Why You Should Never Let Roasted Chickpeas Sit After Cooking

Chickpeas are a go-to source of protein for many vegans and vegetarians — so much so that even the most eager plant-based eaters can get sick of them from time to time. From Indian chana masala to hummus to chickpea pasta, chickpeas can be dried and ground, pureed and fried, and seasoned and stewed in about every which way you can imagine. Still, there are times when you might start ignoring that can in your pantry. Whether you're feeling uninspired or just in a chickpea rut, there's one method you can always count on to get you back in tune with your go-to legume: roasting.

Roasted chickpeas are simple, quick, and crunchy, all while maintaining the same amount of plant-based protein that their raw, blended, fried, and dried counterparts do. Drained from the can and spread across a baking sheet, all your homemade crispy chickpeas need is about 20 to 30 minutes in the oven to transform into an irresistible snack — just don't let them sit out for too long after cooking. Unlike that deep-fried falafel you got from your local Middle Eastern food truck, chickpeas that are roasted in the oven don't stay crispy after they've cooled off. So, if you don't eat them while they're hot, they'll have more chew than crunch.

Crispy vs. chewy chickpeas

If you do accidentally let your roast chickpeas sit out too long, don't worry, they're not going to become inedible — but they won't be crispy, which is essentially the entire point of roasting them in the oven. With a bit of seasoning, they'll still make a nice snack, but they won't have quite the same range of uses as your chickpeas would if you used them while they were hot. The reason why crispy chickpeas are so versatile is that they have the ability to add textural contrast to everything, from salads to noodles to wraps and sandwiches.

So next time that can of chickpeas in your pantry starts to look lonely, turn on your oven and give them a nice roast. But, when you take them out, remember to move fast. They'll lose their crispiness as they cool down — so be sure to time the rest of your meal accordingly. Toss them in your favorite spices while they're still hot, whether that be paprika, chili-garlic, curry, or shwarma, and eat them right away. If you can't finish them all within a day, don't put your leftovers in the refrigerator. Instead, store them in a loosely covered bowl on your counter.

For the best texture, your roasted chickpeas should be eaten while hot or within the same day. But even if they do end up losing their crunch, they'll still be an enjoyable snack.