Sweet, smoky crispy chickpeas that snap when you take a bite! Crispy BBQ Chickpeas are a vegan snack that tastes sinful, but is oil-free and packed with protein and fiber.
Why You NEED Make these Crispy BBQ Chickpeas
Crispy chickpeas have become the ultimate snack food hack!
They take everything we love about crunchy, salty, crispy snacks like roasted and salted nuts and store-bought chips, but package those crave-worthy qualities into a healthy, high fiber, high protein package.
My BBQ Chickpeas are made oil-free also-which means you get all of the smoky delicious flavors without any added fat!
Ingredients for Crispy BBQ Chickpeas
I’ve kept it really simple here by using mostly familier ingredients. Liquid smoke might be new to some of you, but it is very easy to find in any grocery store, usually by the bbq sauce.
Here’s what you will need to create these crispy chickpeas right at home:
Liquid Smoke. Easy to find online (affiliate), or in-store where the sauces are.
Smoked paprika. Go for the smoked, not the sweet paprika.
Salt to taste
How to Make Chickpeas Crispy
For this recipe, we are using the oven to make the chickpeas crispy. I like this method because i can easily double or tripple this recipe by adding another baking pan to the oven.
Some tips for creating crispy chickpeas:
Give the chickpeas room to “breathe”. As the chickpeas cook, the liquid will evaporate. We want to create space so the steam can easily dissipate without being trapped. You can do this by ensuring you do not overcrowd the tray.
Bake for a long time. This recipe takes about 40 minutes to bake. The goal is to make sure the chickpeas have completely dried out before taking them from the oven.
Allow cooling time. As the chickpeas cool they will become crisper than when they first came out of the oven.
Why are my chickpeas not crunchy?
There are a few reasons why you could be having trouble getting your chickpeas to crisp up.
Too much liquid. If you are using a lot of sauce…like a traditional bbq sauce, for example, there is just too much moisture to allow the chickpeas to fully dry enough to become crispy.
Too little baking time. A good way to check if the chickpeas are done is to take a few from the tray, allow to fully cool for 5 minutes then test them out! The ideal chickpea will be super crisp and crunch when you take a bite!
Oven temperature. If you decrease the temperature of the oven, you can expect to wait a lot longer for perfect crispy chickpeas. If you get a little too ambitious and increase the temperature too much, your chickpeas might burn before they become crispy all the way through. Patience is the name of the game here.
Other methods for crispy chickpeas
There are a lot of ways to make chickpeas crispy, some are healthier than others:
Pan-fried chickpeas. I’ll use this method if I am making a small batch of chickpeas and I have time to watch them cook. You can create crispy chickpeas in a pan without oil, as long as you use a non-stick pan.
Air-Fryer chickpeas. I haven’t personally tried this method since I don’t own an air-fryer right now. It looks like a good option if you are trying to keep the oil content low.
Deep-fried chickpeas. This has got to be the worst way you can make crispy chickpeas. When you deep fry the chickpeas, they carry a ton of saturated fat along with all the health benefits. Unfortunately, this is the method most store-bought varieties of crispy chickpeas are made.
How healthy are roasted chickpeas?
Roasting your chickpeas without oil is one of the healthiest ways you can eat chickpeas.
Place the drained and rinsed chickpeas into a medium bowl. No need to dry them.
Sprinkle with the dry spices and salt. Mix to combine.
Add in the maple syrup and liquid smoke. Mix to combine.
Spread the chickpeas out onto a large baking pan, ensuring there is ample space between the chickpeas so steam can escape and make them extra crispy. Be sure to use a liner like this silicone one (affiliate) to make removal easy.
Bake for 45-55 minutes, turning every 20 minutes until crispy.
**Calorie and nutritional information is an estimate.
Use these crispy maple bacon chickpeas to top salads like this Vegan Kale Caesar or eat alone as a delicious, high fiber snack!
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Megan Kerry is a Vegan Lifestyle Educator and Licensed Practical Nurse. Her content focuses on vegan recipes and ethical living. She is a mom of four children, a long time vegan, and an even longer time foodie. She loves veganizing any and all dishes and sharing her recipes and lifestyle tips with all of you!