Chili Lime Roasted Chickpeas are Packed Full of Flavor
I’m just going to go ahead and call it…there is practically nothing a chickpea can’t do. Delicious snack? Check. Appetizer foundation? Check. Vegan whipped cream? Check. Delicate meringue? You bet. From the aquafaba magic to the delicious legumes themselves, I just can’t get enough of them. Many of us were introduced to chickpeas in the form of hummus, which is a great first impression. But, hummus should just serve as a launch pad to explore lots of chickpea creations. One of my favorite options is roasting them in the oven for about half an hour, playing with a variety of spice combinations, and enjoying throughout the day. Which is why I am excited to share this flavorful chili lime roasted chickpeas recipe!
Why you'll love this chickpea hummus recipe...
And, just in case you’re wondering why you’ll love these roasted chickpeas, here’s a quick list:
- Incorporates fresh herbs
- Is ready in 30 minutes
- Plant-based protein source
- Refreshing flavors with a kick
The universal appeal of the chickpea
As a versatile legume, chickpeas certainly enjoy global popularity. Hummus is a delicious dish from the eastern Mediterranean whose main ingredient is…chickpeas. Just add some garlic, tahini, lemon juice, paprika, and salt in a food processor for a traditional hummus recipe.
In Italy, chickpea flour is popular for flatbreads and India highlights the prominence of chickpeas with a variety of uses, including recipes that boil, roast, sprout, fried, and ground into flour. It makes sense, when you think about it. A legume that has been harvested for more than 9,000 years is bound to become a prominent part of the culinary landscape.
Canned chickpeas: I used canned chickpeas for this recipe, primarily for ease. Drain and rinse these in a colander and either allow to air dry, or pat dry before using. If you have chickpeas on hand that are not canned, soak them in cold water for about 8-12 hours (essentially, overnight) before using. Soaking chickpeas softens their outer layer, also known as a cotyledon cell walls, allowing them to cook more efficiently. Roasting is particularly effective for a crisply-textured snack. The roasted chickpeas experience high temperatures in the oven, which help break down the cell walls – and as the moisture evaporates, they develop a crisp texture instead of a hard one.
Add a little heat
Organic Chili Seasoning Blend: The chili seasoning offers a subtle heat and a little umami flavor that is perfect for the foundation of the roasted chickpea flavor profile. It incorporates several flavors in one spice jar, which also makes this an efficient – and tasty – choice. You are welcome to substitute with chili powder.
Red pepper flakes: This is an optional ingredient, depending upon the amount of heat you want in the dish. I keep the ratio of red pepper flakes low in this recipe, so the heat is mild, but just enough to make its presence known.
Balance with refreshing flavor
Fresh cilantro: Our goal is to balance the smoky-spice flavor from the chili powder and the heat from red pepper flakes. Cilantro is a classic, but you can make this optional (or try with parsley) if you just can’t stand the cilantro flavor. Chop the cilantro finely.
Lime zest and juice: To make sure they don’t get soggy with too much juice, I only use the juice from 1/2 a lime, but the zest from a full lime – to max out on the lime flavor.
Can't forget the basics
Extra virgin olive oil: I prefer this as a neutral-flavored oil. The smoke point of EVOO is 405-410ºF, so we stay just below the smoke point in this recipe.
Coarse sea salt: The flaky coarseness of the sea salt is the great with the crispy texture of the chickpeas.
Chili Lime Roasted Chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice from half a lime
- zest 1 lime
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon chili seasoning blend can substitute with chili powder
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- 1 15.5 ounces can of chickpeas rinsed, drained, and patted dry
- Preheat oven too 400ºF.
- In a medium bowl, combine chickpeas, extra virgin olive oil, salt, chili seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Stir thoroughly to evenly coat the chickpeas. Tip: I add the spices in small amounts, as I stir the chickpeas to help ensure each chickpea gets coated.
- Pour onto a baking sheet and spread the chickpeas out so they aren't clumped together, preventing them from steaming. Sprinkle with a little more coarse sea salt, if desired.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through to allow a little more even cooking. The chickpeas are done and ready to remove from the oven when they start to develop a crispy texture and areas of darker brown spots on the legumes themselves. Remove from oven.
- In the same bowl used earlier, add lime juice, lime zest, and cilantro. Add the roasted chickpeas to the bowl and stir to combine. After ingredients are combined, pour back onto the baking sheet and allow to cool. Enjoy on their own, or in a salad or grain bowl!
If you soak your chickpeas overnight – and live in an area that has hard water – add a little pinch of baking soda to help speed up the process.
Quick tips to make these chickpeas extra flavorful and crispy
Keep it simple
Roast on high heat – preferably 400ºF – to get that crispy texture on the exterior of the chickpea. We don’t want to go too high to avoid surpassing the smoke point of extra virgin olive oil.
Simple is best. Don’t overdo it with the olive oil, even though it will be tempting! Just stir the chickpeas thoroughly to make sure they are coated with what oil you do have. If you add too much olive oil, the chickpeas will end up getting a little more mushy than crispy.
Make it your own
Feel free to make adjustments to the recipe to suit your palate – a few more herbs or a different spice – to have some fun. You are also welcome to sprinkle a little extra coarse sea salt over the chickpeas before putting them in the oven, to take advantage of the chickpeas resting on a flat surface…and increasing the odds the chickpeas will catch a sea salt flake! 😉
Now, the chickpeas will continue roasting for a few minutes after you remove them from the oven. I let them sit for a few minutes before adding the cilantro and lime zest/juice in order maximize their moisture evaporation and encourage a crispy exterior. While still warm enough to absorb the cilantro and lime flavors, I toss them in a bowl with the zest, juice, and cilantro to coat well and then return them to the warm pan to continue cooling. I prefer for them to cool on a flat surface as opposed to a bowl, where some might fall to the bottom and get steamed or soggy while cooling.
Ideas to showcase your chili lime chickpeas
Roasted chickpeas are a wonderful addition to your menu rotation for a variety of reasons. One, in particular, is the fact these can be enjoyed on their own or as a compliment to other dishes. Here are a few ideas:
- Copycat Chipotle Salad Bowl
- Sweet potato filling with a little tahini dressing
- Added to greens of your choice to create a simple salad with a crunch
- Serve as an appetizer in small cups, like those from Sophistiplate
- Used as a meat replacement in a tortilla or hard taco shell with your favorite fillings (lettuce, hummus, guacamole, etc.)
I can’t wait to hear what you think of this easy roasted chickpea dish, so be sure to tag me on Instagram to show off your batch! Until next time friends, cheers to your hearth, health, and happiness!