Best Chickpea Recipes for Chickpea Salads, Dips, Soups, Stews

Our best chickpea recipes make a rich and hearty Moroccan chickpea soup, a North Indian Punjabi chole, gently-spiced chickpea stew or chickpea curry, if you like, and Middle Eastern hummus and tahini dips, from a traditional creamy hummus and hummus balila of warm cumin-spiced chickpeas with pickles and salad to a hummus with ground spiced beef.

Who doesn’t love chickpeas? Or garbanzo beans, if you like. We certainly do! Our best chickpea recipes are some of our best Middle Eastern recipes, not to mention our best canned beans recipes. We always make sure to have a few cans of chickpeas in our kitchen cupboard, plus a couple of bags of dried chickpeas.

Canned chickpeas are cheap and delicious and the dishes they make are fantastic value and easy to prepare. Chickpeas are also healthy and versatile. There’s no limit to the dishes you can make with canned chickpeas – or dried chickpeas, as long as you start soaking them the day before. Most chickpea dishes are quick and easy to prepare.

Travelling and living in the Middle East for close to a decade, for us chickpeas meant hummus, in its infinite number of iterations. And while making homemade hummus is one of the best things to do with a tin of chickpeas, chickpeas can be used to make so many kinds of dishes: dips, salads, soups, stews, and curries.

Hummus is a breeze to make. You can use dried chickpeas or you can just throw a can of chickpeas into a blender or food processor with tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and a little extra virgin olive oil and/or the chickpea brine. You can eat hummus as a snack with crispy homemade pita chips baked from stale pita bread or use hummus as a base for a salad or cooked vegetables.

Whole chickpeas are brilliant in salads, soups, stews and curries and even easier to work with. I like to cook the chickpeas a little in a well-seasoned stock, but you simply drain the chickpeas and throw them into a soup, stew or curry.

Today, I’m compiling our best chickpea recipes into the one post for your convenience as much as my own. But if you’re a lover of chickpeas, do bookmark this collection of chickpea recipes, as I’ll be adding more of our best chickpea recipes over coming weeks.

Before I share our best chickpea recipes, I have a favour to ask. Grantourismo is reader-supported. If you’ve enjoyed our recipes, please consider supporting Grantourismo by supporting our Cambodian cuisine history and cookbook on Patreon, which you can do for as little as the price of a coffee.

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Best Chickpea Recipes for Chickpea Salads, Dips, Soups, Stews and Curries

If you’re buying canned chickpeas, note that chickpeas are also known as garbanzo beans.

Authentic Moroccan Chickpea Soup Recipe

This authentic Moroccan chickpea soup recipe is one of our favourite chickpea soup recipes and one of our best chickpea recipes. It makes a warming, hearty bowl of soup that’s a meal in itself – particularly when served with some oven-fresh flatbread.

Terence learnt to make this spiced chickpea soup in a Marrakech kitchen over ten years ago and it’s that good that he’s been making it exactly the same way as it was taught to him by Jamila, the cook at our Marrakech riad, over ten years ago.

Morocco was the first stop on the yearlong grand tour of the world that launched Grantourismo in 2010, with a mission to inspire you all to travel more locally, more slowly and more experientially, and during our two weeks there, Terence learnt to make this authentic Moroccan chickpea soup, as well as this classic lamb tagine with prunes and almonds.

A tin of chickpeas, a can of tomatoes and chicken stock form the basis of this soup, and vegetarians can easily substitute vegetable stock for this recipe. We make our own stock (tips in the post), but if you can’t, by all means use a store-bought chicken stock.

Authentic Moroccan Chickpea Soup Recipe Straight from a Marrakech Kitchen


North Indian Chickpea Curry Recipe for Punjabi Chole

Next on my list of our best chickpea recipes on Grantourismo is this chickpea curry recipe by Australian chef Christine Manfield, whose love of spice, Indian food and India began soon after she started cooking.

Her makes a comforting Punjabi chole from the cookbook Indian Cooking Class. Chole is ‘chickpeas’ and this richly spiced chickpea stew is a beloved dish of Punjabi cuisine of Punjab, a region straddling Northern India and Pakistan.

“Chole bhatura is a Punjabi staple that makes use of humble pantry ingredients. Chole is a chickpea curry served with puffed bhatura bread, a dish that has been widely embraced in other regions of India,” Christine Manfield says in the introduction to her chole recipe.

You might also know this richly spiced chickpea curry as chole masala – ‘masala’ refers to the spice blend – or chana masala, which is the name of the dish in Southern India.

Note that it’s perfectly acceptable to eat chole with papadams and long grain basmati rice – although we’ve had to use jasmine rice, as we don’t get a lot of basmati here in Cambodia.

Chickpea Curry Recipe for Punjabi Chole from Indian Cooking Class by Christine Manfield


Crispy Pita with Spiced Chickpeas and Yoghurt Sauce for Middle Eastern Fatteh

This Middle Eastern fatteh recipe is another of our best chickpea recipes. It will make you a rustic home-style breakfast dish of crispy pita with spiced chickpeas and yogurt sauce that’s sprinkled with pan-roasted nuts such as cashews, pistachios and pine nuts, and fresh fragrant herbs such as parsley and mint.

