With a few cans of chickpeas in your pantry (or home-cooked ones stashed in your freezer), you’re well on your way to a quick dinner, snack or nearly anything in between. We have quite a few (more than 150!) recipes featuring the legume in our archives, but we’ve narrowed those down to just a handful — these are especially quick to put together and leave room for nearly infinite adaptations.
Spiced Roasted Chickpeas, above. These are crispy chickpeas in snacking or party appetizer form. The trick here is making sure the rinsed chickpeas are nearly bone-dry before tossing them with oil, salt and whichever spice blend you fancy — once they’re roasted, this gets you a pleasant crunch rather than a stale-feeling chew. After rinsing canned chickpeas, we spread them on a towel-lined baking sheet, shook the sheet to roll them around and wick off the excess water, then put them on a clean, dry towel to air dry while we gathered the rest of our ingredients. (Of course, you can use paper towels to dry, too.)
Warm Brown Rice and Chickpea Salad With Cherries. This dish is simple, hearty and — too soon? — summery. Fresh cherries are lovely, but try it with dried or thawed, frozen cherries when it’s not their season. If you’re not into goat cheese, sub in a salty feta or chunks of ripe avocado (to get that creamy, textural balance).
Chickpea, Crisp Apple and Coconut Salad. Featuring a combination of ingredients that you might not think to put together, but once you do, you might not be able to think of anything else. Some chopped tart apple, fresh bean sprouts and roasted sunflower seeds make it extra crunchy and refreshing; shredded fresh coconut (available frozen in many grocery stores — try the Goya brand, for example) adds an unexpected chew; and a dressing of jalapeño, coconut oil and apple cider vinegar ties it all together.
Chicken, Bacon and Avocado Sandwiches. You can’t see the chickpeas, but they’re mashed with some avocado and slathered on thick slices of toasted bread, then topped with sliced tomatoes, smoky bacon and quickly cooked chicken breasts. Serve with some roasted sweet potatoes and call it a night.
Curried Chickpea Salad Sandwiches. This recipe also dabbles in mixing avocado with chickpeas; here, it’s used to keep the sandwich filling vegan. The lightly spiced mixture would be right at home spread on bagels or toast.
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