How To

Use It Up: What To Do With Leftover Chickpeas (Or Garbanzo Beans, Whatevs)

By on January 11, 2014 6:30am EST

Why do recipes that call for a chickpeas only ever call for half a can? Or you spend all day soaking and cooking that pound of dried chickpeans and end up with roughly a million cups of fresh thingies when you only need, like, 1/4 cup. So what do you do with the odd amount you’ve got left over? Here are a few of our favorite ways to use that noise up:

1. Put it in a fancy salad-in-a-jar for work. The ingredients can be whatever you like/have around the kitchen: veggies, greens, cheese, cold grains, nuts/seeds, fruit, whatever. The only real rule is to keep the dressing at the bottom of the jar (with the chickpeas) and keep the greens at the top of the jar so they don’t get soggy. You only need a handful for a good lunch salad.


Image from The Blonde Buckeye- and this recipe is 2 legit 2 quit.

2. Freeze ‘em until you have enough to make a soup. You can really add chickpeas to just about any soup you’re already making, but I find that they taste best with a tomato-based soup (like a minestrone). So if you’ve got extra chickpeas, keep them in the freezer in an airtight container and add to the container until you have enough (about one to two cups) to make a hearty tomato-based, bean-heavy soup.

chickpea minestrone

Image of Vegetarian Chickpea Minestrone from Vegetarian Ventures

3. Throw ‘em in a bowl of seasonally-appropriate stuff and add a grain. I’ve seen these bowls of stuff referred to as Abundance Bowls or Goddess Bowls, but I prefer the…quainter (?) “bowl of stuff” name. Just cook up some rice or couscous or quinoa or whatever, add your fave roasted/stir fried/raw veggies that are in season right now, and pour your leftover chickpeas on top. Add chicken or salmon if you’re into that. I love topping these bowls of stuff with this tahini-lemon dressing.


Winter Abundance bowl from My New Roots. Sub the chickpeas for the lentils, or just put them in WITH the lentils because you live dangerously.

4. For a side dish, toss ‘em with some leftover roasted vegetables and add some feta (or goat cheese). Any vegetable will do, any cheese will do. You don’t even really need a dressing since the oil you roasted the veggies in will suffice, but if you want extra you can toss in some extra olive oil/lemon juice/garlic. Obviously, since you’re using both leftover roasted veggies and leftover chickpeas, your serving won’t be as big as the one below.


Roasted Vegetable and Chickpea Salad from Budget Bytes

5. Roast ‘em for a snack. Use the spices that make you happy.

roasted chickpeasSpicy Oven-Roasted Chickpeas from Chow

What’s your favorite way to use up leftover chickpeas?

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Amanda Nelson

Amanda Nelson is the Associate Editor and Community Manager at Food Riot. Give her all the bacon and eggs you have. Follow her on Twitter: @deadwhiteguys


  • Rita Meade

    This post inspired me to JUST NOW make the roasted chick peas (which I never, ever thought to do). I used olive oil, sriracha, cumin, chili powder, sea salt, and some Jane’s Krazy. Finished them off with some garlic salt and a squeeze of lemon when they were out. Delicious! I’m excited about this new (for me) healthful snack.

    • Amanda Nelson

      Damn straight you did. *shimmies*

  • Insatiable Booksluts

    Toss that shiz in a curry if you’re making one! (Maybe everyone else doesn’t make curry as often as I do? idk.) I love throwing odds and ends of stuff into curry, and chickpeas actually belong there. :O