There has been a lot of stress eating going on in my house as Election Day draws near. That’s where these Tasty Oven-Roasted Chickpeas will come in. I’ll be grateful for them, as we snack our way through the tense moments tomorrow evening when returns come in.
My foray into oven-roasted chick peas began simply enough.
It’s Secret Recipe Club time again. That means my inspiration for this post comes from my assigned partner, Anna, of Always BC Mom. She uses her blog as a way to track recipes she has tried and liked, so it’s filled with enticing comfort foods. I gravitated to the snacks and sweets because that’s the mood I’m in these days. Two versions of caramel corn (baked and microwaved) caught my eye. Anna’s favorite cookbook is The Best of Mennonite Fellowship Meals and the simple, delicious-looking apple crunch from that cookbook sounded like a perfect fall dessert. All those (and more) looked tempting. However, I kept going back to her post on Buffalo Roasted Chickpeas. They looked simple, yet fun.
That’s when my mad-scientist-craziness kicked in. Combined with a strong desire to find a distraction from political news, it drove me to research the many ways to roast chickpeas. Are you surprised that there are literally tens, if not hundreds, of variations on this theme? Down the rabbit hole I went, trying to figure out how to make the best roasted chickpeas.
I won’t show you a photo of the many dirty dishes and cookie sheets. Nor will I give you a peek at the oven that now has burst chickpea shards in every crevice. Suffice it to say, the experiment had its downsides. Still I enjoyed trying different techniques and learned quite a bit.
Oven-Roasted Chickpeas – The Variables
- Canned or dried beans? – I tried both. Most roasted chickpea recipes call for one or two 15-16 ounce cans of beans. (Chickpeas are also called garbanzo beans.) However, Melissa Clark‘s recipe called for either cooked chickpeas or canned. Also, a commenter on The Kitchn’s article on roasted chickpeas claimed that beans cooked from dried worked much better than canned. I’ve written before about the differences between canned and dried beans and the same conclusion held true here. There is no taste difference as far as my husband and I could tell. However the dried beans (cooked) looked nicer than the canned ones after roasting. However, if cooked without oil, the dried beans had a serious downside. They tended to pop in the oven, while the (oiled) canned beans did not. The popped beans jumped, sometimes landing on the oven floor and burning. Plus they left a trail of chickpea “dust” which I have yet to clean up. Ugh! Still the roasted-from-dried beans are pretty and there is something to be said for that. Next time if I roast from dried beans, I’ll oil them before roasting.
- Oven temperature – The lowest temperature I found for oven-roasted chickpeas was 350 degrees F, in Kalyn Denny’s recipe on Kalyn’s Kitchen. The highest temperature was 450 degrees F, in Anna’s and in one on Allrecipes. The most common temperatures were 375-400 degrees. I found that any temperature in that range worked, roasting for about 30-35 minutes, and shaking the pan at least twice during that time.
- When to add the oil and seasonings – A few recipes for oven-roasted chickpeas added everything to the chickpeas at the beginning. However, several recipe developers suggested that the seasonings get bitter if added before roasting. Others add olive oil and salt before roasting and seasonings afterwards, or mid-way during roasting. Still others roast the chickpeas “dry” (cooked or canned, but without oil), then add the oil and seasonings after roasting, while the chickpeas are fresh out of the oven.
- How to keep oven-roasted chickpeas crisp – Several recipes said that oven-roasted chickpeas are best eaten the first day and cannot be kept crisp beyond that time. However, others claim that letting the chickpeas rest in the oven after turning it off will help them remain crisp for more than one day. I haven’t kept them long enough to test that thesis. However, leaving several batches in the oven (with the door closed) after turning the heat off did result in noticeably crispier roasted chickpeas.
You can start with the simplest of ingredients – a bunch of chickpeas, some olive oil and salt. (Anna’s was the only recipe I found that used butter.)
After that, the sky is the limit, when it comes to seasoning. I tried and liked Anna’s seasoning, Frank’s hot sauce. I also liked za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice that is great sprinkled on lots of dishes, including avocado toast. (Melissa Clark used za’atar in her roasted chickpeas.) And for a sweet version, the combination of honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg (from Popsugar) works well.
The one constant in every recipe I found was that the chickpeas must be dry before they are roasted. Putting them between paper towels or clean dishtowels and rubbing gently is the best way to dry them thoroughly. If you have the time, letting them rest for a few minutes, then drying them again with a new, dry towel helps.
Tasty Oven-Roasted Chickpeas
- 1 1/2 cups chickpeas (garbanzo beans) rinsed, drained and well dried
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon coarse sea or kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon zaatar
- 1 tablespoon Franks hot sauce Can add more, but taste before doing so
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1-2 pinches nutmeg
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Mix the well-dried chickpeas with the olive oil and salt. Pour them onto a rimmed (ungreased) cookie sheet and roast for 30-35 minutes, gently shaking the cookie sheet every 10 minutes or so.
Once the chickpeas are crisp and darkened, remove the cookie sheet from the oven, turn the oven off and add any add-ins to the chickpeas while they are still hot. Return them (on the cookie sheet) to the oven with the heat off, and leave them in the oven as it cools down for at least 30 minutes.
Once they are cool, enjoy the chickpeas or store them in an airtight container.
PS – Sadly, the Secret Recipe Club is closing down after this month. It’s been wonderful to meet new bloggers and to share their recipes with my readers. Many thanks to our wonderful organizer, Sarah of Fantastical Sharing, and our Group A host, Susan of The Wimpy Vegetarian. Although this adventure is over, new ones begin. So stay tuned.