Ways to Enjoy Garbanzo Beans

Garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas, are a nutritious legume grown all over the world and popular in many cuisines. Garbanzos are a great source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. They are very inexpensive and can be found canned or dry. They can be used in many dishes and can be swapped for other beans or lentils in your favorite recipes.

Try them:

Here are some ways to cook dried chickpeas:

  • In a large pot, using 3 cups of water for every 1 cup of chickpeas, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until desired tenderness (usually anywhere between 1 hour to 2 hours)
  • In a slow cooker on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours
  • In a pressure cooker with a sealed lid (12 minutes if pre-soaked or 50 minutes without pre-soaking), and naturally releasing the pressure for 10 minutes

My favorite way to prepare garbanzos is to cook them until soft and mix them with a stew made of pureed carrots, onions, peppers, and garlic. The veggies can be cooked (without chopping them) with the garbanzos and then pureed separately to make the stew. You can add whatever spices on hand to the stew such as salt, pepper, cumin, and turmeric to taste. I then add the garbanzos to the stew and serve over rice.

I encourage you to give garbanzo beans a try!

Written by: Paula Gutierrez, ISU Dietetic Intern

Jody Gatewood

Jody Gatewood

Jody Gatewood is a Registered Dietitian who enjoys spending time in the kitchen baking and preparing meals for her family. She does lots of meal planning to stay organized and feed her family nutritious meals.

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After School Hummus

Hummus is an inexpensive treat to make at home, and it is easy, tasty and good for you!  The main ingredient is garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas).   Hummus contains iron, protein and fiber, plus other nutrients depending on the ingredients you include.

Hummus can have many different flavors.  Our After School Hummus recipe does not include tahini (ground sesame seeds), which can be expensive, or oil, which adds calories. Instead, plain yogurt is added to make it light and smooth.  Other tasty ingredients to try in hummus are paprika,  peanut butter, curry powder, Worcestershire sauce, salt, ground pepper, chili paste, olives and artichokes.  Roasted red pepper hummus is often sold in delis—you can make this at home by grilling a halved red pepper until blackened, then pulling off the skin and blending the flesh into the hummus.

If you do not have a good food processor, a blender will work.  You will need to turn the blender off and open the top to mix the beans with a spoon inside the blender a couple of times to make sure the hummus is smooth. You may also need to add a little oil or yogurt to thin the hummus.

Hummus can be served with sliced vegetables (carrots, celery, radishes, peppers) as a dip.  It can also be used to fill pitas, eaten on crackers or Pita chips, or spread on bread in place of peanut butter.

After School Hummus


  • 1 can (15-ounce) reduced-sodium garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced or ¼ teaspoon
  • garlic powder
  • 1½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup plain nonfat yogurt


  1. Use a blender or food processor. Combine garbanzo beans, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, oil, and pepper. Blend on low speed until the beans are mashed.
  2. Stir in yogurt with spoon.
  3. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight so the flavors blend.
  4. Serve with pita chips, crackers, or fresh veggies.

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