Chickpeas or Garbanzo beans are high in protein vegetables that people cultivate and consume for more than 7000 years already. It is extremely healthy and a key ingredient for many vegetarian dishes.
Unfortunately, chickpeas can cause allergies and you may look for a good substitute for chickpeas in this case. What can you substitute for chickpeas? So, the best options are beans, such as cannellini beans or soybeans and nuts, but I will also share some other healthy options, from lentils to cauliflower. I find tempeh, edamame, peas, nuts, and seeds to be a good chickpea substitute in salad.
Best chickpeas use
We all know chickpeas as the ingredient for hummus, but it also used in salads, soups and stews, curry and other dishes.
In general, we soak dried chickpeas before cooking. It is not a surprise, that animals, birds and pigs also eat chickpeas.
Chickpeas health benefits
As I said, chickpeas are really healthy and nutrient-rich – they contain a lot of protein, amino acids, dietary fiber, folate, and certain minerals, such as iron and phosphorus, but also zinc, magnesium, vitamin B6. etc.
However, they may be quite hard to digest and cause food allergy.
Best Substitute for chickpeas
- Lentils (red and green lentils)
- Cannellini beans
- Black beans
- Mung beans
- Nuts: peanuts, hazelnuts, cashew
- Sunflower seeds
- Great Northern Beans
- Lima beans
- Fava beans
1 – Lentils
I really love red lentil soup and lentils are actually quite healthy to eat, especially if you are vegetarian. They are high in protein, fiber, folate, iron, phosphorus, and potassium, but they are low in fat.
Lentils will fit even the elimination diet, and if you combine them with rice you will get the complete protein.
Compared to chickpeas lentils contain a bit more nutrients, but they don’t have the same texture and taste. Lentils can work in most recipes, for soups, salads, puree, and even hummus. If you want stronger earthy flavor, choose green lentils.
2 – Cannellini beans
Cannellini beans are a great substitute for chickpeas in dips, as they are meaty, savory, and healthy (lots of protein and fiber).
Cannellini beans are mostly used in minestrone soup and bean salads, but also can replace chickpeas in hummus and other dishes.
3 – Black beans
Black beans (also called turtle beans) have a very neutral taste and maybe one of the best substitutes for chickpeas in a meaty dish. They have similar nutrition profiles and consistency, but different flavors.
Black beans have fewer calories than chickpeas, but more protein and carbs. They can help you lose weight, but consuming too many beans can make you feel bloated.
Black beans are great for salads, soups and stews, dips, in burritos.
4 – Green Peas
Peas have a distinctive mild taste and nice texture, which makes them a nice substitute for Garbanzo beans. You can eat them raw or cooked, they are healthy and low in fat (perfect for diet).
Works best in soups, salads, side dishes as replacement for chickpeas.
5 – Soybeans
Soybeans are one of the major substitutes for a dish with chickpeas, like salads, soups, stews, or casserole. Soybeans also give us a whole range of different unfermented and fermented food that we use as chickpeas alternatives.
Soybeans are watery, high in protein, carbs, fiber and fat. They can cause allergy and some studies say soy affect cancer cells production.
6 – Mung beans
Mung beans differ most from chickpeas among beans – they are sweeter and crispier, and we eat their sprouts more often than beans.
Mung beans are higher in calories, protein and carbs than chickpeas, but contain fewer in fat.
You can add them to Thai food, curry, stir-fry dishes and soups.
7 – Nuts
Peanuts, hazelnuts, and cashew are great replacements for chickpeas. Hazelnuts are the best chickpeas substitutes in terms of appearance – they look quite similar, right? Peanuts are widely used to replace chickpeas in hummus.
Nuts are very healthy and rich in nutrients, but they cause allergies and may be more expensive as a substitute than chickpeas.
8 – Sunflower seeds
Sunflower seeds can be considered a superfood as they contain a lot of vitamins and minerals, but also positevely affect our cardiovascular system.
They pair well with chickpeas, and you can also omit chickpeas or replace them with seeds in dishes, especially in roasting, burgers, tacos, with veggies or in baking.
9 – Great Northern Beans
These white beans can replace chickpeas in soups, stews, and dips, even in hummus. Great Northern beans are firm, meaty, and have a nutty flavor.
They will work perfectly with any recipe including other beans or chickpeas, but if you compare them to chickpeas, the taste will differ.
10 – Lima beans
Lima beans have buttery flavor which make them an excellent alternative for chickpea. They are great ingredient for soups and stews, in fact lima beans are very good with chicken and beef.
Lima beans are also healthy and also rich in protein, fiber and minerals as other beans, they also contain vitamins of the B group.
11 – Edamame
Edamame is technically immature soybeans. Edamame makes perfect side dish when you just boil it and sprinkle with salt.
I highly recommend to simmer it on time over leftover fat from cooking meat – this will transfer the meaty taste to edamame.
Comparing to chickpeas, edamame has fewer fiber, but more protein, not only more protein, but edamame is the source of a complete protein – it has all amino acids we need.
12 – Fava beans
The best chickpeas substitute for falafel is Fava bean. Fava beans are one of the richest beans in terms of nutrients: fiber, protein, folate, manganese, copper, they also help you lose weight and positively affect cholesterol level and blood pressure.
Be careful, there are people with rare condition (Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency) who cannot eat fava beans in any dish, it can be lethal for them.
Fava beans will not only work for falafel, but also in salads, simply roasted, as a sandwich topping, with fish, pasta, in soups, and many other dishes.
13 – Tofu
Tofu is one of the best and most used alternatives for meat for vegetarians, but it can also easily replace chickpeas. There are a lot of cooking possibilities and tofu is pretty much universal.
Tofu is a healthy ingredient, as it contains all essential amino acids, some minerals and vitamin B1, and small amounts of fat and cholesterol – perfect if you are on a diet.
You can eat tofu as it is, baked, or in soups, stir-fries, pies, even desserts, etc. Tofu sometimes pair with chickpeas in recipes.
14 – Sourgum
Sourgum is basically a plant, providing us with gluten-free eathy tasted cereals. It is one of the greatest substitutes for beans and lentils, and for chickpeas too into recipes when whole beans and chickpeas are used. Sourgum will not work for mashed or blended recipes.
You can use sourgum-based kinds of pasta, bread, muffins, or eat just boiled sourgum. Sourgum is used in cakes, pilaf, salads, curry, and other recipes when you want to replace grains or beans with a gluten-free option.
15 – Cauliflower
Cauliflower can be a secret ingredient to mashed recipes, in chili, low carb hummus and many others – it is quite universal, healthy and the taste adds up with almost everything.
You can use cauliflower florets or make cauliflower rice. Roasted cauliflower can replace roasted chickpeas, cauliflower also works for soups, side dishes, with meat, curries, in baking, etc.
16 – Tempeh
Tempeh is another delicious replacement. It is made from whole soybeans and works great in a simply fried state, but you can also use tempeh for soups, salads, burgers, tacos, in general, any dish where you want to substitute meat or chickpeas.
Tempeh is healthier than tofu, it is a great vegetarian source of protein.
17 – Quinoa
Quinoa is a gluten-free, complete protein grain that can easily substitute chickpeas in some dishes, such as salads, chili, soups, and stews, porridge, buddha bowls – in general, in any vegetarian dish.
Quinoa flour is one of the best substitute for chickpeas flour. Quinoa contains similar amount of protein and fiber as chickpeas, and is also easy to cook.