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. Bernadette

    I use canned garbanzo beans and try to rinse some of the sodium out. After patting dry, I toss them with garlic powder and Parmesan cheese.. Roast them for an hour at 350. They are yummy!

  2. Kyndra

    Wow, these chickpea popcorn bites are delicious!! And this is coming from a 13 year old! I usually don’t like regual chickpeas, but in this form, I’ll eat them anytime! Love this recipe!

  3. Priscilla

    This sounds great and I can not wait to try it!
    Yea, a new snack; who doesn’t love salty, crunchy finger food!!

  4. Ruth

    My daughter and I have been eating healthier and have been looking for healthy snacks, so I will be trying your recipes. Thanks

  5. Mary Sauer

    I tried a recipe for these with similar directions and ended up with a burnt mess ( I think I used too much oil in addition to other factors). I started wondering about using dried chick peas, and not cooking them and/or not rehydrating fully to speed the roasting process. Have you done this at all? I have some in my fridge that I soaked for 4 hours & are almost fully hydrated (the very center is still firm, but not rock hard) and I am going to try roasting them tonight. I also considered pan roasting for better control of the process…Would love your thoughts on this. Thanks!

    1. Ann Post author

      Great question, Mary. I have tried with dried garbanzos and they will be very crunchy/borderline too hard if they aren’t cooked. I think I cooked mine about 30 minutes–until they were tender but not mushy. The other recommendation I would give is to make sure the beans are dried well with just enough oil to lightly coat. I hope that helps, and I’d love to know how you make out!

  6. Dan Lamson

    When I entered jr. high, in the 50’s I first met people from Greece and the middle east. They used to pan fry chick peas and then dust them with a blend of salt, ground ginger, and garlic/onion powder and serve as an appetizer.

  7. Dawn

    I was thinking of roast the garbonzo beans for a little shorter time period then using them to make hummus. Have you tried that? I think the roasted flavor would really be a hit in the hummus.

  8. John

    A faster way of drying them is to start at 250-300 F for twenty minutes before cranking it up to 450. You can put the beans in just drained from the can and you’ll have beans without the prep work.

  9. Monica

    In the Sunday paper I found all of your great recipes and will try all of them. this morning I made Pancetta, Kale, & Parmesan Frittata and this evening the Roasted Garbanzos. Both were excellent.
    I am a FCS teacher and will be sharing your nutritious recipes with my classes.
    Thank you

    1. Ann

      Thank you for the thoughtful comment, Monica. I am so glad you are off to a good start with the recipes and hope your classes enjoy them as well. I look forward to future feedback!

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  12. Greg

    We loved doing this with black-eyed peas. We still haven’t tried it with chick peas. But after seeing those butter beans, we’ll have to do those next. Great tips!

      1. anne

        You do NOT have to cook the dried beans first. You just cover them with water and then soak them overnight, and in the morning, drain as you would the canned beans and roast them. Add spices and/or a bit of agava syrup for a touch of sweetness, YUM!

        1. IFortuna

          You should soak all legumes and beans first. This removes phytic acid that blocks the absorption of vital vitamins and minerals that can lead to diseases such as osteoporosis, calcium, zinc and iron deficiencies. It also helps with digestion. Not all phytic is removed, however. On the other hand, grains and beans and other veggies with phytic acid actually help diabetics with blood sugar and help to prevent certain cancers according to some studies. So some phytic is good. : )

  13. Mary Lou Keller

    I have been browsing your recipe archives.. these look so yummy! I need to try making these again, it has been several years since I have.

    They would be perfect topping for a salad!

    Thanks Ann!

    1. Ann

      These are tasty! Just make sure they are well drained. Two friends reported popping garbanzos and we deduced that this can happen when the beans are either over-oiled or not dry enough: )