Roasted chickpeas have quickly become the snack of choice for health-conscious folks. Chickpeas (roasted or cooked) are an excellent source of meatless protein, minerals, vitamins and fiber.
Like all food recipes, preparation is so important. With chickpeas, there’s a recurring question that always comes up. Do chickpeas need to be cooked before roasting? No, it’s not necessary to cook chickpeas before roasting. However, to ensure your chickpeas come out crispy when roasting, it is recommended to soak or rinse first, depending on whether dried or canned chickpeas are used. This will also help to eliminate digestive issues such as bloating as gas that may otherwise occur when roasting chickpeas without soaking first.
In this post, you will discover how to roast chickpeas so that they maintain their tastiness and crunchiness. Instead of junk-food munching on peanuts, popcorn and potato chips, do your body a favor and indulge in this much healthier alternative.
By the way, chickpeas also masquerade under their Spanish name – garbanzo beans.
How to Prepare Chickpeas Before Roasting
Whether you soak or just rinse chickpeas depends on whether they are dried or canned.
For the dried variety, it’s necessary to soak because they are hard and not chewable. But that’s not all. If you don’t soak, it can increase the likelihood for digestive issues, primarily gas and bloating.
Since soaking requires around 8-12 hours I recommend doing this overnight in the refrigerator in a glass container. If time is an issue for you, there is a viable alternative, but more on that later.
In the meantime, here’s how to soak using the traditional method.
You can start by pouring the bag of dried chickpeas onto a paper towel which will enable you to spread them out and remove the little pebbles and other debris that may have been included as part of the harvesting process.
Once you have only chickpeas remaining transfer them into a large enough bowl and submerse them in cold water making sure that the water level is 2 inches above the chickpeas. This will ensure that they stay submersed throughout the soaking process since chickpeas are like sponges. Fun fact: Chickpeas more than double their weight after soaking!
Soak the chickpeas for 8 to 12 hours in the refrigerator.
Pro tip – To further enhance the soaking process, add a teaspoon of baking soda and stir the mixture. This will make removing the skin later on a breeze!
To determine if the chickpeas have soaked long enough, take out a chickpea and squeeze it. It should crumble but not turn into complete mush.
Once they have finished soaking transfer the chickpeas to a colander and rinse.
Traditional soaking will typically yield the best results, but it’s not the only method. Suppose you don’t want to bother with overnight soaking or maybe you forgot to prep the chickpeas on the night before. There is another way. It’s known as the quick soak, and here’s how it’s done:
- Inspect the chickpeas and remove all unwanted debris.
- Place the beans in a colander and rinse thoroughly under cold running water.
- Transfer the chickpeas into a saucepan and immerse in water (the water level should be approximately one inch above the beans).
- Bring to boil and cook for one additional minute. Cover the pot and remove from the heat.
- Let the beans soak covered for an hour, then rinse and dry in the same manner as you would the traditional soaking method.
As for canned chickpeas, there’s no need for soaking at all. Canned beans are pre-cooked, which makes them chewable and safe to eat.
When you open a can of chickpeas, you will notice a translucent liquid, which is mainly salt and starch that results from the soaking process. Its the same goopy substance that develops in our traditional soaking method. Believe it or not that substance has a name (Aquafaba) and has become extremely popular for use vegan recipes over the past few years.
Most prefer to rinse the chickpeas to remove this excess salt and starch. Not only does rinsing and draining help improve flavor, but some even claim that rinsing rids the chickpeas of a metallic taste although I’ve never experienced such a taste.
After rinsing its equally important to properly dry the chickpeas. I recommend transferring the chickpeas onto a lightweight kitchen towel and covering with another towel and gently moving the chickpeas back and forth being careful not to crush them. This will help remove any excess moisture that may have remained after rinsing.
Can You Oversoak Chickpeas?
When it comes to soaking chickpeas some soak at room temperature while others soak in the refrigerator. Because of this soaking times can vary but with either method within 12-24 hours your chickpeas have been soaked for long enough.
If you were to forget about your chickpeas and left them soaking for a few days the fermentation process will begin. You’ll know this has happened as the beans will develop a vinegar-like taste. If you catch this earlier enough the beans are still considered safe to consume and can be used for roasting. Wait too long though and you’ll likely be left with a bowl of smelly mush.
Believe it not, some chickpea lovers actually prefer to oversoak their chickpeas to “sprout the beans”. It is said that sprouted chickpeas are creamier and easy to digest (exhibiting characteristics more like a vegetable than a legume) although we have yet to try this version! To sprout the chickpeas, simply soak for 24 hours and then transfer to a strainer over a bowl and moisten every six to eight hours. Continue this until they develop a little white sprout.
Should You Peel Chickpeas Before Roasting?
Whether preparing the beans to roast or pureeing for a hummus, you have options when it comes to the skin. Although chickpea skin can be left on, removing it produces a better result.
For easy removal add 1 ½ tsp of baking soda to 1 ½ cups (15oz) of dried chickpeas that have been soaked overnight and drained.
