Chickpea

28 Versatile Ways to Celebrate Chickpeas (Even if You Think You're Tired of Them)

Guess what? They're all vegetarian, too.

April 13, 2020
Photo by Bobbi Lin

If you're anything like me (read: a vegetarian; a lover of good food; a sorta impatient person), chickpeas are in heavy rotation in your cooking—especially now. As of this writing, a pound of the dried stuff and seven cans of cooked chickpeas are hanging out in my pantry, just waiting to be used. (The dried ones are calling for a long Sunday simmer as I putter around the house.)

You need no telling how flexible, satiating, and flat-out delicious chickpeas can be, so I won't tell you. I'll just show off 28 ways these little legumes strut their stuff, in crunchy-roasted snacks, slurpable stews, and sweets (yes!) alike.


snacks

1. Smoky Fried Chickpeas

You know that saying "simple is best"? This smoky snack epitomizes it. With chickpeas, olive oil, a hot cast-iron pan, and dusting of smoked paprika, you're set.

2. South Indian Sundal (Chickpea Salad)

Chubby little chickpeas meld with coconut, black mustard seeds, and fragrant curry leaves for an irresistible snack.

3. Chickpea And Buckwheat Crackers With Turmeric And Fennel

For a weekend project that's worth your while, bring together nutty buckwheat flour and crumbly, blitzed chickpeas. You'll be amply rewarded with seedy, crunchy crackers.

4. Sweet Potato And Chickpea Cakes

These sweet potato and chickpea fritters are just begging for a little dollop of yogurt on top. Eat them with a salad for a full meal, or by themselves as a nibble.

5. 5-Minute Hummus From Zahav Restaurant

You didn't think we'd leave out hummus from this list, did you?! A five-minute, zero-fuss recipe is just what we all need right now.


Salads, Sandwiches & Such

6. Curried Chickpea Sandwich

Our SVP of brand, Suzanne, shared her tried-and-true lunch secret—this super-affordable, ultra-riffable, totally delicious curried chickpea salad—and we couldn't be more grateful.

7. Buffalo Chickpea Salad With Vegan Ranch

All the flavors (Frank's!) of your favorite hot wing, turned into a sturdy, satisfying salad (complete with cashew ranch and watery-crisp celery).

8. Gena Hamshaw's (Vegan) Deli Bowls With Smashed Chickpea Salad

A collision of textures and flavors, in the very best way. It's got serious "tuna salad" vibes (without any tuna, or for that matter, mayonnaise!), with a lift from lots of fresh and briny accents.

9. Chimichurri Chickpeas

Dress up plain ol' canned chickpeas with a ton of fresh herbs, spices, briny feta cheese, juicy tomatoes and toasty almonds, and you'll have yourself a stellar lunch in ten minutes flat.

10. Chickpea Taco Bowls

Saucy, cumin-spiced chickpeas plus a mountain of shrettuce plus a healthy sprinkling of cheese means great things for lunchtime. Canned chickpeas work equally well as fresh.

11. No-Chop Chickpea Salad

No chopping, no problem—this vinaigrette-laden, hardy salad of chickpeas, torn olives, parsley leaves, and crumbled feta is happy to hang out in the fridge, without wilting, for days.

12. Carrot Chickpea Couscous Salad

Carrots, spice, and everything nice—ginger-perfumed couscous, garlicky chickpeas, hearty almonds—star in this grain salad. (Sub in vegetable stock or even water, for the chicken stock.)

13. Roasted Sweet Potato, Chickpea & Kale Sheet-Pan Salad

Sheet-pan salads are a quicker-than-quick, nearly dish-free way to dinner (score!). This one's full of hearty kale, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, apples, and cheddar cheese.

14. Crispy Chickpea Waffles With Herby Israeli Salad & Harissa Tahini Sauce

Crispy-edged waffles filled with creamy chickpeas, all topped with an herbaceous tomato salad and creamy tahini dressing.


