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Chickpea Recipes for a Satisfying Plant-Based Protein Meal

Chickpeas Benefits

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Before we get to the chickpea recipes, let's talk about what's also known as a garbanzo bean. For a humble legume, these little guys pack a ton of benefits into a tiny package. For one, they're high in fiber (they offer 13 grams per cup, about half of what you need in a day) as well as protein (15 grams per cup). Combined, these two factors help keep you fuller longer, preventing you from potentially overeating later in the day, says Anna Seals, R.D., L.D.N., a registered dietitian and nutritionist in Church Hill, Tennessee.

They also contain nutrients like iron, phosphate, calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin C and more, along with natural forms of phytonutrients. Basically, they're a nutrient powerhouse in a can, and highly versatile thanks to their soft, buttery texture. Even if you think you don't like beans, there are so many clever chickpea recipes—and even some for dessert!—you might not even realize you're eating them. (FYI, be sure to drain and thoroughly rinse them before using in recipes—but don't throw away that starchy liquid left behind—you can use aquafaba for other recipes.)

Photo: Getty Images/Westend61

5-Minute Chocolate Hummus

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Hello, dip we want to dunk everything into. Whip up this super-easy dessert hummus with ingredients you have in your pantry and a food processor. (Follow the tip for removing the chickpea skins before processing—it makes the texture so much smoother!)

Get the recipe: 5-Minute Chocolate Hummus

Photo: Don't Waste the Crumbs

15-Minute Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

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Who needs meal-delivery services when you can whip up a one-dish vegetarian meal this delicious in less than 20 minutes? Drained and dried chickpeas serve as the protein in this veggie-packed salad tossed with light balsamic vinaigrette (bonus points for adding creamy chunks of feta cheese).

Get the recipe: 15-Minute Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

Photo: Jessica in the Kitchen

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies

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Talk about a winning flavor combo. This decadent-looking recipe has only eight whole ingredients, including a can of chickpeas, natural creamy peanut butter, and pure maple syrup and a ripe banana for sweetness. As a bonus, they pack 5 grams of protein per bar. (Related: Healthy High-Protein Desserts That Taste Amazing)

Get the recipe: Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies

Photo: Ambitious Kitchen

Flourless Peanut Butter Chickpea Pancakes

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Who knew you could transform a humble can of beans into these delectable-looking pancakes? Breakfast for dinner may be in order to try out this easy gluten-free recipe tonight, made with pantry staples like eggs, milk, and peanut butter.

Get the recipe: Flourless Peanut Butter Chickpea Pancakes

Photo: The Almond Eater

3-Ingredient Dark Chocolate Chickpea Bark

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Beans and chocolate may seem like an odd combo at first, but trust us on this one. You roast the chickpeas first to get them crunchy, then combine with melted dark chocolate and coconut oil. This treat can even be made vegan if you use dairy-free chocolate chips.

Get the recipe: 3-Ingredient Dark Chocolate Chickpea Bark

Photo: Rachl Mansfield

Easy Chickpea and Kale Tuscan-Style Soup

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You had us at "easy" for this one-pot meatless meal that tastes like comfort in a bowl. It's full of veggies that you can dice and chop in advance, plus fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme to amp up the flavor.

Get the recipe: Easy Chickpea and Kale Tuscan-Style Soup

Photo: The Defined Dish

Crispy Cinnamon Garbanzo Beans

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If you're addicted to kettle corn and want to shake up your salty/sweet snack habit, try this alternative healthy-ish crunchy snack: Roast chickpeas lightly tossed with vegetable oil and sugar in the oven for about 45 minutes, then remove and immediately mix in cinnamon and salt. 

Get the recipe: Crispy Cinnamon Garbanzo Beans

Photo: Camellia Brand

Sun-Dried Tomato Chickpea Burgers

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Bored of your go-to black bean burgers? Try this twist on a veggie patty made with chickpeas, fresh herbs, onion, tahini and sun-dried tomatoes. Even meat-lovers will be reaching for these come summer barbecue time.

Get the recipe: Sun-Dried Tomato Chickpea Burgers

Photo: Minimalist Baker

Healthy Raw Cookie Dough

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Healthy chocolate chip cookie dough you can eat raw, by the spoonful? Hello, lover. You'll never know chickpeas are the secret ingredient in this indulgent-looking dessert (no baking required!), which also includes almond butter, maple syrup, and oats.

Get the recipe: Healthy Raw Cookie Dough

Photo: Chocolate Covered Katie

Snickerdoodle Chickpea Smoothie

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Amazing as a post-workout snack, this high-protein smoothie has two ingredients that make it ultracreamy: chickpeas and a frozen banana. Combined with your favorite milk, this tastes like dessert in a glass (without any added sugar).

Get the recipe: Snickerdoodle Chickpea Smoothie

Photo: Hummusapien

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