5 Easy Chickpea Recipes

As a vegetarian-leaning person, I tend towards beans and legumes. And with three out of four of my family members being vegetarian-leaning, we eat a LOT of beans and legumes. So, I thought with cherry blossoms blossoming and the temperatures inching up, I'd share some of my favorite spring vegetarian recipes featuring chickpeas that are both delicious and nutritious!

Chickpeas are just the best. They are versatile; you can dress them up or dress them down; they are just as delicious cold as they are hot. In fact, they might be my very favorite bean! Plus, with gatherings slowly being considered as vaccinations keep going up, this is so easy to double or triple. So here goes:

1 - Smashed Chickpea Salad by smittenkitchen.com

This is the bomb. My kids can't get enough, even the one who eats meat. Trust me when I say that this salad makes THE perfect sandwich. How do I eat it? I generously slather good bread with hummus, add this deliciousness on top of the hummus (so the chickpea mixture "sticks" to the bread while eating instead of falling out) and then top with mixed greens and sliced tomatoes. Then, I put the whole thing in a panini press. This last step isn't necessary, but I love the crispiness of the bread.

2 - Chickpea Salad by spendwithpennies.com

This is a simple, anyone-can-make-it salad that is so easy, you'll wonder why on earth you haven't made it before today. This is the kind of dish you can make easily during the week, yet will shine at any weekend meal or potluck. And, you can add your favorite crunchy veggies in addition to what's here or take out what you don't love (though I would probably keep the red onions for flavor!). And, did I mention how easy it is? Literally chop some veggies, whisk up a 4-ingredient dressing (with ingredients that you already have in your pantry), and mix the two together.

3- Best Hummus by cookieandkate.com

I know, I know...everyone has a recipe for hummus, right? But, I will challenge you to try to find one better than this one. Kate is a master in the kitchen, and her spins on recipes are always fresh, delicious and surprisingly simple. Most homemade hummus recipes are good. But, this one is restaurant quality in its creaminess and flavor. So, yes, you can buy hummus anywhere in any grocery store or make it with your existing recipe. Or, you can up your game and try this one. I promise, you won't regret it.

4- Spring Minestrone Soup with Chickpeas and Vegetables by feastingathome.com

Yum, yum, yum. It's no secret that I love soups and stews. I know most people associate soups and stews with winter. Fair. But this light, but substantial soup is perfect for springtime, especially since it features fresh spring vegetables like spring peas! The only change I make to this recipe is the call for pasta. Whenever a soup calls for pasta, I always sub a whole grain - like farro or barley or whatever you have on hand - in there, instead. It holds up better in the soup, particularly if you have leftovers, and is more nutritious than pasta.

5- Chickpea Burgers by food.com

True story: I used to love double bacon cheeseburgers. When I decided to give up beef, it was the only thing I really missed. But, I found the longer I went without meat, the less I craved it. And this is definitely true of burgers. There are so many great vegetarian burger recipes out there that it's hard to go wrong. If you're a vegetarian, try it! If you're an omnivore, try it! It's easy enough to make during the week, so you officially have no excuses. Pair with a side salad and some oven-baked fries, and you're good to go.

Can you tell how excited I am by the warming weather? Add to that the increases in vaccinations, and we *might* just get to have those backyard barbeques we've all been craving more than anything. So if we get there, add this to your menu, and let us know what you think!

Be well.

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