19 Easy Chickpea Substitutes for the Perfect Swap

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Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are a legume with many nutritional benefits.

Since they don’t have a lot of flavors, they are a great way to add protein to a recipe.

When looking for a substitute for chickpeas, you want to make sure you find something with a similar taste and texture.

Chickpeas on a cutting board
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While roasted chickpeas add crunch to a dish, chickpeas usually add a soft texture to recipes.

The best alternative to chickpeas depends on the type of recipe you are cooking.

There are many types of beans and legumes.

You will have many options to choose from when picking a substitute. 

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1. Butter beans

butter beans in a bowl
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Butter beans are a great alternative to chickpeas.

This is because they have a similar taste and texture.

They have a very mild taste that absorbs the other flavors of the dish.

They are also quite creamy when cooked properly.

Like chickpeas, butter beans are full of vitamins and minerals.

Butter beans are great for dishes that include meat.

They take on some of the meaty taste and can stretch the amount of food for a fraction of the price.

2. Red lentils

Red lentils
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Red lentils can be used instead of chickpeas in some recipes.

Like all legumes, lentils have a lot of health benefits to offer.

However, they have an earthy taste compared to most beans.

They also have a heartier texture.

However, red lentils are the softest of all lentils.

This makes them a good alternative to chickpeas.

Red lentils are frequently used in soups and curries.

If you have a soup recipe that calls for chickpeas, you may consider using red lentils instead. 

3. Edamame

Edamame with salt on top
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Use edamame instead of chickpeas when you’re in a hurry.

Edamame is very similar to peas.

They look about the same but have a slightly firmer texture.

They have a buttery flavor with a hint of the sweetness you find in peas.

One exciting feature of edamame is that it cooks quickly.

If you’re ever in a pinch, you might consider reaching for the edamame instead of chickpeas. 

You’ll be able to cook the recipe in a shorter amount of time.

The taste may be a bit different, but you’ll barely notice the difference.

4. Black beans

Black beans in a bowl
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Black beans can replace chickpeas in a variety of dishes.

Like chickpeas, black beans have a mild flavor.

They absorb flavors from the other ingredients in the pan.

While they have similar nutritional benefits, black beans may be slightly healthier.

Swapping black beans for chickpeas is definitely a good idea!

Instead of chickpea hummus, try using black beans.

Black bean hummus isn’t as common as chickpea hummus, but it is still a popular type of hummus.

If you’re cooking Latin food that calls for chickpeas, black beans would be a good substitute.

They’re very popular in spicy dishes and will absorb some of the tangy flavors. 

5. Green peas

Green peas in a bowl on a wooden table
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You can use green peas instead of chickpeas in some recipes.

While there are a variety of types of green peas, they are all comparable to each other.

Most green peas will be slightly firm with a sweet and savory flavor.

They pair well with many foods, especially fish and other meats.

Since they taste different from chickpeas, they’re great for people who don’t love chickpeas.

Green peas should replace chickpeas in dishes where the peas are the star.

They would be good in roasted vegetables, salads, or even soups.

These types of dishes will let the peas shine!

6. Great Northern beans

Great northern beans
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Great Northern beans are a great swap for chickpeas.

If you’re wondering what to swap for chickpeas, you need to consider taste and texture.

Great Northern beans have a grainier texture than chickpeas, but a similar flavor.

When you cook them long enough, they will become smooth and creamy.

However, they will not become mushy.

The bold texture makes them great for hearty dishes, such as chili or stew.

Great Northern beans are perfect for most slow-cooker meals!

7. Split yellow peas

Split yellow peas up close
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Split yellow peas can be used in place of chickpeas although it is a less common swap.

Split peas may prevent many chronic diseases.

So why not use them when you get the chance?

Split yellow peas are soft when cooked and have a nutty flavor.

Like chickpeas, they can be quite delicious when roasted to a crispy texture.

Of course, split peas are best known for their role in split pea soup.

However, they can be delicious in a lot of fried foods like fritters and falafel. 

8. Cannellini beans

Cannellini beans in a white bowl
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Cannellini beans are one of the best substitutes for chickpeas in many recipes.

Another white bean with a creamy texture and nutty flavor is the cannellini bean.

Because of their creamy texture, cannellini beans are great for hummus recipes.

Cannellini beans are also a good substitute for chickpeas in chili, soups, or stews.

If you’re going for a recipe with a creamy texture, cannellini beans are a good option.

9. Red kidney beans

Red kidney beans in a speckled bowl
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You can use red kidney beans instead of chickpeas for many recipes.

Kidney beans are often dense with a meaty texture.

This makes them great for meat lovers who want to eat more veggies.

With their slightly sweet flavor, red kidney beans are delicious in a variety of recipes.

They’re especially popular for Caribbean-style foods.

You may want to use red kidney beans instead of chickpeas when cooking for someone who appreciates meat.

They go well with rice, pasta, and chili. If you’re cooking with a slow cooker, you may want to consider using red beans in place of chickpeas.

10. Haricot beans

Haricot beans in a burlap bag
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Try using haricot beans instead of chickpeas.

Haricot beans are popular in England.

They’re often used for homemade baked beans or for a traditional English breakfast. 

They are small white beans that absorb the flavors of the ingredients around them.

With their soft texture and mild flavor, haricot beans are a great substitute for chickpeas.

Haricot beans complement meat well.

This makes them a great alternative to chickpeas in dishes that call for meat. 

