25 Creative Chickpea Recipes That Highlight Our Favorite Legume

We bet some of these will surprise you.

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roasted vegetables and baked falafel with tahini sauce spilling out of pitas on a black slate background

If you’re like us, you’ve got a couple of cans of chickpeas roaming around in your cabinets, but aren’t always exactly sure what to do with them. Do they bring you shame for not making your beans from scratch? (We get that, but no shade from us!) Does the liquid in the can kind of weird you out? (It’s called aquafaba, and just WAIT until you see what you can make with it.) Are you not really a salad person and therefore think chickpeas aren’t for you? (We’ve got salads here, but also SO much more.) Chickpeas (otherwise known as garbanzo beans) are seriously underrated, but we’re here to change that. Check out our 25 creative chickpea recipes for ideas—we bet you’ll find some surprises among them.

Let’s start with the classics. Chickpeas have been around for thousands of years, and are some of the backbones of Middle Eastern, Indian, and Mediterranean meals (among others!). We’re sure you’re familiar with hummus, maybe even have a favorite brand you gravitate toward at the store, but trust us, nothing beats homemade (ditto that other chickpea fave, falafel). What about a classic Mediterranean-inspired salad? We’ve included a few versions, like our avocado and chickpea salad, our Mediterranean chickpea salad, or our antipasto chickpea salad, but feel free to mix and match your favorite ingredients too. Want something with wilder flavor? Try our papdi chaat (an Indian street food) or our Mulligatawny soup—they pair chickpeas with other ingredients like sweet and sour chutneys and creamy yogurt, to great effect.

Chickpeas are also super important to those following a vegan diet. Not only are they a great source of protein, they’re also the base for some of our craziest plant-based recipes. Check out our vegan meatloaf, our vegan meatballs, or our chickpea “tuna” salad (eerily similar in flavor to a tuna salad). And it’s not just the chickpeas themselves that are superheroes in vegan cookies. Aquafaba, the liquid surrounding canned chickpeas, is a phenomenal replacement for egg whites, in everything from cocktails to chocolate mousse (we swear, it doesn’t taste like beans).

Want even more chickpea inspiration? One of our editors spent an entire week turning canned chickpeas into whatever she could (we’re talking pizza! gnocchi! funnel cake!). I think we were all surprised at how versatile these little beans could be. Check out her two-part journey on YouTube here and here.

1 of 25
Creamy Garlic Hummus

Hummus is a Middle Eastern dip made of chickpeas and tahini, though garlic, roasted red peppers, olives, and other spices are common additions. It's great as a veggie dip, with pita chips, or even as a salad dressing!

Get the Creamy Garlic Hummus recipe.

spiced roasted chickpeas
Lucy Schaeffer
2 of 25
Roasted Chickpeas

Chickpeas are good for so much more than just creamy homemade hummus. (Though that's definitely a good use of them!) They also make for a particularly good salty snack and are infinitely adaptable based on what you've got in your spice cabinet.

Get the Roasted Chickpeas recipe.

closeup of chickpea tuna salad sandwich
3 of 25
Chickpea "Tuna" Salad

This vegan "tuna" salad is proof that when it comes to mayo-based salads, the magic is in the fixin's. When we say you won't miss the tuna, we mean it; this creamy, zingy, crunchy salad will satisfy all your canned fish cravings. We like to keep a can of chickpeas in our pantry at all times, so this easy lunch sandwich is always only 5 minutes away.

Get the Chickpea "Tuna" Salad recipe.

roasted vegetable baked falafel sandwiches
4 of 25
Roasted Vegetable Baked Falafel Sandwiches

Although these shortcut falafel aren’t as crispy as the classic fried variety, they develop a nice golden crust and contain all the key spices. A zippy roasted pepper salad is the perfect foil, and creamy tahini sauce (aka tarator sauce) ties it all together.

