Chickpeas are a fantastically healthy and adaptable food staple. They’ll keep you going because they’re full of good carbs and contain a small amount of protein. They’re great on their own or as an addition to other dishes. However, what if you don’t have any chickpeas on hand? This delightful tiny legume keeps well in cans, making it easy to find, but sometimes you don’t feel like going to the grocery.
Which other legumes work well in place of chickpeas? Beans and squash both work well with hummus. Use lentils in a soup. Combine potato starch and water to make aquafaba. Use any of the following in place of chickpeas whenever you need a protein boost: cannellini beans, lima beans, great northern beans, peas, black-eyed peas, and black beans.
Here are some of our favorite alternatives to chickpeas, each of which is excellent in its own way and can be used in place of chickpeas in a variety of recipes.
Why We Love Chickpeas
There are numerous classic dishes that incorporate chickpeas. Consider dishes such as hummus and falafel, in which chickpeas are the traditional (and delicious) featured ingredient.
In some places, chickpea flour is used for cooking, particularly during religious festivals when grain flours are prohibited.
Chickpeas are especially environmentally friendly!
When farmers grow chickpeas, it can assist restore the soil’s nutrient balance. Additionally, there are crop diseases that harm cereals but not chickpeas; therefore, switching to chickpeas is a simple approach to avoid pesticides.
If you don’t regularly consume chickpeas but are interested in trying them, the following are some of the most popular ways to prepare them:
roasted with seasonings (like chips or popcorn)
Crushed and added to dishes such as chicken salad.
As a meat substitute in mixed dishes
Warm and cooked in a flavorful sauce
Frosty atop salads
Ground into chickpea-based dishes such as falafel or hummus.
Best Substitute For Chickpeas In Hummus
Hummus is a simple, delicious dish that dates back to the 13th century. That is a very long time!
The mild flavor of chickpeas is a terrific base for hummus, whether you’re eating it as a snack with crackers or veggie slices or serving it alongside other Mediterranean favorites.
There’s something to be said for sticking to tradition, especially when it extends back hundreds of years, but changing things up can have unexpectedly wonderful outcomes!
Almost any other bean can be used as a chickpea alternative in hummus. Depending on the other flavors and what you plan to serve it with, almost any bean can work.
Black beans, edamame, broad beans, and lima beans are the most widely used bean alternatives for hummus. In terms of flavor, black beans will take you in a more southern route, but it’s truly up to you.
If you like the mild flavor of conventional chickpea hummus and don’t want to go too far from it, the very finest chickpea substitution in hummus is squash – especially, delicata squash.
This squash takes on a somewhat nuttier flavor after roasting, which helps it approximate the flavor of chickpeas.
The flesh of delicata squash is tougher than normal yellow squash and contains less water, therefore it may also be used as a substitute to achieve a fantastic consistency.
Check out this video of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay creating squash hummus from another fantastic alternative, butternut squash:
Best Substitute For Chickpeas In Soup
Chickpeas are frequently added to soups because they may give the dish some body and extra protein and soften up rather beautifully in heated water.
Chickpeas can be used to most types of soups with a variety of spices and seasonings because they also have a mild flavor.
Most frequently, whole chickpeas are added to soups, especially those with robust spices. This is due to the origins of the majority of chickpea-based soup recipes, which are Moroccan. Lentils make a great swap for chickpeas in these kinds of recipes.
Legumes up close.
Although lentils come in a variety of hues, there isn’t much of a flavor variation between them.
Because lentils are sold dry, either they must be cooked separately before being added to soups, or the soup must be heated for an extended period of time to allow the lentils to soften.
Because lentils are much smaller than chickpeas, your soups will have a different texture. However, they have a mild flavor and resemble chickpeas.
They also possess a robust enough body to withstand the broths and sauces that are commonly used in Moroccan cooking, which are heavily spiced.
Chickpeas are frequently included in curries and consumed that way, albeit they aren’t technically a soup. Here too, lentils are a fantastic substitute. They offer loads of nutrition, body, and texture.
Best Substitute For Chickpeas In Aquafaba
Have you ever heard of the term aquafaba? It’s a miracle food for vegetarians as well as anyone with an egg allergy. Aquafaba is the thickened liquid that remains in a can of chickpeas or in the saucepan after cooking. It’s water, plus all of the chickpea’s extra carbohydrates!
This unusual concoction works well as a substitute for egg whites in anything from whipped cream to mayonnaise. Still don’t get it? Check out this YouTube video from Minimalist Baker that goes over aquafaba basics:
However, it’s crucial to be aware of your options if you’re vegan or sensitive to eggs and run out of aquafaba while cooking.
The best egg-free alternative for chickpeas or aquafaba is potato starch diluted with water.
In health food stores, potato starch is frequently for sale. You may also produce your own at home, much like aquafaba. It would only be necessary to boil some potatoes and save the resulting water.
Leaving the mixture on the stove until part of the water boils off will help if you’re cooking it at home and the mixture is too thin. Using this technique, you can adjust the consistency of the starchy liquid to suit your needs.
However, you should stir frequently because starch settles in water and could unintentionally thicken it.
Best Substitutes For Chickpeas As Protein
Because numerous legumes (particularly chickpeas) are frequently added to meals for texture as well as vegetarian protein, this section will focus on the best generic alternatives for chickpeas as vegetarian protein.
The dietary data for each substitution will be provided. Protein is crucial, but eating beans can occasionally result in consuming more carbs than anticipated. Because some chickpea alternatives include fewer carbohydrates, they can be excellent choices for a well-balanced diet.
