We've all been there. It's 7 p.m. and you've rushed home from the office only to find your fridge completely barren save for a few ingredients that really don't comprise a meal all on their own. After a long day of taking notes in meetings and replying to a seemingly endless stream of emails, you simply don't have the energy to make the trek to the grocery store and shop for a dozen ingredients to whip up a healthy meal.
Enter canned chickpeas. Packed with protein, endlessly versatile, and ridiculously affordable, these humble legumes are busy weeknight saviors. Simply put, when a can of chickpeas is within reach, getting a healthy dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes is actually plausible. From crunchy tandoori wraps to golden turmeric stew topped with fresh herbs, the best chickpea recipes on the web pretty much explain why we're constantly restocking the $0.99 pantry staple.
In case you need a recipe (or seven) to convince you to stock up on chickpeas the next time you're strolling down the canned goods aisle at Whole Foods, here are several crazy-delicious meals that showcase the pantry fallback at its finest.
Crunchy Tandoori Chickpea Wraps
The Recipe: Swapping chicken for chickpeas as a source of protein, these crunchy tandoori chickpea wraps are a relatively healthy option. The recipe makes enough for six wraps so consider lunch for the next day sorted.
The Prep Time: These wraps take just 15 minutes to prep and 20 minutes to cook. To optimize your time in the kitchen, make the kale slaw while the chickpeas are roasting.
Orecchiette With Broccoli Rabe Chive Pesto and Smoky Chickpeas
The Recipe: Topped with crunchy roasted chickpeas and slathered in fresh broccoli-rabe-and-chive pesto, this crazy-delicious pasta recipe is the ideal busy weeknight go-to during this transitional season between winter and spring.
The Prep Time: Requiring just 20 minutes to roast the chickpeas, this meal comes together in about 30 minutes. Pro tip: Whip up the pesto and boil the pasta while the chickpeas crisp up in the oven to get dinner on the table quickly.
Persian Herb and Chickpea Stew With Rice
The Recipe: Another ideal meal for the transitional season, this Persian herb and chickpea stew is warming, hearty and makes the most of burgeoning fresh spring produce. Filled with cilantro, parsley, dill, and chives, every spoonful is brimming with flavor.
The Prep Time: Set aside about 30 minutes to make this dish. Top each bowlful with cooked basmati rice and a dollop of Greek yogurt before serving.
Sheet Pan Harissa Chicken With Chickpeas and Sweet Potatoes
The Recipe: Made using a simple pan, this sheet pan harissa chicken with chickpeas and sweet potatoes is the definition of an easy weeknight meal. Just top with salty feta, briny olives, and fresh mint before serving and dinner is on.
The Prep Time: Allot 15 minutes to chop up and season the veggies and the chicken before tossing everything onto a pan and cooking for 40 minutes.
Crunchy Barbecue Chickpea Lettuce Wraps
The Recipe: Simply toss chickpeas in a dry rub of smoked paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder before roasting them in the oven for 20 minutes. Toss in barbecue sauce before dividing among individual leaves of lettuce to make these crunchy barbecue chickpea lettuce wraps.
The Prep Time: Ready in under 30 minutes (with 10 minutes devoted to prep time and assembly), these lettuce wraps couldn't be easier to make.
Crispy Chickpea Wedge Salad With Avocado Ranch
The Recipe: A healthy take on a classic, this crispy chickpea wedge salad swaps bacon for chickpeas and boasts a creamy avocado ranch dressing instead of buttermilk blue cheese dressing. This recipe makes four generous portions.
The Prep Time: The chickpeas need to bake in the oven for 40 minutes to reach peak crispiness. Make the creamy avocado dressing in the meantime for an under-45 meal.
Cauliflower Salad With Roasted Chickpeas, Radicchio, and Chervil
The Recipe: This cauliflower salad with roasted chickpeas, radicchio, and chervil is fresh, filling, and oh-so-satisfying.
If you can't track down chervil, swap with flat-leaf parsley instead.
The Prep Time: With a little help from a food processor, this healthy salad comes together in about 30 minutes. A squeeze of fresh lemon before serving brightens up the entire dish.