These 2 ingredient Pesto Roasted Chickpeas are supercharged for flavour and nutrition. The perfect, guilt-free snack which is totally moreish and super-easy to make. Gluten free. Optional dairy free and vegan.
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Pesto Roasted Chickpeas with just 2 ingredients
These Pesto Roasted Chickpeas are my guilt-free pleasure. Not only do they need only 2 ingredients (a can of chickpeas and a little Pesto), but they are also super-easy to make. Roasted to crispiness, they are very VERY moreish… Little bites of Pesto crunchiness that are full of good stuff. It’s hard not to keep dipping hand into bowl until it’s empty.
Actually, this isn’t the only roasted chickpea recipe at Gluten Free Alchemist. We also have some very versatile Crispy Spiced Roasted Chickpeas that make a great base recipe for flavouring up any which way you like… Savoury or sweet.
Why Pesto Roasted Chickpeas make the perfect guilt-free snack
Chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans, Bengal gram and Egyptian Peas) are amazing. They are a member of the legume family and have a lovely firm and nutty bite that works well in lots of dishes. Best of all though, they are super-nutritious, being packed with fibre and plant-based protein… as much as 8 grams per half cup (82g). And… they’re chock full of vitamins and minerals too. They are a fabulous source of B vitamins and folate as well as the minerals iron, manganese, phosphorus, calcium and potassium.
Throw a little good quality Pesto into the mix (or even simple 10 minute Homemade Classic Basil Pesto) and you’re adding a perfect balance of fats (mostly healthier) alongside some extra fibre and protein. And let’s not forget the unmistakable Pesto flavour punch too.
Put all that together and Pesto Roasted Chickpeas start to tempt not only for their deliciousness, but as the PERFECT, filling, guilt-free snack. And at less than 30 calories for a small handful.
What do I need to make this recipe?
In addition to the two simple ingredients (a can of chickpeas and a jar of pesto), you’ll need a few basic bits of kitchen equipment to make this recipe.
- A fine mesh sieve – for straining the liquid (aquafaba) from the chickpea can.
- Some kitchen paper towels – to dry the chickpeas before cooking.
- A non-stick saucepan – to start off the cooking process (see section on how to get the chickpeas crispy, below).
- Wooden or firm silicone spoon – for stirring the pan… obviously!
- A large baking tray – to spread the chickpeas and roast in the oven.
- Baking paper – to line the tray.
- An oven.
- A spatula to turn the chickpeas during cooking.
Are Pesto Roasted Chickpeas suitable for Coeliacs (Celiacs)?
Yes… Absolutely! My Pesto Roasted Chickpeas contain no gluten whatsoever and that makes them a perfect healthy snack for Coeliacs and Celiacs). As with everything you buy though, just be sure to check the labels for any hidden gluten ingredients (wheat, barley or rye) that may either be in the jar or a cross-contamination risk.
Can I also make these crispy chickpeas dairy free and vegan?
If you are dairy free or vegan, then yes… You can still make delicious Pesto Roasted Chickpeas. Although standard Pesto contains cheese there are now a few amazing Vegan Pesto versions available in the supermarket. They taste just as good as the standard jars but are completely plant-based. So, whether you are dairy free for health reasons or Vegan by choice, this recipe is still one to try…
How to make Pesto Roasted Chickpeas that are crispy
One of the biggest complaints I hear about recipes for roasted chickpeas are that they come out soggy. So, what is the secret to making Pesto Roasted Chickpeas that are crispy?
Okay… I’ll be honest, getting Pesto Chickpeas crispy was a harder task than standard spice-coated chickpeas. Why? Because there is a fair amount of oil in a jar of pesto… Far more than you need to roast the chickpeas! But being my way, I persevered and these are my best tips and tricks for making Pesto Roasted Chickpeas that have a crunch…
Tips for Prepping the ingredients…
- Thoroughly drain the chickpeas of all the liquid in the can and also DRY them by wrapping in clean kitchen paper towels to remove any remaining surface moisture.
