A can of chickpeas can take you almost anywhere you want to go. These creamy garbanzo beans can carry you from propping up a flaky, halibut fillet peppered with piquant capers to a pile of moist, rich, fudge-y brownies. One of our favorite lovely legumes, 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.
Besides its flexibility and taste, the chickpea is chock full of fiber and protein, like any good legume, but also so many more nutrients. Expect iron, phosphate, calcium, magnesium, 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. Try some of these recipes:
1. Indian Chickpea Curry with Spinach
I can attest from experience, this is a budget-friendly, quick, easy weeknight dinner that’s full of flavor, satiating protein, and beautiful colors. Get our Indian Chickpea Curry with Spinach recipe.
2. Smashed Chickpea Avocado Sandwich
Use sourdough, whole wheat, or pita for this recipe. The creaminess squared plus the zing from feta, and the crunch of celery and piquant scallions all blend together for a satisfying sandwich. Get the recipe.
3. Dill, Chickpea, and Feta Pasta Salad
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. Fried Chickpeas with Sage
What a snack or appetizer this would be! You’ll need a lot of sage, but other than that, it’s a simple recipe. Get our Fried Chickpeas with Sage recipe.
5. Chickpea and Chorizo Soup
This Spanish-style soup is a little spicy and a lot tomato-y. Even if it’s hot outside, you’ll want to eat this dish, especially indoors when the air conditioning is on full-blast anyway. Or save it for one of those rainy days when you want to get cozy. Get the recipe.
6. Asparagus with Sweet Onions, Garbanzo Beans, and Mint
Blanch some nice asparagus and mix with zingy onion, salty-sharp Manchego-like cheese in addition to those chickpeas. It’s a good combo. Get our Asparagus with Sweet Onions, Garbanzo Beans, and Mint recipe.
7. Fudge-y Chocolate Chickpea Brownies
Chickpeas are really good in sweet baked goods, which can be a relief to people needing gluten-free options. Get the recipe.
8. Steamed Fish with Chickpeas and Currants
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.
9. 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 eggs do the trick. Get the recipe.
For everything else garbanzo bean-related, check out our chickpea page.
— Head image: Getty.