Get the Roasted Vegetable Baked Falafel Sandwiches recipe.

chickpea noodle soup delish
Erik Bernstein
5 of 25
Chickpea Noodle Soup

This is an incredible vegan version of chicken noodle soup, made with chickpeas instead of chicken and orecchiette instead of egg noodles. Cooking the pasta in the soup will yield a velvety, substantial broth, but for a leftover-friendly version, boil the noodles separately so they don’t bloat in the broth over time.

Get the Chickpea Noodle Soup recipe.

6 of 25
Vegan Meatballs

Few comfort foods satisfy like a hearty bowl of spaghetti and meatballs. Now vegans and vegetarians can enjoy those cozy vibes too! These chickpea-based meatballs pack tons of flavor, come together quickly, and even provide a good amount of protein and fiber. Pair with spaghetti or whatever pasta shape you like.

Get the Vegan Meatballs recipe.

roasted chickpea and avocado salad
7 of 25
Roasted Chickpea and Avocado Salad

The tahini-ranch here is a lightened-up dressing that is better than any bottle you could buy. It, plus crunchy chickpeas, creamy avocado, and feta, make this a perfect summer salad for lunch or a picnic!

Get the Roasted Chickpea and Avocado Salad recipe.

antipasto chickpea salad
8 of 25
Antipasto Chickpea Salad

This versatile chickpea salad is a great summer side but can easily be a full meal on its own! Adding a spoonful of Dijon mustard to your red wine vinaigrette makes it creamier in both taste and body—consider it your secret weapon in making a classic dressing just that much better.

Get the Antipasto Chickpea Salad recipe.

mulligatawny soup
Erik bernstein
9 of 25
Mulligatawny Soup

With roots in India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and England, there are endless iterations of Mulligatawny soup, a brightly colored blended lentil and chickpea soup with the perfect balance of spicy, creamy, and sour with a hint of sweetness. This protein-packed version is completely vegetarian and can easily be made vegan too!

Get the Mulligatawny Soup recipe.

cheesy chorizo, chickpea and crispy rice skillet
Photographer: Lucy Schaeffer. Food Styling: Makinze Gore.
10 of 25
Cheesy Chorizo, Chickpea and Crispy Rice Skillet

Take it from us, crisping rice in a little olive oil and turning it into a crust is the most wonderful way to enjoy the grain. This one cradles a really delicious cheesy chorizo and chickpea filling, but once you've got the method down, feel free to get creative!

Get the Cheesy Chorizo, Chickpea and Crispy Rice Skillet recipe.

bestever vegan meatloaf  delishcom
Andrew Bui
11 of 25
Vegan Meatloaf

This hearty "meat" loaf is made mostly out of chickpeas and baby bella mushrooms. We're in love! Serve it with a side of vegan mashed potatoes and green beans for the most comforting meal this fall.

Get the Vegan Meatloaf recipe.

mediterranean chickpea salad
Parker Feierbach
12 of 25
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

This summer-friendly recipe uses canned chickpeas, meaning it comes together in less than 30 minutes. 😎 Our lemon-parsley vinaigrette here is perfectly tart and fresh with a hint of spice, and you're going to want to put it on everything.

Get the Mediterranean Chickpea Salad recipe.

air fryer crunchy chili spiced chickpeas
13 of 25
Air Fryer Crunchy Chili-Spiced Chickpeas

These snackable chickpeas are delicious on their own or as a crunchy topper for salads, creamy soups, or grain bowls. You can also toss them with hot stovetop popcorn for a protein-packed movie snack.

Get the Air Fryer Crunchy Chili-Spiced Chickpeas recipe.

papdi chaat   delishcom
June Xie
14 of 25
Papdi Chaat

Papdi chaat—a traditional street food from India—is here to really spice up your snacking lifestyle. This particular version is a delight with two chutneys, tender potatoes and chickpeas, tangy yogurt, a medley of eye-catching red onions, pomegranate seeds, diced tomatoes, and finished with crunchy sev noodles. 😍

Get the Papdi Chaat recipe.

classic falafel vertical
Ethan Calabrese
15 of 25
Homemade Falafel

Although nothing's faster than picking up a sandwich from your favorite falafel joint, we promise that making these falafel balls at home is a cinch. These are herby and savory, and the crispy outside gives way to a perfectly tender and spicy interior that's perfect tucked into a pita.

