These easy chickpea recipes highlight the best of this versatile ingredient! A can of garbanzo beans is the first step to a delicious meal.
Wondering what to do with a can of chickpeas? You’ve come to the right place! Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are full of plant based protein and perfect for making filling meals. Chickpeas aren’t just for hummus. They’re also ideal for a vegan diet: all of the recipes below are vegan chickpea recipes (or have a vegan variation). You can use this mighty legume in so many creative ways! Head to the garbanzo bean recipes below.
What can I do with canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans)? Let us count the ways (or scroll down to the recipes):
Soups:Chickpeas are perfect in soups, either whole or blended to make a creamy body.
Tacos: Spiced up with cumin and chili powder, they’re perfect in a tortilla
Sandwiches: Throw them on a sandwich in a vegetarian version of chicken salad, for example.
THE favorite in our chickpea recipes: this chickpea salad sandwich! Chickpea salad is a play on a vegetarian chicken salad: and man, is it good! The chickpeas are mashed and mixed with a little mayo, lemon juice, celery and green onions. It takes about 10 minutes to make, perfect for when you need a quick lunch or dinner!
Next up in our garbanzo bean recipes: this Moroccan stew is cozy, hearty and full of flavor. It's warm spiced with cumin, coriander and cinnamon, and the chickpeas are simmered with tomatoes and chickpeas. Serve with side quinoa or couscous and a dollop of Greek yogurt, and it's an extraordinarily tasty meal.
This chickpea curry is the epitome of healthy weeknight dinners! It can be made in just 20 minutes, a speed record for sure. But there are no flavor shortcuts: it's bursting with garlic, ginger, cumin, and curry powder, with a bit of coconut swirled in for a creamy body. Serve with basmati rice and it's a true gem.
Here's a new way to use chickpeas: in burgers! And these chickpea burgers are extra special. They’re crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, with a hint of nuance from smoked paprika. Painted with BBQ sauce and served with shiitake bacon and spicy mayo, they’re pretty darn tasty (if we do say so ourselves).
Here's a cozy soup that's made of healthy veggies that taste bright and restorative: this Chickpea Soup with Rice! It's similar to a chicken rice soup, except it's made with plant-powered chickpeas instead. Tender grains of rice make for a satisfying thick body to the turmeric and ginger-infused broth, with a punch of lemon zest to brighten each spoonful. It's got the cozy nostalgia of canned soup, but it's fresh and homemade!
Here's a fun way to use chickpeas: in homemade cookie dough! Puree up chickpeas with a little butter, vanilla, and sugar, and it's a convincing stand-in for the real thing! Don't forget those chocolate chunks. It's a fun treat that uses the magic of chickpeas to create a healthier dough.
Want to know one of our best easy meal tricks? Try these Easy Canned Chickpeas, the way to make a bland can of beans taste amazing in 5 minutes! This one is one of our very best secrets to eating healthy plant based dinners on the regular. Many nights we’ll make improv dinners using what we find in the pantry or fridge. More often than not, you’ll see these easy chickpeas on the menu! They’re great for healthy lunches, or work as the protein in a grain bowl. Really, we should call these lifesaving chickpeas.
Ever tried crispy chickpeas? They're the perfect salty snack! Here the chickpeas are combined with savory spices like cumin, garlic powder, and black pepper, and roasted until crispy. They're like a healthy potato chip...and you'll find it's hard to stop crunching on them.
The falafel sandwich is the stuff dreams are made of: and one of the most iconic garbanzo bean recipes...ever! The crunch of the fried chickpea fritters, the soft herby interior, and the sauces that dribble down your chin….it’s our ultimate meal. Might we present the ultimate falafel sandwich! It features crunchy fritters, ultra soft flatbread, crunchy veggies and creamy, garlicky sauces.
Tip: This one uses dried chickpeas, so make sure to have a bag of dried chickpeas hand. Is all you have canned chickpeas? Then make...
Try this Sweet Potato Curry with Chickpeas! Tender sweet potatoes and bell peppers swim in a luscious broth of coconut milk and Thai curry paste, topped with fresh cilantro and crunchy peanuts. There’s so much flavor going on, you’ll want to take another bite before you’re finished savoring the first. Welcome to: your easy weeknight dinner soulmate!
Here’s a dinner idea for when you’re not sure what to cook: Chickpea Tacos! This chickpea recipe does heavy lifting with a short cook time and big flavors. Garbanzo beans might not strike you for tacos, but they make a flavorful filling coated in cumin, chili powder, and smoked paprika, punched up with a hit of zesty lime. Throw it all in a tortilla with guacamole and toppings, and this fast weeknight dinner is done in 20 minutes.
Bowl meals are so popular these days, and often they’re on our table because it’s one of the easiest ways to turn random ingredients into a healthy dinner! But here’s the thing: you can’t just throw anything into a bowl. A good grain bowl has to be well-seasoned, and play up contrasts in color, texture and flavor. This one is Greek-inspired and stars our easy canned chickpeas with seasoned quinoa, colorful veggies and tahini sauce.
Meet our favorite vegetarian and vegan dinner recipe: the Falafel Burger! We don’t always have the energy to fry up a batch of authentic falafel. So eating it in burger form is the next best thing! These are easy to make with canned chickpeas. The combination of a cumin and coriander-scented chickpea patty with cool cucumber sauce and all the fixin’s is pretty darn epic. It’s a healthy vegetarian and vegan dinner recipe that everyone loves.
