If you like chickpeas, you have got to try this recipe for Oven Roasted Chickpeas! Roasting chickpeas in the oven transforms them into crispy, crunchy, tiny-little flavor bombs that are just ideal for snack-time, or as salad toppers.
As you pop them in your mouth, you get an amazing balance of the crunchy exterior with a slightly chewy core, making them really irresistible. I can eat them non-stop. Seriously!
Nutritional Value of Chickpeas
Chickpeas are one of the earliest cultivated legumes and have been popular in many cuisines around the world. They are low in fat and a great source of plant-based protein and dietary fiber.
A single serving of ½ cup cooked chickpeas contains: 120 calories, 2 grams of fat, 6 grams of lean protein and 6 grams of dietary fiber.
Canned or Home-Cooked Chickpeas
In this recipe for Oven Roasted Chickpeas, you can use canned beans or home-cooked ones.
When I have the time, I prefer to cook chickpeas at home instead of using a can, which is usually high in sodium.
I cook a big batch of chickpeas over the weekend and then use them in different recipes through the week. I soak dry beans overnight and then pressure cook them, in my Instant Pot, for 15 minutes.
Check out this Easy Recipe for Instant Pot Home-Cooked Chickpeas
Tips for Crispy Chickpeas
Even though this recipe is a pretty straightforward, the end results can vary depending on a few variables, like canned or home-cooked chickpeas, oven intensity, how much moisture do the chickpeas have etc.
This recipe results in chickpeas that have a great crunch on the outside, and a little chewiness on the inside. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Drain well and pat-dry the chickpeas: Whether you are using home-cooked or canned, drain them really well. Then, spread them out on the counter or tray and pat them dry. Some recipes call for removing the skins as that helps them crisp up. I did that for a few chickpeas and then lost patience 🙂
- Toss with olive oil and salt: Olive oil plays a key role in roasting the chickpeas. In this recipe, I use 2 tablespoons of olive oil for 2.5-3 cups of chickpeas (1 can). I tried a few batches with 1-2 teaspoons of oil and the chickpeas weren't as crisp as with the current ratio. Before roasting them, I also add a little lemon juice with salt and pepper. I found, it is better to add it in the beginning than towards the end.
- Season towards the last 5 minutes: It is best to roast the chickpeas with just oil, salt, lemon for the first 25 minutes. Seasoning them in the beginning delays the roasting process. So, toss them with oil and salt, roast for 25 minutes, season and then back in the oven for another 5 minutes, or till they crisp up.
- Serve them warm: These chickpeas are crisp on the outside and have a slight chewy bite on the inside. It is best to serve them warm, because as they cool, they lose their crunchiness. That being said, I love the chewy texture of the chickpeas on Day 2. It goes really well with salads.
- Store after completely cooled: If you want to store them, wait to cool completely and then store them in an open container, without any lid. That allows the chickpeas to breathe and get rid of any excess moisture.
- Crisper than that: If you want to have your chickpeas turn crunchy on the inside too, bake them at a reduced temperature of 350°F, for a longer time, around 40-45 minutes. Again, check them and stir them every 10 minutes. When you turn off the oven, leave them in for about 10 minutes. That dry air in the oven shrinks them further and helps in achieving a crispy core.
Customize This Roasted Chickpea Snack Recipe to Your Taste
The great thing about this recipe is that you can totally make it your own. I have included two flavors that I make often, Mediterranean and Indian. But you can use Cajun, Italian, Mexican or whatever seasonings you have on hand.
Mediterranean Spiced Chickpeas Snack
My family, especially my kids, love mediterranean food. The combination of paprika, lemon and cumin is right in the center of our comfort food zone 🙂
I love how these spices give a fresh pop and zing to the chickpeas. These make excellent salad toppers for a greek salad!
Popular Indian Street Food- 'Chana Jor Garam'
Growing up in New Delhi, roasted chickpeas was a popular street snack, called 'Chana Jor Garam'. It was convenient finger-food, mess-free (well, almost) and not to forget, filling and nutritious. It used to be my go-to snack during college days.
So, it was even more fun recreating this recipe at home as it brought out old memories, and some weird college stories:)
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Oven Roasted Chickpeas
- Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Drain and pat dry the cooked chickpeas. In a mixing bowl, toss the chickpeas with olive oil, lemon juice and salt.
- Take them out of the oven, sprinkle the seasoning of your choice. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir to coat the chickpeas in the seasoning. Bake another 5 minutes.
- Take the baking sheet out of the oven. Check for doneness. Chickpeas should be crispy on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside. If you like them crispier, put them back in for another 5 minutes. Oven temperatures may vary, so check regularly when making this recipe for the first time.