Chickpeas are known by many names in different parts of the world, you may know them as Garbanzo Beans or as Chana. From South Asian cuisines to Mexican meals, chickpeas are added to a variety of salads, soups, stews, curries and stuffing etc.
Though chickpeas are a great source of proteins, fibers, carbs and mineral, they also contain some oligosaccharides that make them difficult to digest for some people. So, it is best to replace them in all the recipes with a suitable alternative.
Among all the beans and legumes, chickpeas have the 12 best matches that can replace them in cooking. Some of the best substitutes for chickpeas include green peas, black beans, cannellini beans, red kidney beans, lentils, mung beans, split peas, edamame, peanuts, hazelnuts, soybeans and lima beans.
Let’s see which of these above-mentioned chickpea substitutes can best replace them and why?
Things to Know About Chickpeas
Chickpeas belong to a widely known food group called legumes, and like other legumes, they are a great source of carbohydrates, proteins, fibers, vitamins and mineral. The use of chickpeas is quite common in Asian, Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine. Due to the wide-ranging health benefits of Chickpeas, they are also enjoyed on the vegan diet. A cup of chickpeas can provide you with as many as 14.4 grams of protein. That means that every vegan can rely on chickpeas to boost his protein intake.
Chickpeas are naturally gluten-free, but they do contain raffinose, stachyose and ciceritol – the type of carbohydrates that are hard to digest by our gut. So, people having digestive disorders and problems must stay cautious about chickpea consumption; they should either consume fewer chickpeas or avoid them altogether.
For such individuals, we have just the right gluten and carb-free substitutes in our chickpea substitutes collection!
How to Cook Chickpeas?
Chickpeas appear light tan or beige in color. They have round, irregular and small round grain. So, they are soaked in water overnight for hydration and then cooked for 30 to 60 minutes until all the grains get soft. The boiled chickpeas can be stored in the refrigerator or in your freezer for up to a month. Once you have boiled or cooked chickpeas, you can use them in recipes like:
- Chickpea stew etc.
Chickpeas are also roasted with spices and then served as snacks. Chickpea flour, also known as ‘gram flour or Besan, is used to make fritters and several other snacks.
The 12 Best Substitutes for Chickpeas
Are you ready to explore some of the best chickpea substitutes in your everyday meals? Do you want to try something different and equally nutritious? Then here are some of our top picks!
1. Green Peas
Green peas are considered the healthiest low-calorie and low carb substitute for chickpeas. They are a great keto substitute for chickpeas. They can be added to salad, soups, and stews. Green peas come in both fresh and canned forms. Frozen green peas are excellent to preserve for long term duration, and you can use them any time directly without thawing.
Green peas are loaded with fibers and proteins, and the good part is that they do not contain high carbohydrate content, and they are very suitable for digestion. They keep the blood sugar level controlled and do not cause weight gain. They are excellent for people who are concerned about their health and people having digestive problems.
Green peas have round, smooth and green colored grains, which take about 5-10 minutes of cooking to get soft and tender.
2. Black Beans
If you are wondering what to substitute for chickpeas in chilies and taco fillings, then black beans are the right answer for you!
Black beans are most commonly used in Mexican cuisines, especially for making tacos or stuffed peppers. They have a dark color, with an earthy-sweet flavor. They are considered a suitable replacement for chickpeas because they both share several of their properties. They can be boiled and used in stir-fries, soups, stews and in salad as well. Black beans are also great to make salsa and dips. These beans have mild sweetness in their taste, which can be easily adjusted by using different spices and flavorings to make them a perfect substitute for chickpeas.
If you are thinking, what can I substitute for chickpeas in curry? Then stop wondering and try any lentil available in your kitchen.
Yes! Lentils come next on this list. Lentils are also legumes, and they are packed with fibers, proteins and carbohydrates. They are a good source of antioxidants, and they can be ingested and digested easily. Lentils come in a crazy variety ranging from brown to yellow, red and green lentils.
You can use these lentils to make soups and salads. Like chickpeas, lentils also have a very subtle taste, which gives every recipe the right balance of flavor and aroma. You can replace chickpeas with any color lentil in an equal amount.