I’ve long called fatteh the Middle Eastern nachos, although a Middle Eastern chilaquiles is probably more accurate, as fatteh is a breakfast dish thought to have been created to use up leftovers – stale pita bread, plus chickpeas and yogurt that might have been leftover from other dishes.

A lot of fatteh recipes call for the chickpeas to be simmered in water, but the chickpeas are so much tastier boiled in chicken stock and ground cumin. We always have a light chicken stock in the fridge made from poaching chicken, but you could use a store-bought chicken stock (dilute it) or stock cubes.

We also have jars of crispy pita chips on our kitchen shelves. I make the pita crisps from stale pita bread and they keep for weeks. You’ll find our recipe for home-baked crispy pita chips here and in the recipe below.

Crispy Pita with Spiced Chickpeas and Yoghurt Sauce for Middle Eastern Fatteh


Traditional Homemade Hummus Recipe

This easy authentic hummus recipe makes the traditional hummus served in homes and restaurants across the Middle East and it’s easily another of our best chickpea recipes. It’s fantastic with crispy homemade pita chips or crunchy sourdough crackers.

A Lebanese friend taught Terence to make hummus when we lived in Abu Dhabi in the late Nineties and we make her classic hummus recipe whenever we have cravings for Arabic food or are missing the Middle East. We always keep canned chickpeas in the pantry for that reason.

Hummus is a quintessential Arabic dip typical eaten with an array of mezze or starters right across the Middle East. Thought to have originated in medieval Egypt, hummus is found right across the Arab world, from North Africa through to the Levantine countries of Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, in the state of Palestine and Israel, and throughout the Arabian Peninsula.

Try to get hold of sumac to sprinkle on your hummus at the end. But, if you can’t, ground paprika, while quite a different spice, is also good.

Easy Authentic Hummus Recipe for a Creamy Homemade Traditional Hummus


Hummus with Spiced Minced Beef Recipe for Hummus bil Lahme

This easy hummus with spiced beef recipe makes hummus bil lahme, another delicious Arabic dish that originated in the Levantine cuisines but is found right across the Middle East, and another of our best chickpea recipes.

Addictively delicious, hummus bil lahme is drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkled with cumin powder, and topped with a generous layer of aromatic, richly-spiced ground beef and roasted pine nuts.

It’s a breeze to make, too. After making the hummus, you prepare the wonderful spiced beef mince, spread the hummus on a plate, pile the spiced ground beef on top, sprinkle on some finely chopped parsley, and serve straight away with zingy pickles, fresh pita bread or homemade toasted pita chips. Too easy.

Hummus bil lahme also makes a fantastic side dish to beef kofta, mixed grilled meats, roasted chicken, grilled lamb chops, Arabic sausages, and salads, such as fattoush and tabbouli, if you’re cooking up a Middle Eastern feast for a group of friends or family. And if you do, please send us an invitation!

Delicious Hummus with Spiced Ground Beef Recipe for Hummus bil Lahme


Roasted Cauliflower Recipe with Creamy Hummus, Crispy Chickpeas, Pickled Shallots and Mint

My roasted cauliflower recipe makes a dish of cauliflower florets roasted in gently spiced extra virgin olive oil, plated on creamy hummus, and topped with crispy fried chickpeas, tangy pickled shallots, and fragrant fresh mint. It’s easily another of our best chickpea recipes.

What I love about this roasted cauliflower dish is that it makes a great companion to other Mediterranean dishes. We enjoy it with this braised chicken with olives and capers and Hassleback potatoes and I love to serve this radish cucumber salad with feta, rucola and fresh herbs on the side.

I use this pickled shallots recipe which, while it’s a Mexican recipe, tastes exactly like the pickled onions our favourite Lebanese restaurant in Abu Dhabi served. I make these regularly in vintage mason jars or clip-top Kilner jars, and always have some in the fridge.

I use a cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar, or sometimes a combination of the two. For salt, I recommend a sea salt or Kosher salt. Not a fan of pickled onions? Try this quick pickled red cabbage recipe instead.

Roasted Cauliflower Recipe with Creamy Hummus, Crispy Chickpeas, Pickled Shallots and Mint


Middle Eastern Hummus Balila Recipe for Creamy Warm Chickpeas Spiced with Cumin

The only breakfasts I love more than Asian breakfasts are Arabic breakfasts. When we first moved to the Middle East many years ago, we looked forward to weekends away in Beirut, Damascus or Cairo and a traditional breakfast spread of labneh, olives, pickles, radishes, fresh salad vegetables, and a comforting bowl of warm soupy beans, such as ful medames or hummus balila.

Also known simply as ‘balila’, the Levantine dish has long been a popular breakfast staple or homemade snack everywhere from Lebanon and Syria to the Arabian Peninsula countries and our hummus balila recipe makes the dish that we used to love.

