But use the right ratio of water to chickpea flour (3:1 by weight) and cook the pancake in a super-hot oven and your farinata will have a wonderfully custardy center and lightly crisp exterior.
Papri Chaat (Indian Street Snack With Potato, Chickpeas, and Chutneys)
Chaat refers to a variety of crunchy South Asian street snacks—this version of the dish is built on crispy wheat-dough crackers called papris. We top our papris with traditional accoutrements: fluffy boiled potatoes, tender chickpeas, cool yogurt, bright mint chutney, sweet-and-sour tamarind chutney, and crunchy sev (fried chickpea noodles). Don’t forget fragrant chaat masala, which unites all the various types of chaat.
Easy, Herb-Packed Falafel
Perfect falafel is shatteringly crispy on the outside and moist-but-light on the inside, but all too often the fritters are dry or mushy. Nailing the texture requires starting with dried chickpeas, which eliminates the need for binders like flour, which can leave the falafel dense and pasty. Another key is forming the falafel into small balls so that they fry up with a better ratio of crisp exterior to moist interior.
Easy Make-Ahead Carrot and Chickpea Salad With Dill and Pumpkin Seeds
Because chickpeas are so hearty they are perfect for make-ahead salads—a recipe like this one actually gets better if it sits in the fridge overnight. Here we combine the chickpeas with grated carrot, crunchy pepitas, and a simple vinaigrette flavored with fresh dill. If you start with canned chickpeas (which aren’t quite as good as dried ones but work fine) then the whole thing comes together in just 15 minutes.
Make-Ahead Chickpea Salad With Cumin and Celery
Another simple, make-ahead chickpea salad, in this one we toss the legumes with celery, shallots, and parsley and dress everything with a cumin vinaigrette. Because this salad is so fast (you can make it in just 10 minutes), we think it’s worth taking an extra minute to peel the celery for the best possible texture.
Chickpea Salad With Bacon, Cotija, and Roasted Chilies
Chickpea salads aren’t just for vegans—this meaty version is made with smoky bacon and salty cotija cheese. We use the rendered bacon fat in the vinaigrette and add roasted poblano or Anaheim chilies to the salad to echo the bacon’s smoke. Chopped cilantro and lime juice provide a bright finishing touch.
Roasted-Chickpea and Kale Salad With Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette
Canned chickpeas can be eaten as-is, but that’s not the only way to use them in a salad. By roasting canned chickpeas for about an hour you can concentrate their flavor and give them a subtle crispness. The roasted chickpeas are a delicious addition to this salad, made with massaged kale, fresh herbs, pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, and a basic vinaigrette.
Marinated Kale and Chickpea Salad With Sumac Onions
Massaging kale with oil is a good way to tenderize it, but if you have a little time you can also just toss the kale with oil and let is tenderize as it sits. That’s what we do for this salad made with chickpeas and sumac-marinated onions. Both chickpeas and kale are hearty enough that the salad will last the better part of a week in the fridge.
Fresh Herbs With Corn, Asparagus, and Chickpeas
This summery herb salad pairs a ton of fresh herbs—parsley, cilantro, dill, and mint—with corn, asparagus, and chickpeas that we crisp up in a pan. We dress the salad with olive oil and lemon juice and serve it with cumin-spiked yogurt. If you’re intimidated by the amount of herbs that you need to chop, check out this handy knife skills guide.
Harissa Chickpeas With Fried Eggs
This simple dish is equally appropriate for breakfast, lunch, or even a light dinner. To make it you simply sauté shallots with harissa, add stock and chickpeas, simmer for a couple minutes, and mix with lemon and arugula. Top the mixture with a fried egg and serve it all on a piece of pita, which will soak up all the juices and the runny yolk.
Stovetop Eggplant With Harissa, Chickpeas, and Cumin Yogurt
We use the combination of chickpeas and harissa again here, mixing them with tomatoes, cumin, and yogurt to make a sauce for Italian eggplant. We cook the eggplants whole in a skillet, browning their exteriors and letting them steam until tender. Look for eggplants that are all about the same size so that they cook evenly.
A staple in India and Pakistan, channa masala is a flavorful dish of chickpeas cooked in a tomato-based sauce. It’s traditionally made with spices that can be tricky to find in America, so to make recipe more approachable we start with store-bought garam masala and bolster it with common spices like coriander seed, cumin, and turmeric. Because of how strong the flavors in this dish are, feel free to use canned chickpeas.
Vegan Garbanzos con Espinacas y Jengibre (Spanish Chickpea and Spinach Stew With Ginger)
Somewhere between a soup and a stew, this Spanish bar snack is made with aromatics like garlic, onion, and bay leaf; tomatoes and tomato purée; spinach; and chickpeas. We build the stew in layers before simmering it all together until it begins to thicken. And in case you’re confused, this is a good time to remember that chickpeas and garbanzo beans are the same thing.
Pasta With Chickpea Sauce
Sort of like pasta e fagioli with barely any soup, this dish takes faralle pasta and sauces it with chickpea purée. Don’t be gentle with the chickpeas here—you’re going to blend up most of them anyways, so err on the side of overcooking them. While this dish is vegan, I love to serve it with plenty of grated Parmesan cheese.
Crispy Fried Chickpea Cake and Slaw Sandwiches
The star of this sandwich is the crispy chickpea cake, a falafel-like treat made with canned chickpeas and bulgur wheat, flavored with garlic, coriander, cumin, and cayenne. We pulverize half the chickpeas in the food processor and roughly chop the rest to give the patties a more interesting texture.
Easy Pressure Cooker Chicken and Chickpea Masala
You can’t beat a pressure cooker for making flavorful food with minimal time and effort. This 30-minute recipe tastes like it cooked for hours thanks to the complex spice base and tender chicken. We don’t bother searing the chicken before adding it to the pot but we do bloom the spices, which intensifies their flavor and helps them meld with the rest of the dish.
30-Minute Pressure Cooker Chicken With Chickpeas, Tomatoes, and Chorizo
This 30-minute pressure cooker dish keeps the chicken, chickpeas, and tomatoes but looks to Spain instead of India for inspiration. That means flavoring the stew with dry cured chorizo and smoked paprika for a one-two smoky punch. Since we use canned chickpeas, the dish only needs to cook as long as it takes to finish the chicken—15 minutes and it should be wonderfully tender.