There are few snacks that I actually make in the kitchen because honestly, snacks are so much easier to buy. When I need an easy snack, and I need it soon, I’ll pop some chickpeas into the oven. Roasted chickpeas are one of my favorite simple and healthy snacks, and I’m excited to share my two favorite preparations with you. The first is a savory recipe with cumin and chili powder, and the second is a honey cinnamon version.
Perhaps you’ve been eating Easter candy all week. Or maybe you already ate the rest of the tortilla chips after drinking that bottle of wine while binge-watching the final season of Parenthood. Or it may be that you haven’t been to the grocery store in awhile and have run out of your Trader Joe’s peanut butter pretzels. Whatever the story, it is now snack time and you are hungry.
All you need to make roasted chickpeas is a can of chickpeas, whatever spices you have in the cupboard, and olive oil. It is the perfect quick snack to throw together that actually has some nutritional value (unlike the candy and tortilla chips). This could even be a kid-friendly snack, since you can easily change the flavorings on the chickpeas.
I always keep a couple of extra cans of chickpeas in the house – they’re one of my pantry staples (a staple for the Staples?). Yes, chickpeas are the same as garbanzo beans. And at 99 cents or so for a can, they are extremely budget-friendly. I prefer the low sodium Goya brand of chickpeas; the chickpeas from Trader Joe’s don’t do it for me in this case. Fun fact, despite their healthy properties (high in protein and fiber!) you can’t eat chickpeas on the Paleo diet because they are a legume. They are beans…you’ve been warned.
When chickpeas are roasted in the oven they come out warm and crispy, wonderfully crunchy, and easy to eat by the handful. They are ready in about 20 minutes, they fill you up, and they can be flavored in endless ways. Simple, spicy, or sweet, whatever you feel like that day.
The first thing you do is rinse off the chickpeas and then dry them as thoroughly as possible. If they are still wet, they won’t get as crispy. While you are drying off the chickpeas some of the skins may come off, which you can remove. Don’t worry about peeling every chickpea though, oofda, that would take forever. Place the chickpeas on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil – you only need a little – and sprinkle with salt. (I used to make chickpeas in a skillet but find the oven method to be much easier.) Bake for about 20 minutes until they are golden and crispy on the outside, soft on the inside.
Once they are done roasting, toss the chickpeas with the spice mix. If you opt for the sweet version with honey and cinnamon, place them back in the oven to caramelize a little further. (This is one instance when a Silpat mat comes in handy, so you don’t have a sticky pan to clean later). Enjoy the chickpeas right out of the oven for the best flavor. The honey ones are a bit sticky, or what us food writers like to call finger-licking good. The savory recipe has bold flavors but isn’t overly spicy.
Feel free to play with the spice mix, adjusting the levels of sweet or salty or savory. After making the recipe enough times I’ve stopped measuring and sort of improvise. I am looking forward to trying a ranch flavor, or perhaps salt and vinegar in my next batches. If you want to go really simple, try salt, pepper, and cayenne. Here are even more ideas for flavoring them, or you could turn your roasted chickpeas into a lunch. Let me know what your favorite combination is in the comments!
- 1 15-oz. can of chickpeas
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- Generous dash of cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 1 15-oz. can of chickpeas
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp honey
- ¾ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- Turbinado sugar, optional
- Preheat the oven to 400° F. Drain the chickpeas in a strainer and thoroughly rinse with cold water. Transfer to a paper towel or dish towel and pat until very dry.
- Place the chickpeas on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with the olive oil and salt. Stir together the remaining spices in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Roast for 15-20 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Remove from the oven once golden and crispy.
- Transfer the chickpeas to the bowl with the spices and stir thoroughly to coat. Serve warm. For the sweet version, place the chickpeas back in the oven for 10 minutes to caramelize if desired, and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
- One 15-oz. can serves about two people. The recipe is easily doubled.