Crispy chickpeas

It’s Super Bowl (and Puppy Bowl) season again.  And, right on cue, I’m craving a new kind of crunchy snack.

I first discovered crispy chickpeas at a holiday party this past December, and I’ve become just the eensiest bit obsessed with them.  When chickpeas are roasted at high temperatures, they turn deep golden and so crisp they shatter between your teeth.  They’re lighter than chips, yet meatier and more satisfying.  And they’re fiendishly addictive, especially when tossed with a blend of smoky spices and eaten out of hand in front of the TV.

I’ve written before about easy-to-make crunchy snacks.  This recipe falls squarely in that category.  There’s a little bit of wait time involved–40 minutes or so–but almost no effort.  It’s the same principle as roasting almost anything: crank up the oven, toss your victims with a little oil and some salt, spread them out on a baking sheet, and pop them in the oven until this:

…turns into this:

In fact, this batch I photographed came out a little underdone.  Don’t be afraid to take it to a goldener, crispier place.  You want these so dry they rattle as they move, without even the slightest hint of chalkiness in the middle.  When in doubt, taste.  Then taste some more.

When it comes to seasoning options, the sky’s just about the limit.  I’ve experimented with different spice blends, and the recipe below includes my favorite: a smoky brick-red mix of chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, cinnamon and cayenne.  I’ve seen recipes that suggest finishing with garam masala or curry powder, and recipes that suggest adding a little garlic or citrus zest to the roasting pan.  I’m sure they’re all delicious.

In fact, I bet you could do nothing to these but toss with a little salt and pepper, and they’d be just fine.

Smoky Crispy Chickpeas (makes about 1 cup)

Inspired by The Kitchn

1 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas OR 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste

Salt to taste (I used this, which was nice)

Preheat the oven to 400º F.  Drain and rinse chickpeas, and dry thoroughly on paper towels.  Pat dry or use a salad spinner–you want these bone-dry.  Remove any loose skins.

Toss chickpeas with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and spread on a baking sheet in a single layer.  Bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until chickpeas are golden and crunchy.  Remove from oven and toss the hot chickpeas with the spices.  Serve warm or at room temperature.


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6 responses to “Crispy chickpeas

  1. Zoe! Question- have you ever tried to make this using a bag of already dry chickpeas?

  2. So, if I have a recipe calling for a can of beans, I can buy the dried beans, cook them according to the instructions on the bag, and then add them to the recipe? Right? Cause a bag of dried beans is cheaper than buying a bunch of cans (and takes up less space)…..but I wasn’t sure if I could just dump the dried beans into a pot (in which the recipe calls for canned beans) or if I would have to cook the beans separately first…..

    • Yes, any time a recipe calls for a can of beans, you can substitute dried beans, but you have to cook them first. In fact, they’ll probably taste better than canned beans. One cup of dried beans will give you about 3 cups of cooked beans.

  3. Veronika

    A suggestion! If using dried chickpeas or beans and planning to cook them, soak them in cold water in the fridge overnight, then drain and rinse before cooking – they cook up far better, and ahm, cause less gastric upset that way!

    ❤ Chickpeas. And they are good for you, too!

    • Oh, for sure. Soak your beans, folks! I don’t even leave them in the fridge, usually–I just use plenty of cold water and leave them on the counter overnight. You’ll read all about it in an upcoming recipe, in fact!

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