Belonging to the protein-rich group of legumes, chickpeas are widely used across various parts of the world. Alternatively known as chana or garbanzo beans, they are a primary ingredient in a wide range of salads, soups, stews, curries, stuffing, and other dishes.
Their intense earthy taste makes them the most versatile component in your kitchen cupboards. As a great source of nutrients, chickpeas keep you healthy while gratifying your tongue with their delicious flavors.
However, they also contain some oligosaccharides that can be hard for some of you to digest. Hence, replacing them in your recipes would be a good option. Now, you might believe that substituting chickpeas in Indian cuisine or hummus is impossible.
But guess what, it is ‘as easy as pie.’ Read on to know the best substitutes for chickpeas that will help your dishes attain the most desired chickpea flavors without chickpeas.
11 Best Chickpea Substitutes
1. Green Peas
With its low calories and carbohydrates, green peas ace this list of the best chickpea substitutes. Their crisp, sweet smell and pleasant, earthy flavor make them an easily adaptable food component.
They can be eaten alone, seasoned with flavors like curry, thyme, dill, and mint, or combined with a summer salad. These round, smooth, and green-colored peas have grains that require 5 to 10 minutes to become soft and delicate when cooked.
Green peas are widely available and simple to locate in fresh and frozen forms which can be instantly utilized without needing to be soaked first.
How to substitute: An equal amount of green peas can be used to replace chickpeas.
Primarily consumed in Asian countries, lentils come next in the list of best chickpea substitutes. Once cooked, all lentils have a mushy texture and a mild earthy flavor similar to chickpeas.
Easily consumed and absorbed, lentils are a good source of antioxidants. There are a wide variety of lentils ranging from brown to yellow, red, and green which can be used in salads and soups.
Like chickpeas, lentils have an extremely delicate taste that lends every recipe the ideal combination of aroma and flavor.
How to substitute: Any color of lentil in an equal quantity can be used to replace chickpeas.
3. Cannellini Beans
With their neutral chickpea-like taste and creamy texture, cannellini beans serve as another great substitute for chickpeas. They have a nutty flavor and soft flesh, ideal for providing a savory bite to your recipe.
You can use cannellini beans in stew or broth to provide their necessary creaminess. Because they are less crunchy than the other substitutes that could be too harsh, they also serve as a nice replacement in salads.
With numerous health advantages and rich protein, cannellini beans are an excellent meat substitute for vegetarian diets.
How to substitute: Use the same amount of cannellini beans as stated in your recipe containing chickpeas.
If the flavors of chickpeas are too strong for your dishes, then soybeans are the ideal chickpea substitute for you. Originated in Southeast Asia, they are versatile beans with subtle flavors and rough textures.
While soybeans do not have a particularly robust flavor of their own, they can be combined with other ingredients to enhance the texture of your dish.
Soybeans need to be well-seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, and other spices due to their generally bland flavor. You can also mix your soybeans with rice and noodles or add them to a stew or broth.
How to substitute: An equal quantity of soybeans can be used in place of chickpeas.
5. Split Peas
Split peas, with their sweet flavor and creamy texture, are another powerful substitute for chickpeas. Usually grown in temperate and semi-tropical regions they provide you with the same beany and nutty profile as chickpeas.
Split peas are ideal for enhancing a wide range of foods, including seafood dishes and meat roasts. They provide the necessary sweetness for stews, chowders, and soups.
Besides the high concentration of vitamins and minerals, split peas contain eye-healthy carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin which makes them a fantastic addition to your cuisine.
How to substitute: Chickpeas can be substituted with the same amount of split peas.
6. Black beans
If you are wondering how to make your chilies, salsa, or taco filling healthy, then black beans are the answer for you. Mostly incorporated in Mexican cuisines, they have a dark hue and sweet-earthy flavor.
Although black beans and chickpeas have a notable variation in taste and look, it is not overly noticeable or would negatively impact your dish.
Black beans can be boiled and used in salads, stir-fries, soups, and stews. These beans have a moderate sweetness to them. However, you can easily change that by adding various spices and flavorings to make them the ideal chickpea alternative.
How to substitute: An equal quantity of black beans can be satisfactorily used to substitute chickpeas.
Replacing chickpeas with edamame can considerably level up your salad game. Essentially, edamame is young soybeans that are often boiled and steamed before being used in food.
They have a fresh, green flavor, which makes them quite popular in Asian cuisines. Depending on the requirement of your recipe, you can boil, sauté, or roast edamame.
Though significantly different from chickpeas in terms of flavor, edamame is just as wonderful, if not more so. Being a good source of fiber, proteins, lipids, and vitamins, it benefits the intestines, evens out facial skin, and fights several malignancies.
How to substitute: Edamame works best when added in a similar quantity as the chickpeas mentioned in your recipe.
8. Kidney beans
Everyone’s favorite and just a cupboard away in your kitchen, kidney beans are a must-have ingredient in this list. They have a chickpea-like earthy flavor that adds a rich texture to stews, broths, soups, chilis, and salads.
Kidney beans are available in both dried and canned forms. Dry kidney beans can be either soaked in water to hydrate them before being pressure cooked or heated on the stove until tender.
Similar to chickpeas, kidney beans can be added to salads and soups. It is also a well-liked component of rice and chili recipes.
How to substitute: Kidney beans can substitute chickpeas in an equal amount.
9. Lima beans
Densely packed with nutrients, lima beans or butter beans are considered a superfood. They have a mildly sweet and nutty flavor that serves best in a recipe that calls for a thick, creamy texture.
They are typically used in pasta and noodles or combined with herbs, spices, and garlic to make a delectable salad. However, they can also be used in stews, chilis, casseroles, and other slow-cooked dishes.
Lima beans get bitter when cooked for an excessive amount of time, so avoid doing that.
How to substitute: The same amount of lima beans can be used to replace chickpeas.
10. Mung beans
Quite popular in Asian recipes, mung bean is another good replacement for chickpeas. They can be used in salads, soups, pancakes, and curries. Their mildly sweet flavor makes them a typical ingredient to be added to paste for sweets.
Mung beans have a fresh, crisp flavor when eaten raw, but when cooked, they give a rich texture and wholesomeness to your dishes. They can even be cooked with rice or added to a stir fry to provide freshness to your food.
Supermarkets have a wide selection of dried mung beans that can be used as a chickpea substitute by seasoning them with various herbs, spices, and vegetables.
How to substitute: Use the same amount of mung beans as stated in your recipe containing chickpeas.
Peanuts might not be the first thing that comes to your mind while considering chickpea substitutes. Nevertheless, it is as efficient as any other alternative.
Chickpeas have a texture that is slightly different from peanuts. If you dislike the flavor of chickpeas, then peanuts are the magic substitute for you. It will make you fall in love with any chickpea recipe with its rich texture and a hint of crunch.
When raw, peanuts have a clear, slightly bland flavor with nutty undertones. The mildly sweet taste of roasted peanuts makes them a fantastic addition to stews, soups, salads, and other slow-cooked dishes.
How to substitute: An equal quantity of peanuts can make your dish as good as with chickpeas.
The sweet-creamy texture of chickpeas appetizes everyone and is hard to leave out from the recipe. With the list of these substitutes for chickpeas, all you need is a little improvisation and creativity to save your day.
Whether you have run out of chickpeas, want to tweak the flavors of your traditional chickpea recipes, or smartly play the healthy game, these alternatives will come to your rescue.