Okay, so with a blog named Chickpea & Herb, you may have guessed I’m a sucker for chickpeas. I seriously love them, and honestly, I can’t think of a thing about them not to love. They’re versatile, full of protein, and seriously delicious. If you’re not quite as on board as I am, maybe you haven’t had the right chickpea? Read below for recipes, how-to hacks, and interesting uses you may not have considered before.
Chickpeas are perfect little protein vessels, that wow party guests as the star of pretty mezze platters, work perfectly on salads, flawlessly adapt into salad dressings and pasta sauces, and even somehow morph into vegan ‘tuna salads’ or ‘crab cakes.’
WHAT ARE CHICKPEAS?
Read about the health benefits of chickpeas here
Chickpeas are in the legume family, the same classification as beans, peas, lentils, soybeans, and peanuts. Loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber, glorious chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a GIFT.
A 1/2 cup serving contains about 12 grams of protein, which is more than tofu. The average female needs about 43 grams of protein a day, so if you opt for chickpeas for lunch, you’re almost a third of the way there. That is if you only eat 1/2 cup at a time. I find myself always loading up my bowl because I can’t get enough. Chickpeas also offer up 8 grams of fiber, keeping you fuller longer.
HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT CHICKPEAS
Slow Cooker Chickpeas
If using a slow cooker, add 2 cups dried chickpeas, 6 cups of water, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper (and even 5-8 garlic cloves if you’d like) to your slow cooker and cook on high for 6-7 hours.
Chickpeas in a Pressure Cooker/ Instant Pot
You can follow the same recipe and cook in a pressure cooker for about 27 minutes or until soft. It helps to soak for at least an hour before hand if using this method because they can often come out on the underdone side, which leads to chunky hummus or hard to chew salad toppers.
If using canned, simply drain and rinse, there is not need to cook these. It’s possible to use them on salads or other in hummus without having to heat first.
Easy Ways to Use Chickpeas
Once your chickpeas are drained and rinsed, sprinkle with salt and pepper and any other herbs and spices you like. Bake in the oven or toaster oven at 350° for about 15 minutes until slightly browned and crispy. I like to add garlic powder and turmeric to mine before roasting, then keep in the fridge for up to a week or two to top salads and other meals. You can also toss in sesame seeds, or even maple syrup for a sweet treat. These crispy chickpeas are excellent on roasted sweet potatoes with tahini, and to replace croutons in soups.
Salads & Toasts
Chickpeas are of course good on every salad from the classic Greek to vegan Caesar salads, I love them on toast too, crunchy roasted chickpeas with savory mushrooms and herbs or avocado. Check out a few creative toast recipes here.
One of my favorite ways to eat chickpeas, would have to be hummus. I mean, we all know hummus is good as is, and is the most perfect and versatile dip. This creamy goodness is also a magical treat first thing in the morning on homemade toast, which I’m sure you saw if you skimmed that toast post in the previous paragraph.
Grazing Boards & Mezze Platters
Hummus also wows as a star on grazing boards, and it’s super fun because you can change it up depending on what other veggies you have around. Sure we’ve all heard of roasted red pepper hummus, but how about beet root hummus, turmeric hummus, cauliflower hummus? These are all super yummy and have their own healthy benefits. Cut up some cucumbers, carrots, celery, and bell peppers an keep in the fridge for easy snacking.
Chickpeas are even great in pastas as a source of protein. Check out this easy weeknight penne marinara that’s on the table in 30 minutes and is loaded with garden fresh veggies. The veggies can change based on your grocery haul that week, but the chickpeas are the easiest and most nutrient dense part of the dish.
Chickpea Tuna Salad
You can make make chickpeas taste like tuna by simply adding a little kelp powder. It definitely sounds weird, but once you have a bottle, it’s hard not to put it on everything. Here’s my easy vegan tuna salad recipe, and bonus – it’s kid approved.
Other Chickpea Recipe Ideas
As always, if you make any of these recipes, tag me on Facebook or Instagram, and let me know how it goes! You can also check out my Pinterest page for more easy weeknight dinner inspiration and ideas about ways to use the chickpeas in your life! I’ve linked my Instagram account below in case you’re looking for some other fresh and easy dinner ideas.
If you have questions, leave me a comment here or shoot me an email, and I’ll get back to you ASAP.