Pasta e ceci is a traditional Italian “pasta and chickpea soup.” This classic chickpea recipe is full of big Italian flavors: intense vibrant tomato, leafy Tuscan kale, and a creamy broth made with Parmesan rind. Swimming in it all are the chickpeas and pasta of the soup’s title, making it hearty and filling. It’s a stunner!
And now for the most famous of all chickpea recipes...hummus! Our best homemade hummus is way tastier than store bought, and a little cheaper too. Blend it up with lemon garlic, tahini, and it's simply delish. Use for dipping pita chips, or in our Veggie Roll Ups.
Ready for one of our best quick fix meals? This simple chickpea salad. Some people might say it’s not even a recipe. But just as important are non-recipes like what to eat for lunch every day. Making “real” recipes and throwing together a 5 minute fast lunch are equally as valid! So how to eat a plant based lunch without spending hours on meal prep? How to make a quick dinner out of nothing? It starts with a can of chickpeas.
Ever tried chickpeas on....pizza? This vegan pizza recipe is so good you won't realize it doesn't have cheese. It's topped with our tangy Easy Pizza Sauce Recipe and loaded with veggies: savory mushrooms, artichokes, red onion, and red pepper. Chickpeas bring in plant based protein, and it's topped with basil for a fresh note.
This butternut squash soup doesn't look like it's a garbanzo bean recipe...they're hiding inside! Yes, chickpeas work well as a soup thickener: and add a bit of protein to make it more filling! Here, chickpeas make the body of this squash soup flavored with curry paste, fresh ginger and coconut milk.
This curry with chickpeas recipe is another fan favorite! Here curry powder and coconut milk make a savory broth for simmering cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and chickpeas until tender. Wilt in some spinach and serve with brown rice. It's seriously tasty and chock full of good-for-you veggies.
Chickpeas are the perfect adder to bowl meals to add plant based protein! Here they're the star of the show in our Mediterranean couscous bowls, which take about 25 minutes to put together. Spiced chickpeas are nestled in a bowl with lemon parsley couscous, tomato, cucumber, and topped with tahini sauce.
Meet your perfect Vegan Caesar Dressing! You won’t believe the flavor here: it’s just as satisfying as a classic Caesar, no Parmesan, mayo or anchovies required. The secret? A can of chickpeas! Add it to a vegan Caesar salad with capers, avocado and croutons and enjoy the massive savory flavor.
Salads are natural for chickpea recipes, and this Greek orzo salad is a standout! The rice-shaped pasta is combined with chickpeas, red pepper, olives, feta cheese, and fresh mint and dill to make everyone's favorite side dish. A few more chickpea salads with a Mediterranean spin: Mediterranean Salad with Chickpeas and Roasted Eggplant Salad.
One of our top chickpea recipes of all time is this dark chocolate hummus! This unique spin on the classic dip features cocoa powder and maple syrup to make a chocolate-y dip. Serve with sliced green apples, strawberries or pretzels, and it's perfect for entertaining as a healthy sweet snack!
To bring protein to this vegetarian paella recipe, there are chickpeas hiding in this saffron-scented rice! Paella is a beautiful Spanish celebratory rice dish, and this one is chock full of savory veggies. It's perfect for date night and full of Spanish flavors!
And last but not least in our chickpea recipes: adding garbanzo beans to main dish salads is one of our favorite tricks. This vegan Buddha bowl is a hearty and filling salad for dinner! It’s full of roasted and fresh veggies for texture and color contrasts: roasted sweet potatoes and cauliflower, fresh beets and cabbage, and cooked chickpeas. Place them over a bed of greens and black rice, drizzle with lemon tahini sauce, and you’ve got a super satisfying dinner salad.
Vegan chickpea recipes
All of the recipes above are vegan chickpea recipes or have a vegan substitute! Here are the recipes that have vegan substitutes:
Why eat canned chickpeas? This mighty legume is full of the good stuff. Here are a few reasons to love these garbanzo bean recipes:
Rich in plant based protein. 1 cup has 14.5 grams of protein, about 30% of your daily protein needs (source).
Excellent source of fiber. 1 cup also has 12.5 grams of fiber, about 50% of your daily need (source).
May help you manage your weight. Chickpeas are low calorie density, meaning they provide few calories relative to the nutrients they contain. The high protein and fiber also help to satiate the appetite and reduce calorie intake at meals. (source)
How to cook dry chickpeas
Is it better to cook chickpeas than use canned chickpeas? You can definitely use both! When we find time, we like cooking garbanzo beans from dry because the texture is a little firmer and the flavor a little better. However, we often use canned as well! Our favorite way to cook chickpeas is with our Instant Pot: the dry chickpeas cook in just 1 hour! If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can use our Dutch oven method.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas. In a medium bowl, smash the chickpeas with a fork.
Combine the chickpeas with the chopped celery and green onions, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and celery seed. Add about ¼ to ½ teaspoon kosher salt, depending on your chickpea brand and taste preferences, and fresh ground pepper to taste. Taste and salt until the flavor pops! If the salad is dry, add more mayonnaise (cooked chickpeas have a drier texture than canned).
Assemble the chickpea salad sandwich: If desired, spread the bread with hummus (this amps it up a bit but not required). Top the sandwich with lettuce or greens and chickpea spread.