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What dip can be made from chickpeas?

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are incredibly versatile legumes that can be used to make a variety of dips and spreads. Some of the most popular dips made from chickpeas include hummus, baba ganoush, and chickpea salad sandwiches.

Hummus

Hummus is a creamy, thick spread or dip made from pureed chickpeas, tahini (ground sesame seeds), olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. It’s commonly served as a dip with pita bread or fresh vegetables. Hummus is popular throughout the Middle East, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern cuisine. It’s rich, smooth texture along with its slight nutty flavor from the tahini makes it a tasty and filling snack or appetizer.

The main ingredient in hummus is chickpeas. Chickpeas are loaded with fiber, protein, complex carbohydrates, and key vitamins and minerals like iron, phosphorus, and folate. They give hummus its signature thick, creamy texture once pureed. Tahini is also added to hummus which provides even more protein and healthy fats.

Here is a basic recipe for homemade hummus:

Ingredients:

  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2-3 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of ground cumin (optional)
  • 2-3 tablespoons water

Instructions:

  1. In a food processor, combine the drained and rinsed chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and cumin (if using). Process until a smooth paste forms, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed.
  2. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in 2-3 tablespoons of water until the hummus reaches the desired consistency. It should be very smooth and creamy.
  3. Transfer the hummus to a serving bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of paprika. Serve immediately with warm pita bread, crackers, or fresh cut vegetables.

This basic hummus recipe can also be customized in endless ways by adding different seasonings and mix-ins. Some popular hummus variations include:

  • Red pepper hummus – with roasted red peppers
  • Sun-dried tomato hummus
  • Pesto hummus
  • Kalamata olive hummus
  • Spicy chipotle hummus

Baba Ganoush

Baba ganoush is another Middle Eastern dip made from chickpeas, but unlike hummus, the main ingredient is roasted eggplants instead of raw chickpeas. Baba ganoush has a rich, smoky flavor and creamy texture like hummus.

In addition to eggplant, baba ganoush is made using tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and seasonings. The eggplant is either roasted or grilled until very soft and then mixed with the other ingredients to form a dip. The chickpeas are usually blended in raw to add more texture and protein.

Here is a basic recipe for baba ganoush:

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of paprika for serving
  • Chopped parsley for serving

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Poke holes all over the eggplant with a fork and place on a baking sheet. Roast for 40-50 minutes, until very soft.
  2. Once roasted, let the eggplant cool slightly. Slice it in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh into a food processor. Discard the skin.
  3. Add the tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, chickpeas and salt to the food processor. Puree until smooth and creamy.
  4. Transfer the baba ganoush to a serving bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with paprika and chopped parsley.
  5. Serve immediately with warm pita bread, crackers or fresh vegetables.

Like hummus, baba ganoush can also be customized in many ways by using different seasonings, herbs, etc. It makes a tasty, lighter alternative to hummus without the sesame flavor.

Chickpea Salad Sandwich Filling

Chickpeas can also be used to make vegetarian chickpea “tuna” salad sandwiches. By combining chickpeas with mayonnaise, celery, onions, and seasoning, you can create a tasty sandwich filling that has the look and texture of tuna salad made from canned tuna.

Chickpea salad sandwiches are an easy way to enjoy chickpeas, and they provide a healthy vegetarian lunch or snack option full of plant-based protein. The mayonnaise binds the ingredients together and adds creaminess, while the vegetables add crunch and fresh flavor.

Here is a basic chickpea salad sandwich recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise or vegan mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • Bread, lettuce leaves, tomato slices for serving

Instructions:

  1. In a medium bowl, mash the chickpeas with a fork or potato masher until broken down but still chunky.
  2. Add the mayonnaise, celery, onion, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir until evenly combined.
  3. Serve chickpea salad sandwiches on bread, lettuce leaves or crackers. Top with extra vegetables like lettuce, tomato, avocado, sprouts, etc.
  4. Store leftover chickpea salad in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

This easy chickpea salad recipe can be customized by using different seasonings like curry powder, cumin or chili powder. You can also swap out the celery for different chopped vegetables like bell pepper, radish or carrot.

Chickpea Dip Variations

In addition to the classic dips above, there are endless possibilities for making delicious dips and spreads from chickpeas. Some other options include:

Roasted Red Pepper Chickpea Dip

Blend chickpeas with roasted red peppers, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and tahini. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Chickpea Artichoke Spinach Dip

Puree chickpeas, artichoke hearts, spinach, Parmesan, mayonnaise, and garlic. Bake until heated through and top with more Parmesan.

Chickpea Feta Dip

Mix together chickpeas, feta cheese, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, dill, and garlic. Garnish with olive oil and crushed red pepper.

Buffalo Chickpea Dip

Stir together chickpeas, hot sauce, ranch dressing, blue cheese crumbles, and celery. Bake until heated through. Top with more celery.

Chocolate Hazelnut Chickpea Dip

Blend together chickpeas, hazelnut butter, cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt. Garnish with chocolate shavings.

Nutrition Benefits of Chickpea Dips

Any dip or spread made with chickpeas as the main ingredient will be highly nutritious. Here are some of the key nutrients found in chickpeas that make chickpea dips so good for you:

Protein

Chickpeas contain a whopping 15 grams of protein per 1 cooked cup. The protein in chickpeas contains all 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.

Fiber

1 cup of chickpeas contains 12.5 grams of fiber, nearly half of the recommended daily intake. Fiber promotes healthy digestion and helps lower cholesterol levels.

Iron

Chickpeas provide 3 milligrams of iron per cup. Iron carries oxygen to the body’s tissues and helps prevent anemia.

Folate

A 1 cup serving of chickpeas contains 282 micrograms of folate, or 71% of the daily recommended intake. Folate is key for pregnant women as it helps prevent neurological birth defects.

By using chickpeas as a base for dips and spreads, you can make a tasty snack or appetizer that also packs a nutritional punch.

Serving Tips and Pairings

Chickpea dips and spreads can be used:

  • As a dip for raw, fresh vegetables like carrots, celery, cucumber, radish, bell pepper strips, etc.
  • Served with baked pita chips or crackers
  • Spread on sandwiches instead of mayonnaise
  • Dolloped on top of salads
  • Served as a side to grilled meats like chicken, fish, or steak
  • As a topping for baked potatoes or sweet potatoes
  • Stuffed into pitas along with shredded lettuce and vegetables

Some delicious flavor combinations to pair with chickpea dips include:

  • Fresh herbs – parsley, mint, cilantro, chives
  • Lemon
  • Garlic
  • Smoked paprika
  • Olives
  • Pine nuts
  • Roasted red peppers
  • Harissa
  • Za’atar

Storing and Freezing

Chickpea dips can be stored for 4-5 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. The surface may darken due to oxidation but this does not affect the flavor.

To freeze, place the dip in freezer-safe containers leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before using.

The chickpeas may become slightly softer once thawed but the dip can still be enjoyed.

Hummus and baba ganoush freeze particularly well. Simply thaw, stir, and adjust consistency as needed by blending in a splash of water or oil.

Conclusion

Chickpeas are an incredibly versatile legume that can be transformed into a variety offlavorful dips and spreads like hummus, baba ganoush, and chickpea salad. These dishes all provide a healthy dose of plant-based protein, fiber, and essential nutrients. Chickpea dips make the perfect party appetizer, weekday snack, or sandwich spread.

Experiment with different herb and flavor combinations, and try serving chickpea dips with an assortment of fresh vegetables, pita chips, crackers, or crusty bread. Their smooth, creamy texture and adaptability to endless variations make chickpea dips a tasty way to incorporate more plant protein and nutrients into your diet.