Protein-packed breadcrumbs that are grain-free, gluten-free, and super crunchy – not to mention healthy! Chickpea crumbs are easy to make, and so much cheaper than buying them at the store. Sold? I thought so.
Do you want to hear something weird? Of course you do. I don’t really like chickpeas. Wait, let me clarify. I don’t like chickpeas in their original state. Straight out of the can, they’re boring and dry and kinda mealy. Not my thing. BUT, they redeem themselves by being the workhorse of my pantry, serving as the secret magical ingredient in so many tasty dishes. I mean, hummus, obviously. Falafel. Peanut Butter Cups. Vegan Tikka Masala. Veggie Burgers. Even onion rings.
So while I may not love them in their natural state, chickpeas are fast becoming the most versatile ingredient I know of, and these chickpea crumbs are no exception. These babies are SUPER CRUNCHY, they don’t get soggy, they bake up super quick in the oven, and they are the perfect coating for anything that benefits from crispy outerwear. Let’s make em’!
how to make chickpea crumbs
step 1) Drain two cans of chickpeas and pulse in a food processor
I know what you’re thinking right now. That is chickpea paste, Beth. That is not chickpea crumbs. What do you take me for?
This is one of those times when I’m just going to need you to trust me. You’re going to end up with chickpea crumbs in the end, I promise. But until that moment, you’re going to be super suspicious. You’re not going to believe that this is going to work out. But you must. Because it will. Ok? Ok. Glad we got that out of the way.
Step 2 ) spread out pulsed chickpeas on a baking sheet
Listen, I know those big clumps of smooshed chickpeas look nothing like crumbs. Remember what we talked about? Have a little faith.
Step 3) Bake pulsed chickpeas in a 350F oven for 15 minutes.
It gets worse before it gets better. After the chickpeas have been roasted, they basically look like less wet clumps. But then, you pulse them in the food processor again (which you don’t have to clean out during this process, by the way), and then they magically look like crumbs all of a sudden. P.S. If you are going to season the chickpea crumbs to use in a recipe (like onion rings, for example), this is the best time to add the seasonings.
Step 4) Pulse chickpeas in a food processor again and bake for 15 minutes.
Step 5) Turn off the oven and allow the chickpea crumbs to finish drying as the oven cools down.
And that’s all there is to it! Seriously. Now you have crispy, crunchy chickpea crumbs that are poised and ready to enrobe something edible. Like these onion rings, for example.
VIDEO: DIY Chickpea Crumbs
Ok, so now you know how to make chickpea crumbs, so I look forward to hearing how you use them! I’ll be giving you many more ideas in the days to come, but so far I can tell you that they work beautifully to crunchify cauliflower. Get excited about that. 🙂
Now go forth and make chickpea crumbs! And then come back here and tell me how it went. Apparently I’m Miss Bossypants today. But it’s for your own good. Spoken like the mom that I am.
P.S. If you are not a DIY person, you can totally buy chickpea crumbs at the store, or on Amazon. There’s only one problem. They are not cheap. For the price of one package, you can buy enough chickpeas to make 3 times that amount. But I know time is money. Basically, just know you have options. 🙂
- 2 15 oz. cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained* - about 3.5 cups
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Drain the chickpeas, reserving the liquid (aquafabto use for the breading process.
- **Add the chickpeas to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the s-blade.
- Process the chickpeas into large pieces, being careful not to puree.
- Add the pulsed chickpeas to a baking sheet, and spread out with a spatula into an even layer. The chickpeas will be clumped together at this point.
- Roast the chickpeas in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Remove chickpeas from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Transfer the chickpeas back into the food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. If seasoning the crumbs for a recipe, add the seasonings at this point.
- Add the chickpea crumbs back to the baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes longer.
- After 15 minutes, turn off the oven and leave the baking sheet in the oven to completely dry out the chickpea crumbs.
- Check the chickpea crumbs after 30 minutes. They should be dry throughout. If not, return to the oven for an additional 30 minutes to let the residual heat complete the drying process.
