Crisped, spicy garbanzo beans perfect for salads, tacos, bowls, or just snacking! These blackened chickpeas are super easy to make and highly delicious.
Blackening is a cooking technique that traditionally involves coating something in butter and then tossing it in a Cajun herb and spice blend. The item in question is then pan-fried until the coating “blackens” due to the spices toasting and the milk solids browning.
We’re going vegan here for these blackened chickpeas and skipping the whole butter aspect. Just adding a little bit of oil to the pan provides sufficient fat for frying the spices and herbs to coax out some nice deep, slightly charred flavors. I know I’m not the only person who kind of loves food that’s just sliiiightly burnt. 🙂
If you are after a super authentic blackened color, then try adding a little powdered soy milk, powdered rice milk, or almond flour to your spice blend. The proteins in those ingredients will coat the chickpeas and brown a little bit better than just the spices alone.
I lightly adapted my blackening spice blend from this one. Mine is salt-free so that recipes can be salted to taste. In the coming week I have a great grilling recipe and summer-themed appetizer to share with you, one of which makes use of these lovely blackened chickpeas.. so stay tuned!
The seasoning blend from these beans could also be used for blackened tofu or other vegetarian and vegan proteins of your choice. It could be a great way to change up the seasoning in chickpea scramble enchiladas, on pumpkin garlic knots, or even in hummus.
Easy Blackened Chickpeas
Crispy, spicy blackened chickpeas, made by pan-frying garbanzo beans in Cajun herbs and spices.
For the blackening seasoning blend (makes extra):
- 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tbsp regular paprika
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper (see notes)
- 3/4 tsp ground white pepper (see notes)
- 3/4 tsp ground black pepper (see notes)
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
For the blackened chickpeas:
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil (I used grapeseed oil)
- 1 and 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (equal to 1 regular can), drained but not rinsed
- 1 and 1/4 tsp blackening seasoning (recipe above)
- salt to taste
For the blackening seasoning blend:
Mix the paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, and pepper together in a small bowl. Use a mortar and pestle, or even just your fingers to grind the dried thyme and oregano into smaller pieces, and then stir it in with the other spices. This makes extra which can be kept in a jar or airtight container at room temperature for a few weeks and used on pretty much everything!
For the blackened chickpeas:
Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chickpeas, stir well, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the blackening seasoning in 2 or 3 batches, stirring each time, to ensure even distribution. Continue to fry, stirring occasionally, until the chickpeas are lightly crisped (they'll get even crispier as they cool) and the spices and herbs are a little browned - about 5 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and more seasoning blend if desired. Once cooled, leftovers can be stored for several days in the fridge, but note that the chickpeas won't stay crispy, despite still being tasty. I usually eat them all at once 🙂
SPICE BLEND NOTES: This blend has a good kick to it. If anyone who's eating this is sensitive to spice, especially if you won't be serving it with anything creamy or cooling like mayo or cucumber, you may want to reduce the cayenne a little bit. You can use an additional 1/2 tsp black pepper instead of white pepper if needed. I used pre-ground black pepper, and you may want to reduce the amount if you're grinding it fresh, which tends to be more powerfully flavored.
BAKED CHICKPEAS: If you have a method you like for making crispy roasted chickpeas, that would also work great with this seasoning blend! You won't get as good of a char but it will still taste rad.