Roasted Chickpeas


29 Jan Roasted Chickpeas


When you get a flash of genius for something like, say… caramel coated chickpeas — and can’t find a single hit on Google under the term, don’t take this as a challenge. Take this as a hint. There is a reason no one makes them. I’ve seen the evidence. Right in my kitchen.

The moisture in the chickpeas makes the caramel coating slide off, leaving you with naked legumes and a glob of hard caramel in the bottom of the bowl. If you cook the chickpeas in the sauce pan along with the caramel, believe me, the sugar will never set — ever. Even if you boil the stuff for half and hour then bake it for just as long. If you try roasting the peas first? I suspect they’ll burn. I’m not sure. I ran out of chickpeas and patience.

Having gone from a triumphant wheat-free pizza crust, to a perfectly acceptable pasta substitute, to the total defeat with my candy-coated garbanzo beans, I realize the road less travelled is usually deserted because it’s not very navigable. Caramel-coated chickpeas are not going to lead to fame and a new culinary craze. Instead, scattered along their rarely walked path, you’ll find a cup of wasted brown sugar and a crackly mess a chisel barely dents.

Next time I get need a sugar fix, I’m making caramel corn.

Prior to my confectionary chaos, I played with an old sneak-some-fibre-into-your-diet-treat and roasted savory chickpeas to crunchy perfection.


Well, maybe not perfection. But they’re definitely crunchy. And when munching on goober peas isn’t an option — whether it’s for your waist line or because of allergies — chickpeas will satisfy the need without racking up the calories or making you pull out the EpiPen.

Do they taste like peanuts? No. Are they just as addictive? Their crunch is. I ate half the bowl last night without realizing it.

Yes, but are they delicious? That depends. Again, we’re taking a relatively neutral base and adding the flavours we fancy. Andrew likes his snacks salty and spicy. So I created him a hot chili version. Being partial to herbs myself, I tinkered with a fresh thyme and lemon mixture. While it looked good on paper, the flavours didn’t translate well. Yet, thanks to the incredible crunch factor, they disappeared.

As a high-fibre, protein-rich, low-fat, hyphen-laden treat, roasted chickpeas aren’t bad. Keep in mind, their appeal lies in the crunch and what you put on them.

And so, here is my final substitute for the week. Next week, it’s back to food without subterfuge — and maybe some honest to goodness caramel corn.

Before I give the recipe, has anyone had luck with non-nut crunchy treats?


Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
Printable Recipe

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

If hot and garlicky isn’t your thing, omit the garlic and substitute freshly ground pepper for the chipotle chili powder.


  • 1 (12 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder (more if you like it really hot)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Pat them dry on a couple of dish towels.
  3. Heat a pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and gently saute the garlic until it softens, being careful it doesn’t brown.
  4. Mix in the salt and chipotle chili powder. Toss in the chickpeas and continue to cook for 2 or 3 minutes.
  5. Spread the hot chickpeas on a rimmed cookie sheet or baking pan.
  6. Cook 30 to 35 minutes, checking them frequently in the last 10 minutes because they will burn quickly.
  7. The chickpeas are done when they are crunchy but not burned. (Note: If they aren’t cooked enough they will have an unpleasant semi-firm texture. Return them to the oven until they CRUNCH, but keep an eye on them since they go from gold to garbage in minutes.)

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No Comments
  • Dana McCauley
    Posted at 10:23h, 29 January Reply

    A valiant effort! If you need a caramel corn recipe, email me. I have a very good one!

  • cheryl
    Posted at 13:20h, 29 January Reply

    “I realize the road less travelled is usually deserted because it’s not very navigable…” That’s my favorite line.

    I give you props for creativity. Even though the sweet version didn’t, er, succeed, the spicy roasted chickpeas sound really interesting. I’ve never roasted them at all, and don’t they say, “She who hasn’t roasted chickpeas hasn’t lived?”

  • jodi
    Posted at 14:21h, 29 January Reply

    Hmmm. I’m unconvinced, but maybe because I am happy with chickpeas as chickpeas. We went out for supper last night and I had this awesome dish I usually order at that restaurant; curried vegetables; lots of chickpeas, snow peas, red and green peppers, broccoli and red onions in a nice curry cream sauce over perfectly cooked rice. I’m making something a bit similar for supper, only changing chickEN for chick PEAs as Longsuffering fussbudget won’t eat garbanzos no matter what I call em. And I’m adding lentils to the rice but he’ll eat that and like it or else. :-)

  • Roxanne
    Posted at 17:02h, 29 January Reply

    Oh, dear. That’s funny. Kind of like the time in my 20s when I tried to make low-fat alfredo and got sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk mixed up. Yum! Garlic, sugar and cheese.

    I like roasted chick peas, but I’ve never had much luck getting the right texture. I’ll have to try yours.

  • Sioux Gerow
    Posted at 17:42h, 29 January Reply

    That’s Leblebe! They’re Turkish chickpea snacks and come in a in a large number of variations in flavor and texture (really crunchy or sort of crunchy on the outside softer i the middle). Plain roasted, salted, sugar coated, sesame candy coated, spicy(really spicy) different colors.
    If you’re near a Turkish market no problem, you can buy them on too.