They’re also good in chili and stew!

They would also be amazing in bean-based burgers!

11. Extra firm tofu

Extra firm tofu on a wooden table
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You can even use extra firm tofu in lieu of chickpeas.

Tofu is a popular replacement for meat for good reason.

The extra-firm tofu holds its shape and has a meat-like texture.

Since the flavor is so mild, it takes on the tastiness of other ingredients.

Don’t make the mistake of using silken tofu or any other less firm options.

The texture of silken tofu is so soft that it could ruin your recipe.

I learned that the hard way and don’t want you to have the same experience!

Since tofu absorbs so much flavor, this would be a great alternative to chickpeas in spicy dishes.

If your recipe calls for a lot of seasoning, tofu will help tone it down without taking away any of the flavors!

If you ever happen to cook an Asian dish that calls for chickpeas, this would be a good time to reach for the tofu instead. 

12. Black-eyed peas

black eyed peas in a bowl and a spoon
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Black-eyed peas are a good replacement for chickpeas if you have them in your pantry.

Black-eyed peas, a staple in the United States South, have an earthy flavor comparable to white beans.

They also have a dense texture.

While they are firm, they will become soft when cooked.

Perfectly cooked black-eyed peas may have a slight crunch but will be tender.

They shouldn’t be mushy.

Since black-eyed peas are so common in the South, you should use them in soul food-style recipes. 

If your chickpea recipe calls for pork or collard greens, you may want to opt for black-eyed peas.

If you’re serving chickpeas with Southern-style meat, you might choose black-eyed peas instead.

13. Navy beans

Navy beans in a plastic bag
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Navy beans are commonly used as a replacement for chickpeas.

Navy beans, also known as Boston beans, are commonly used to make Boston baked beans.

With their soft texture and nutty taste, they can easily be used instead of chickpeas.

These beans absorb flavors, just like chickpeas.

This means they will be a delicious component of any recipe you try.

In addition to baked beans, navy beans are often used in comfort foods.

So if your soup or slow-cooker meal calls for chickpeas, it’s probably safe to use navy beans instead.

14. Fava beans

Fava beans in a wooden bowl
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Fava beans are an excellent alternative to chickpeas.

Fava beans are often compared to chickpeas.

The beans have a buttery, nutty flavor.

They are smooth and creamy when cooked.

This makes them one of the best alternatives to chickpeas on this list!

If you are cooking something with chickpeas and really don’t want to risk messing up the recipe, then you should use fava beans.

They won’t alter the taste or consistency of the dish much at all.

They are also a superior option when cooking Mediterranean dishes.

They’re native to the Mediterranean region and will be good in your favorite Greek or Spanish dishes.

15. Mung beans

Mung beans on a wooden table
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Mung beans are a less common but very delicious chickpea substitute.

Mung beans are a bit mushy after cooking.

They also have a unique taste.

They taste earthy and almost fibrous.

While mung beans and chickpeas are both great substitutes for eggs, they’re not commonly substituted for each other.

They can be used in place of each other, but it’s not usually someone’s first option.

Since the mung bean is native to India, you should consider using them in Indian cuisine.

They will add a bit of pizazz to your Indian dishes that chickpeas won’t bring to the table.

16. Brown lentils

Brown lentils in a red bowl
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You can use brown lentils as a substitute for chickpeas.

Brown lentils are the easiest lentils to find at the supermarket.

They have an earthy flavor that tastes a bit creamy.

Brown lentils should be tender, yet slightly firm.

If they are tough or crunchy, they are not cooked properly.

Lentils are commonly used in vegetarian dishes because they are similar to some meats.

Therefore, I suggest you use brown lentils when cooking heartier dishes.

Instead of chickpea burgers, try lentil burgers.

Lentils are an acquired taste but can successfully replace chickpeas in many recipes.

17. Pinto beans

Pinto beans in a wooden bowl
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Use pinto beans to substitute for chickpeas in your recipe.

Pinto beans are another creamy bean with a mild flavor.

Just like chickpeas, pinto beans absorb other flavors.

They will taste like the sauces and seasonings you mix with them.

Since they’re so hearty, you may want to use them in stews or chilis. 

Pinto beans are also very versatile.

This means that you can use them in lieu of chickpeas anytime you run out of chickpeas.

You will still have a delicious result in the end!

18. Lima beans

Lima beans in a wooden bowl on a table
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Lima beans are a great substitute for chickpeas

Lima beans are actually butter beans.

However, lima beans are usually sold before they are as mature as butter beans.

They taste and feel about the same.

Lima beans are often a bit starchier, like fava beans.

Therefore, lima beans are a great substitute to use instead of chickpeas.

Lima beans, like black-eyed peas, are popular in the South.

So you may want to use lima beans instead of chickpeas when cooking soul food.

Lima beans can be used in place of chickpeas for sauteed veggies or comforting soups.

19. Green lentils

Green lentils up close
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Replace chickpeas with green lentils when you want extra flavor.

Green lentils have a strong peppery flavor.

If you think chickpeas are too bland, you may want to replace them with green lentils.

Green lentils will have the same texture as brown lentils or red lentils.

They will be slightly firm, but not gritty.

These lentils can be used in basically any kind of dish.

They’re good in soups, salads, curries, and even sauces.

If you ever want to add extra flavor to a meal that calls for chickpeas, use green lentils.

Hey! Want more expert food substitution guides? Check these out!

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