We've all been there. It's 7 p.m. and you've rushed home from work, only to find your fridge completely barren (save for a few ingredients that really don't comprise a meal on their own). After a long day, 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 very affordable, these humble legumes are busy weeknight saviors. Simply put, when a can of chickpeas is within reach, getting a healthy 30-minute dinner on the table is no problem. From crunchy tandoori wraps to golden turmeric stew topped with fresh herbs, the best chickpea recipes on the web explain why we're constantly restocking this $0.99 pantry staple.
If you need a few recipe ideas before stocking up on chickpeas the next time you're strolling down the canned goods aisle, here are several delicious meals that showcase the pantry fallback at its finest.
Read on for our favorite easy chickpea recipes that can be whipped up in a snap.
Crunchy Tandoori Chickpea Wraps
The Recipe: Crunchy Tandoori Chickpea Wraps
Why We Love It: Swapping chicken for chickpeas as a source of protein, these crunchy tandoori chickpea wraps by Half Baked Harvest are a quick way to put a healthy dinner on the table. Since the recipe makes enough for six wraps, you'll even have leftovers for lunch. A coconut-honey-lime drizzle adds a burst of flavor that'll surprise you with how simple this dish is to make.
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.
Tex-Mex Chickpea Salad
The Recipe: Tex-Mex Chickpea Salad
Why We Love It: The fastest recipe on our list, this Tex-Mex chickpea salad by Joyful Healthy Eats is an easy dinner that doesn't hold back on flavor. With the classic Tex-Mex taste, this healthy salad combines chickpeas with cilantro and lime along with Roma tomatoes and yellow pepper. Simply dice your veggies, mix all the ingredients into a bowl, and toss. Include more peppers or some diced onion to add even more flavor.
The Prep Time: 5 minutes is all you'll need to bring this dish together.
Orecchiette With Broccoli Rabe Chive Pesto and Smoky Chickpeas
Why We Love It: Topped with crunchy roasted chickpeas and slathered in fresh broccoli-rabe-and-chive pesto, this delicious recipe by The First Mess is the ideal weeknight go-to. To get dinner on the table quickly, whip up the pesto and boil the pasta while your chickpeas crisp up in the oven. Be sure to dry the chickpeas thoroughly before baking for faster preparation and the best texture.
The Prep Time: This meal comes together in 30 minutes, dedicating 20 to roasting the chickpeas.
Moroccan Soup With Kale And Chickpeas
The Recipe: Moroccan Soup With Kale And Chickpeas
Why We Love It: This vegetarian soup by Foodie Crush is filling and tasty while keeping the preparation easy. Sauté your onions and garlic, stir in spices, then add heartier ingredients like tomato, butternut squash, and potatoes. Once they're tender, add chickpeas and kale and simmer for 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro leaves and it's ready to serve.
The Prep Time: Under 30 minutes. Once you've chopped your vegetables, everything comes together quickly in the skillet and is served as a simple chickpea bowl.
Persian Herb and Chickpea Stew With Rice
The Recipe: Persian Herb and Chickpea Stew With Rice
Why We Love It: This Persian herb and chickpea stew is warming, hearty, and makes the most of burgeoning fresh produce. Filled with cilantro, parsley, dill, and chives, every spoonful is brimming with flavor. "It all starts and ends in the very same pan," Half Baked Harvest notes. Start by crisping your chickpeas, then add herbs, spinach, and broth.
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.
Roasted Chickpea Fajitas
The Recipe: Roasted Chickpea Fajitas
Why We Love It: This 30-minute dinner by Happy Veggie Kitchen mixes chickpeas with portobello mushrooms and a charred, smoky flavor. Rather than stirring in a pan, all you'll need to bring this dish together is a sheet pan to roast your ingredients in the oven (and spare more time while baking). The recipe notes that with a simple swap from cream cheese and sour cream, you can make this dish vegan with avocado-based crema or a vegan queso sauce.
The Prep Time: 10 minutes of prep and 30 minutes of baking makes these chickpeas and veggies come together with a perfectly-roasted taste ready to serve.
Sheet Pan Harissa Chicken With Chickpeas and Sweet Potatoes
Why We Love It: This sheet pan harissa chicken with chickpeas and sweet potatoes is an easy weeknight dinner. Half Baked Harvest recommends topping this dish with salty feta, briny olives, and fresh mint before serving. Chicken tossed in lemon, harissa seasoning, and honey brings a bold flavor to this easily-prepped meal.
The Prep Time: Allot 15 minutes to chop up and season the veggies and chicken before tossing everything into a pan. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
Vegan Sweet Potato Chickpea Curry Recipe
The Recipe: Vegan Sweet Potato Chickpea Curry Recipe
Why We Love It: This gluten-free, dairy-free recipe by Joyful Healthy Eats uses ginger, red curry paste, onion, and garlic to make its chickpea and sweet potato curry. Simmered in coconut milk with spinach and lime juice, you won't have to sacrifice any flavor in this quick dinner. It can be frozen for up to three months, so it's a great healthy option to meal prep and pull out of the freezer on extra-busy nights.
