The Best Things To Make With A Can Of Chickpeas

Chickpeas may not sound like the most exciting ingredient in the world, but these humble legumes deserve some reverence. There's evidence that humans have been eating chickpeas as far back as 10,000 BCE and they continue to be a major culinary staple in many regions of the globe, including the Middle East, Mediterranean, and northern Africa (via FoodPrint).

Furthermore, chickpeas provide some incredible health benefits. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, they are high in a host of nutrients, such as carbohydrates, protein, fiber, B vitamins, and iron. Chickpeas have also been shown to help prevent or improve chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.

So, how do we get this powerful bean in our diets? Luck for us, chickpeas are versatile. They are hearty enough to be a main ingredient in a meal but also provide a unique nutty flavor that can complement other components of a dish. So whether it's a classical Middle Eastern snack or a filling dinner, these are the best things to make with a can of chickpeas.

This curry recipe transforms canned chickpeas into a delightful meal

Nothing quite beats a fresh, hearty, homemade meal that tastes like it took all day to make but was done in just 30 minutes. That perfectly describes this recipe for chickpea curry. And if you don't think a can of pre-cooked beans can't be the star of a delicious and filling meal, think again.

What makes this curry recipe so easy to put together is that it can be made entirely from shelf-stable ingredients that can be bought in advance, and it takes just five minutes to prepare. You simply add the ingredients into a pot and allow the mixture to cook at a simmer for a half-hour. When it's ready, serve the curry with rice or naan and enjoy!

Broccoli casserole uses canned chickpeas as a star ingredient

Chickpeas can certainly hold their own as the star ingredient in a dish (look no further than popular eats like falafel or hummus). But they're more commonly used as a complementary piece. Such is the case in this recipe for broccoli casserole, where the legumes provide a boost of flavor and heartiness to the broccoli-centered dish. 

As for making the casserole, it couldn't be much easier to put this one-pot meal together. Once the rice has cooked, add broccoli florets and a can of chickpeas. After about five minutes, stir in the cheeses — a combination of Mexican and Parmesan — and you're ready to eat!

Seared salmon and kale are a great upgrade for canned chickpeas

Finding complementary flavors to fish is not always the easiest thing, particularly if you're not used to cooking seafood. But in this seared salmon recipe, chickpeas provide a subtle nutty flavor that — along with caramelized onion, mushrooms, and kale — makes for a delicious dish. The latter ingredients all get cooked together in a pan along with salt, pepper, and a splash of balsamic vinegar. 

As for the salmon, to get that perfectly crispy skin, cook it in a cast-iron pan skin-side down. After about five minutes, flip the fish and cook for an additional minute or two. To plate, create a bed of vegetables with the chickpea mixture and place the salmon fillet on top. Garnish with some Parmesan cheese if you'd like and enjoy!

Collard wraps with falafel will take canned chickpeas to another level

Chickpeas provide the filling for these delicious collard wraps, but they do so in the form of savory, herbaceous falafel. If you're unfamiliar, falafel is a Middle Eastern dish made by cooking patties of blended chickpeas and spices. And that's where this recipe begins. 

To make falafel, blend chickpeas, cumin, coriander, garlic, parsley, baking soda, and onion until smooth then scoop balls of the mixture onto a baking sheet and cook for 25 to 35 minutes. While that's happening, whip together the tzatziki sauce by combining yogurt, dill, lemon juice, and zest. All that's left is the assembly. 

Lay your steamed and de-stemmed collard green lead flat and layer on some hummus. Add the homemade falafel and tzatziki sauce, then roll the wraps up and they're ready to serve!  

Beet hummus will prove that canned chickpeas are never dull

No list of chickpea recipes would be complete without one for hummus. The classic Mediterranean spread is always a fan favorite and this recipe for beet hummus only brings the dish to another level. Beets not only add great flavor and eye-catching color, they also bring with them some notable health benefits. The root vegetables are high in numerous vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, folate, potassium, and vitamin C. They have also been shown to lower blood pressure and improve heart health.

Making this beet hummus couldn't be easier — it can be prepped in just five minutes. Simply slice the beet into discs and roast for 40 minutes. Then, place them into a blender along with chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, garlic cloves, cumin, salt, water, and olive oil and blend for one minute. When serving, top with sesame seeds, parsley, and olive oil.