15 Easy Ways To Use A Can of Chickpeas

By Jessica Hylton - - Updated

Wondering what to do with that can of chickpeas in your pantry? Here are 15 Easy Ways To Use A Can of Chickpeas that are all different, unique, and delicious! From dips to whole meals, everything you need is here!

A list of how to use chickpeas with pictures of chickpeas next to it.

If you were to ask my what my favourite legume/”bean”/pulse was, I would 100%, without a doubt, say chickpeas. Chickpeas are the powerhouse ingredient that keep our household going, being featured in at least one recipe every week, and sometimes up to four in our fridge. In fact, chickpeas are definitely in my top ten favourite ingredients of all time. So it’s no surprise that I have so many chickpea recipes (and also that I desperately need to add my new hummus recipe to the blog). I didn’t even think of doing this roundup, but I know one of the questions you guys ask me all the time is,

“What can I do with a can of chickpeas?”

We used to have that can of chickpeas sitting in the back of our pantry, so I get it. Now however, we are constantly buying more bags of dried chickpeas or cans of chickpeas because we go through them so quickly. Today, I’m here to share all the things you can do with chickpeas. Whether it’s that you’re completely clueless on how to use chickpeas, or that you’re bored of your current chickpea recipes, you’ll find something that you will adore in this list.

Before I go ahead, let me not assume. Sure, you’ve probably used chickpeas before but you might be secretly wondering “what are chickpeas?” “Why are chickpeas so magical?“. Let me break it down easy peasy for you.

What are chickpeas?

Chickpeas are legumes that are a part of the plant family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae. It’s high in protein, fibre and is super nutritious. It’s also known as garbanzo beans! So if you’ve ever wondered “what’s the different between chickpeas and garbanzo beans”, they are the same thing! P.S. if you’ve ever heard the word “pulse” being used to refer to chickpeas, that’s the name for a dried seed of a legume. 

One of the greatest things about chickpeas is that it is incredibly versatile. Thanks to its creamy texture after it is cooked, it can pretty much take on any shape that you want it to. The same goes for its flavour – chickpeas has a distinct yet semi-neutral flavour, perfect for anything from a vegan tuna sandwich to chickpea blondies.

One last thing – the great debate – canned vs. dried chickpeas. We always have canned chickpeas on hand because they are very easy to use, and as you know here at Jessica in the Kitchen I’m all about sharing easy, attainable and delicious recipes. That being said, dried chickpeas are much cheaper, and not very difficult to boil. Just ensure that you are buying the right kind (I do not enjoy Canadian chickpeas, for example), and watch a few YouTube videos about how to cook chickpeas first! Whichever you choose, you’ll enjoy chickpeas! I hope this list helps you!

I have also been getting another question which is “are canned chickpeas cooked?” Yes, they are! Canned chickpeas are already cooked and ready to eat! You’ll just need to drain them and rinse before you use them for your recipe. 

15 Easy Ways To Use A Can of Chickpeas

1. As a vegan tuna substitute

Vegan Tuna Sandwich

Chickpea Tuna Sandwich on a white marble surface behind tomatoes and capers.

When I say that this tastes like a tuna salad, I mean it tastes like a tuna salad! Thanks to the texture of chickpeas and its ability to absorb pretty much any flavour, your new favourite quick lunch is born! We always have a container of this in the house. It goes great in sandwiches, by itself, in lettuce wraps, and pretty much anywhere you would use a tuna salad!

2. Toss them into a salad

15-Minute Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

Overhead shot of a Mediterranean chickpea salad on a white plate.

If you’ve never had chickpeas in your salad, it’s time to try them. They add such a great texture, protein, fibre and nutrition. Plus they taste literally any combination of veggies from a plate to veggies, to a full meal. 

Other examples of chickpea salads:

Chickpea Panzanella salad

Crunchy Kale and Chickpea salad with Lemon Poppyseed Dressing

3. Stuff them in a sandwich

Smashed Chickpea Avocado Sandwich

Smashed Chickpea Avocado Sandwich on a white plate.

This is one of my favourite sandwiches! It’s perfect if you also need to use up an avocado, too! This Smashed Chickpea Avocado Sandwich is quick and easy to make and once you squeeze some lime into it, you can prep the filling ahead of time, then into the sandwich when you’re ready!

4. On a pizza

Vegan Spicy BBQ Chickpea Pizza

Overhead shot of a vegan spicy bbq chickpea pizza with a small bowl of crushed red pepper flakes.

Out of all the ways to use chickpeas, this is probably my favourite way ever! This is such a delicious and unexcited pizza combination, and so worth trying, trust me! The chickpeas are tossed in a barbecue sauce then baked on top of the pizza. 

5. Blend them into a sauce 

Curried Satay Veggie Bowls

Overhead shot of curried satay veggie bowl.

It never occurred to me to use a sauce until I shared the above recipe from my friend Lindsay’s cookbook. The Mr. really devoured this one. The chickpeas make a creamy and protein rich sauce that you’ll want to put all your veggies to swim in.

