Spiced Popcorn Chickpeas

A different side to the humble chickpea, crisped up in olive oil and tossed with an addictively savory blend of spices.

Spiced Popcorn Chickpeas

You're used to seeing chickpeas as appetizers by now, but mostly in soft, silky hummus form. But the chickpea is more versatile than that! It crisps up beautifully in olive oil to create an addictively crunchy snack that has a bit more nutritional value than that average crispy bite. A blend of Vanns spices gives each bite a punch of flavor -- feel free to alter the blend to suit your own tastes! The humble chickpea makes for a perfect blank slate.

Spices used in this recipe

Paprika, Smoked Spanish
Cumin Ground
Salt, Kosher
Peppercorns, Tellicherry, Grinder



  1. Dry the chickpeas well -- the best method is to line a large baking sheet with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel and spread the chickpeas out in a single layer, patting dry with another paper towel or clean kitchen towel.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When shimmering, add the chickpeas and cook, frequently shaking the pan, until the chickpeas are brown and very crisp, about 20 minutes.
  3. Lower the heat to medium-low and sprinkle in the spices, a big pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper, shaking the pan immediately to coat the chickpeas and keep the spices from burning. Cook for 2-3 more minutes, shaking the pan frequently, until the spices are fragrant. Remove from heat and taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed.
  4. Serve warm or allow to cool to room temperature. If you let them sit out too long and become less crispy, heat in a 350°F oven until crisp again.

Makes around 2 cups. Adapted from Mark Bittman.

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