Whether it’s due to dietary restrictions, flavor preferences, or ingredient availability, there are plenty of reasons to seek out chickpea substitutes.
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are popular for their versatility in recipes like hummus, falafel, salads, and stews.
However, finding the right alternative can be a daunting task. This article will guide you through a variety of chickpea substitutes to help you achieve the perfect balance of taste and texture in your culinary creations.
👅 Flavor Profile
Chickpeas have a mild, nutty flavor that easily takes on the taste of seasonings and spices.
They offer a satisfying, slightly grainy texture that can be softened or crisped depending on the method of heat treatment.
Roasting, for example, can result in a crunchy exterior, while simmering creates a tender, creamy consistency.
When searching for a substitute, consider ingredients with a similar flavor profile and adaptable texture.
⚖️ Chickpeas Alternatives Nutritional Comparison
|Great Northern Beans||118||8.0g||21.1g||7.4g||0.5g|
|Black Eyed Peas||116||7.7g||20.8g||6.2g||0.4g|
🔄 Best Chickpeas Substitutes
When it comes to substituting chickpeas in recipes, it’s important to remember that aside from dry chickpeas, there are also chickpeas available in jars. Both options can be fully interchangeable, offering flexibility in your cooking endeavors.
However, chickpeas in jars provide an added level of convenience. They come pre-cooked and ready to use, saving you the time and effort of soaking and cooking dried chickpeas.
Whether you opt for dry chickpeas or chickpeas in jars, you can confidently incorporate them into various dishes such as salads, stews, and hummus, among others, to add a nutty flavor and a boost of plant-based protein to your meals.
So, feel free to choose the option that suits your preferences and culinary needs.
Cannellini beans have a mild, slightly nutty flavor that closely resembles chickpeas. Their creamy texture works well in purees, soups, and salads. This substitution will result in a slightly sweeter and more delicate flavor.
Great Northern Beans
These beans offer a slightly earthy, nutty flavor and a similar texture to chickpeas when cooked. Great Northern beans work well in salads, stews, and dips, lending a taste that is somewhat milder than chickpeas.
Related: Northern Bean Substitutes in Cooking
Also known as butter beans, lima beans have a smooth, buttery flavor and a creamy texture. They make an excellent substitute in dips, spreads, and soups, but may impart a slightly richer taste than chickpeas.
Green or Brown Lentils
Lentils have an earthy, mildly peppery flavor that can mimic chickpeas when cooked. Their texture varies depending on the type and cooking method, but both green and brown lentils can achieve a similar consistency to chickpeas in salads, stews, and casseroles.
Ratio: 1:1 (cooked)
Edamame, or young soybeans, offer a slightly sweet, nutty flavor and a firm texture. This substitute works well in salads and stir-fries but may impart a more distinct flavor than chickpeas.
Green peas have a mildly sweet flavor and a similar texture to chickpeas when cooked. Use them in salads, soups, and purees for a slightly sweeter taste.
Black-eyed peas have a mild, earthy flavor and a tender texture when cooked. They work well in salads, stews, and soups, but may provide a slightly different taste and appearance than chickpeas.
👨🍳 What do the chefs and other cooks say?
If I were to replace chickpeas, I would experiment with roasted butternut squash. Its creamy texture and subtle sweetness could add a delightful twist to dishes like hummus or grain bowls.Sarah
For a unique twist, I would consider replacing chickpeas with edamame. Its vibrant green color and tender bite would bring a fresh and slightly nutty flavor to salads, stir-fries, or even falafel-inspired creations.Miguel
In my culinary explorations, I’ve found that black beans can be a fantastic substitute for chickpeas. Their rich earthy flavor and creamy texture lend themselves well to dips, soups, and even veggie burgers, adding a delightful depth of taste.Emma
⤵ Other alternatives
Fava beans have a distinct, slightly bitter flavor and a firm texture. While they can be used as a substitute, their flavor profile is more pronounced than chickpeas.