- For best results, remove the skins from the chickpeas (by rubbing them), as they can trap moisture which creates steam, resulting in soggy chickpeas.
- Because of the high oil content in Pesto, I have created a recipe that has a balance of Pesto to give enough flavour without ‘sogging’ the chickpeas. However, if you want to use a greater quantity of Pesto, it is essential to drain any excess oil using a fine mesh sieve before you add to the chickpeas, for best crispiness.
How to cook the chickpeas…
Once you’ve prepped the ingredients, the way you roast them matters. Follow this simple three-stage process for the best results.
- Put the drained chickpeas and Pesto in a saucepan together and stir over a low heat until they are well-coated and sizzling a little. Basically, you need to lightly fry off remaining moisture and seal the flavour before they hit the oven.
- Spread the Pesto-coated chickpeas on a lined baking tray in a single layer and pop them in a moderately hot oven (about 200 C)… It needs to be hot enough to crisp, but not too high or for too long that they burn. So, keep a close eye to be sure they don’t ‘catch’ and turn with a spatula occasionally. They should take about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Once cooked (and this is crucial)… turn off the oven, open the door for a couple of minutes to take off the harshness of the heat… But then shut the door again and LEAVE the Pesto Roasted Chickpeas IN the oven to cool as the oven cools (at least 30 minutes). This helps to dry out any remaining moisture, so that you get a super-crispy snack.
Ways to eat Crispy Roasted Chickpeas
Although the easiest way to eat crispy Pesto Roasted Chickpeas is by the handful from bowl to mouth, they can be enjoyed by adding to lots of other dishes too.
- Serve on top of a favourite (Gluten Free) Pasta dish for a contrasting crunch and extra Italian flavour.
- Sprinkle on to a bowl of home-made Classic Hummus to add extra texture.
- Add to the top of a freshly baked Italian Pizza.
- Sprinkle into a deliciously healthy lunch-time Buddha Bowl.
- Serve as a bar snack, TV nibbles or pop in a lunch box.
- Bring to a Gluten Free Picnic.
- Use to bring crunch to an Italian-inspired Salad.
- Pop in a bowl and serve alongside a winter-warming Pumpkin and Pepper Soup.
- Add to a Summer Frittata.
Have you made my Pesto Roasted Chickpeas?
And that’s it… Below you’ll find my super-yummy recipe for Pesto Roasted Chickpeas. If you make them, don’t forget to let me know. Leave a comment, give the recipe a generous rating, or tag me on social media with your pics.
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Other Delicious Gluten Free Savoury Snacks we think You’ll Love
Pesto Roasted Chickpeas
- kitchen paper
- Small saucepan
- 400 g 1 x can of chickpeas drained, skinned and dried.
- 2½ to 3 tbsp Pesto green, red or vegan
- Thoroughly drain the chickpeas using a sieve (save the aquafaba (water from the chickpea can) for cooking egg free/vegan bakes if you wish).
- Rinse the drained chickpeas thoroughly with cold water and then dry them well with absorbent kitchen paper towels.
- For best results, remove and discard the skins from the chickpeas by rubbing in the paper towels/hands.
- Preheat the oven to 200 C/400 F/Gas 6.
- Put the chickpeas in a small saucepan with the Pesto. Stir thoroughly to ensure the chickpeas are evenly coated.
- Place the saucepan over a medium heat and (once hot and lightly sizzling) gently fry for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring very frequently so that the chickpeas don't burn.
- Take the pan off the heat and transfer the chickpeas to a (preferably lined) large baking tray, spreading evenly in a single layer.
- Place the tray into the hot oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring the chickpeas intermittently to prevent burning.
- When the chickpeas are starting to turn a golden colour, turn the oven off and open the door for a couple of minutes to cool the oven’s harsh heat slightly, but do not remove the chickpeas.
- Shut the oven door and leave the chickpeas on the tray to cool inside the cooling oven for at least a further 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and if there is still any warmth in the chickpeas, leave to cool completely on the tray, before transferring to a bowl or container.
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