The Prep Time: 30 minutes is all you'll need to mix these ingredients, simmer, and sauté them in the pan.
Braised Chickpeas with Chard
The Recipe: Braised Chickpeas with Chard
Why We Love It: The Modern Proper brings us this chili-esque chickpea recipe perfect for dipping with crackers or your favorite toasted crostini bread. With just five main ingredients, it doesn't take long to pull together—but you'll want to keep going back for "seconds" more than once. Chickpeas, olive oil (or butter), fresh garlic, and jarred marinara sauce pair with swiss chard for a delicious combination. Swap the swiss chard with kale, spinach, or any other leafy greens you have on hand in the kitchen.
The Prep Time: You'll need just 5 minutes of prep and 15 minutes of cooking to finish this dish. Add chickpeas and garlic to a pan with olive oil and marinara, simmer, then stir in your leafy greens until they wilt.
Crunchy Barbecue Chickpea Lettuce Wraps
The Recipe: Crunchy Barbecue Chickpea Lettuce Wraps
Why We Love It: 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, wrap in lettuce leaves, and these crunchy barbecue-chickpea lettuce wraps by How Sweet Eats are ready to serve. They're great for weeknight dinners, and if you make a few extras, they preserve well in the fridge for lunch over a few days.
The Prep Time: Ready in under 30 minutes (with 10 minutes for prep time and assembly), these lettuce wraps couldn't be easier to make.
Braised Harissa Eggplant with Chickpeas
The Recipe: Braised Harissa Eggplant with Chickpeas
Why We Love It: The First Mess brings another great chickpea recipe idea here by pairing the grain with braised harissa eggplant. This vegan and gluten-free main course utilizes cumin, caraway, coriander, and minced garlic to spice up its ingredients. Use a chili pepper like cayenne or Fresno for a nice kick. After you've seared your eggplant, add onions, pepper, spices, chickpeas, and stock to the pot to simmer.
The Prep Time: You'll need 35 minutes of prepping and cooking time to bring this recipe together, plus an hour for salting the eggplant beforehand. To make this dish faster, salt your eggplant the night before and store it before preparing.
Crockpot Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup
The Recipe: Crockpot Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup
Why We Love It: This healthy soup brings out the best in its ingredients with spices like smoked paprika, cinnamon, and red harissa. After adding your vegetables, spices, and broth to the crockpot, Half Baked Harvest recommends garnishing with goat cheese and toasted almonds for added flavor.
The Prep Time: Since it's made in the crockpot, you'll only need 15 minutes of prep time before tossing the ingredients together to cook. Add everything in the morning, crank up the slow cooker, and walk away! Mix in the chickpeas, cilantro, and lemon juice when you get home, and this dish is ready to serve.
Crispy Chickpea Wedge Salad With Avocado Ranch
The Recipe: Crispy Chickpea Wedge Salad With Avocado Ranch
Why We Love It: A healthy take on a classic, this crispy chickpea wedge salad by How Sweet Eats swaps bacon for chickpeas and boasts a creamy avocado-ranch dressing instead of buttermilk blue cheese dressing. This recipe makes four generous portions, so it's great for storing extras to save for future meals.
The Prep Time: The chickpeas need to bake in the oven for about 30 minutes to reach peak crispiness. Make the creamy avocado dressing in the meantime for a quick meal.
Quick & Easy Chickpea Scramble
The Recipe: Quick & Easy Chickpea Scramble
Why We Love It: True to its name, this scramble by The Full Helping won't take up too much of your time in the kitchen. Simply stir your vegetables into a pan, mix your spices, and blend chickpeas with the spices and nutritional yeast. The Full Helping recommends serving over portions of cooked rice or quinoa, and garnishing with lime wedges and a sprinkle of parsley. This dish can be refrigerated for up to four days, so it makes a great meal prep option.
The Prep Time: Cooking this recipe takes only 15 minutes. For extra-fast preparation, chop your veggies the night before so the ingredients are ready to throw in the pan when you're hungry.
Cauliflower Salad With Roasted Chickpeas, Radicchio, and Chervil
Why We Love It: This cauliflower salad with roasted chickpeas, radicchio, and chervil by Wuhaus is fresh, filling, and oh-so-satisfying. "Over here at Wu Haus, we eat this salad as a main course for dinner, but it would also make a lovely side dish or starter salad," Alison Wu says. If you can't track down chervil, swap with flat-leaf parsley instead. Wu also recommends saving this recipe as a side to pair with salmon for those nights with free time when you're in the mood for something extra.
The Prep Time: With a little help from a food processor, this healthy salad comes together in about 30 minutes (a high-speed blender also works fine). A squeeze of fresh lemon before serving brightens up the entire dish.