Canned Chickpeas Are My Go-To Budget-Friendly Pantry Staple

It all started as a "happy accident!"

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January 04, 2023

Photo by: Getty Images/Arx0nt

Getty Images/Arx0nt

A can of chickpeas, a splash of extra-virgin olive oil, crumbled feta cheese and a sliced green cubanelle pepper: For the last three months, my lunch has consisted of nothing more than those four ingredients. Though simple, this delicious combination has quickly become my signature recipe. It’s pretty surprising, if you consider the fact that I rarely ate chickpeas a year ago!

My love for chickpeas was pretty accidental. It all started when I received several cans of them by mistake in an online grocery delivery. Five cans to be exact. At first, I panicked. I didn’t know what to do with one can of them, let alone five (!!!) Then, I remembered these wise words from my baba (grandma, in Croatian): "Everything tastes better with a little olive oil." Turns out, baba was right. A little dash of extra-virgin olive oil — that’s all it took for me to become a chickpea superfan.

I eat chickpeas at least twice a week now. The delicious combination of the ingredients mentioned above is one that keeps my appetite adequately satisfied during long days filled with Zoom calls, commuting and after-work errands.

Chickpeas are also extremely budget-friendly; in fact, most canned versions cost around $1.49. I usually spread the contents of one can of chickpeas over the course of two days; I take half for lunch one day, and store the other half in a tupperware container or paper cup to use again the following day. I also like the convenience and ease of eating and preparing chickpeas in this way — opening the can, slicing the cubanelle pepper and tossing them both with the feta cheese and the olive oil takes no more than 5 to 10 minutes tops! To shave off even more prep time, you can even cut up the pepper the night before.

If you’re worried about forgetting about the remaining chickpeas, dried versions of the beans also exist. A co-worker of mine swears by Rancho Gordo's dried version (see above), and brands like Goya and Target’s Good & Gather are pretty widely available in stores and online. If you prefer to prepare your chickpeas in this way, just be sure to soak the dried beans before cooking them.

Have you caught the chickpea bug yet?!

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