Empty Fridge? 5 Ways To Save Dinner With A Can Of Chickpeas

Apr 21, 2016

A can of chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) is the ultimate in healthy convenience foods—at around a dollar for a large can (19 oz/540 mL, which will give you about two cups), chickpeas can hang out in your pantry indefinitely, so it’s easy to keep some on hand.

Try them roasted, added to soups, stews or pasta—or try doctoring up a can with a few ingredients you probably also already have in the kitchen for a quick meal or snack.

Bonus: chickpeas are incredibly good for you. They're high in fibre and low in calories and a great source of protein. Because of their mellow flavour, they get along well with any number of ingredients—as well suited to a curry as an Italian-style tomato sauce.

They’re also good for the land, as the plants fix nitrogen in the soil, helping farmers with a healthier crop rotation. It’s a staple everyone can feel good about!

1. Chickpeas With Garlic, Kale, Prosciutto and A Fried Egg

One of our favourite meals! And only one pan to wash! 

Chickpeas, kale and pruscuitto

2. Chana Masala (Easy Chickpea Curry)

Chickpeas are the perfect base for a quick curry—you can add whatever leftover veggies you have in the fridge as well. 

A pan of chana masala.

3. Roasted Chickpeas

Roasting chickpeas is really easy: drain, pat dry, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with spices.

A bowl of roasted chickpeas

4. Zucchini Hummus

If your kids like dips and you’re trying to get them to eat more green things, try whizzing a whole zucchini into your hummus.

Zucchini hummus with chips

5. Chickpea Salad With Lemon and Parmesan

A quickly tossed together salad is perfect for a fast meal or to bring to work for lunch.

  • 1 19 oz (540 mL) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • a handful of baby spinach, torn, or chopped Italian parsley
  • juice of a lemon
  • a bit of lemon zest
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • a small handful of grated Parmesan

In a medium bowl, toss the chickpeas with the tomato, spinach, lemon juice and zest, enough olive oil to coat, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Grate some Parmesan—as much as you like—over all of it, toss and serve or pack to take for lunch.

Article Author Julie Van Rosendaal
Julie Van Rosendaal

Read more from Julie here.

Julie Van Rosendaal is the author of six best-selling cookbooks (with a seventh due out this fall), the food editor of Parents Canada magazine and the food and nutrition columnist on the Calgary Eyeopener on CBC Radio One. She is a recipe developer, TV personality, food stylist and writes about food for local, national and international publications. She is perhaps best known as the voice behind her popular food blog, Dinner with Julie, where she documents real life at home in Calgary with her husband and nine-year-old son. Connect on twitter @dinnerwithjulie.


Add New Comment

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.