Exploring Delicious Alternatives: The Best Chickpea Substitutes

The best chickpea substitutes

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a versatile ingredient that is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients. However, there may be times when you don’t have chickpeas on hand or simply want to explore other options. In this article, we will explore some of the best chickpea substitutes that can be used in a variety of dishes.

Beans and Squash

For those looking to replace chickpeas in recipes like hummus, beans and squash are excellent alternatives. Beans such as black beans, edamame, broad beans, and lima beans can be used in place of chickpeas to make a flavorful and creamy hummus. Each type of bean brings its own unique flavor and texture to the dish, allowing for a variety of flavor profiles.
If you prefer to stay closer to the traditional flavor of chickpea hummus, delicata squash is an ideal substitute. When roasted, delicata squash develops a slightly nutty flavor that is very similar to chickpeas. The firm flesh of delicata squash also makes a great consistency for hummus.

Lentils for soups and curries

Chickpeas are often added to soups and curries to add body and protein. Lentils are an excellent substitute for chickpeas in these dishes, especially in Moroccan-inspired recipes. Lentils come in a variety of colors, but they have a similar mild flavor to chickpeas and can withstand the robust spices and broths commonly used in Moroccan cuisine.
When using lentils as a substitute for chickpeas in soups, it is important to note that lentils are smaller in size, which may result in a slightly different texture. However, they are still a satisfying and nutritious addition to your soups and curries.

Aquafaba Alternatives

Aquafaba, the viscous liquid obtained from cooking or preserving chickpeas, is often used as an egg white substitute in vegan recipes. However, if you don’t have aquafaba on hand or have an egg allergy, there are alternatives.
Potato starch mixed with water can be an excellent substitute for aquafaba. Potato starch can be found in health food stores or made at home by boiling potatoes and saving the starchy water. By adjusting the cooking time and thickness of the mixture, you can achieve the desired consistency for your recipes.

Protein Substitutes

Chickpeas are often used as a vegetarian protein source in many dishes. If you’re looking for alternatives with similar protein content and fewer carbohydrates, consider the following options:

  1. Cannellini beans: These kidney-shaped beans have a creamy, slightly nutty flavor. They offer nearly one-third the carbohydrates and less than one-tenth the fat of chickpeas, making them a great option for those watching their carbohydrate intake.
  2. Lima Beans: Also known as butter beans, lima beans have a smooth, buttery texture. They contain fewer carbohydrates, fat, and protein than cannellini beans and chickpeas, making them a good choice for those looking to add protein to their meals without excessive carbohydrates or calories.
  3. Great Northern Beans: These smaller beans have a subtle nutty flavor and creamy texture. They take on the flavors of other ingredients when cooked, making them versatile for a variety of recipes, including purees like hummus or vegetarian “chicken” salad.
  4. Peas: Peas are an excellent way to add protein to dishes. They are a nutritious and versatile substitute that can be used in a variety of recipes, including soups, stews, and salads.


While chickpeas are a popular ingredient in many recipes, there are several alternatives that can be used as substitutes. Beans and squash are great alternatives for dishes like hummus, while lentils can replace chickpeas in soups and curries. Aquafaba can be replaced with a mixture of potato starch and water, and there are several beans and peas that provide protein similar to chickpeas.
By exploring these substitutes, you can add variety to your dishes and accommodate different dietary preferences or restrictions. Whether you’re vegan, looking to reduce your carbohydrate intake, or just want to try something new, these chickpea substitutes offer delicious and nutritious alternatives.


What are some good substitutes for chickpeas in hummus?

Can lentils be substituted for chickpeas in soups?

What can I use instead of aquafaba?

What beans are good protein alternatives to chickpeas?

Are there alternatives to chickpeas for those watching their carbohydrate intake?

How can I incorporate these chickpea substitutes into my recipes?