Stews, Pastas, Braised Situations

15. Victoria Granof’s Pasta Con Ceci

If you can smash a clove of garlic, you can have dinner on the table—in just 15 minutes.

16. Trinidadian Doubles (Curried Chickpea Flatbread Sandwiches)

In this traditional Trinidadian treat, fluffy flatbreads envelop curried chickpeas. Serve as-is, or with your favorite kicky hot sauce.

17. Coconut Braised Chickpeas And Broccoli

Hearty, coconutty, and just green enough, with warming heat from ginger and an umami boost from sun-dried tomatoes.

18. Vicky Bennison's 'Cupboard Is Bare' Pasta & Chickpeas

A tangle of pasta, creamy chickpeas, and a dusting of Parm are all you need for this fantastic meal.

19. Turmeric Chickpea Soup With Charred Brussels Sprouts

Name me a silkier, creamier, completely vegan-er soup—I'll wait. And while I'm waiting, I'll be slurping this coconutty number from recipe developer Hetty McKinnon.

20. Olive Oil–Braised Chickpeas From Joy The Baker

Chickpeas drink up fruity olive oil and become their best selves, surrounded by tangy capers, oil-cured olives, feta, and wheels of lemon. They're perfect with a crusty piece of bread (better to sop up the herby olive oil with!), cooked pasta, or simply on a spoon.

21. Chickpea, Pumpkin, And Sage Stew

This stew just screams "fall," but we're happy to whip it up any time of year. A few choice cans (chickpeas and pumpkin puree, if you please) and boxes (broth, plus teeny-tiny pasta shapes) make this one-pot wonder a total breeze.

22. Spicy, Creamy Chickpeas & Spinach (Chana Saag-Ish)

We want to put ginger-garlic-chile paste in everything—not least, this streamlined version of the classic Indian standby, chana saag. Canned chickpeas and quick-cooking spinach make this recipe simple as can be.

23. Chickpea Bolognese

Sunday sauce, reimagined. Chickpeas and porcini mushrooms give it heft and earthiness in a similar way as pork, veal, or beef would.

24. Creamy Chickpea Curry

Speed and riffability are the name of the game here. If you don't have lemongrass or Makrut lime leaves, feel free to go forth without 'em. If you don't have a fresh tomato on hand, use canned. If you want to add some green vegetables into the mix, we wouldn't say no to that either! A big handful of chopped kale or Swiss chard would be right at home.

25. Moro's Chickpeas And Spinach (Garbanzos Con Espinacas)

"A hidden gem of a recipe," "amazingly good," and "really just perfect" are some of the community votes of confidence you can keep in mind when you simmer chickpeas in this Genius bread sauce.

26. Chickpea Pot Pie

Creamy filling, flaky topping, comfort all around. What could be better than this pot pie?


Desserts (Seriously!)

27. Lemon Poppyseed Chickpea Muffins

Chickpeas give these muffins silkiness and structure, but you won't even know they're there (in a good way!). The resulting treats have the added benefit of a whole lot of protein and serious staying power.

28. Cinnamon & Sugar Roasted Chickpeas

With fragrant cinnamon and just enough sugar, roasted chickpeas can take a sweet turn, too. Go on, give 'em a try!


What's your favorite way to celebrate chickpeas? Let us know in the comments.

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Brinda is the Managing Editor at Food52, where she also edits all of Food52's cookbooks and covers the latest and greatest books on the site (drop her a line with recs!). She likes chewy Neapolitan pizza, stinky cheese of all sorts, and tahini-flavored anything. Brinda lives in Brooklyn with 18 plants. Find her at @brindayesterday on Twitter and Instagram.

1 Comment

kelsey April 19, 2020
We made Pasta con Ceci the other day and then used the drained liquid (aquafaba!) to make vegan strawberry meringues! We had so much “batter” we froze it and enjoyed it as a frozen treat as well —creamy and delicious!