4. Cannellini Beans
If you are wondering, can you substitute chickpeas for cannellini beans? Then the answer is yes. Cannellini beans have several properties that make them an excellent substitute for chickpeas. They have a neutral chickpea-like taste with all the digestible proteins. And when they are cooked, they give a similar texture to a recipe, as the chickpeas usually give. Besides proteins and carbohydrates, cannellini beans are also a great source of minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium. Having cannellini beans in your diet can help you regulate your blood pressure and improve your heart health.
5. Mung Beans
Mung beans also make a good chickpea substitute. Mung beans are green in color. Therefore, they are also known as green gram. Boiled mung beans are added to make dessert, and pancakes etc.
Dried mung beans are easily available in the market, and they can be seasoned with different spices and vegetables to use as a good replacement for chickpeas.
6. Split Peas
Split peas are another member of the bean family. They are also green in color, like the mung bean. But they are slightly sweeter than the mung beans, and they give a creamy texture when cooked. They can be used in soups, hummus and fritters.
The green-colored edamame beans make a great substitute for chickpeas in a salad. Edamame are basically the immature soybeans that are usually boiled and steamed to use for culinary purposes. They are particularly famous in Asian cuisine. Sautéed and roasted edamame beans or pods are served as a healthy evening snack or a side meal.
These beans are also great to make salads and edamame salad bowls. Edamame beans can best substitute chickpeas in hummus recipes. They are a far healthier alternative because of all the fibers, antioxidants and phytonutrients they carry.
8. Kidney Beans
The red-colored kidney beans are commonly used in making chilies. They are also great to make salads and soups. These beans have a similar chickpea like flavor. The texture is also bean-like. However, they have a different color, which will make your recipe look a little different.
You can replace chickpeas with kidney beans in an equal amount. Kidney beans are available both in canned and dried forms. The dry kidney beans are soaked in water for hydration, and then they are pressure cooked or stove cooked until soft.
9. Soy Beans
Soybeans are the most versatile beans I have ever come across with. They have a peanut-like taste and bean-like texture. And they are not only used in salads, soups and stews but products like tofu, tempeh and vegan cheeses, etc., are also prepared using soybeans. These beans are packed with lots of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fibers. They contain unsaturated fatty acids and no cholesterol. So, they are great to keep your heart healthy.
10. Lima Beans or Butter Beans
Lima or butter beans are packed with so many nutrients that they are considered a superfood. Some raw varieties of lima beans might be hazardous to eat, but you can always cook and boil these beans to enjoy them as a great alternative to chickpeas in recipes.
Lima beans are particularly suitable for salad and stir-fry recipes. These beans do not appear like chickpeas, and they have a slightly different texture as well. Make sure to keep these differences in mind before selecting them for a particular recipe.
Peanuts have a slightly different texture and taste from chickpeas. But since they belong to the legume family, you can consider them as a good substitute for chickpeas. They have slightly different features from other legumes we use in cooking. They have a nutty and crunchy flavor with a unique peanut-like aroma. You can add peanuts to salads and sauces to add taste and to increase the protein content of those recipes.
It may sound surprising, but hazelnuts actually can replace chickpeas in many recipes. These nuts have a peculiar texture that can mimic the texture of chickpeas in different dishes. Moreover, hazelnuts are also quite healthy, and they have low-fat and high fiber content. Remember to avoid using hazelnuts as a chickpea substitute if you have nut allergies.
Table: Beans and Legumes: Nutritional Profiles
It always helps when you have a basic idea of all the nutritional content of the beans and legumes you are using in a recipe. The following table will better guide you about choosing the right substitute for chickpeas as per your own dietary and nutritional requirements.
|CHICKPEAS||GREEN PEAS||BLACK BEANS||CANNELLINI BEANS||KIDNEY
|MUNG BEANS||SPLIT PEAS||LENTILS||SOY BEANS||EDAMAME||LIMA BEANS|
Protein-Rich, Non-Vegan Chickpea Substitutes:
Well, you can substitute chickpeas for chicken! If you don’t like the idea of having beans in a salad or other recipes but still want to get lots of proteins, then adding chicken or any meat as a replacement for chickpeas is a good idea. Make sure to spice the meat and chicken according to the requirement of the recipe. In chilies, stuffing, fillings or stir-fries you can try minced poultry and meat as a good protein-rich substitute for chickpeas.