Crispy Air Fryer Chickpeas

SnackAir FryerQuick and EasyChickpea

These Crispy Air Fryer Chickpeas are made for last-minute holiday guest appearances. They're quick to make and are best served as soon as they're made. Season them up however you like and in ten minutes you'll have a crunchy, savory snack ready to go.

Photography Credit: Alison Conklin

There’s an endless need for quick, tasty snacks you can put out for guests around the holidays. Savory ones are even better, because we’re typically confronted with a glut of sugar and we really crave something to balance all that sweetness.

Air fried chickpeas are my favorite go-to snack for just this very reason.

WHY AIR FRY CHICKPEAS?

I’ve found that the air fryer is a far superior device for making these nutty, popcorn-like nuggets.

The secret? The small surface area of the chickpeas, plus the compact nature of the air fryer basket and the constant circulation of hot air, equals air-fried chickpea perfection. Every aspect of every chickpea comes into contact with the air because they rest in a basket that allows for circulation. On a baking sheet, you don’t get that.

Sure, you could roast these chickpeas in the oven, and I’ve certainly done that and it’s delicious, but it takes quite a bit longer than air frying. And you don’t get that all over crispiness that the air fryer creates.

Crispy Chickpeas in the Air Fryer

Air Fried Chickpeas are a Healthy Snack

Air fried chickpeas are also ready in a flash, are endlessly versatile, and taste really good. They happen to also be a healthy snack that may fill you up a little more than, say, pretzels, thanks to the protein and fiber in them.

A LAST-MINUTE PARTY SNACK

This is so easy that you can do it in a flash right before guests come, and the chickpeas will likely be gone just as fast. And it’s better to make this at the last-minute, too — these chickpeas aren’t something you can make ahead of time and reheat because they just don’t keep. They tend to get sort of soggy within an hour.

If for some reason you have leftover chickpeas, feel free to toss them into salads the next day—they’ll be a little more dense and chewy than their air fried counterparts the day before, but flavorful nonetheless.

DON’T DOUBLE THE RECIPE

I also wouldn’t advise doubling the recipe—you’ll mess with perfection.

Just make a second batch, and vary the seasonings if you like. I’ve offered a few suggestions here.

DRY The CHICKPEAS THOROUGHLY

When you rinse the chickpeas, feel free to send them through a salad spinner—just know you might end up with a few running out of the bottom, depending on the design of your spinner. (Mine has drainage holes that are larger than the spinner insert holes, but I digress…)

Doing this step removes excess water. Regardless of whether you use the spinner, spread the chickpeas out on a clean dish towel or several paper towels to absorb excess moisture. You want them to be as dry as possible so they will absorb the little bit of oil you’ll put on them and so that they get as crispy as possible in the air fryer.

If any skins come off the chickpeas during this step, just discard them.Roasted Chickpeas in the Air Fryer

MORE WAYS TO FLAVOR YOUR CHICKPEAS

Because I am kind of obsessed with za’atar, that’s what I used for these chickpeas. If you’ve never had za’atar, it’s a spice blend found commonly in Middle Eastern cuisine comprised of oregano, thyme, marjoram, sumac, and sesame seeds. As you might expect, it suits the chickpeas exceedingly well.

But I’ve offered a few suggestions for other flavor profiles in the recipe below, including a spicy mix, a French mix, and an Italian mix. Which one will you try?

MORE GREAT PARTY SNACKS

Crispy Air Fryer Chickpeas Recipe

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  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups; 2 to 4 for snacking

Ingredients

For the chickpeas:

  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil

Za'atar seasoning:

  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 teaspoon za’atar seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Spicy seasoning:

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

French herb seasoning:

  • 1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Italian seasoning:

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or equal parts oregano, thyme, basil, and marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

Special equipment:

Method

1 Preheat the air fryer to 390°F for 10 minutes, or according to the manufacturer's instructions.

2 Prep the chickpeas: Dry the chickpeas thoroughly on a paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. You can even dry them in a salad spinner, but you might lose a few depending on the design of your spinner. Discard any skins that come off of the chickpeas during this step.

Crispy Air Fried Chickpeas dry the chickpeas

3 Season the chickpeas: Combine the oil and spice mix in a bowl and whisk to combine. Gently incorporate the chickpeas until coated.

Crispy Chickpeas in the Air Fryer

4 Air fry the chickpeas: Transfer to the preheated air fryer and air fry for 8 to 10 minutes until crispy. Taste one of the chickpeas; if it's not as crispy as you'd like, then continue to cook for another 1 to 3 minutes.

Some of the chickpeas may look as though they have “popped.” Don’t fret if that happens!

Roasted Chickpeas in the Air Fryer transfer to air fryer

5 Season and serve: Remove from the basket to a bowl, taste, and add more salt, pepper or seasoning to your liking. Serve immediately; the crispy chickpeas will not keep.

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Carrie Havranek

Carrie Havranek is the associate editor of Simply Recipes and lives in Easton, Pennsylvania. She goes out of her way for farmers' markets, a crazy new ingredient, yoga, and a great cup of tea. Her first cookbook, Tasting Pennsylvania, will be published in 2018.

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2 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. L

    Will they not keep because they lose their crisp or because they go bad? My parents have an air fryer and I would like to make these to bring back to college if possible.

    • Carrie Havranek

      Hello! Carrie Havranek here, associate editor for Simply Recipes. They simply lose their crispiness. I don’t think they will travel very well in terms of the crispiness, but they would certainly still taste good!

Crispy Chickpeas in the Air FryerCrispy Air Fryer Chickpeas