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.
- 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
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
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.
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.)
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.