The humble bean.

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Queen Chickpeas, Bold Bean Co.
Queen Chickpeas, Bold Bean Co. £4.50

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What is it

Chickpeas are small, round legumes with a nutty taste and a creamy texture.


In the battle between dried vs tinned, dried wins in terms of texture and flavour. Find out more below.

the humble bean

In a classroom full of every legume, the chickpea would be our star student. The legume to which we show a certain degree of favouritism. Chickpeas are constantly eager to please and have an enthusiasm that gets along with any personality, from fierce chilli to funky parmesan.

Chickpeas are a small, round legume with a nutty taste and a creamy texture. Dried, tinned and jarred, the chickpeas have found their way into almost every pantry around the world. Why? Here’s everything you need to know.


Chickpeas have been in the culinary game for a very, very long time, popular amongst ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans (talk about shelf life). Over time, chickpeas spread throughout the world, hitching rides off trade ships and exploring new continents.

Today, they’re grown and enjoyed globally, from hummus and falafel to Indian curries and Mediterranean salads.

Dried, tinned or jarred?

In the battle between dried vs tinned, dried wins in terms of texture and flavour. Dried chickpeas, once soaked overnight and cooked, are a must when it comes to falafel, hummus and fritters. They’re much more economical and have a nutty flavour that’s not been soaked in preservatives. But if all you have to hand is a can, don’t fret. Tinned chickpeas crisp perfectly in the oven and create a brilliant base for throw-together weeknight meals. And if you’re planning to eat in the next two hours, a can is the obvious choice.

In the last couple of years, jarred beans have been gaining popularity. They’re big, creamy and a proper representation of what a chickpea should be. A brilliant in between in the dried vs tinned debate. Our favourites are from Bold Bean.

COOKING WITH chickpeas

Working as a brilliant meat substitute (or accompaniment), chickpeas hold up well when simmered on a hob or in a slow cooker. Pop in a pan with your favourite spice blend and variation of veg, and you have yourself a simple weekday dinner.

Crisp ‘em up

If you have a can in the cupboard, guzzle over a good lot of olive oil and pop in the oven for 20-30 minutes until golden brown. They’re the perfect texture boost for salads as well as a small salty snack when dusted with cumin and chilli powder.


When it comes to hummus, dried chickpeas are best – soaked overnight and cooked until tender. In Shelf Love, we did all the hard work for you and conducted a beastly battle of the hummus. If you want all the best tips and tricks, follow our slightly pedantic yet necessary steps.

“Chef, if all you had in your cupboard was a can of chickpeas, what would you make?”

Verena, without hesitation, said our confit tandoori chickpeas. They’re “stewy yet sexy” – everything you would want from a low-effort high-impact weeknight meal.