Saturday, April 4, 2009

Spicy Salted Roasted Chickpeas

Chickpeas, also known as Garbanzo beans, are one of my favourite foods. I love them in their pureed form, as hummus, but I also like to throw them whole into salads and pasta. They’re a great way to add texture to just about any dish; although, I enjoy them so much, that I often find myself eating handfuls of them right out of the can (after draining and rinsing them, of course). I just can’t get enough!

Lucky for the chickpea-obsessed, they can be made into an amazing snack. When chickpeas are roasted, they become nice and crunchy, and absolutely addictive. Throw in a ton of salt and some spice, eat them warm out of the oven, and find yourself in Snack Heaven.

I have noticed that this recipe is featured on a lot of diet blogs, which is kind of a shame, because they are delicious enough to be enjoyed in their own right, as opposed to a passable substitution for another craving. My philosophy is: if what you want is chips, just eat some damn chips! Nothing else will satisfy, and you’ll be craving them again the next day, anyway. I don’t think it’s fair to approach these roasted chickpeas as just a healthy substitute for junk food, because you will not appreciate them for what they really are: an awesome snack that can be made at any time out of pantry items. Believe me, you will crave these; they are are that good.

I’ve been perfecting the recipe over the last couple of years, and the trick to getting the best, most crunchy texture is to dry the rinsed chickpeas as much as you can. Although you can roast them straight after rinsing with fine results, a little extra work is worth it. I even go so far as to remove the papery skins off of each chickpea, which I find makes quite a difference in the end result (but may only be advisible to the extremely anal-retentive).

I like my chickpeas to be as salty as fries or popcorn, so I really pile it on. Don’t be shy! Chickpeas are very forgiving, because they require a lot of help in the flavour department; so, you can’t over-salt them. My favourite way to spice them is with cayenne pepper, but I’ve had good results with cumin, and curry powder as well. I’ve never tried it, but I bet a sweet version could also be made, perhaps with cinnamon sugar. Mmmm…I think an experiment is in order!

Amanda’s Spicy Salted Roasted Chickpeas: The Recipe
2 servings

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Extra-virgin olive oil (approx. 2-3 tbsp)
Cayenne Pepper

Preheat oven to 425C.
Line a cookie sheet with a double layer of paper towels. Spread chickpeas on top of paper towels. Using another double layer of paper towels, roll the chickpeas around on the pan to dry them (this will also remove a lot of the skins).

Remove the rest of the skins, if desired. Repeat drying with paper towels. 

Remove paper towels, leaving chickpeas on cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt, and add a few pinches of cayenne pepper.

Shake the pan until all chickpeas are evenly coated. (At this point, you can taste a raw chickpea to see if the salt and spice is to your liking.)

Roast for 30-40 minutes, shaking the pan every 10 minutes. Chickpeas are ready when they are browned and crunchy (and noisy when rattled).

Add more salt if needed. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Although I have yet to encounter left-overs, you could store them in an air-tight container for several days.


  1. I make this once or twice a week! I also remove the papery skins! Takes me like, 40 mins, but I do it in front of the tv so it's not so bad. I'll try your paper towel trick next time!

    I agree with not being able to over-salt them. Lay it on, baby!

  2. Yes, do try the paper towel rolly thing. I think it will save you a lot of time!

    What kind of spices do you like on them?

  3. I usually just do salt and paprika!

  4. YUM! This sounds delish! I will definitely try it out!

  5. Yay, let me know how they turn out!

  6. Such a wonderful crunch! A great snack. I just ate some. The excessive drying really takes the snack to the next level!

  7. These are on my "to make" list for this weekend! Chickpeas might just be my favorite food!

  8. Great, let me know how they turn out, Sarah!

  9. hey...just finished making these! They turned out delicious! I removed myself from the kitchen so I didn't eat them all - I want to be able to take them to work for a snack tomorrow! I ended up making a double batch - 1 with garlic powder & 1 with habenero powder...yum! Mind if I post on my blog? I'll give you all the credit of course! :)

  10. I'm so glad you liked them, Sarah! Aren't they addictive?
    Not at all, post away! :)

  11. P.S. good calls on the spices you used! Sounds yum!