Top 10 Plant-Based Chickpea Recipes

Top 10 Plant-Based Chickpea Recipes

Get inspired to cook up these delicious, healthy plant-based chickpea recipes, from salads to entrees to desserts. I’m sharing ten of my all-time favorite, most popular chickpea recipes today!

Chickpeas are one of my absolute favorite plant-based protein sources. There are so many chickpea health benefits: Just one cup of this fiber-packed pulse provides you with nearly a third of your daily protein needs. Chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) are also full of vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and selenium, nutrients that can help protect against heart disease, cancer, and hypertension. These versatile plant foods are a great choice for a nutritionally balanced meal, as chickpeas contain both protein and slow-digesting carbs. In fact, chickpeas have a lower glycemic index than other starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, meaning chickpeas won’t lead to a spike in your blood glucose levels.

There are just so many ways to enjoy chickpeas, ranging from luscious salads, to warming stews and curries, to vibrant hummus dips; you can even transform this marvelous pulse into healthy and delicious desserts! There is really no limit to the dishes you can create with chickpeas. So, today I am sharing my top 10 plant-based chickpea recipes, which incorporate this splendid ingredient in creative ways. Remember to stock your pantry with canned chickpeas, and even try dried chickpeas for a different texture. Learn more about how to use chickpeas here.

Top 10 Plant-Based Chickpea Recipes

Pistachio Hummus

I just love putting a creative spin on classic hummus. Here’s a great example: this beautiful, flavorful pistachio hummus. It’s the perfect plant-powered dip or spread for sandwiches, veggies, and pita bread, or as a side with salads, grain dishes, or savory entrees. In fact, you can eat it with any meal or snack for heart health benefits, thanks to those healthy fats from olive oil, tahini and pistachios, as well as fiber and other antioxidant nutrients.

Green and Gold Brown Rice Salad

The contrast of green, verdant colors and sunny, golden shades—as well as vibrant flavors and textures—of this easy plant-based salad really shine. Based on cooked brown rice, and the Mediterranean ingredients chickpeas, yellow bell pepper, leeks, artichokes, basil, and pistachios, this filling salad has intriguing tastes and health benefits. A touch of healthy fats, lemon juice and herbs provides for a delicious, light vinaigrette. Rich in fiber, plant protein, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, this offers a great nutrition punch to your day. 

Green Bean Chickpea Salad with Za’atar

This hearty recipe calls upon farro—an ancient wheat variety from Italy, chickpeas—one of the first recorded plant foods cultivated in the Eastern Mediterranean, crisp green beans, sun-dried tomatoes, and bell pepper. Fresh herbs, lemon juice, and extra virgin olive oil create a vibrant vinaigrette for this rustic, hearty dish, which is perfect as a one-dish meal, or served as a side-dish or salad for your entrée.

Chickpea Tabbouleh

Here’s a fun, hearty twist on a classic tabbouleh. Whip up this recipe the next time you cook Middle Eastern food, such as falafels, hummus, or grilled eggplant. Or even serve it as a rustic side dish for veggie-burgers or vegetable soup. Make it gluten-free by substituting a gluten-free grain.

Vegan Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

Flavored with sea vegetables and fermented pickles, this chickpea-based sandwich filling is a perfect plant-powered replacement for tuna salad in sandwiches and green salads. Rich in protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients, this chickpea sea-salad also provides a helping of healthy bacteria, compliments of the fermented pickles—they possess live bacteria and are increasingly available in natural food stores. This is really one of my favorite recipes from my book Plant-Powered for Life.

Pan Fried Tofu with Apricot Moroccan Sauce

This is tofu and chickpea entrée is rich with the warm spices of Morocco and succulent sweet apricots. Apricot sauce served over a protein (usually chicken) is a traditional Moroccan dish. This vegan apricot tofu chickpea dish features pan fried tofu, chickpeas, a rich seasoned apricot sauce, and brown rice.

Instant Pot Chickpea Curry

Turn to an Instant Pot to make this classic comfort dish in minutes. This 100% plant-based (vegan) Instant Pot Chickpea Curry pays tribute to the vibrantly flavored, Indian classic comfort food, Chana Masala. And it’s easy to make this rustic, protein-packed dish at home too with a few simple ingredients—chickpeas, canned tomatoes, spices, and cooked whole grains. Rich in flavor and nutrition, this is a simple way to get dinner on the table in minutes, thanks to the brilliance of the Instant Pot. 

Moroccan Chickpea Sorghum Bowl

There’s nothing quite like a meal bowl, filled with the goodness of whole grains, pulses, and roasted vegetables. The flavors of Morocco—spice, lemons, and olives—shine through in this easy, nutritious Moroccan Chickpea Sorghum Bowl. It’s perfect for meal prep—prepare this recipe and pack it up for 4 healthy meals all week long. Or serve it for your next family meal as a one-dish wonder.

Spicy Hummus Veggie Tacos

Hummus is a staple in my plant-powered kitchen—you will always find it in my refrigerator. And you can use it for so much more than a simple dip or spread. Hummus can be an ingredient in dishes. I turned to a spicy hummus to form the creamy basis of these spring fresh, easy veggie tacos. You can make them into a great snack or turn these tacos into a meal with a serving of fabulous rice and beans on the side. 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chickpea Bars

Spurred on by a jar of really good peanut butter, I was inspired to include one of the best food love affairs of all time—peanut butter and chocolate—in a healthy vegan bar you can feel really good about enjoying. You’ll never guess that these moist Peanut Butter Chocolate Chickpea Bars have a whole can of chickpeas in them; even the liquid (aquafaba) is used to replace eggs in this bar.

For more chickpea recipes, check out these other favorites:

Vegan Chana Masala
Brown Rice Chickpea Kale Salad with Ginger Tahini Dressing
Masala Sorghum Chickpea Salad
Easy Cauliflower Chickpea Tacos
Shawarma Bulgur Salad Bowl with Black Chickpeas
Vegetable Tagine with Chickpeas

Image: Creamy Chickpea Curry, Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN

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