Crunchy Chickpeas

Crunchy Chickpeas

In the region around Corum in Turkey, young and old alike munch a curiously crunchable concoction called leblebi and the recipe is slighly time-consuming. Luckily there is a faster and easier way to make.


  • 2 15 ounce can chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Drain the chickpeas in a colander and rinse well. Dry the chickpeas with a few whirls in a salad spinner. Remove the chickpeas from the salad spinner onto a paper towel lined half sheet pan. Top with another layer of paper towels and roll, pat to dry further.
  2. Remove the paper towels from the sheet pan and toss the chickpeas with the olive oil and salt. Put the chickpeas in the oven and set the oven to 350 degrees F, bake the chickpeas for 30 minutes.
  3. Turn off the oven and leave the chickpeas to dry and crispy, approximately 1 hour.
  4. Cool completely before storing.

I like to toss the still warm chickpeas with 1 teaspoon sumac and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper.


Add yours
  1. 1

    About as appetizing as eating the unpopped kernels at the bottom of a bag of microwave popping corn, or at least, that’s how I’d describe my first attempt following this recipe.

    Having read the above, I think my next attempt (if there is one) would be to soak longer than just overnight or use the canned variety. Additionally, the red wine vinegar just didn’t impart enough vinegariness (?) to the beans, so I think I’d try malt-vinegar instead. Perhaps reducing the cooking time might make a difference as well; check the consistency at the half-hour mark, and if they’re not crunchy enough, let ’em roast a bit longer.

  2. 2
    John Q

    So i recently saw a test kitchen episode (wife watches them all the time) and they did a test with Chris of dried vs canned beans and the canned beans won out. Turns out the dried beans are almost always too old, lost too much moisture content on the shelf/storage and are inconsistent compared to the technology used for canned beans. This may be the problem many folks here are having. I’ve always roasted the canned garbanzos (chick peas) with an olive oil and seasoning of my own (just made something up, usually came out pretty good).

    I’m trying this one out and trying to get it how i like it with those but thought i’d comment on the dried beans and the problem many are having with them that it could be a quality issue. Cheers! John Q.

  3. 3

    I just made these. I let them soak probably too long (two nights and one day), but I just baked them as directed for 65 minutes, stirring every 20 mins, and dosed them liberally with salt and a few extra shakes of vinegar while they cooled. Unlike many people, only a few of mine are truly crunchy. Most of them are simply roasted. However, they’re still a great salty snack and they have a true vinegar flavor (whether due to the extra shakes or the long soak, I don’t know). I’ve already eaten a few, but I might put the rest in the oven for a long time on low heat… Maybe that will dry them to the optimal crunch point.

  4. 4

    60-65 minutes could be way too long at 400 degrees. I just made them for the first time and cracked a tooth. Next time I will start testing them at 35 minutes. I wasn’t sure what to expect because I never made them before. Chickpeas were from the bulk aisle at Whole Foods. I ate a few dozen and I was a little concerned about the hardness, not overly concerned, just a little. Then the tooth cracked. If you think they might be too hard, they probably are. I am boiling mine now to see if I can salvage something from the beans.

  5. 5
    Mad Maxine

    Holy moly! Some of those little buggers hopped right out of the pan! That was exciting. I’m not sure what’s worse: the vinegar cloud emanating from the oven, or the fear of getting hit in the eye with a flying, hot chickpea (Note: bacon screens make a good face shield).

    I used dried chickpeas and soaked them for close to 24 hours–in part because of reports that they were too hard after 8 hours, but also because that’s just how life worked out this weekend. I did not notice any kind of skin on the peas (Azure Farms brand). I had to use balsamic/apple cider vinegar mix and regular mustard powder (it was what I had).

    The chickpeas near the corners/edges of the pan got dark too fast after the second 15 minutes on the middle rack. I turned the oven down to 350 and stirred every 5 minutes. I used a full size cookie sheet and they were pretty evenly distributed in a single layer. They go from a little chewy to nearly burnt and crunchy and it doesn’t take much time for that shift. To keep them from getting charred, I piled them together in the middle of the pan, stacked a little deeper.

    I ended up pulling them out after about 45 minutes and stirring them, then turning the oven off and putting them back in while the oven cooled to toast the last of the moisture out of them. Maybe a smaller pan would work better? Maybe lower a lower rack in the oven? Maybe a different oven altogether?

    Results were interesting. There is probably a trick to this I haven’t mastered. I suspect that involves pulling them at just the right moment. Regardless, uneven toasting made the texture and flavor inconsistent. The dark ones were pleasantly crunchy but they taste burnt. The not-quite-so-dark ones were kind of chewy and pulpy with an odd, dry outer layer, but they did improve a bit as they cooled. Ultimately, I would consider them edible, but my dad used to say that everything is edible once.