- Store the chickpea crumbs in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to use (if not using right away).
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Looks simple enough!
How long can you store the crumbs for future use? And if they can be stored, should they be kept in the fridge?
Hey Rob! It’s very simple indeed, and works great! I haven’t ever had any around long enough to store too long at room temp, but because there’s always the change of a tiny bit of moisture being trapped inside, I typically keep them in the fridge until I’m ready to use them. They’d be safe in the fridge for at least a week, and in the freezer for 3-6 months minimum.
Jenn Stevens says
Love your videos Beth! Jenn
Thanks for sharing your recipe! I made them and they turned out great!
You’re so welcome! So glad they turned out so well for you! <3
A fan says
I made these and they’re awesome! Love how crispy they are, and they don’t get soggy!
Now that I am making aquafaba mayo, I will have a use for all those chickpeas that are left after I drain the liquid. These are fantastic. This is genius.. Thanks!!
I haven’t used chickpea crumbs before, but what a great idea! Now to save even more money… why are you buying your chickpeas in cans (with all that added salt too)? 1 cup of dry chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) makes the equivalent of 2 cans of chickpeas. In the Instant Pot, you have the option to cook them with or without a presoak. I cook 2 or 3 cups of dry beans at a time and freeze them. Then when I want 2 cans of chickpeas to make these chickpea crumbs, all I have to do is pull out 2 containers from my freezer, run them under some hot water or defrost in the microwave.
Jane Diane Ricciardi says
Jane Diane Ricciardi says
Hi, Beth! Thanks for making the great video and providing the recipe. I like your style, Lady! Can you tell me what the yield is on this recipe?
Rosamonde Simone @ KetoBotyToneAvis says
Your recipe of chickpea-crumb is looking so crunchy and tasty. I will try it. Thank you
Hi – I dont bread much. Have you used these as the ‘bread crumbs’ in vegan meatballs or patties and how did it work out?
(Most recipes call for bread or panko, which I don’t have access to).
I have! I’m still experimenting to make the best recommendations, but in general these chickpea crumbs work very well as sub for breadcrumbs. The thing I’ve noticed is that they tend to be extra crunchy, which when being used to absorb moisture and serve as a binder can sometimes lead to a dry or crunchy result when crunch isn’t intended. But they are still absolutely worth trying as a substitute just as they are. I’m looking forward to sharing more uses for them very soon!
Thanks – can’t wait! So glad I found your site.
Speaking of crunch – I’ve been experimenting with healthy oil free cookies but the lack of oil makes it hard to get a good crunch without pounding on the sugar. Maybe this is my solution! Thank you!
Can we not roast the chickpeas whole, and then just blend them into larger size ‘crumbs’?
Hi Kay! I’ve tried it that way, and what ultimately happens is that the crumbs don’t dry out at the same rate, which leaves some of them extra crispy (which leads to burning when they’re used as a coating), and the inside of the chickpea doesn’t get exposed to the heat as much so it can be wet/pasty. I like the way you think, though! 🙂
love ur writing. humorous and enjoyable. i plan to go get cans tonite and try it. i intend to make keto chocolate mousse with the liguid. if i like all of it i will cook my own chick peas. i’m very excited, lol
Super easy to make!! However, when I actually try to use the breadcrumbs (for example on chicken strips trying to make chicken fingers) the breadcrumbs never crisp up in the oven ????. Is this normal? I coated the chicken in Aquafaba first since I’m egg free. I didn’t use any type of flour. Could that be why? I was going to use chickpea flour but didn’t. Any ideas?! Thanks again for the awesome recipe! I want to use the breadcrumbs again, but need to find a way to get them crispy!
Love this recipe. Super easy and worked great. I used them to coat my homemade falafel for the air fryer. Now I’m hooked!
Oh I love hearing this, Kathlene! I use soaked chickpeas to make my falafel so I’ll usually soak extra so I can make these crumbs too. So glad this worked out so well for you!