Air fried chickpeas not only make a great healthy snack, but they are perfect as a soup or salad topper. I love chickpeas, and that’s why I recently made cream of chickpea soup and topped it with air-fried chickpeas.
In fact, I used to roast chickpeas in the oven often, but using an air fryer is so easy, I now prefer air frying chickpeas over roasting in the oven. And, who doesn’t prefer a quick and easy way to cook? I do for sure.
CHICKPEA NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: WHY I LOVE CHICKPEAS
According to Healthline, chickpeas have an impressive nutrition profile.
They contain a moderate amount of calories, providing 46 calories per 1-ounce (28-gram) serving. Approximately 67% of those calories are from carbs, while the rest comes from protein and a small amount of fat (1).
Chickpeas also provide a variety of vitamins and minerals, as well as a decent amount of fiber and protein.
A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving provides the following nutrients (1):
- Calories: 46
- Carbs: 8 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Protein: 3 grams
- Folate: 12% of the RDI
- Iron: 4% of the RDI
- Phosphorus: 5% of the RDI
- Copper: 5% of the RDI
- Manganese: 14% of the RDI
As part of the legume family, chickpeas are high in fiber and protein and low in fat and calories. Did you know you can get your daily allowance of fiber eating 2 cups of chickpeas? Since they are quite inexpensive and can be added into recipes easily, I think chickpeas are phenomenal. Unlike other legumes, chickpeas tend to be less aggressive in terms of digestion when compared to lentils or other beans.
CANNED VS. DRIED CHICKPEAS; WHICH IS BETTER FOR WHAT RECIPE?
Although many people prefer the canned version of chickpeas, the dry version has its benefits as well as drawbacks. For instance, here is my take on time, texture, and the taste of canned and dried chickpeas:
- More economical
- Natural flavor more intense
- Are not soaked in preservatives
- Works best for Air Fried Falafel
- Extra chickpeas can be frozen after prepared
- Takes a long time to soak
- Lengthly time to prepare
- Not ideal for quick use
- Does not work well with hummus, spreads, or blending
- Has outer shells that need removing
- Quick and easy to use
- Aquafaba (fluid in the can) can be used for other recipes
- Does not have an outer shell requiring removal
- Great for hummus, spreads, soups
- Packed in preservatives
- Softer in texture
- Tastes saltier and less flavorful
The bottom line, however, is both canned and dried chickpeas have their benefits in terms of cooking. For this air fried chickpea recipe, for instance, I chose canned chickpeas.
But, if I was making my Air Fried Falafel recipe, I would definitely use dried chickpeas!
HOW TO AIR FRY CHICKPEAS: SIMPLE, QUICK, AND YUMMY!
First, you don’t need to use oil! The purpose of an air fryer is to fry without oil, so don’t add oil. The aquafaba, the fluid inside the can of chickpeas, provides a sticky surface so the seasoning will stick. With that being said DO NOT RINSE the chickpeas. Instead, simply drain the can, leaving the aquafaba residue on the chickpeas.
As a result, any seasoning combination you choose will stick to the chickpeas and air fry perfectly! In order to make this air fried chickpea recipe, I chose a combination of spices I love, but free to use any seasonings for whatever recipe you wish to compliment.
MY SPICE COMBINATION FOR AIR FRIED CHICKPEAS
- Smoke paprika
- Garlic powder
- Sea salt
OTHER SPICE COMBINATIONS I LIKE:
- Garlic powder, dill, and lemon
- Cayenne, seas salt and garlic powder
- Jamaican jerk seasoning
- Lemon pepper
- Trader Joe’s Everything Seasoning
Once the chickpeas are drained and seasoned, air frying is simple. The one thing I love about air frying chickpeas is it can be done in one cooking session. When I air fry, I always like to cook a single layer of whatever food I am cooking. A single can of chickpeas, for example, is one single layer!
GREAT RECIPES FOR AIR FRIED CHICKPEAS
Air fried chickpeas, although a wonderful snack, are also great to add to other recipes. For example, I like adding air-fried chickpeas to my cream of chickpea soup recipe.
Another great way to serve air-fried chickpeas is on Vegan Layered Greek Dip!
Or, I love air-fried chickpeas on top of a Vegan Stuffed Sweet Potato!
Regardless of how to use chickpeas, air-frying gives them an added crunch and absorbs your favorite spices!