    I’ll call this an 80% fail, and it’s probably due to my deviation from the recipe and something about my oven–I seem to have similar problems every time I toast things like granola. Thank goodness the stove will at least bake cookies properly. It’d be a shame if I had to take a sledge hammer to the thing.

    One thing in the recipe that could use clarification: it says to put the peas back in the mixing bowl. I had quite a bit of leftover liquid in there from the dressing. Should I fluff them around in the liquid then cool them on the cookie sheet? Because that seems counterproductive, so I did not do that. I’m also assuming that minimal liquid was to be put in the cookie sheet with the chickpeas when they were initially laid out, which is how I did it. So maybe more detail about what rack to use, how the peas should be laid out in the pan, etc. might be useful.

  6. 6
    Pat Beemer

    I suspect the problem many of you are having with the texture is do to the age of the Garbanzos you’re using. The fresher the dried bean, the better. I’m guessing AB uses only the freshest beans… I just made some and they were just a little crunchy, which is what you’re going for here.

  7. 7

    I soaked mine for a full 24 hours after reading all the comments here. I tested to make sure they were tender before roasting and they were. I prepared them as the recipe states and they turned out kind of mixed. The ones around the edges of the cookie sheet were very dark brown and teeth breakingly crunchy. The ones that were just lightly browned tended to be the easiest ones to eat. Seems like a combination of soaking time and roasting time and temp is the key maybe. As far as taste goes, I really couldn’t taste the vinegar. Sorry, but I don’t think I’ll make these again. If I do, I’d adjust the baking time or maybe the temp. Maybe use a different vinegar.

  8. 9

    Be warned, when you open the oven door to stir the chickpeas, stand back, or you’ll get your eyes full of vinegar steam. (worth it, but….!!!)

  9. 10

    Having rehydrated chickpeas about a million times, I don’t think a cold water soak overnight is going to make them tender enough to eat after an hour of baking time. I’ve had instances where I boiled the water, added the chickpeas and let cool, then soaked overnight and then boiled for 30 minutes and they were still hard in the middle.

    Of course, I think of overnight as around when I go to bed until late the next morning, 8-10 hours. Maybe other’s definition of overnight is a little longer than that.

    • 11

      I think the vinegar helps to tenderize them, Tom. I think they are going to turn out just right. I’ve had a tough time getting canned chickpeas to roast nicely because of the higher water content.

      • 12

        I was wrong. Maybe they didn’t soak long enough or needed a bit of boiling first. I think all the vinegar evaporated during cooking, I can’t taste it at all. Needs lots more salt. And they are over-crunchy. Awwww AB…. =(

  10. 14

    Tried these today. Soaked overnight, just like recipe said. However, they are much too crunchy. Scared that I’ll break teeth. I think I might parboil them before soaking next time? Full of fiber and protein – a great snack. Way more than four servings as someone said above. I wouldn’t sit down and eat 1/4 lb. at a time…

  11. 15

    I would assume with AB’s obsession with detail, er I mean, careful attention to detail that if Chick peas needed peeling that would have been a part of the recipe. Possibly along with a clever/ power tool method of doing so. 🙂 If the skins bother you take them off if not, leave then on.

    • 24

      It’d be much the same. Try removing the mustard and add standard dill pickle seasonings: fresh dill, garlic, salt, some kind of chili if you like a kick.

      I would highly recommend making the dressing when you start the soak. It takes a while for the vinaigrette to properly absorb the flavors 😉

  12. 27

    eileen: When they bake in the oven, that should be sufficient to cook them. Usually one rehydrates beans like Chickpeas either in cold water overnight, or, if necessary, boiling water for 2 minutes or so, if that’s what you’re thinking of.

  13. 29

    I’ve done these with cajun seasoning, and I took a can of chickpeas and drained them, and dried them with a paper towel. Sprayed with oil, and tossed in seasoning. Baked similarly. I never purposely removed the skin, but during the drying process if they came off I didn’t try to put them back on. They turned out great, and I don’t remember the skin being an issue. During the baking process they will most like come off, and crumble away as they dry out. I am beyond excited to try this variation. I will work on this tonight to bake tomorrow!

    • 30

      With the canned chickpeas, did you rinse them after you drained them? I’ve always found that there is a residue with canned chickpeas that I will leave in when making hummus, but not sure I want it for this recipe.

  14. 31

    Yes the dried check peas will have the skin but there is no mention if you remove them. I’m curious if you have to or not as shelling them is time consuming.

  15. 32

    They are the skins. If you rub the canned beans with paper towels or a clean lint-free cloth, they will rub off. I’ve not made crunchy chickpeas with dried ones yet to know whether the skins are an issue.

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