PHOTO BY ERIN KUNKEL
Canned chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, if you prefer to use the Spanish-derived word for the legume, are the nutrient-dense workhorse of your pantry. Not only do these buttery-tasting beans pack 14.5 grams of protein per cup, but research shows their high-soluble fiber content can also help regulate blood sugar. Add to that healthy doses of iron and folate, and you’ve got a seriously nutritious pulse. (If sodium is a concern, draining and rinsing canned beans can reduce the sodium content by up to 40 percent.)
And that’s not all: Chickpeas are also super adaptable. Add them to curries, soups, and salads without worrying they’ll turn to mush—they hold their shape better than other canned beans—or puree them into soups and desserts—their neutral flavor and creamy texture won’t throw off the flavor of the dish. Chickpeas are also absolutely dynamite roasted into a crispy snack.
Convinced? Here’s eight delicious ways to get creative with canned chickpeas.
How to Cook Chickpeas Like a Culinary Champ
Crispy Curried Chickpeas
Using paper towels, thoroughly pat dry 1 can of rinsed chickpeas. Toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and bake at 400°F (404°C) until crisp, 30 minutes. Season with 1 to 2 teaspoons hot curry powder and serve warm.
Italian Chickpea and Pasta Soup
Combine 1 can drained and rinsed chickpeas, 4 cups chicken bone broth, 1/2 cup chopped Italian tomatoes in thick puree, 1 cup whole-wheat pasta shells, and 1 sprig rosemary in a pot. Cover and simmer until the pasta is tender, 15 minutes. Add 4 cups chopped Swiss chard and simmer until tender, 1 minute. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.
Moroccan Roasted Carrot and Chickpea
Pat dry 1 can rinsed chickpeas and toss with 1 pound slender carrots (try the tri-color bunches, remove their tops), 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon each cumin, paprika, 1 pinch cayenne. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast in a 425°F (218°C) oven until carrots are tender, 30 minutes. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon over the top and serve with dollops of Greek yogurt.
Avocado-Chickpea Guac Wraps
Mash 1 can drained and rinsed chickpeas with flesh from 1 medium avocado, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, and 1 minced garlic clove. Season with hot sauce and spread in center of 4 whole-wheat tortillas. Add shredded purple cabbage, sliced cucumbers, and chopped tomato. Roll up tightly and eat immediately or store in the fridge for up to five hours.
Smokey Tomato Chickpea Soup
Sauté 1 chopped onion in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat until tender. Add 3 chopped garlic cloves and 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika and sauté 15 seconds. Add 1 28-ounce can chopped fire-roasted tomatoes, 3 cups chicken bone broth, 1 can drained and rinsed chickpeas, and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme. Simmer 20 minutes and puree with a stick blender until smooth.
Vegetarian Curry in A Hurry
Sauté 1 sliced onion and 2 large carrots in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until tender. Add 1 tablespoon each minced fresh ginger and garlic, cook 1 minute. Add 3 cups canned chopped tomatoes in puree, 1 can drained and rinsed chickpeas, and 2 teaspoons curry powder and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in 2 cups baby spinach and serve over brown basmati rice or quinoa.
Greek Power-Lunch Salad
Toss 1 cup drained and rinsed chickpeas with 1/2 cup each thinly sliced red bell peppers, chopped seeded cucumber, and halved cherry tomatoes. Add 2 tablespoons crumbled feta, 1 tablespoon each red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Energy Bites
Pulse 1 can rinsed and drained chickpeas with 1 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup almond butter, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 2 tablespoon coconut sugar (or brown sugar), 1 tablespoon Dutched cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and pulse until smooth. Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips, separate the batter into tablespoon-sized portions and roll into balls. Chill 1 hour before serving.
This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.