A can of chickpeas can make a healthy and delicious meal! Here are all our favorite chickpea recipes, from sandwiches to soups to tacos.
Wondering what to do with a can of chickpeas? You’ve come to the right place! Chickpeas, also know as garbanzo beans, are full of plant based protein, making them perfect for creating filling meals. And chickpeas aren’t just for hummus. You can use them in so many creative ways! Head to the recipes below.
What can I do with canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans)? Let us count the ways (or head to the recipes below):
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.
First up in our chickpea 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.
Tied for a favorite in our garbanzo bean 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!
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).
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.
The falafel sandwich is the stuff dreams are made of: and one of the most iconic vegan sandwiches...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.
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.
Pasta e ceci is a traditional Italian “pasta and chickpea soup” This stew 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!
Chickpeas are perfect for making veggie burgers! This chickpea burger recipe is full of herbs, sesame seeds and blended chickpeas: and the chickpeas help the burger to stay together perfectly on a bun. Here it's topped with spicy mayo and cherry salsa. Another option: chickpeas are also the secret to our Best Veggie Burger Recipe.
Here's another version of chickpeas making a meaty texture: as meatballs! These vegetarian meatballs are made of mixed vegetables and spices, and held together using chickpeas! You'll bake them in the oven until crispy. Here we've served them with our famous Incredible Vegetarian Gravy. You also can eat them plain as Veggie Dippers for dunking in ketchup or dill yogurt sauce (a good option for kids!).
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.
Why not make a bean salad recipe with chickpeas? Our very best easy bean salad features chickpeas along with white beans and pinto beans. They're mixed with a savory tomato vinaigrette, green onions and feta cheese. It's almost impossible to stop eating this one. This is a great side dish to add protein to vegetarian meals. Another option: our Dill Bean Salad.
You might not think of tacos as a chickpea recipe...but taco spiced chickpeas go perfectly in a tortilla! Here the chickpeas are sauteed with lots of spices, then combined with a cabbage slaw. The best part? The avocado scream sauce that covers the entire taco in tangy goodness. Another chickpea taco recipe is our Chickpea & Veggie Tacos that feature mango, carrot ribbons, and jalapeño peppers.
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.
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.
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 in a risotto recipe? Yes, we've added chickpeas here for protein so you can serve this vegetarian risotto as a main dish! The star is golden roasted cauliflower, baked until tender and browned in a very hot oven. Stir it into Parmesan risotto, and it's a cozy dinner.
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.
Arguably the other most famous chickpea recipe outside of hummus is falafel! Falafel are a popular Mediterranean chickpea fritter that are typically served in a pita. Here we've made a burger version of falafel, which is easier to bake in the oven. Eat it in a pita, on a plate with a side salad, or in our Baked Falafel Salad Bowl.
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.
Here's another chickpea soup recipe, dark and savory with the umami of porcini mushrooms and herbaceous sage. It's everything a good soup recipe should be: cozy, colorful, tasty, and nourishing. Serve with a chunk of artisan bread.
Here chickpeas (instead of chicken) add a boost of plant based protein to that classic American salad recipe: the Cobb! This bowl features hard boiled eggs, blue cheese crumbles, coconut bacon (yep! It's seriously good), and a tangy vinaigrette.
Here's another garbanzo bean recipe where you don't see that popular legume at all! Here chickpeas are used as a thickener for this quick and easy "pantry soup", made with all ingredients you can use in your pantry! Combine chickpeas, a load of spices, shallots and coconut milk, blend them up, and you've got a tasty soup in no time.
This banh mi recipe is a vegan spin on the popular Vietnamese sandwich that was inspired by a local restaurant's spin. It's not authentic, just a tasty way to enjoy pickled veggies on a baguette! The chickpeas are hiding in the Ginger Lime Hummus filling: it's topped with crunchy cabbage and quick pickled cucumbers, carrots and thin sliced jalapeño peppers.
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!
Fattoush is a Lebanese salad that’s a mix of herbs, cucumber, tomatoes, and crispy pita pieces. It’s brightened with the flavor of ground sumac, a traditional Lebanese spice. Here the concept is made into a main dish salad recipe with chickpeas to make it more filling. It's drizzled with a vinaigrette spiced with cinnamon and allspice, and garnished with mint. Another tasty main dish salad with chickpeas is our Broccoli and Turmeric Yellow Rice Bowls.
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!
Adding chickpeas to main dish salads is one of our favorite tricks. And 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. For another way to eat roasted veggies with chickpeas, try our Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables.
And last but not least in our chickpea recipes: using chickpeas as a salad topping! Here this California Salad is made more filling with chickpeas, and it's topped with radishes, carrots, fresh dill, and a tasty avocado oil vinaigrette. It's the perfect side dish! For another salad that combines avocado and chickpeas, try our Avocado & Chickpea Salad.
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.
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.