If you’re looking for a delicious recipe that highlights the unique taste of fava beans, try this Greek Fava recipe. This dish showcases the bean’s natural flavors while incorporating traditional Mediterranean ingredients.
Kidney beans have a robust, slightly sweet taste and a soft texture. They can be used in place of chickpeas, but their flavor and appearance will differ.
Pinto beans have a mild, earthy flavor and a creamy texture. While they can be used as a substitute, their flavor is slightly different from chickpeas, making them less ideal for some recipes.
Navy beans offer a mild, nutty taste and a soft texture. Although they can be used in place of chickpeas, they have a slightly different flavor and may not be suitable for all recipes.
Soybeans have a distinctive, slightly bitter flavor and a firm texture. They can be used as a substitute for chickpeas but will impart a more pronounced taste.
Mung beans have a mild, slightly sweet flavor and a soft texture when cooked. While they can be used as a chickpea substitute, their taste and appearance are quite different.
Ratio: 1:1 (cooked)
Green or French Lentils
Green and French lentils have a peppery, earthy flavor and a firmer texture compared to other lentils. They can be used as a substitute for chickpeas but may provide a more distinct taste and firmer texture.
Ratio: 1:1 (cooked)
Split peas have a mild, slightly sweet flavor and a soft texture when cooked. They can be used as a substitute for chickpeas, but their taste and appearance will differ.
Ratio: 1:1 (cooked)
White beans have a mild, slightly sweet flavor and a creamy texture. They can be used as a substitute for chickpeas, but their taste is not an exact match. I don’t know what you were going to make with chickpeas and what you need a substitute for, but if you have canned white beans, try making this Tuna and White Beans Gratin
For recipes that call for chickpea flour, consider using other legume flours like lentil, fava bean, or soybean flour. Keep in mind that each flour has its unique flavor and may alter the final taste of the dish.
Ratio: 1:1 (for flour-based recipes)
🍳 Substitution by Meal Type
For hummus, try using cannellini beans or lima beans as a substitute for chickpeas. Both have a creamy texture and mild flavor that works well for hummus. Use a 1:1 ratio for either substitute.
In salads, consider using green peas or edamame as a chickpea substitute. Both have a slightly sweet flavor and firm texture that pairs well with various salad ingredients. Substitute at a 1:1 ratio.
For falafel, a mixture of green or brown lentils and fava beans can be a good alternative to chickpeas. The combination will provide a similar texture and earthy flavor. Substitute chickpeas with equal parts lentils and fava beans.
In baking, chickpea flour can be replaced with lentil flour, fava bean flour, or soybean flour. All these flours have different flavors, so choose based on your preference. Substitute at a 1:1 ratio.
For curries, consider using black-eyed peas or Great Northern beans as a chickpea substitute. Both have a mild, earthy flavor that works well in curries. Use a 1:1 ratio for either substitute.
In soups, try using cannellini beans or navy beans as a chickpea substitute. Both have a mild, slightly nutty flavor and a creamy texture that works well in soups. Substitute at a 1:1 ratio.
As a meat accompaniment, consider using lima beans or kidney beans as a chickpea substitute. Both have distinct flavors and can complement meat dishes. Substitute at a 1:1 ratio.
For rice dishes, try using green peas or mung beans as a chickpea substitute. Both have a slightly sweet flavor and a soft texture that pairs well with rice. Substitute at a 1:1 ratio.
In egg dishes, consider using black-eyed peas or edamame as a chickpea substitute. Both provide a firm texture and can complement egg-based recipes. Substitute at a 1:1 ratio.
For tuna salad
In tuna salad, green peas or cannellini beans can serve as a chickpea substitute. Both have a mildly sweet flavor and a satisfying texture that works well in salads. Substitute at a 1:1 ratio.
