Are you looking for a tasty, satisfying snack that will actually contribute to better health, instead of destroying your waistline?
Sure, you have carrots and celery sticks. And there’s always the option of six raw, unsalted almonds… which work most of the time.
But in those moments of obsession when you really need something with big taste and a devilish crunch – like an entire bag of potato chips, or two big handfuls of salty nuts – bland snacks are sadly inadequate.
Know what I’m talking about? Then let me introduce the unassuming chickpea.
A guilt-free alternative to junk food or pigging out on nuts covered in salt, these petite pulses can be seasoned and roasted to a sublime, crisp texture with outstanding flavor. They’re perfect enjoyed in a big bowl, or saved for later in a homemade snack pack.
In fact, they’re so good, you’ll think you’re eating the finest processed, preservative-laden junk food – not a dietary giant!
Roasted and Seasoned To Perfection
Chickpea snacks can be made with dried garbanzos, provided you remember to soak them overnight.
But I recommend keeping a can or two on hand for a quick alternative – they crisp up just as well, and you don’t have to plan ahead.
To ensure you get the goodness of dried beans, look for organic varieties in BPA-free cans, as well as low-salt or no-salt options.
Read more about the difference between dried and canned beans, and learn which one will be best for your own cooking needs!
With virtually unlimited flavor combinations and all those spices on your shelf to experiment with, a good rule of thumb is to use one dominant seasoning, along with one or two additional complimentary seasonings.
Add a teaspoon of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt to round out the recipe.
Here are a few different flavor combos:
- For candied garbanzos, combine cinnamon and a pinch of cloves with some brown sugar.
- For savory fare with a bit of Italian flair, try mixing garlic salt, dried oregano flakes or dried basil (or both!), and finely grated Parmesan cheese.
- Try a combination of curry powder, smoked paprika, and cumin.
- For heat lovers, spice them up with wasabi, nori flakes, and black pepper.
Read my recipe below to learn what I use to make my personal favorite flavor combo: smoky and spicy garbanzos!
|2 servings||5 minutes|
|Cook Time||Passive Time|
|30 minutes||20 minutes|
Would you like a snack that’s crunchy, flavorful, and healthy? Smoky and spicy roasted chickpeas deliver guilt-free, tasty satisfaction. More on Foodal.
- 1 can chickpeas*
- 1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (1 pepper, NOT 1 can!)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Drain and rinse garbanzos in cold water until the water runs clear. Shake off any excess water, or use a salad spinner.
- Spread beans on a clean dishtowel or paper towel and pat dry, rolling the beans gently to absorb as much water as possible. Some of the outer skins will come off.
- Allow the beans to air dry for another 10-30 minutes.
- Finely mince the chipotle pepper, or mash with a mortar and pestle. Mix in the olive oil and seasonings.
- In a medium bowl, add the beans and seasoning mix. Toss lightly to coat.
- Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, providing plenty of space for the beans to roast.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes. Every 10 minutes, shake the pan, and re-spread the beans. Watch the last 10 minutes of baking carefully, as they can quickly burn. At this time, they will be thoroughly browned, but still soft in the center when you break open one of the beans.
- Turn off the oven, open the door slightly, and leave the pan inside as the oven cools for an additional 10-20 minutes to finish drying and creating a crispy outer surface.
- Serve warm or cool. Store any leftovers in a paper bag.
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Rinse and Dry Garbanzos
Drain and rinse the beans well in a colander under cold water. Lay them out on a clean, dry dishtowel or paper towel and pat dry.
You can also use a salad spinner to quickly spin away extra water!
Allow them to air dry for up to 30 minutes while the oven preheats to 425°F, and while you combine the seasonings (I’ll explain how in the next step).
And for those looking for a vegan egg white alternative, save the juice from the canned beans for amazing aquafaba!
Step 2 – Mash and Mix
I like to use a mortar and pestle rather than a food processor for mixing the seasonings. No need to dirty a large appliance!
Even with a double recipe, the quantities are still small enough to fit in a mortar.
Mash the chipotle pepper. Mix in the olive oil, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and sea salt.
Step 3 – Coat the Chickpeas
In a medium bowl, combine the beans and seasoning mix. Toss lightly together until well coated.
Step 4 – Spread Evenly
Spread the garbanzos evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, ensuring they have enough room to roast.
If they’re too crowded, they’ll steam in their own juices and never crisp.
Step 5 – Bake and Shake
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, shaking the pan to stir the beans every 10 minutes. Re-spread every time you shake for even roasting.
Watch the last 10 minutes of baking carefully, as they can quickly burn! The chickpeas should be thoroughly browned, not black and burnt.
At this time, remove one of the darker beans, and cut it open. The center will still look and feel a little soft.
Immediately turn off the oven, open the door slightly, and leave the pan inside as the oven cools for an additional 10 to 20 minutes – this creates a wonderful crispy crust and finishes drying the center, without the risk of charring.
After the first 10 minutes, remove one of the beans, and cut it open, just like before. The center should now be dry, and ready to eat! If it is still soft, leave the pan in the oven for an additional 10 minutes.
Step 6 – Enjoy!
Roasted chickpea snacks can be served warm or cool.
If you have any leftovers (which is doubtful!), store them in a paper bag to retain their crunch – airtight containers will make them soggy.
The Last Bite
Sweet, savory, or blazing-hot spicy, these little nuggets taste so good you’ll be amazed that they’re actually good for you.
Even the kids will love them, especially if you serve them for your next movie night instead of popcorn!
For the best crunch, remember make sure your rinsed legumes are as dry as possible before mixing with the oil and seasonings, and give them plenty of room to roast. And if you double up a batch, use two baking sheets.
Satisfying and flavorful, you’ll love what the humble chickpea brings to the table!
Do you readers have any favorite flavor combos you’d like to share? Drop us a note in the comments below.
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Photos by Lorna Kring, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details.
*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Lorna Kring
Recently retired as a costume specialist in the TV and film industry, Lorna now enjoys blogging on contemporary lifestyle themes. A bit daft about the garden, she’s particularly obsessed with organic tomatoes and herbs, and delights in breaking bread with family and friends.
12 thoughts on “Smoky and Spicy Roasted Chickpeas: A Healthy Snack with a Crunch”
Yum, I am totally making these this weekend!
I love chickpeas and I add them to everything!! I definitely need to try this spicy version! Thanks Lorna!!
They’re a natural for a bit of spice Amy, hope you like them!
I love the idea of roasted chickpeas. I’ve made them before but I wasn’t paying enough attention and burned some of them 🙁 I’ll definitely be retrying with your recipe! Thanks!
Ah, yes, I’ve made some charred bits myself! Set the timer Myra, the last 10 minutes are when they really need to be watched!
Pretty pictures! I love chickpeas and this recipes is on my to do list!!!
Thanks Nicole, hope you enjoy them!
Chickpeas are a staple in my house….from hummus to salads to vegetarian stews. These look fantastic and I’m excited to add them to my list of little bites for my cocktail party that I will be hosting next weekend. So much better than peanuts in my humble opinion! Thanks!
They’re perfect for a party dish Laurie! Enjoy…
I love this appearance and the dish makes me want to try it soon. Usually I cook spicy chickpeas as a salad. But, it seems it is delicious when they are roasted. I’ll try this recipe soon!
If you like a bit of crunch with the spiciness, roasting’s the way to go Amila. Hope you like the recipe!