Roasted Garbanzos…and other roasted beans

By Ann Fulton

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A simple technique and helpful hints for the best crunchy snack–that happens to be healthy, protein-rich, economical, and easy!


Last year, when I first posted my recipe for roasting garbanzo beans, a couple of my friends mentioned that a few of the beans popped in their oven!  We quickly determined that the garbanzos still had a good bit of moisture clinging to them;  a thorough draining and patting dry will prevent this.  We laughed over the incident, and every time I make this crunchy snack I now think of these friends and smile.

I figured it was time to update this recipe for several reasons.  First, this occurrence gave me the thought to take the drying to another level.  I now put the well-drained beans on a tea towel or a couple layers of paper towels and allow them to sit on the counter for a couple of hours to thoroughly dry.  You can also put them in the fridge.  In one case, I never got around to roasting the garbanzos, so I wrapped them up and refrigerated.  I ended up forgetting all about them, baking them two days later, and they were perfectly crunchy and delicious.

Another change I have made is the oven temperature.  I now start roasting at 400 degrees F and then reduce the temperature to 350.  This way, the beans get the initial benefit of the high heat and then continue to cook and crisp up at a lower heat where they are far less likely to over-brown or burn.  On occasion, I have removed the tray from the oven and realized, once the beans cooled, that some were not fully crisp.  The simple solution is to put them back in the 350 degree oven for another 10 minutes or so.  (This technique  reminds me of my grandmother’s favorite way of “freshening” stale pretzels or crackers.  A little heat dries them out and restores crunch.  This can also be helpful if you live where it is humid and the garbanzos lose their crunch after sitting on the counter for a few days…if they actually last that long! )

Lastly, because I love to experiment in the kitchen, I started to think that, if garbanzo beans taste so satisfying once roasted, why not other beans?  Following the recipe are some photos with a few details about some of the other beans I have roasted.  It actually started with a can of black eyed peas that had been in my pantry for quite a while.  When they turned out crunchy and satisfying, albeit a little small, I decided that big butter beans could be the ticket.  By the looks of them on the pan, I initially thought they were a big failure.  But the looks belied the taste, and my son who does not like beans was the biggest fan! Now, I am buying more beans than ever!

Whether you call them garbanzo beans or chick peas — and whether you roast this type or experiment with one of the many legumes available — they truly make a perfect snack food when roasted. They are an inexpensive, high-protein snack and can even be a crunchy, low-fat alternative to croutons in a salad.  Put out a pre-dinner bowl when company arrives. From boring can of beans to clever hors d’oeuvres…who knew??

Note:  I love the flavor of a simple sprinkling of sea salt, but you may certainly experiment with different spice.  Click here for the recipe for Indian-Spiced Roasted Garbanzos.

Roasted Garbanzos
After making these many times, I have learned that allowing the garbanzos to get really dry and then reducing the oven temperature after the initial 15 minutes results in a thoroughly crisp snack with less chance of over-browning. You can even allow the drained beans to rest on a tea towel or a few layers of paper towels on the counter for a couple of hours. Beyond that, wrap and store in the refrigerator until ready to roast.
  • 1 can garbanzo beans (chick peas), rinsed, drained, and dried (see above notes)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus enough to grease the baking sheet
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place the garbanzos on a well-oiled baking sheet with sides. Drizzle with the 1 tablespoon olive oil and and toss (I like to use my clean hands) so that garbanzos are evenly coated in oil.
  3. Sprinkle the salt over beans. (I move all the beans together on the baking sheet so that most of the salt goes on them as opposed to the tray. Then slide back around on the tray.)
  4. Roast at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Stir the beans and roast in 10-minute increments, stirring after every 10 minutes, until crunchy, approximately 20 minutes more. Depending on the oven, you may need to bake another 10 minutes or so. Reducing the oven temperature will make it easier to throughly crisp the beans without burning them. (See notes below for a few helpful hints.)
  • Dark-coated pans often brown food more quickly than light-colored pans. If you are baking on a dark-coated pan, it is helpful to turn the oven temperature down by 25 degrees.
  • Once cooled, if you taste your garbanzos and they are not completely crisp, simply return to the 350 degree F oven for another 10 minutes or so.
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The Fountain Avenue Kitchen

A can of black-eyed peas that had been sitting in my pantry for far too long roasted up crunchy and delicious!

This is the before picture of two cans of butter beans.

Though the butter beans split and looked like a miss, I continued to roast them until they were crisp, and they were an unexpected hit. We all loved them and I will make again for sure.

This recipe has been shared with Thursday’s TreasuresThe Slow Roasted Italian, and Foodie Friends Friday.

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  1. Brenda Phelps

    Thanks for this recipe. Now I know what I will do with the case of garbanzo beans I accidentally at Costco, thinking that it was corn. The label was so yellow and they were sitting next to green beans. Ugh. Yeah to these healthy “corn nuts”!

    1. Ann Post author

      Oh Brenda that’s funny…but not funny! Hopefully this recipe ends up making the garbanzos an unexpectedly better buy than the corn!

  2. Steve

    Wow! I only had a can of red kidney beans which I drained and placed on paper towels in a tray. As I live in Thailand I just placed them on a window in the sun to dry for about 2 hours — some started to split in that time. Dusted them with salt, chilli powder and turmeric (mainly because it’s so healthy for you) and grilled them in a fan-forced (big) toaster oven — top grill only at 200 C (roughly 400 F) for 10 minutes (absolutely minimum of oil — about 4 drops). Crispy in that time.

    Absolutely delicious — thanks for the recipe. I have a heap of dry beans (black, red, white etc.), will soak and cook them tomorrow ready for another batch!

  3. Jack Ganse

    I have a Traeger pellet grill …… if you roast these on this type of grill with a “smoke” period of a few hours, it dries out the beans nicely, then when you pump up the heat, they roast even nicer, and have a smokey flavor …….

  4. Teri Davis

    New to roasting beans.
    Are there recipes that add cocoa to add a chocolate flavor ? But need to be no sugars added for me. Artificial sweeteners are ok.

  5. Chai

    Thanks for sharing! I am looking forward to try this recipe. I am wondering if you could do the same with lentils? that would be yummy too.

    1. Ann Post author

      You could definitely try this with lentils. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly since they are so small.

  6. Pam

    I roasted black, lima and white kidney beans. My gosh they are delicious! What a healthy way to have a crunchy snack! Thanks and keep the recipes coming.

    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Pam, So glad you enjoyed and tried with a few different beans. It’s sort of fun to see how they all turn out and which ones everyone likes the best!

    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Anna, If you store them in an airtight container, they should stay fresh for at least a week or two at room temp. If it’s particularly humid where you live, you could store them in the fridge. Either way, they hold up well as long as they’re not exposed to moisture.