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Here’s how to cook canned chickpeas so that they taste amazing! This recipe transforms a bland can of beans into a meal in 5 minutes.

Canned chickpeas
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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. Because here’s the thing: we don’t cook from recipes every night. 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.

The five ingredients to make canned chickpeas taste amazing

Not everyone knows how to make chickpeas taste great. In fact, quite a few people tell us they can’t handle the flavor or texture of chickpeas. So here’s a trick to try on those loved ones who are chickpea haters. It takes 5 minutes and it makes them taste like something totally new! Here’s what to have on-hand to cook canned chickpeas in a flash (or jump to the recipe to get started):

  • Canned chickpeas: Canned chickpeas are a staple in our pantry: we buy tons at once! You can also use cooked chickpeas, of course. Steer away from reduced sodium, since those are typically very bland.
  • Fresh garlic: In a pinch you can ¼ teaspoon garlic powder. But fresh garlic is the best way to instant flavor.
  • Smoked paprika: The smoked Spanish variety of paprika adds just the right smoky undertone (and you can use it in lots of other recipes). Substitute standard paprika if you can’t find it.
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
Canned chickpeas recipe

How to cook canned chickpeas

Once you’ve got all your ingredients assembled, it’s a piece of cake to cook the canned chickpeas. In fact, it takes only 5 minutes. Here’s what to do:

  • Mince the garlic. The only chopping you’ll need to do mincing one garlic clove. Not a pro at peeling and mincing? Go to How to Mince Garlic.
  • Saute the garlic in olive oil for 1 minute. Cook until you start to smell it and it’s sizzling beautifully, but before it browns. This should take 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Cook the canned chickpeas, smoked paprika, and salt for 2 minutes. Cook just until they’re just warmed through. You’ll be amazed at the amount of flavor that comes through in just a few minutes of cooking.

Double this recipe for 4 hearty servings, or leftovers!

This recipe is for 1 can of canned chickpeas. How many servings that equates to depends on how you’re serving it. The can generally indicates that it has 3 servings per container. But if you’re serving it as your main plant based protein, you’ll probably want more like 2 servings per container to stay full.

Making a meal for four? Just double this recipe! It also stays well in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days, so you can make a larger recipe and reheat for eating throughout the week.

How to cook canned chickpeas

Ways to serve these easy canned chickpeas

There are so many ways to serve these canned chickpeas to make an easy lunch or dinner! Here are a few serving suggestions:

  • With pita triangles & fresh veggies. Cut pita bread into triangles, then add sliced tomatoes and cucumbers sprinkled with a little salt. Step it up by sprinkling with feta cheese.
  • As a grain bowl. Add quinoa or rice, fresh veggies, kalamata olives, and tahini sauce. Instant Greek bowl!
  • With roasted veggies. Make roasted veggies and use these chickpeas as the protein.
  • Over a sweet potato. Make a baked sweet potato, then top with tahini sauce and fresh dill and parsley.
  • Chickpea Caesar salad. Add these to classic Caesar salad to make a vegetarian dinner.

There are so many more ways to enjoy chickpeas. How would you serve them?

Vegan quinoa bowl

Chickpeas nutrition

Why eat canned chickpeas? This mighty legume is full of the good stuff. Here are a few reasons to love the garbanzo bean:

  • 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)

Let us know if you try out this easy canned chickpeas recipe and what you think in the comments below!

More chickpea recipes

We love canned garbanzo beans around here! It’s one of the most useful items in our pantry. Want more ways to use them up? Here are some of our favorite recipes:

This easy canned chickpeas recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Canned chickpeas

Easy Canned Chickpeas

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4.9 from 14 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 to 3 1x


Here’s how to cook canned chickpeas so that they taste amazing! This recipe transforms a bland can of beans into a meal in 5 minutes.


  • 15-ounce can chickpeas*
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika or regular paprika
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 lemon wedge, optional


  1. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Mince the garlic.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant but before it browns.
  3. Add the chickpeas, smoked paprika, salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Cook 2 minutes until warmed through. Serve immediately. Keep leftovers refrigerated for 2 to 3 days.


*Double this recipe to make 4 servings: leftovers save well refrigerated!

  • Category: Component
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Delicious!!!! Thank you!!!!

  2. S says:

    Delicious in a cold fresh salad, esp with avocado. Thank you! Love how quick it is.

  3. Kin Ahau says:

    Amazing – as advertised, this recipe transformed a can of chick peas into a delicious, nutritious side dish in 5 minutes. I added cayenne pepper, cilantro, and a generous squeeze of lemon. I’ll experiment with more spices next time!

  4. Rick Brozowski says:

    Nice! Very straightforward. Any suggestions for cheap easy recipes that are geared toward cooking for 1? On a SSI budget.
    Thanks Rick

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      We don’t have any specifically for one! That would be a great series for us in the future.

  5. Catherine Laing says:

    THANK YOU, I am trying to eat five days plant-based meals each week. I opened a tin of chickpeas which I’d bought to try; never having used them and by mistake, thought they were cubed potatoes (sorry but my husband loves them!)
    Your help is immense. I followed your recipe, all I did was use my wand blender to make it into a paté, squeezed a little lemon on top and spread it on a baguette (I live in France). Delicious. Xx

  6. Shannon Holmes says:

    I just made this for my room mate and I. Very good and simple. Thanks for sharing, I would make this again.

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