Versatile, easy to cook or readily available in a can, chickpeas are the super-ingredient you need to be add to your diet. Whether you soak dried beans overnight then cook them in your Instant Pot, or pop open a can of little peas, there’s a lot to do with these protein- and fiber-packed legumes. Here are our top-10 ideas:
MAKE THEM CRISPY
Cooked and unseasoned, chickpeas can be bland. But, toast them until crispy in the oven, tossed with spices, and you have a next-level ingredient to keep on hand. Drain a 13.5-ounce can of chickpeas, then dry with a paper towel. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190ºC). Toss the chickpeas with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons harissa, 2 teaspoons turmeric or your favorite spice blend and season well with salt and pepper. Roast on a parchment-lined sheet pan until crispy — roughly 20–30 minutes, depending on your oven.
ADD THEM TO A SALAD
Whether you’ve roasted your chickpeas, just cooked them or are opening a can, keeping peas on hand to toss into salads is infinitely smart. Make them more interesting by tossing them with olive oil and herbs, salt and pepper then store in the fridge to toss into salads.
TOSS THEM INTO A SOUP OR STEW
If you have a can of chickpeas in the pantry, you basically have dinner … especially if you also have a can of coconut milk, a can of tomatoes and some herbs and spices. Even better if you have 1/2 an onion. Simply sauté the onion in 1 tablespoon olive oil until translucent. Add the 28-ounce can of tomatoes and 4 cups water (or broth if you’re really stocked) and can of chickpeas, drained. Bring to simmer then add a 13.5-ounce can of coconut milk. Season with salt, pepper, harissa, curry powder or any other spice mixes you love. Eat with toast, rice or quinoa.
MAKE GRANOLA (NO, REALLY!)
That liquid every recipe tells you to drain from the can of chickpeas is called aquafaba. It’s rich in protein and a good vegan alternative to egg whites that can add structure to many recipes. This granola recipe puts that liquid to use.
BLEND THEM INTO (REALLY SMOOTH) HUMMUS
Looking for the smoothest, snacking-est hummus around? You’ll have to ditch the skins that come along with most canned chickpeas. Simmering canned chickpeas with 1 teaspoon baking soda until they’re completely broken down helps those skins fall off. Really cook them until they’re mush, then blend them into your favorite hummus recipe .
ADD THEM TO YOUR NEXT SHAKSHUKA
Shakshuka is a delicious, Mediterranean dish featuring eggs and vegetables — and chickpeas would be an amazing addition. Simply add seasoned or roasted chickpeas to your finished shakshuka for a nice texture contrast and boost of protein.
MAKE THEM THE STAR OF THEIR OWN GRAIN SALAD
Chickpeas don’t have to be the sideshow. They’re nutritious and delicious enough to make a complete grain bowl meal. I love them with cooked bulgur, a handful of fresh herbs, a sprinkling of fresh feta cheese and tossed with a flavor-packed dressing of toasted spices. To make the dressing: Gently toast 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon fennel seeds in a dry skillet over low heat. (You’ll know they’re toasted when they’re fragrant.) Transfer the toasted seeds to a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and grind until fine, then combine with 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard and kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Drizzle over grains.
SAUTÉ THEM WITH HERBS FOR BREAKFAST
This is as easy a breakfast strategy as it gets; Simply drain the chickpeas, dry them with a paper towel, and then add them to a skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Sauté for 5–7 minutes, undisturbed until starting to brown. Turn off heat, add a handful of fresh herbs and a sprinkling of cheese. Eat with toast.
SWIRL THEM INTO OTHER SPREADS
Hummus-like spreads can be made with just about anything. Blend chickpeas with steamed and drained kale, fresh herbs, cooked beets, carrots or pumpkin. Anything can become a delicious, exciting spread with the help of chickpeas. Experiment and enjoy!
TURN THEM INTO PANCAKES
Served at breakfast with eggs or with greens for lunch, a great chickpea pancake recipe is endlessly versatile and delicious.
SAVORY CHICKPEA PANCAKES
- 6 tablespoons (90ml) olive oil, divided
- 1 medium leek, white and pale-green parts only, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup (125g) squash (such as butternut or kabocha), peeled and grated
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup (75g) chickpea flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup (125g) plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup (5g) fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
- Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium-high heat. Add leek, season with kosher salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until leek is softened and starting to brown, about 4 minutes. Add squash and season again. Cook, stirring often, until squash is cooked through and softened, about 4 minutes. Transfer vegetables to a plate and let cool. Wipe out skillet and reserve.
Meanwhile, whisk egg, chickpea flour, baking powder, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 cup water in a medium bowl; season with pepper and let sit 5 minutes for flour to hydrate. Stir vegetables into batter just to coat.
Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in reserved skillet over medium-high. Add batter by the 1/4-cupful to make 4 pancakes, gently flattening to about 1/4-inch thick. Batter should spread easily — if it doesn’t, thin with a little water. Cook until bottoms are lightly browned and bubbles form on top, about 4 minutes. Use a spatula to carefully flip pancakes over and cook until browned and cooked through, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate and tent with a sheet of foil to keep warm. Repeat with another 1 1/2 tablespoons oil and remaining batter. Serve pancakes topped with yogurt, parsley, sea salt and pepper. Makes 4 servings.
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