    Funny, I never thought of making my own. The spicy sounds great!

  • Maddy
    Posted at 20:06h, 29 January Reply

    I just discovered your blog via Tastespotting – I LOVE salty, crunchy things, and wasabi peas often hit the spot.

    Congratulations on your lovely writing style, I had a good chuckle over your caramel-chickpea-saga description.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 23:47h, 29 January Reply

    Dear Charmian,
    I like the bonus boxes for optional stories you have added.
    Love the fact you can always make my culinary defeats sound so much reasonable.

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 00:44h, 30 January Reply

    Dana, thanks for the kind words, I’ll take that caramel corn recipe.

    Cheryl, according to your rules, I have lived.

    Jodi, I like chickpeas as chickpeas, too. That curry sounds wonderful.

    Roxanne, that milk mix up reminds me of the time an erstwhile boyfriend asked me to make guacamole and handed me two kiwis. He had the colour right. If you do try roasting them, let me know how it goes. My spicy ones were very crunchy.

    Sioux, there’s a name for these?!? Wow! I had no idea. I love Turkish food but have never heard of Leblebe before. Wonder how they do their candy-coated version. You’ve inspired me to try again.

    Maddy, thanks for your kind words. Wasabi peas? Hadn’t thought of those. Good call.

    Robin, I’m here to make you look good. Glad you like the optional story boxes. I wasn’t sure about them so appreciate the feedback!

  • Divawrites
    Posted at 11:47h, 30 January Reply

    Charmian, you’re brilliant and you regularly inspire me…but there isn’t enough butter and brown sugar in the world to make me love chick peas…

    Now caramel popcorn, on the other hand…oh wait, supposed to be eating healthy, scratch that.

  • Annie
    Posted at 11:49h, 30 January Reply

    Try the Bon Appetit recipe on epicurious for Spicy Toasted Garbanzo Beans and Pistachios. I made it for New Year’s eve for a little nibble with drinks and it was a hit.

  • Jennifer
    Posted at 15:07h, 30 January Reply

    I’ve made those on my site, the spicey version, and then I thought of a sweet version. Honey Roasted. It didn’t turn out as great as I had hoped. I roasted the chick peas first, then put them in a bowl and drizzled them with honey and a little cinnamon. I spread them out on a cookie sheet to cool. The problem was they tasted good then, but when I stored them in a container, then when I tried to take one out, they were all globbed together, so it didn’t work out that well! I was hoping for a honey roasted peanut type thing. But the spicey ones, I love those!

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 09:45h, 31 January Reply

    Diva, you don’t like chickpeas? You were open to the beauty of black beans, but I can’t win them all. I’ll have to bring caramel corn to the next meeting.

    Annie, thanks for the link. I’ll have to try this out. I love pistachios and never thought to combine the two.

    Jennifer, you make me feel better. I MIGHT give my caramel coated version a second try, but need some time for my ego to recover. Thanks for letting me know about your honey experiment. I love the cinnamon idea and might add some to the spiced version.

  • Alisa Bowman
    Posted at 18:34h, 31 January Reply

    It would never have occurred to me to try this dish had you not experimented with it and suggested it. I love chick peas and am always looking for new ways to prepare them. Thanks for this!

  • Brilynn
    Posted at 23:56h, 01 February Reply

    I really like roasted chic peas, except I’ll eat them all in one sitting… I also like them as garnish though, on a soup or something.

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 00:56h, 02 February Reply

    Alisa, if you try them, let me know how they turn out.

    Brilynn, I scarfed the whole dish one night without realizing it. I love the way they crunch. Hadn’t thought to use them in lieu of croutons, but that’s a brilliant idea!

  • landguppy
    Posted at 21:31h, 02 February Reply

    Yum! I love these. And my son the picky eater loves them too!

  • Farah
    Posted at 16:37h, 03 April Reply

    hi there, how can i use the dry chickpea instead of can one. wt extra steps i need to follow ..and wt is the shell life of ur dish..thx 4 sharing….bye take care..

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 16:55h, 03 April Reply

    Farah, you can use dried chick pea for this, but you have to cook them first. I would soak the dried chick peas in water overnight. Drain the chick peas and discard the water. Cover the soaked peas in plenty of FRESH water, bring them to a boil and cook until the peas are tender. The time it takes to simmer will depend on how fresh the dried peas were. It usually takes between an hour and an hour and a half.

    When the chickpeas are cooked to your liking, drain them, rinse them and follow the recipe.

    As for the shelf life? My guess is a week, but they didn’t last that long.

    Happy cooking!

  • Kelcie
    Posted at 12:27h, 13 February Reply

    Sweet crunchy roasted garbonzos that kids love:
    Heat oven to 375. Drain and rinse garbonzos. Pat dry with paper towel. In bowl toss with cinnamon and sugar (amount of each depends on how sweet or cinnamon you want them to taste). Spread on cookie sheet and pop in oven. Occasionally give the pan a shake to roll the garbonzos around so they toast on all sides and don’t stick. Usually takes about half an hour but like with your recipe watch them carefully so they get crunchy but don’t burn!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 15:26h, 14 February Reply

      Oh, what a great variation. Thanks so much for sharing! I’ll have to give this version a try.

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