Crispy fried chickpeas, where have you been all my life? Toss through herbs or spices and simply eat as a snack, add to a salad, or sprinkle over soup instead of croutons. These are delicious and, who would have thought it, healthy too!
One of my favourite things to do in a foreign country is to eat. No surprises there. More specifically though I love to see what’s popular. What do people eat in cafes and restaurants as an everyday kind of thing?
I also love to wander wide-eyed around local supermarkets, but that’s another story… [weird!]
On a recent warm and sunny so-called winter’s day in Perth Australia, I took little Benjamin for a walk in his stroller [translation – killed some time until he fell asleep].
Once the little monkey had dropped off, I dove into a restaurant and ordered a salad for lunch.
I ordered a simple but tasty sounding salad, and when it arrived I found myself enthusiastically picking out one particular component – some crispy fried chickpeas!
Delicious… but healthy!
Have you ever tried fried chickpeas? I hadn’t before this occasion, but let me tell you – they are absolutely delicious and you’ve just got to try them if you haven’t already!
I’m a big fan of crispy foods, but I must say I felt very smug to be eating something that tastes so delicious but also happens to be good for you. And I don’t worry about the oil they’re fried in – I only use a few tablespoons!
You can also air fry them! See instructions below!
1 can ready cooked chickpeas: Make sure you drain and dry well on kitchen paper for maximum crisp.
oil: I usually use olive oil but any is fine. You only need 3 tablespoons. Even less if you air fry the chickpeas instead of pan frying.
flavourings of your choice: Just 1/2 teaspoon or so of your favourite flavourings e.g. salt and pepper, paprika, onion or garlic powder, cumin, even chili…
How to make crispy chickpeas in a pan
This recipe is incredibly simple. You just let the chickpeas crisp up in the hot oil for about 15 minutes, shaking every now and again.
Toss with your choice of spices before cooking.
Note that these fried chickpeas have got a bit of spunk. They don’t just sizzle nicely in the pan as they cook, they pop viciously like popcorn. So if you don’t want oil and chickpeas splattered all over your kitchen, pop a lid or splatter cover over the top of your frying pan as they cook. The voice of experience speaks.
How to cook them in an air fryer
Your air fryer is a perfect way to cook crispy chickpeas – and far less messy!
Simply toss the chickpeas with just a tablespoon of oil and your spices. Cook at 390F/200C for around 15 minutes. Check and toss a few times while they’re cooking.
They’re definitely best eaten immediately while super crispy. If there are any leftovers store covered in the fridge. When you want to reheat, simply pop them back in the air fryer for a few minutes to heat/crisp up again.
How to serve crispy chickpeas
I can think of several ways to serve these.
- Add them to the top of a salad at the last minute (so they stay nice and crispy!)
- Hand them around at a party
- Sprinkle them on top of a soup or casserole instead of croutons
- Add them to a cooked pizza
- My favourite: Add them to a lunch or dinner ‘bowl‘. As well as the yummy ‘fried’ chickpeas, I like to include some kind of grain like rice or quinoa, avocado, chopped tomatoes and maybe cucumber, beetroot and a blob of Greek yoghurt. Try it – it’s addictive!
Can I bake them instead?
Yep! Just toss in a bowl with a tablespoon or two of oil, spread them over a baking tray in a single layer and bake for 45 minutes.
More amazing Mediterranean recipes that you must try!
- Our favourite Greek baked eggplant with tomato and feta
- These life-changing fried halloumi bites (perfect appetizers for guests!)
- Incredible 5-minute tahini dressing (for roasted vegetables, salads, falafel, bowls & more)
- Ever made a proper Spanish omelette, otherwise known as a tortilla de patatas? Prepare to have your mind blown!
- Another Spanish one… try this traditional ‘pan con tomate’ or Spanish bruschetta. It’s incredible, and unbelievably easy to make!
- Did you know you can fry olives, and that they’re delicious? You do now!
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Crispy fried chickpeas (with air fryer version)
Ingredients (UK/Australia? Click below for grams/ml)
- 3 tablespoons oil (canola or olive oil work well)
- 14 ounces chickpeas (cooked) drained out of a can and dried well on kitchen paper
- flavourings of choice e.g ½ teaspoon of salt, pepper, paprika, herbs, garlic or onion powder (optional)
- Heat the oil in a frying pan or similar until a chickpea dropped into it starts to sizzle.
- Drizzle a tiny bit of oil over the chickpeas and toss with your choice of spices or leave plain.
- Add the chickpeas to the pan, preferably in one layer, and mostly cover them with a lid or other pan cover. If cooking in air fryer, toss with about 1 tablespoon of oil and your choice of seasonings and cook for about 15 minutes at 390F/200C. Shake 2 or 3 times during cooking.
- Let cook until golden and crispy, shaking the pan every now and again (about 15 minutes).
- Drain briefly on kitchen paper, then scatter over the flavourings (if using).
- Serve immediately on a salad, in a soup, on a pizza, or simply in a bowl for people to snack on.