Get the Homemade Falafel recipe.

closeup of coconut ranch kale salad with chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and avocado
16 of 25
Coconut Ranch Kale Salad

This vegan coconut ranch is absolutely irresistible. (Seriously, you'll want to dip everything in it.) But the crunchy chickpeas may just be our favorite part. Who needs croutons?

Get the Coconut Ranch Kale Salad recipe.

green baked falafel with tahini mint dressing and pita bread on a pink plate
17 of 25
Herby Baked Falafel Bites with Spicy Mint Tahini Dip

Pistachios, mint, cilantro, dill, and parsley combine to turn these falafel a celebratory bright green (perfect for the holidays, springtime, etc.) Bonus: These are baked, not fried, for less mess.

Get the Herby Baked Falafel Bites with Spicy Mint Tahini Dip recipe.

falafel stuffed peppers
18 of 25
Falafel Chickpea Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

All the spicy, garlicky flavors of your favorite falafel sandwich get deconstructed and stuffed inside bell peppers. It's the vegetarian version of classic stuffed peppers that we're putting in regular rotation.

Get the Falafel Chickpea Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers recipe.

curried chickpea salad
Erik bernstein
19 of 25
Curried Chickpea Salad

With this curried chickpea salad recipe, you have a simple, fast, meatless way to satisfy your craving for a curried chicken salad. Instead of the raisins you might find in the classic, we added fresh red bell pepper and red onion for some vegetal sweetness and a bit of bite. Yum!

Get the Curried Chickpea Salad recipe.

red tomato chickpea stew with spinach and white rice on a white plate, against a wooden background
June Xie
20 of 25
Chickpea Stew

Inspired by a pair of delicious tomato-and-spinach-based chickpea stews from Sevilla, Spain, this chickpea stew is humble, hearty, and lovely in its simplicity.

Get the Chickpea Stew recipe.

bean salad  delishcom
June Xie
21 of 25
Four-Bean Salad

This is an update on the bean salads of our youth—we kept the OG beans, but added a tahini-yogurt dressing and peanuts to fully modernize it. We're in love!

Get the Four-Bean Salad recipe.

aquafaba chocolate mousse
Chelsea Lupkin
22 of 25
Aquafaba Chocolate Mousse

Have you heard of aquafaba? It's the magical liquid left behind by homemade and canned chickpeas, and when whipped vigorously, it acts exactly like egg whites. And, since it's practically flavorless, it's useful in a variety of applications, like in this light-as-air chocolate mousse!

Get the Aquafaba Chocolate Mousse recipe.

chickpea pasta
Jonathan Boulton
23 of 25
Chickpea Pasta

A hearty pasta with a bean-enriched, vegetable-forward sauce is always a welcome dish as the weather turns chilly. This fast weeknight version is bolstered with crispy pancetta bits for meaty pops of flavor, plenty of Parmesan, a generous fistful of grassy herbs, and some last-minute lemon zest just to keep it bright.

Get the Chickpea Pasta recipe.

general tso's chickpeas   delishcom
June Xie
24 of 25
General Tso's Chickpeas

If you love OG General Tso's chicken, we highly recommend giving this vegan version using canned chickpeas a try. The crunchy fried chickpeas will soften once tossed in the sauce, giving you that halfway heaven of textures: sticky, chewy, tender, creamy.

Get the General Tso's Chickpeas recipe.

chocolate peanut butter hummus horizontal
Chelsea Lupkin
25 of 25
Chocolate Peanut Butter Hummus

We know, we know: Dessert hummus sounds weird AF. But we promise you this chocolate-filled one is seriously delish. Try it with pretzels, crackers, or even fresh fruit. (Strawberries are our fave!)

Get the Chocolate Peanut Butter Hummus recipe.

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