Best Chickpea Recipes You'll Love

Maybe you've tried your hand at making homemade hummus or you've thrown a can of chickpeas into a soup or salad to give it a little extra protein, but the versatile legumes that also goes by the name of garbanzo beans aren't a "one trick pony." They're perfectly suited for making any number of recipes, many of which are quick and easy to throw together. Plus, chickpeas are an excellent lower-carb, vegan substitute that can be made into pastas, "meatballs," and even savory waffles that are perfect for an unconventional brunch. 

Or, if you'd rather skip the involved recipes, roasted chickpeas are a delicious way to enjoy a crispy, crunchy snack that offers a more nutritious profile (more protein, fewer simple carbohydrates) than a bag of potato chips or a handful of pretzels. And while chickpeas haven't always taken front-and-center in western cultures, their popularity is on the rise (thanks, in large part, to increasing demand for hummus). So if you want to expand your recipe base and impress your friends and family, consider adding these chickpea dishes to your repertoire. 

Falafel waffles with Armenian cucumber slaw

Yes, chickpeas can (and should!) be turned into waffles the next time you're planning a brunch. This recipe for falafel waffles takes only takes about 30 minutes to make. It features savory, chickpea-based waffles (think chickpeas, eggs, milk, and various seasonings) topped with a yogurt sauce and a veggie slaw. The end result is a whole lot healthier than a typical butter-and-syrup soaked waffle, and is a fun way to enjoy the fiber and protein found in chickpeas. 

Maple za'atar roasted chickpeas

For a sweet, spicy, and crunchy snack, look no further than this recipe for maple za'atar roasted chickpeas. While the snack takes about an hour and a half to make, most of that time is spent either allowing the chickpeas time to air dry after rinsing them (about 30 to 60 minutes) or the approximate half hour spent roasting in the oven. The actual time it takes to prep this snack? Only about a minute or two, as all you have to do is rinse the chickpeas before you roast them, then toss them with oil and spices once they've been cooked. Just like that, you have a delicious and nutritious snack to enjoy while on the go. 

Roast chicken with crispy chickpeas and kale

Roast chicken is one of those meals that's a perennial favorite, but it is often skipped because of the time it takes to make the chicken and all the fixings. Here's the good news — this recipe for roast chicken with crispy chickpeas and kale only takes a little over an hour to make, and much of that time is time spent with your bird in the oven. Really, hands-on prep work only takes about 20 minutes, and the end-result is a healthy meal that's sure to be a hit with family and friends. 

Charred green beans with crispy chickpeas & curry yogurt

Switch out your favorite holiday side dishes for a new take on green beans. This charred green beans recipe is topped with a curry yogurt dressing and crunchy chickpeas. The whole thing takes about 45 minutes to make, but it's definitely worth the time. The curry and red pepper addition makes for a spicy and unexpected flavor that's made even better with the crunch of the roasted chickpeas. 

Pasta e ceci (pasta with chickpeas)

You may not typically think of pairing chickpeas with pasta, but when you blend the beans with a tomato puree, you end up with a thicker, heartier, and creamier sauce without the fat or calories you'd get from a cheese- or milk-based sauce. And while this recipe for pasta with chickpeas takes about two hours to make, the directions themselves are simple and straightforward. Simply top with a little parmesan cheese and olive oil, and you'll be pleasantly surprised by the flavor sensation.

Moroccan linguine

Okay, so once you've tried one form of chickpeas with pasta, you're going to want to try another. This Moroccan linguine recipe has a similar approach to preparing pasta e ceci, but with a slightly more involved ingredient list. In fact, what you essentially start off making is a chickpea stew, full of spices, vegetables, and (of course) chickpeas. Then, once the stew is cooked, you add the pasta directly to the pot and cook the linguine in the stew itself. This dish definitely isn't for the spice-adverse, but if you like trying bolder flavors, this recipe is one to add to your list. 

Turkish poached eggs

Who knew there could be such an interesting way to liven up the standard poached egg? This Turkish-inspired recipe features fried rounds of eggplant, gluten-free chickpea flour flatbread (socca), a herbed-yogurt sauce, and, of course, poached eggs. You end up with a high-protein, low-carb, and immensely flavorful breakfast, that really would work just as well as a brunch or lunch. And even if you're not a poached egg kind of person, you can skip all the other steps and just make the socca to eat with hummus and avocado. All you need is the chickpea flour, salt, water, and olive oil to make these thin, carb-free crepes. 

Squid with chickpeas and celery

Squid may not be in your usual dinner rotation, but if you're getting a hankering for the seafood, you might as well try this chickpea and celery recipe which is inspired by Italian and Thai cuisines. The dish takes a little less than an hour to make, including the time it takes to marinate the squid (about 30 minutes, although you can let it sit longer). While the squid is marinating, you make a hearty chickpea-based stew, then pan-char the squid before cutting it into rounds. When everything's cooked and ready to go, simply serve the squid over the chickpea and celery stew. The flavor sensations are unusual, but you'll be glad you gave them a try. 

Pumpkin and chickpea curry

Seeing as how many chickpea recipes hail from Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian cuisines, it shouldn't come as a shock that chickpeas make for a good addition to curries. You may, however, be surprised to see pumpkin making the ingredient list. But even if you think of pumpkin as a more "American" food seen in Thanksgiving pies and spice lattes, this gourd can be found the world over, and its hearty flavor melds well with the rich flavors of a curry. Plus, the whole dish takes only about 20 minutes to make. So as long as you have all the curry-appropriate spices on hand, you can whip up this pumpkin and chickpea curry recipe in a flash.

Papadi Chaat (Indian Nachos)

It's hard not to love a plate piled high with nachos, but who says they have to feature typical toppings like melted cheese, refried beans, and tomato salsa? This recipe for Indian-style nachos includes a chickpea salad, yogurt sauce, tamarind dressing, and fried papadi (a type of crunchy cracker that takes the place of tortilla chips in these nachos). Simply line a plate with the papdi, then pile it high with all the other ingredients, including fun and healthy "extras" like pomegranate seeds, cilantro leaves, and julienned veggies like cabbage, carrot, and beet. 

Vegan meatballs

One thing to keep in mind when you're making all your chickpea recipes is you should always save the aquafaba if you're using canned chickpeas. What is aquafaba, you ask? It's the liquid that surrounds the chickpeas in the can. This "juice" works as a binder, helping give structure and texture to vegan "meats," like in this recipe for vegan meatballs. The meatballs themselves use tempeh and vegan breadcrumbs as the bulk of their ingredients, but aquafaba plays an important role in helping make the balls stick together and achieve the right texture.