5 BEST Chickpea Substitutes You Should Try

Chickpeas are a staple ingredient in many vegetarian and vegan dishes.

From hummus to falafels, it’s no surprise that chickpeas appear in some of the most beloved recipes across cultures.

However, if you’ve been looking for substitutions for this mainstay ingredient, then look no further.

In this article, we will be exploring 5 of the best alternatives for chickpeas – each offering something unique to switch up your cooking game.

What’s Chickpea?

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a type of legume that originate from the Middle East and the Mediterranean region.

The scientific name for chickpeas is Cicer arietinum, and they come in multiple varieties, such as Desi and Kabuli.

These light-colored beans have become increasingly popular with vegetarian and vegan diets due to their many nutritional benefits.

Chickpeas provide essential protein, fiber, iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and folate.

They also contain phytochemicals which may help reduce inflammation in the body and inhibit cancer cell growth.

In terms of texture and taste, chickpeas can range from crunchy when raw to soft when cooked – giving them a very versatile character for adding texture to various dishes.

They are most commonly used as an ingredient in soups, stews, or curries – or ground into hummus for a delicious dip.

Chickpeas are also a great replacement for meat or eggs in vegan or vegetarian dishes.

Their nutty and slightly sweet flavor works wonderfully when used as a base for tacos, burgers, salads, or even falafels.

However, if you’re looking to switch it up, there are indeed many options that offer an incredible alternative to chickpeas.

From lentils to white beans – each of them brings something unique to your plate.

5 BEST Chickpea Substitutes You Should Try

1. Cannellini Beans

Cannellini beans are a great substitute for chickpeas due to their mild flavor and creamy texture, making them an ideal replacement for soups, stews, and salads.

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They have a nutty flavor and smooth texture when cooked, making them perfect for adding to soups or stews or even mashing into dips.

To substitute cannellini beans for chickpeas, use an equal amount of cooked beans to replace the same amount of cooked chickpeas.

This can be accomplished by either boiling the canned variety for 15 minutes or soaking dry beans overnight before cooking.

When using cannellini beans as a chickpea substitute, it is important to remember that they tend to absorb more liquid than chickpeas, so if you’re making a soup or stew, make sure to add extra broth or water as needed.

Cannellini beans also have a slightly sweeter taste than chickpeas and may require additional seasoning if you’re substituting them in savory dishes.

2. Lentils

Lentils are another popular choice when it comes to substituting chickpeas, as they come in several varieties, such as red, green, and black lentils, and all have different textures and flavors.

Red lentils are the most common type used in cooking and have a slightly sweet flavor with a soft texture when cooked.

To substitute lentils for chickpeas, use an equal amount of cooked lentils to replace the same amount of cooked chickpeas.

Lentils cook fairly quickly compared to other legumes, so keep an eye on them while cooking, as overcooking can make them mushy.

When substituting lentils for chickpeas, it’s important to note that they tend to be higher in starch content than other legumes like black-eyed peas, which means they will thicken up more quickly when part of a soup or stew recipe.

If you find your dish is getting too thick while cooking, then try adding some extra broth or water to thin out the consistency.

Also, because of their softer texture, red lentils can become mushy when over-stirred, so gentle stirring is recommended during cooking time.

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3. Black Beans

Black beans are very similar to chickpeas when it comes to flavor and texture when cooked, making them perfect substitutes in many recipes.

They also contain high levels of protein and fiber, which makes them a healthy alternative to traditional legumes like chickpeas.

To replace black beans instead of chickpeas, use an equal amount of cooked beans to replace the same amount of cooked chickpeas.

When working with dried black beans, be sure to soak them overnight before cooking, as this will ensure that they cook evenly throughout without becoming overly soft or mushy.

One thing worth noting about black beans is that, unlike many other types of legumes, they do not need additional starchiness added during cooking (like cornstarch), so feel free to leave those ingredients out from recipes calling for it if you choose.

Additionally, since black beans tend to take longer than other legumes like red lentils, it may be helpful pre-soak the dry variety overnight before cooking – this will help cut down your prep time.

4. Green Peas

Green peas may not be as commonly substituted for chickpeas as other legumes, but they can make great alternatives in soups, stews, curries, salads, or even mashed into hummus-like dips.

They have a mild flavor with a slightly sweet taste that pairs well with many dishes – plus, they’re easy to work with since most versions come frozen or canned.

To substitute green peas for chickpeas, use an equal amount of frozen or canned peas – no need to pre-soak here; just add directly into your dish once defrosted/drained/rinsed off first.

Green peas don’t provide quite as much protein content nor fiber compared with other types of legumes, but depending on what you’re planning on making with your substitution, this should not prove too big of an issue.

Since green peas are lighter than other legume sources, its best used with lighter recipes such as soups/salads/dips rather than heavy stews where their delicate flavor may be lost amongst more robust accompaniments like carrots/potatoes, etc.

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5. Soybeans

Soybeans are an underrated substitute for chickpeas that are often overlooked by many.

With a nutty flavor, firm texture, and easy availability, it’s no surprise that soybeans have been steadily growing in popularity lately.

Soybeans can be used in place of chickpeas in soups, stews, and dips – all you need to do is substitute an equal amount of boiled soybeans.

However, if you are planning on using soybeans as a replacement for chickpeas, it’s important to keep in mind the preparation time needed before cooking them – they must be soaked for at least 24 hours prior to being added to any dish.

Fortunately, raw soybeans are relatively easy to find at most local grocers or even online establishments – making it simple for anyone to prepare meals with them.

When boiling the beans, it’s essential not to let them overcook, as this will affect their texture and taste.

To ensure the perfect result, we recommend boiling the beans until they are tender but still slightly firm.

This should take about 20-25 minutes, and you’ll know when they’re done when you can easily cut through one with a fork.

Once that’s done, your beans are now ready to use.


As you can see, there are plenty of alternatives to chickpeas that you can use to lift any dish up.

Whether it’s bringing in a distinctive flavor or an interesting texture, these ingredients can help boost the overall taste and presentation of any meal.

So why not give one (or two) of these starting replacements a try today?

5 BEST Chickpea Substitutes You Should Try

5 BEST Chickpea Substitutes You Should Try

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1. Cannellini Beans
  • 2. Lentils
  • 3. Black Beans
  • 4. Green Peas
  • 5. Soybeans


  1. Choose a preferred substitute from the provided list.
  2. Follow the cooking instructions for the selected substitute.
  3. Use the correct proportion of ingredients when preparing the substitute.

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