As a chicken accompaniment, try using Great Northern beans or kidney beans as a chickpea substitute. Both have distinct flavors and can complement chicken dishes. Substitute at a 1:1 ratio.
For stews, consider using navy beans or pinto beans as a chickpea substitute. Both have a mild, earthy flavor and a creamy texture that works well in stews. Substitute at a 1:1 ratio.
To achieve tanginess in a dish without chickpeas, consider using ingredients like lemon juice or vinegar to enhance the flavor. No specific ratio is required, as the amount depends on your taste preferences.
Keto substitute for chickpeas
For a keto-friendly chickpea substitute, try using chopped cauliflower or diced zucchini. Both have a low carbohydrate content and can mimic the texture of chickpeas. Substitute at a 1:1 ratio based on volume.
💡 Tips and Guidance
- When using chickpea substitutes, consider the specific recipe you’re working with and the desired taste and texture. Some substitutes might work better in certain dishes, while others might not be suitable for all recipes.
- Be mindful of cooking times, as some substitutes might require more or less time than chickpeas. For example, lentils generally cook faster than beans, so adjust your cooking time accordingly.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment with different substitutes and combinations to find the perfect balance of taste and texture for your dish. Mixing two or more substitutes can create a unique flavor profile that’s just as satisfying as using chickpeas.
- For dishes like hummus and falafel, which rely heavily on the taste and texture of chickpeas, consider using a combination of substitutes to achieve the desired consistency. For example, blend cannellini beans with lima beans for a creamy, satisfying hummus, or mix lentils and edamame for a delicious falafel.
- When using substitutes in salads, consider their individual flavors and textures and how they complement the other ingredients. For example, edamame’s slightly sweet flavor pairs well with tangy dressings and crunchy vegetables.
In conclusion, there are numerous chickpea substitutes available to cater to various dietary restrictions, flavor preferences, and ingredient availability. Experimenting with these alternatives can open up a world of new flavors and textures in your cooking, allowing you to create delicious and satisfying meals that everyone can enjoy. Happy cooking!
Can I substitute cannellini beans for chickpeas?
Yes, you can substitute cannellini beans for chickpeas in many recipes. They have a similar creamy texture and mild flavor that works well as a replacement. Use a 1:1 ratio for the substitution.
Are chickpeas a good substitute for meat?
Chickpeas can be a good meat substitute in various dishes due to their high protein content and satisfying texture. They can be used in veggie burgers, tacos, or as a protein source in salads and grain bowls. However, keep in mind that the taste and texture will differ from meat.
Are chickpeas a good substitute for chicken?
While chickpeas won’t mimic the taste and texture of chicken, they can still be used as a nutritious and protein-rich substitute in some recipes, such as curries, stews, or salads. Chickpeas can add bulk and a pleasant, earthy flavor to these dishes.
Can I substitute chickpeas for kidney beans in chili?
Yes, you can substitute chickpeas for kidney beans in chili. Chickpeas have a different texture and flavor compared to kidney beans, but they will still work well in chili recipes. Substitute at a 1:1 ratio, keeping in mind that the resulting dish will have a slightly different taste and texture.
Can I use chickpea flour as a substitute for all-purpose flour?
Chickpea flour can be used as a substitute for all-purpose flour in some recipes, especially gluten-free and grain-free baking. However, it has a stronger, nuttier flavor and different texture compared to all-purpose flour. It may not work as a direct substitute in all recipes, so it’s best to look for recipes specifically designed for chickpea flour or use a blend of flours.
Can I use canned chickpeas instead of dried chickpeas?
Yes, you can use canned chickpeas instead of dried chickpeas in most recipes. Canned chickpeas are pre-cooked and ready to use, making them a convenient alternative to dried chickpeas that require soaking and cooking. To substitute, use one 15-ounce can of drained and rinsed chickpeas for every 1 cup of dried chickpeas called for in the recipe. Keep in mind that the texture of canned chickpeas might be slightly softer compared to cooked dried chickpeas.