These sautéed chickpeas are a perfect quick snack or high-protein and fiber-rich topping for salads, bowls and much more. They are ready within 15 minutes and are so full of flavor. Also 100% vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free.
These sautéed chickpeas are such a perfect healthy snack idea! And they can be ready within 15 minutes using only a few simple ingredients, which is super convenient.
This recipe is such a fun and speedy way to serve chickpeas. I often make a vegan chickpea salad or include chickpeas in curry stews, but roasting chickpeas in the pan with spices is such a tasty way to incorporate more beans into your diet. They are so addictive, you will want to go through them all at once!
They are perfectly spiced, just a little zesty and nicely salty. They really are full of flavors and super satisfying. Plus, I love how you can vary their flavoring to your taste or depending on how you want to serve them, such as making a spicy, Indian or Mexican version. SO easy.
Also, these pan-fried chickpeas are super crispy on the outside yet they stay earthy and with a good bite on the inside. Roasting them in the pan as opposed to in the oven is also a quicker way to cook them.
You can make them ahead of time and have a few handfuls when you feel like a quick snack but also, they make for the best vegan topping for buddha bowls, salads and soups. On top of adding flavor and texture, they will also boost your meal with a heaping serving of fiber and plant-based protein!
I hope you give them a try! ❤️
Highlights of this recipe
- Easy and quick snacking idea
- Very flavorful
- Can be enjoyed in so many ways
- Filled with plant-based protein and tons of fiber
- The spice mix can be customized to your taste
- Naturally vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free
Ingredients you'll need
- Chickpeas: you will need cooked chickpeas for this recipe. I used canned chickpeas for convenience, but feel-free to cook chickpeas from scratch if you prefer.
- Coconut oil: I don't use a lot of oil in cooking, but in this case, using a little oil helps the chickpeas crisp. I prefer coconut oil for its high smoking point, but you could use another type of oil if that's easier. Be sure to use a refined coconut oil so it does not have a coconut-y flavor.
- Spices: easy to customize to what you are looking for. I used a mix of smoked paprika, cumin, garlic powder and onion powder. See below for more spice combination ideas.
- Salt: the chickpeas need a little salt to boost the flavor. Add to taste.
- Lemon zest: amazing to brighten up the flavor from the spices.
How to make sautéed chickpeas
They should be ready within 15 minutes or so, perfect speedy snack or meal booster you can make in a pinch.
Prepare the chickpeas
Rinse the chickpeas in plenty of cold water using a colander. Then, place a clean towel on the counter and transfer the rinsed chickpeas over.
Dry the chickpeas as well as you can: you want them to be completely dry so they crisp better.
In a large non stick pan, start by heating the oil and then, add the prepared chickpeas.
Cook on medium heat stirring or shaking the pan often for about 10 minutes or until the chickpeas are browned and a little crispy to your taste.
When the chickpeas are nicely browned and done roasting, then turn down the heat to low.
Once the pan isn’t super hot anymore, then add the spices (smoked paprika, cumin, garlic powder and onion powder), salt and lemon zest to the pan.
Stir well to evenly coat the chickpeas and keep cooking for another 2 minutes or until fragrant.
Remove from the heat and serve. You can also top with fresh herbs, such as cilantro or parsley.
- The trick here is to really dry the chickpeas properly: if you add the chickpeas while they are moist to the pan, then they will steam instead of roasting. So, be sure to rinse them and also dry them carefully with a clean hand towel first.
- For crunchier chickpeas, then cook longer. For earthier and softer chickpeas, then cook briefly.
- You can also add some lemon juice for even more zesty flavor, although this will remove some of the crispiness from the chickpeas.
- I recommend to add the spices once the pan isn’t very hot, you want to make sure they don't burn!
How to eat pan-fried chickpeas
This recipe makes for a perfect snack that's healthy and filling too. We love to simply keep it on the counter the day I make them to snack on as we go by, they always disappear quickly.
But, there are many other ways you can serve them, especially as part of a meal or as a topping. Here are a few ideas:
- Buddha bowls: top grain bowls for a nice boost of protein. This recipe would pair well in this Mediterranean buddha bowl or a green nourish bowl. Or, simply pair with rice, tzatziki sauce and roasted vegetables for a perfect match in flavors.
- Salads: add a nice crunch to your salad and extra flavor too. This can be a good way to make your salad more filling and satisfying, especially if enjoying as a full meal. Try them over this kale crunch salad!
- Avocado toasts: similarly to this black bean toast recipe, you can top avocado toasts with these spiced chickpeas to add texture, protein and flavor.
- Soup: use them to garnish creamy soups for a nice crunch and appetizing touch. Try pairing with a creamy cauliflower soup or a zucchini potato soup.
- Dip: this spiced chickpea recipe makes for an amazing topping for hummus.
- Tacos: use these chickpeas when making tacos and pair with red pepper, onion, salsa and avocado for a delicious dinner recipe.
Variations to the recipe
You can easily switch up the spices to make it your own. Aim for a total of 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons of spices (excluding the salt). Here are a few combinations you can try:
- Mexican: include some cumin powder, chili powder, dried oregano, chipotle pepper, lime zest, salt and sprinkle fresh cilantro at serving.
- Indian: use a mix of curry powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, salt and lemon zest.
- Asian: make a mix and match of turmeric, all-spice, ground ginger, garlic powder, salt, lime zest and cilantro at serving. Also, instead of cooking the chickpeas in coconut oil, use sesame oil.
- BBQ: add a generous amount of smoked paprika for a strong smoky flavor and then also include a small amount of coconut sugar, garlic powder, onion powder and salt. In this case, I would also include lemon juice for a tangy taste typical of BBQ sauce, although the chickpeas won’t be as crispy.
- Spicy: add some cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes or chipotle pepper.
- Italian: include dried basil, dried oregano, sweet paprika, nutritional yeast, onion powder, lemon zest, salt and garlic powder.
- Sweet: simply add some cinnamon, coconut or brown sugar and a small pinch of salt for a sweeter chickpea snacking version.
Yes! Combine the spices and the chickpeas (pat dry well first) in a bowl and then, transfer to a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Bake at 350º for 30-45, watching carefully and stirring/shaking the pan once or twice.
Yes you can, although the chickpeas won't become as golden brown and also, they won't be as crispy.
More healthy snacks to try
- Vegan bagel pizza bites
- Broccoli hummus
- Vegan caramel dipping sauce
- 3-Ingredient peanut butter cookies
- Blue chia pudding
- Stove top candied pecans
- Kimchi hummus
- No tahini baba ganoush
I hope you enjoy this sautéed chickpea recipe as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
Sautéed Chickpeas (Pan-Fried)
- 15 oz canned chickpeas
- ½ tbsp refined coconut oil
- 1 tsp paprika (sweet or smoked)
- ½ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ½ lemon - zested, optional
- ¼-½ tsp salt - or to taste
- Rinse the chickpeas in cold water using a fine mesh colander and then, use a clean hand towel to dry them.
- Warm up the coconut oil in a large non-stick pan and then, add the chickpeas. Cook for about 10 minutes or until golden brown stirring once in a while.
- Then, turn down the heat to medium-low and add the spices, salt and lemon zest. Stir to combine and keep cooking for a few minutes until fragrant and the spices toasted. You can garnish with fresh cilantro if desired. Enjoy!
- Store at room temperature for about 24 hours and then, transfer in an air-tight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. They are at their best crispiness once just done.
- You can use other spices, such as chili powder, curry powder, garam masala, cayenne pepper, etc. See the blog post for more ideas!