Substitutes for Chickpeas

Chickpeas, with their nutty taste and grainy texture, are a versatile ingredient used in a variety of dishes. If you’re looking for substitutes that can match or complement their characteristics, here are some excellent alternatives catering to different needs.

Best: Cannellini Beans

Cannellini beans are an excellent substitute for chickpeas due to their similar texture and mild, nutty flavour. They work well in most recipes that call for chickpeas, including salads, stews, and purees.

How to Use

Cannellini beans can be used in the same way as chickpeas. They can be added whole to salads and stews or mashed and used in recipes like hummus or veggie burgers.

Cheapest: Green Peas

Green peas are an economical and easily accessible substitute for chickpeas. While smaller and slightly sweeter, they can provide a similar texture and a pleasant, mildly earthy flavour to dishes.

How to Use

Use green peas in dishes where the size and texture of chickpeas are not critical. They work well in soups, curries, and mashed as a base for spreads or dips.

Tastiest: Black Beans

Black beans are a tasty alternative to chickpeas, offering a slightly sweeter and creamier profile. They are particularly well-suited to Latin American and Caribbean cuisines, making them a delicious substitute in various recipes.

How to Use

Use black beans as a direct substitute for chickpeas in recipes like soups, stews, and salads. They are also excellent in mashed form for dips or as a filling for burritos and tacos.

Most Accessible: Lentils

Lentils, available in most supermarkets, are a great alternative to chickpeas. They cook faster than chickpeas and offer a similar earthy flavour, though their texture is softer and less grainy.

How to Use

Lentils can be used in place of chickpeas in soups, stews, and salads. They are particularly effective in recipes where chickpeas are mashed or pureed, such as in dips or spreads.

Most Unusual: Edamame

Edamame (young soybeans) offers an unusual but effective substitute for chickpeas. They have a unique, slightly sweet and nutty flavour, and a firmer texture, adding a distinctive twist to traditional chickpea recipes.

How to Use

Use shelled edamame in salads, stir-fries, or as a snack on their own. They can also be mashed and used in recipes like dips or spreads, offering a unique flavour and colour.