Heat the mixture in a pot for a few minutes then cover with water and boil for 1 ½ to 2 hours. This cooking process will cause the skin to break down so that it can easily be rinsed away.
To remove the skin from canned chickpeas the process is even easier. Toss the rinsed and drained chickpeas with the same ratio of baking soda to chickpeas as the dried beans.
Americas Test Kitchen’s method, as summarized here really makes removing the skin easy and worth it. Simply heat chickpeas in the microwave or on the stovetop in a saucepan for 2-3 minutes until hot. Transfer the beans to a medium-size bowl and wash with 3 or 4 changes of cold water. While you rinse them agitate the beans between your hands to release the skins which will wash away.
If your not in a rush and don’t mind this extra step, we highly recommend removing the peel before roasting for a richer and creamier taste and texture.
Pro tip – A lesser known chickpea variety called Chana Dal exists and the beans come dried without the skin! Chana Dal chickpeas are mainly grown in India and Pakistan and can be found at many ethnic supermarkets. Due to the size of the bean and its skinless nature you can have fresh made creamy hummus in under 40 minutes.
Canned or Dried, Which is Better For Roasting?
The consensus of opinion is that dried chickpeas are better, but canned chickpeas are more convenient. Cost, flavor, and the time it takes to prepare the beans are the prime factors.
For starters, dried chickpeas are cheaper. A pound of dry beans soaked overnight will produce about three times as much as a pound of canned chickpeas.
Another advantage for using dried chickpeas is that you’re not exposing yourself to potentially harmful BPA found in the lining of cans. It’s also creating less waste for the environment!
The one negative about dried chickpeas is that soaking is required before roasting. Recommended soaking time is eight hours minimum.
Canned chickpeas, on the other hand, need to be rinsed before roasting. That process doesn’t take nearly as long as soaking the beans overnight.
Variety of ways you can enjoy
Chickpeas could very well be the most versatile ingredient in Mediterranean recipes and dishes. When roasted, they serve as a tasty snack, but that’s only the beginning.
Here’s a sampling:
In salads, roasted chickpeas are a great substitute for croutons. They can also be used as fillers in sandwiches and gyro wraps. Got a taste for your favorite soups or stews? Add some chickpeas and transform those side orders into scrumptious meals.
Six Ways to Season Roasted Chickpeas
When it comes to which seasonings and spices work well with chickpeas, the options are limitless.
Keep this in mind, though. Other than salt – you should not add any seasonings or spices until after the chickpeas are roasted. Any spices you might add during roasting time will burn away the flavor and give those spices a bitter taste.
You can season chickpeas to suit your own taste buds. So, take a look below at the short list of seasonings you can experiment with. Don’t be shy about trying different ones until you find your favorites. Exercise some creativity. The choices are infinite.
- Curry powder (2 tsp) + paprika or smoked paprika (1 tsp)
- Cumin (1 tsp) + paprika or smoked paprika (1 tsp) + pinch of cayenne for a little heat
- Cumin (1 tsp) + chili powder (1 tsp) + pinch of cayenne
- Curry (2 tsp) + ginger powder (1 tsp)
- Cinnamon (1 tsp) + sugar (1/4 cup)
- Garlic powder (1 tsp) + Onion Powder (1 tsp) + black pepper (1/2 tsp)
Roasted Chickpeas in 30 minutes
Quite possibly the best part of sharing all this information with our readers is being able to share our experiences with you. We stumbled on The Wimpy Vegetarian’s insanely good recipe for roasted chickpeas that’s also a community favorite. You get roasted chickpeas that satisfy the craving for a salty, nut-flavored snack.
Included with this recipe summarized below are some tips that explain how to roast chickpeas so that they remain crispy and crunchy.
Step by Step Roasting Instructions
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Use parchment paper to line baking sheet.
- Be sure to strain and thoroughly dry chickpeas. If you don’t, they won’t be very crispy.
- To dry, spread chickpeas on a dry towel. Place another towel on top and vigorously rub towel across chickpeas. This removes some of skins on the beans. Pull off loose skins and remove.
- If beans are still wet, or if you’re using canned chickpeas, which are a lot more moist than dried beans, pre-dry in oven at 300 degrees for five to seven minutes.
- Put chickpeas on sheet pan and add salt and olive oil. Spread chickpeas evenly in a single layer. By doing so, chickpeas will roast better because they’re not clumped together.
- Roast for 15 minutes, then shake pan and roast for another 10 minutes, or until crispy. If just happen to be roasting these at sea level, check chickpeas at 20 minutes of roasting time. If you opt to pre-dry beans before roasting, you might take only 15 minutes to roast. In case they’re not crunchy, roast for a few more minutes.
- Take chickpeas from oven and add spices while roasted chickpeas are still warm.
Whether canned or dried, reach for whichever you have in your pantry and get them soaking! You’re only a day away from a savory, healthy snack that’ll carry you through the week.