When it comes to snacks, crunchy and spicy are popular qualities. These baked chickpeas are both, plus they are healthy and easy to make. Just toss them with a little olive oil and some spices, then roast in the oven until crunchy. They’ll stay crispy for a few days stored in a resealable bag at room temperature. If there is a lot of moisture in the air, the chickpeas may benefit from a quick re-crisping before serving.
This recipe can be made in the oven or the microwave. I like and use both methods, but the oven method is my favorite. I think the oven is easier overall, because of the limited space of microwaves. It’s easier to pull out the baking sheet and jiggle and toss than it is to stop the microwave and manually move the chickpeas around every 5 minutes. I also like the visual effect of the browning that happens in the oven (which doesn’t matter as much as you might think, because the rich colors of the spices will make them look beautiful regardless). With that said, the microwave method is healthier since it eliminates the need for the olive oil. If using the microwave, use the rotating carousel for even drying.
There are 3 tricks for success with this recipe:
- Dry the chickpeas as much as possible.
- Use a minimal amount of oil - just enough to give the chickpeas a glimmering coat.
- Shake, rotate, and check progress often.
These Crispy Spiced Chickpeas make a great snack on their own, and taste great with or without beer or a cocktail. They also fit well within a selection of Mediterranean snacks/dips, such as hummus, baba ganoush, and falafel.
- 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas (rinsed and drained to equal 3 cups)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt (or kosher salt)
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- Optional: 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Rinse and drain chickpeas, and lay out to dry on a double thickness of paper towel. Lay another paper towel over the drying chickpeas, and roll and rub them gently to dry them as much as possible. Remove any loose skins that come off of the beans. In a small bowl, combine the salt, paprika, coriander, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne, if using.
- If you are using the oven: Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat the oven to 400F. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and toss with just enough extra virgin olive oil to coat lightly. Spread the chickpeas in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 30-40 minutes. Rotate, jiggle, and check for crispiness every 10 minutes at the beginning, and every 5 minutes toward the end of the cooking time. Once the chickpeas are crisp, place them in a mixing bowl. While they are hot, sprinkle the spices over them and stir to coat evenly.
- If you are using the microwave: On a double layer of paper towels, arrange half of the chickpeas in an even layer. Season with half of the seasoned salt mixture. Put the chickpeas on the paper towels in the microwave. Microwave on 80 percent power for 15-20 minutes altogether, stirring the chickpeas every 5 minutes. When the chickpeas feel firm to the touch, remove them from the microwave. Set aside to cool. Repeat with the remaining chickpeas, using fresh paper towels. Toss the 2 batches together and serve. The seasoned chickpeas can be made 2 days in advance and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.
- To recrisp, heat in a 350F oven for 5-10 minutes.
Once you get the hang of crisping the chickpeas, try experimenting with different spices in your spice cabinet. Some of my favorite additions or substitutions include chili powder, Ethiopian berbere or mitmita, Harissa, Ras el Hanout, or Caribbean or Jerk spice blends.