Creamy warm chickpeas are gently spiced with ground cumin, drizzled with a dressing of extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice, and served with pita bread, pickles, fresh herbs, and salad. It’s another of our best chickpea recipes. Make a big batch so you can turn it into a balila salad the next day.

Middle Eastern Hummus Balila Recipe for Creamy Warm Chickpeas Spiced with Cumin


Balela Salad Recipe for a Delicious Warm Chickpea Salad from the Middle East

My easy balela salad recipe makes a warm chickpea salad from the Middle East and it’s easily another of our best chickpea recipes. If you make and enjoy our hummus balila recipe, above, then I guarantee that you’re going to love this balela salad recipe.

Creamy hummus balila, the rustic cumin-spiced hummus textured with whole chickpeas and drizzled with a lemony olive oil, above, is topped with a traditional Arabic salad of crunchy cucumbers, sweet tomatoes, zingy purple shallots, crispy radishes, and fresh fragrant mint and parsley.

This balela salad can also be scooped up with pita bread, but as a warm chickpea salad, you could also tuck into it for a shared lunch or dinner as part of a mezze spread of starters or sides, alongside baba ganoush, fattoush and beef kofta and the like.

A note on the spellings: I used ‘balila’ for hummus balila and ‘balela’ for the salad because that’s the most common spellings on search engines and I want you to find our recipes. It drove us crazy when we used to write travel guidebooks in the region (and drove our Lonely Planet editors even crazier, I’m sure), but different transliterations of Arabic terms are used throughout the region so don’t worry.

Balela Salad Recipe for a Delicious Warm Chickpea Salad from the Middle East


Carrot Hummus Recipe for Roast Carrot and Chickpea Dip with Cumin and Sesame

Our carrot hummus recipe makes a roasted carrot and chickpea dip with cumin and sesame seeds. Deliciously addictive, the Middle Eastern-inspired dip is light, bright and healthy, and fantastic served with crispy pita chips or crunchy crudités.

As delicious as it is, I resisted sharing a carrot hummus recipe here for many years after first sampling a carrot, tahini and chickpea dip in the Austrian capital of Vienna of all places, way back in 2010, on the yearlong global grand tour that launched Grantourismo.

We’d lived in the Middle East and travelled the region for over a decade before we first came across an orange carrot ‘hummus’ and other crazy coloured dips (green wasabi ‘hummus’, yellow curry ‘hummus’ etc) at the Turkish delis at Vienna’s Naschmarkt.

Call us purists, but at the time we could never have brought ourselves to call a Turkish-Austrian carrot chickpea dip a ‘carrot hummus’. But, oh, how the world and what we eat in it has changed in 13 years, and cuisines evolve after all, for better or worse.

This carrot hummus is another of our best chickpea recipes. It’s fantastic with crackers or vegetable batons, but it can also be used as a spread on sandwiches and baguettes, or as a base for salads and vegetable sides as I’ve done below.

Carrot Hummus Recipe for Roast Carrot and Chickpea Dip with Cumin and Sesame


Roast Beetroot Salad Recipe with Feta, Rucola and Pistachios on Cumin Spiced Carrot Hummus

My roast beetroot salad recipe with feta, rucola and pistachios on cumin-spiced carrot hummus makes my twist on the classic beetroot salad with feta, walnuts and arugula or rucola, roca or rocket, depending on your language, and it’s another of our best chickpea recipes.

My inspiration is the Middle Eastern balela salad spread on soupy chickpeas, above, and the Antalya version of a Turkish white bean salad, in which the salad is also piled onto the creamy white beans. My roasted cauliflower on hummus (also above) and baby corn on creamy white beans are in the same style.

I spread the salad on a layer of the carrot hummus and replace the walnuts with crunchier pistachios for added flavour and texture. The bed of carrot hummus adds another dimension of flavour and texture, while the nuts add crunch.

Roast Beetroot Salad Recipe with Feta, Rucola and Pistachios on Cumin Spiced Carrot Hummus


Easy Roast Beetroot Hummus Recipe and Tips to Roasting Fresh Beets

The last of our best chickpea recipes, for now, this roasted beetroot hummus recipe make a deliciously healthy dip made with roasted fresh beetroots, chickpeas, tahini, lemon, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil.

Roasted beetroots are more nutritious than canned beetroots and taste naturally sweeter and more flavoursome. Roasting beetroots is also super easy – set and forget – then it’s a quick and easy dip to make in a blender or food processor.

I wrap the scrubbed beetroots very loosely in aluminium foil, twisting the piece of foil together above the top centre of the beetroots, so they’re essentially steaming in there. I find the beetroots take 45-50 minutes to roast.

Our beetroot hummus recipe only calls for one beetroot, however, I usually roast a few beetroots, which we use in salads, such as this Russian beetroot and potato salad or soups, such as this cold beetroot soup, which is cooling on a hot day.

Easy Roast Beetroot Hummus Recipe and Tips to Roasting Fresh Beets


Please do let us know in the comments below if you make any of best chickpea recipes as we’d love to hear how they turned out for you.

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