Top 10 Ways to Use Chickpeas

List Compiled by: Meredith Hink, MS, RDN, CD

Whether you call them chickpeas or garbanzo beans (which is a variety of chickpeas), these legumes are a high source of protein at 19 grams per 100 grams (1/2 cup). In addition, they are a high source of potassium, dietary fiber, iron, Vitamin B6, and magnesium. they are also a great source of calcium. Due to their mild flavor, chickpeas can be used in dishes ranging from sweet to savory. Chickpeas are used in many cuisines throughout the world, from Middle Eastern to Indian, making them a versatile legume for international cooking. Here are ten ways to make use of this versatile legume.

1. Roasted Chickpeas
Chickpeas can be seasoned and roasted for a tasty snack. Start by draining a #10 can of chickpeas. Mix chickpeas with 1/4 cup oil and toss with 1 1/3 ounce of your favorite seasoning mix (e.g. taco seasoning or herb mix) and spread out on two baking sheets lined or sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake at 350°F (conventional oven) for 45-50 minutes, stirring halfway through to prevent chickpeas from sticking. Serves about 20 – 1/2 cup portions.

2. Chrab Cakes
This savory dish is an easy and affordable replacement for crab cakes. Combine one – 15 1/2 ounce can of garbanzo beans (reserve the liquid), 2 Tablespoons sliced green onions, 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs, 5 Tbsp reserved liquid from can, 3 Tablespoons tartar sauce or mayo, 1 teaspoon of Old Bay® seasoning (or a seafood seasoning), and 1 teaspoon dill weed. Scoop #16 scoops into a bowl of Panko crumbs. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake at 450°F for 12-15 minutes. Serve 2 patties each. Goes great with tartar sauce or a mustard-mayo dip.

3. Mock Tuna Salad
This “fishless” dish has the same texture as tuna salad, thanks to finely chopping garbanzo beans using a knife or a food processor. Combine one - 15 1/2 ounce can of garbanzo beans with 3 cups cooked pasta, along with 1 cup diced yellow onion, 1/2 cup diced celery, 1 cup peas. Flavor with 2/3 cup mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon of Old Bay® seasoning (or a seafood seasoning), and 1/2 teaspoon dill weed. Serves 6 cups.

4. Lemony Chickpea Salad
This dish highlights several Mediterranean flavor profiles and pairs well with focaccia bread. Mix together a marinade of 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon garlic, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Toss together two – 15 1/2 ounce cans chickpeas, 3/4 cup feta cheese, 1 cup chopped fresh spinach. Marinade for at least 4-5 hours. Serves one quart of salad.

5. Minestrone Soup
This is a great soup for using up leftover or seasonal vegetables. To make, prepare a 5/8 gallon of soup. Start with 1 quart of vegetable broth and 1 pint of water. Add one – 15 1/2 ounce can of garbanzo beans, 1 cup pasta (rotini, elbow, shell), 4 cups of vegetables (canned, fresh, or frozen), and cook for 10 minutes on medium-high heat. Then add a 28-ounce can diced tomatoes and season with your favorite seasoning (garlic, oregano, thyme, basil, bay leaves, salt, pepper), and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Top with cheese.

6. Chickpea Blondie
Do your customers like fudgy-style brownies? Then they will love this recipe! Preheat oven (conventional) to 350°F. Drain and dry 1 – 15 1/2 ounce can of chickpeas, reserve water from can. Mash chickpeas. In a large saucepan, combine 2 cups brown sugar and 1/3 cup butter. Add 1/3 cup mashed chickpeas, 6 Tablespoons bean water, 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Combine until smooth then pour into a greased 13x9x2 pan. Bake 25-30 minutes. Slice into 18 pieces.

7. Chickpea Quesadillas
This plant-based version is an easy and flavorful alternative to offer when you have quesadillas or other Mexican-flavored food on the menu. Drain one – 15 1/2 ounce can of chickpeas. Add to a food processor along with 2 teaspoons of taco seasoning and pulse until chickpeas are “chopped”. In a saucepan, heat 1 teaspoon canola oil over medium heat and add 1 cup of chopped mushrooms. Then, add chickpeas and 1 cup diced tomatoes. Heat until mixture is warm. Use 1/3 cup of this mixture along with 1/3 cup of shredded cheese per quesadilla. Serve with salsa and sour cream. Olé!

8. Chickpea Cookie Dough
Edible cookie dough has become all the rage, but can be expensive if you purchase it ready-made. This recipe is flourless and easy to prepare. Soak 1/2 cup raisins in 1/2 cup warm water for 15 minutes and then drain. Drain and dry one – 15 1/2 ounce can of chickpeas. In a food processor, combine chickpeas, raisins, 3 Tablespoons honey, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Combine until thick and smooth. Stir in 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips. Yield is 7 - #16 scoop servings.

9. Chocolate Hummus
Although many people are familiar with the savory chickpea bean dip, a dessert version of this bean dip can also be produced by combining one – 15 1/2 ounce can of garbanzo beans, 4 Tablespoons cocoa powder, 2 Tablespoons vanilla creamer, and 1/4 cup of honey. This yields a little over 1 1/2 cups and is a great dip for apples, strawberries, and banana.

10. Aquafaba
Don’t forget the aquafaba! Aquafaba, otherwise known as “bean water” or the water that surrounds canned beans, can be used in place of eggs in baked goods such as pancakes, waffles, and quick breads. Three tablespoons can replace one egg and two tablespoons can replace one egg white.

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