chana masala recipe
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A can of chickpeas can take you almost anywhere you want to go, as these 11 chickpea recipes prove—and we’re not even counting hummus in that number (but there are chickpea brownies below!).

Other Super StaplesHow to Stock Your Kitchen PantryCreamy garbanzo beans can carry you from a traditional Middle Eastern breakfast tangy with tahini sauce to propping up a flaky halibut fillet peppered with piquant capers at dinner to a pile of moist, rich, fudgy brownies for dessert. One of our favorite lovely legumes (for obvious reasons), chickpeas are usually pulverized into a smooth puree, losing all of their original shape and texture for hummus. While hummus became so popular for a reason—it’s a healthy, delicious, filling dip—that method is tired. Overplayed. Let’s give the garbanzo bean a new role. Hell, let’s give it all sorts of roles. It’s a multi-dimensional character (so much so that we have an entire chickpea snack round-up).

Besides its flexibility and phenomenal taste, the chickpea is chock-full of fiber and protein, like any good legume, but also so many more nutrients. Expect iron, phosphate, calciummagnesium, manganese, zinc, vitamin K, selenium, folate, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B-6, according to Medical News Today.

So get your fill of chickpeas in cooler ways than ho-hum hummus, and be sure you always have a couple cans of chickpeas in the pantry.

Related Reading: The Best Canned Foods to Stock, According to Nutritionists

1. Indian Chickpea Curry with Spinach

Indian chickpea spinach curry recipe

Chowhound

I can attest from experience, this is a budget-friendly, quick, easy weeknight dinner that’s full of flavor, satiating protein, and beautiful colors. And if you keep frozen spinach on hand, it can be a 100 percent pure pantry dinner. Get our Indian Chickpea Curry with Spinach recipe. Or try our greens-free Chole (Chana) Masala recipe, which you can see at the top of this page.

2. Vegan Chickpea Scramble

vegan chickpea scramble recipe

Nassima Rothacker

Chickpeas can stand in for eggs at breakfast (or breakfast-for-dinner), as this veggie-packed scramble proves. Pureeing a portion of the chickpeas is key to the texture. Get the Vegan Chickpea Scramble recipe. For a similar twist on egg salad, try a Smashed Chickpea Salad Sandwich—and in either case, if you miss that egg flavor, add a dash of Indian black salt.

3. Dill, Chickpea, and Feta Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad with Chickpeas, Feta, and Dill

Chowhound

This is the pasta salad to bring to barbecues and picnics this summer. The fresh herbs sing with the salty crumbles of feta, and the garbanzo beans bring an added heft and creaminess. Get our Dill, Chickpea, and Feta Pasta Salad recipe.

4. Oven Roasted Chickpeas

easy roasted chickpeas

Chowhound

These easy, crispy, spicy chickpeas are perfect to add to a salad or grain bowl, sprinkle on top of soup, or just to eat as a snack. You can tweak the seasoning however you like; try za’ataar, Cajun seasoning, or Chinese five spice, or make your very own blend. Get our Oven Roasted Chickpeas recipe. (And if you have fresh sage, try our Fried Chickpeas with Sage recipe too.)

5. Roasted Tomato, Chickpea, and Swiss Chard Soup

roasted tomato chickpea swidd chard soup

Chowhound

This naturally creamy (dairy-free) soup is a little spicy and a lot tomato-y, and it’s another dish made almost entirely of pantry staples. If you don’t have fresh chard or any other leafy greens, you can swap in frozen kale or spinach. The poached egg is a totally optional topper, but it really ups the comfort factor. Get our Roasted Tomato, Chickpea, and Swiss Chard Soup recipe.

6. Steamed Fish with Chickpeas and Currants

steamed fish with chickpeas and currants

Chowhound

This is a much more exciting way to handle your flaky, steamed white fish (haddock, cod, grouper, Pacific halibut) that can be somewhat mild otherwise. But with all these flavors—from cinnamon and fennel to clam juice and currants—there is nothing boring here. Get our Steamed Fish with Chickpeas and Currants recipe.

Casablanca Market Moroccan Preserved Lemons, $5.49 at World Market

Preserved lemons are another great pantry staple.
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7. One-Pot Chickpea Shakshuka

If you’re pretty good about keeping some staples around, you can make this dish when you “feel” like you have nothing in the fridge to cook, and you have no plan either. A can of diced tomatoes, chickpeas, and a few other pantry staples plus fresh bell pepper and onion do the trick. Get the One-Pot Chickpea Shakshuka recipe. And if you have eggs on hand, crack some in the pan just like you would with your usual shakshuka.

8. Asparagus with Sweet Onions, Garbanzo Beans, and Mint

Asparagus Salad recipe with Sweet Onions, Garbanzo Beans, and Mint

Chowhound

Spring asparagus is on the horizon, so when you see it, snap it up, then simply blanch and mix with zingy onion, salty-sharp cheese, fresh mint, and chickpeas. It’s a good combo you’ll toss together again and again all season. Get our Asparagus with Sweet Onions, Garbanzo Beans, and Mint recipe.

9. Curried Cauliflower, Chickpeas, and Tofu

curried cauliflower, chickpeas, and tofu

Chowhound

This satisfying vegetarian meal (vegan if you serve with a dairy-free yogurt) hits all the right notes with its crisp tofu, meaty chickpeas, and tender cauliflower in curry spices. A healthy dose of fresh lime juice brightens it up. Get our Curried Cauliflower, Chickpeas, and Tofu recipe.

10. Fatteh

fatteh recipe

Michael Zee

Traditionally eaten for breakfast in parts of the Middle East, this mix of chickpeas, pine nuts, pita (fresh and toasted), melted butter, and a yogurt-tahini dressing makes for a satisfying meal any time of day. Get the Fatteh recipe. (And check out SymmetryBreakfast if you love seeing double.)

11. Chickpea Brownies

Yes, they can even do dessert—and it might sound a little weird, but chickpeas are actually really good in sweet baked goods, which can be a relief to people needing gluten-free options. You won’t taste garbanzo beans in these fudgy brownies, which also happen to be vegan. Get the Chickpea Brownies recipe.

Related Reading: A Few Easy Tricks for the Best Homemade Hummus (Because Sometimes That’s Just What You Want)

For everything else garbanzo bean-related, check out our chickpea page.

Header image by Chowhound.

Amy Sowder is a writer and editor based in NYC, covering food and wellness in publications such as Bon Appétit, Women's Health, Eat This, Not That!, Upworthy/GOOD, Brooklyn Magazine, and Westchester Magazine. She loves to run races, but her favorite finish lines are gelato shops. Learn more at AmySowder.com.
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