6. Make a creamy hummus

Spicy Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Spicy roasted red pepper hummus in a white bowl around carrot sticks and pita chips.

Hummus is a go to chickpea move that can get a little boring sometimes. When you have a great recipe base though, you’ll be eating it for days! This Roasted Red Pepper Hummus is creamy and rich in flavour. When you make it, you can also prepare a crudités platter to enjoy it with.

7. Mix them into a soup 

Hearty Minestrone Soup

Vegetable soup in a white bowl overhead shot.

Even though I didn’t use chickpeas originally in this Winter Minestrone Soup, it’s the kind of broth and tomato based soup that would happily and easily invite them. Chickpeas add a healthy dose of protein to your soup, while absorbing lots of delicious flavour.

8. Add them to a curry

Coconut Chickpea Curry

Creamy vegan coconut chickpea curry in a black pot on a black board.

The #1 recipe on Jessica in the Kitchen is this Coconut Chickpea Curry! The chickpeas are everything in this delicious tomato based curry sauce. You’re bound to remake this if you try it, and it freezes beautifully for meal prep!

9. Make a wrap

BBQ Chickpea Wraps with Ranch Dressing

Close up head on shot of a bbq chickpea wrap stacked on top of each other.

Could this BBQ Chickpea Wrap be more beautiful? Paired with my oil-free Ranch Dressing, it’s a dream lunch or dinner. The chickpeas are baked down in barbecue sauce, which adds that beautiful char to them and a depth of flavour.

10. Use them as a taco filling

BBQ Chickpea Tacos with Kale Cabbage SlawOverhead view of bbq chickpea tacos arranged beside each other on a Wooden cutting board.

Before I made these BBQ Chickpea Tacos, I wondered how it took me so long to think of this idea! Chickpeas make a great taco filling (again, taking on any flavour you give it), and clearly I love barbecue flavoured things! Combined with pickled onions and a kale cabbage slaw, these tacos are quick and quite the treat!

11. In a vegan meatloaf

Vegan Meatloaf 

Slices of vegan meatloaf arranged on parchment paper in front of an intact loaf.

This is how chickpeas go from one can, to an entire meal. This Vegan Meatloaf is incredibly easy to make and really transforms the chickpeas. Here they act as a binder and protein source alongside the lentils, bake quickly, and serve you for days! Some people even put slices into sandwiches, so this dish can be transformed into any way you want it to be.

12. Roast them for a crunchy snack

How to Make Crispy Roasted Chickpeas

Crispy roasted chickpeas in a pile in a turquoise bowl.

This has got to be one of my favourite snacks, ever! This is actually a popular Trinidadian snack too with spicy spices on it. Making Crispy Roasted Chickpeas will change the way you see this little legume. It’s addictive, perfect for snacking and adds protein and fibre to your day! Plus, they stay crispy for a couple of days in an air tight container!

13. In a Buddha bowl

Nourish Buddha Bowl with Harissa Tahini Dressing

Overhead nourish buddha bowl in a white bowl.

Who doesn’t love a great Buddha bowl? Chickpeas make the perfect side because you can swirl them into other ingredients, into the sauce, and they add protein to the dish! You can dress them up by toasting them first or in barbecue sauce, or just rinse them and have them plain!

14. Bake some falafel

Vegan Beet Falafel with Harissa Tahini Dressing

Beet falafel on a bed of greens on top of a pita bread.

This is a very common and popular way to use chickpeas, but this Beet Falafel adds a colour and playful twist to the classic. Plus instead of being fried, it’s a baked falafel that tastes fried. Perfect if you don’t like frying, and want to cut back on the oil.

15. In vegetarian meatballs

Chickpea and Beet Vegetarian Meatballs

Chickpea and beet meatballs on a bed of linguine with parmesan drizzle.

This oldie but goodie uses chickpeas and beets again (clearly, a favourite combination of mine by this point) to produce a gorgeous and almost luxurious looking vegan meatball! They are so easy to make that you could easily double this recipe to meal prep them for the week.


I hope you found this post extremely helpful! What recipe do you want to make first? What’s your favourite chickpea recipe? Let me know in the comments section below!

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  1. Andrea says:

    Is there anything a chick pea can’t do? Don’t forget aquafava (liquid from can replaces egg whites – truly amazing)

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Hi Andrea! Yes thats true aquafaba is an amazing egg replacer!

  2. Judy says:

    Amazing collection of recipes all centered on the chickpea!! Thank you for sharing

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      THanks so much Judy! Thank you for reading!

  3. Colleen says:

    Did you have a gf pizza base recipe….?

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Hi Colleen I’m so sorry we don’t have one. But we’ll add that to the list of upcoming recipes this summer.

  4. a says:


  5. Jay Jackson says:

    My mouth literally watered the whole time reading this article !! Thank you !!!

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      We’re glad Jay. Thank you for your kind words!

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