1. Goya Foods Cannellini Beans
Cannellini beans are sometimes known as white kidney beans because of their characteristic kidney shape. They retain their shape better than other varieties of beans even when subjected to more severe cooking methods, and they are also firmer than other beans.
Cannellini beans are a staple of minestrone soup.
Cannellini beans have a smooth and somewhat nutty flavor and texture. They are a fantastic chickpea alternative since they share a similar texture and nutritional profile.
Nearly a third fewer carbohydrates and nearly as little fat as chickpeas.
This may be an excellent choice for those who consume a lot of beans but are watching their carbohydrate consumption. Even yet, cannellini beans are not a low-carb food.
There is no way that somebody on the Keto diet could consume an entire cup of them. Cannellini beans are a tasty option for those who are trying to reduce their carbohydrate intake.
2. Goya Foods Baby Lima Beans
Lima beans are most commonly found in conventional “mixed vegetables.” Lima beans are often referred to as butter beans due to their trademark buttery texture.
Lima beans contain fewer carbohydrates, fat, and protein than cannellini beans and chickpeas. Depending on how much of them you want to utilize, this may be beneficial or detrimental.
The extremely high protein content of chickpeas contributes to their widespread popularity. Sure, chickpeas include a ton of carbohydrates, but when you require protein, carbohydrate content becomes secondary.
However, if you are using beans as a side dish or complement to a bigger meal, lima beans are a fantastic way to boost protein without adding a lot of carbohydrates or extra calories.
3. BUSH’S BEST Canned Great Northern Beans
Great northern beans, which are smaller than cannellini and lima beans, are a lovely creamy choice that is simple to prepare. They have a nutty flavor, like most beans, although it is faint. Great northern beans will, for the most part, absorb the flavor of whatever you cook them in.
This is especially true when purchasing dried beans. If you season the water (or soak them in vegetable broth for extra richness) when you soak them, you’ll get a very full-flavored result. Because of their tiny size and creamy texture, they are also suitable for mashed recipes like as hummus or vegetarian “chicken” salad.
4. Goya Foods Green Split Peas
Anyone looking for a choice that isn’t high in calories should consider peas. Caloric density describes foods that have a lot or a little number of calories in a specific amount.
For instance, the above graphic, which utilizes 1-cup measurements for each food item listed, shows that chickpeas have the highest calorie density. The least calorie-dense food is peas.
Peas are the greatest option if you want to keep your belly full without making it bigger. Along with a reasonable quantity of carbs and fiber, they do include some protein.
When cooked, peas maintain their shape rather well and don’t pick up the flavors of the other ingredients you cook them with. They are ideal for meals where the peas are cooked in a hot sauce because of this.
5. Rani Black Eyed Peas
Black-eyed peas (also known as cowpeas in some parts of the United States) are actually beans disguised as peas! Their nutritional composition is comparable to that of peas, with slightly more carbohydrates and protein. This is also a very environmentally responsible alternative because black-eyed peas are a type of plant known as a “nitrogen fixer.”
Nitrogen is essential for many plants and is found in good soils. Soil can become deficient of nitrogen due to extensive farming because plants leech it from the soil to help them thrive. Nitrogen fixers, on the other hand, may take nitrogen from the air and recycle it into the soil in a form that is beneficial to other plants.
6. BUSH’S BEST Canned Black Beans
Additionally, black beans are often referred to as “turtle beans.” This is due to the bean’s consistent shine in its dried state, which makes it appear hard and shell-like! These beans are fortunately not turtles and are entirely edible and tasty.
Additionally, black beans include nutrients that other legumes lack. Specifically, quercetin and selenium Both of these substances are considered anti-inflammatory and heart-protective.
Selenium is particularly difficult to find in a diet consisting mainly of fruits and vegetables. Therefore, if you are a vegetarian, substituting black beans for chickpeas can help you receive more selenium in your diet.
Can you substitute lentils for chickpeas?
Absolutely! In place of chickpeas, lentils are a great option because of their mild flavor. A notable deviation from this rule is hummus. Lentils are a poor substitute for hummus (or anywhere you desire a creamy feel) since their skin is papery and easily peels off in the cooking process. Although it can be eaten, its firm texture is not ideal for smooth preparations.
What is a good substitute for roasted chickpeas?
If roasted chickpeas are your go-to afternoon snack but you cannot obtain them, edamame is an excellent substitute. Similar to nuts or sunflower seeds, chickpeas and edamame can be roasted with additional spices to create a tasty, healthful, crispy snack.
Can you substitute chickpeas in falafel?.
A blend of hemp hearts and nuts is the greatest chickpea alternative in falafel. You won’t be able to tell the difference blitzed into the other ingredients with your food processor (if you don’t have one, check out this great one on Amazon). If you use chickpeas instead of hemp hearts and almonds, bake the falafel instead of frying them to help them hold their shape.
Can you substitute kidney beans for chickpeas?
Depending on what you’re producing, yes! The flavor of red and pink kidney beans is more potent than chickpeas. White kidney beans, commonly known as cannellini, are a preferable alternative because they have a softer flavor.
Can you use chickpeas in chili as a substitute?
You certainly can! Chickpeas have a moderate flavor that pairs nicely with spicy chili, and they won’t fall apart over the lengthier cooking period. We prefer canned chickpeas over dried chickpeas for chili because they have a somewhat softer texture.
If you use dry chickpeas, you may find that the chickpeas have a harder texture than the other beans in the finished chili, which may be off-putting. Chickpeas offer more protein than the beans commonly used in chili, so it’s a wonderful way to up the protein in a meatless chili!