I looove these chickpeas! I’ve been making them for years, but only recently took the time to perfect and record the recipe. I did it because I know you’ll love them as much as I do, especially now, when a lot of you are probably wanting to bump up your plant intake into the new year.

Chickpeas are a great source of protein and fiber. Don’t be afraid of their carbs, part of which is prebiotic resistant starch. Resistant starch helps feed your microbiome and keeps the bugs in your gut healthy, among many other benefits. Otherwise, the carbs in chickpeas and other legumes are complex and nourishing.

The spice mix that I use on these chickpeas is my go-to for a lot of Mexican-themed dishes that I make. Honestly, I don’t usually measure the spices out – I do it here for your benefit though – I like to adjust it according to what I have and what I’m making.  

I love making this spicy chickpea recipe with leftover chickpeas, so the amount is variable. Sometimes it’s around 2 cups, at times it’s a bit more or less. Be intuitive, taste the chickpeas often as they cook, and adjust seasonings as needed. You can’t really screw this recipe up. 

Sometimes, if I’m using this mix for meat or shrimp (as in, for tacos), I add tomato paste to it as well. It’s unbelievably good. 

Use whatever chili powder you have. I always have the normal type, but also chipotle (very spicy) and ancho (smokier, not as spicy). I also always have smoked paprika – sweet, not hot – to add smoky flavour to everything.

The cinnamon might seem counterintuitive here, but it’s not. You’ll be surprised at how it rounds out the flavour of the spice combination.

It’s important to dry the chickpeas well before you add them to the pan, otherwise they’ll take longer to cook and may get mushy. Cooking can take longer than you might have thought it would, but be patient: it’s worth it.

See the before and after photos below to get an idea of what you should be looking for in terms of doneness. The chickpeas will become drier and darker when they’re done.

crispy chickpea recipe
Here are the chickpeas when they’re just starting to cook.
crispy chickpea recipe
This is when they’re done.

Chickpea recipe chickpea recipe

Spicy and Crispy Chickpea Recipe
Prep Time
20 mins
Serve these delicious chickpeas on salads, or as an easy snack!
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Mexican, vegan
Keyword: chickpea recipe, chickpeas, vegan recipes
Servings: 4
  • 2 cups chickpeas dried and rolled between paper towels to remove moisture
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon chili powder I use 1 tablespoon of regular chili powder, and 1 teaspoon of chipotle/ancho
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat oil in a pan, then add onion and garlic and cook on medium heat until browned.
  2. Add all the spices to the onions and garlic, mixing to coat the aromatics. (if you’re making this mix to use on meats or fish, add the tomato paste here).
  3. Add the chickpeas and toss to coat.
  4. Cook on medium heat until chickpeas become dry and color darkens. While cooking, shake the pan every 3-4 minutes, to ensure that the chickpeas are evenly cooked and spices aren’t burning.
Recipe Notes

Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.