Chickpeas—a.k.a. garbanzo beans—are one of the holy grails of vegetarian foods: Their nutty flavor is tasty and plays nicely with lots of other ingredients, and they pack a major protein punch (one cup has 15 grams of the recommended 46 gram recommended daily intake). But whether you’re a vegetarian or not, anyone can appreciate the versatility and goodness of chickpeas.
I asked five staffers how they use chickpeas in their kitchens and diets, and got a handful of recipes—some sweet, some salty, some spicy—that will make you want to keep a can in your cabinet at all times. Bonus: A couple of these meals are beyond easy, which means you can whip them up when you’re feeling lazy or beat, but would prefer to make something rather than do Seamless. Healthy + easy = so much YAS.
Sweet Coconut Chickpea Curry
"This recipe is my go-to when I can’t be bothered to make any kind of involved dinner, but want something home-cooked. Since I made it up myself, I allowed myself to cut all of the corners—no sautéing the ginger beforehand, no messing around with separating the ingredients. I just throw everything in a pot and stir, and it comes out delicious—I promise." –Bibi Deitz, News Editor
2 cans chickpeas
¾ can coconut milk
½ cup raisins
¾ cup cashews (chopped)
1 green apple, chopped
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
Combine all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil, stirring often. Let simmer for 30 minutes. Serve over a bed of brown basmati rice.
Food Faith Fitness
"I love how easy this dish is and often enjoy it served over brown rice when I have absolutely nothing in my kitchen, or as a quick and healthy snack." –Jess Teves, Editor in Chief
1 can (reduced sodium) Goya chickpeas
2 tablespoons olive oil
Drain and rinse the chickpeas well, and toss on a large baking sheet with the olive oil, salt and aleppo pepper. Roast at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes; remove from oven and sprinkle with chopped chives.
The Lean Green Bean
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
"Chickpeas are one of the hero items in the Mediterranean-style salad that I eat practically on the daily—they not only serve as an extra dose of protein to help fill me up, but the mellow nutty flavor helps balance out some of the more acidic ingredients.
I start with a base of spinach, then throw in cubes of grilled chicken, feta, cucumber slices, pitted kalamata olives, red onion, garbanzo beans, and sun-dried tomatoes—you can add cherry tomatoes, too, if you're a fan—then drizzle it all with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I never deviate from this recipe, and I never, ever get sick of eating it." –Cristina Velocci, Managing Editor
Savory Tomato Chickpea Curry
"Everyone says that my mother-in-law, who’s from Guyana, makes the absolute best curry chicken around. Luckily, my husband learned to cook at his mother’s knee, so my family can have almost-as-good-as-Cheryl’s curry chicken. But I’m a vegetarian, so whenever my husband makes a pot, he cooks up some curried chickpeas for me—I recommend stealing this DELICIOUS recipe for yourself." –Dara Stewart, Copy Editor
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1 tomato, diced
½ onion, diced
2 Tbsp canola oil
29-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Approximately 4 Tbsp Jamaican curry powder
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large skillet, sauté scallions, tomato, and onion in oil for about 5 minutes. Add chickpeas, curry powder, and salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat until chickpeas are tender, about 20 minutes. Adjust seasonings as necessary.
Tomato, Olive, and Chickpea Quesadillas
"I like chickpeas, but don't have any regular recipes that include them, so I decided to test out Cookie + Kate's cheesy chickpea quesadillas—and, friends, they did not disappoint.
I made a few tweaks: I didn't bother with the dill mint yogurt dip—though it looks awesome—because I was pressed for time and it required a blender. And instead of Monterey Jack, I combined sharp cheddar with goat cheese, both of which I had in my fridge. Other than that, I stuck to the delicious original recipe, featuring earthy chickpeas, sweet cherry tomatoes, salty kalamata olives, and pungent red onion in a whole wheat tortilla on a skillet. I also sprinkled in a few red pepper flakes for a little kick. So good." –Hannah Hickok, Lifestyle Editor
Cookie + Kate