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Cheap As Chickpeas

“I’ll not starve.”

That was the thought that crossed my mind as I pondered some weighty financial issues.

“I could always live on chickpeas” (and, before you ask, there is an implied “and potatoes” in that sentence).

I know for a fact that the modest sum of €3.30 will buy me a hefty 2kg of dried chickpeas at The Asia Market. Allow me to illustrate just how many chickpeas that is:

The Spud And The Chickpeas

Chickpeas, lots thereof

I adore chickpeas and would really survive both happily and well if they were my dietary mainstay. I’d eat them in Indian-style curries, stewed Spanish-style with leafy greens, in their many Middle Eastern guises (of which hummus is king), in assorted salads or cooked on a pan burger style. That jar-full, for example, would make about 200 of these little baked chickpea burgers, which would, no doubt, keep me going for quite some time…

Baked Chickpea Burgers

Baked Chickpea Burgers

Dried chickpeas are, of course, anything but convenient. They do require soaking overnight and cooking for hours on end (unless, like me, you have a pressure cooker). But they are cheap. And cheap in a good, nutritious way, not like industrialised and overly-processed foods which can be made cheaply but which lose so much of their value as real food in the process. With a little bit of advance planning and perhaps a weekend at your disposal, dried chickpeas will repay your investment well.

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Baked Chickpea Burgers

These burgers are packed with things that I love to eat with chickpeas, including garlic, ginger, carrot, coriander and parsley. As a change from frying, I baked these on an oiled tray which, I have to say, worked out pretty well. Like their deep-fried falafel cousins, these little burgers are lovely stuffed into pita breads and eaten with salads, yoghurt and tahini.

You can, of course, used tinned chickpeas here if you don’t have time, or can’t be bothered with the endless cooking required for the dried variety. If you are cooking dried chickpeas, though, do save the chickpea cooking liquid and freeze it – it makes a nice base for soups.

You’ll need:
  • 150g dried chickpeas (or used tinned – you’ll need about 375g chickpeas once drained)
  • 1 tblsp olive oil plus more for greasing the baking sheet
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 baby leeks or 5-6 spring onions, green and white parts finely sliced
  • 0.5 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tblsp grated root ginger
  • 1 medium carrot (about 125g), coarsely grated
  • 2 tblsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 4-5 tblsp chopped parsley (either flat leaf or curly)
  • 1 tblsp lemon juice
  • 6 tblsp rolled oats / porridge oats (or use wholewheat breadcrumbs)
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
You’ll also need:
  • A large baking sheet – mine was about 20cm by 30cm – or a couple of smaller ones.
The Steps:
  • If using dried chickpeas and you haven’t had time enough to soak them overnight, you can quick-soak them as follows: cover with several inches of cold water, bring to the boil and boil rapidly for about 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to soak for at least an hour in the heated water.
  • Drain the soaked chickpeas, put into a heavy saucepan with about 1 litre of fresh water. Bring up to the boil, then simmer, partially covered, for about 1.5 – 2 hours or until the chickpeas are tender. Alternatively, if you have a pressure cooker, they’ll only need about 20 minutes of cooking once they’ve been brought up to pressure.
  • If using tinned chickpeas, just drain and rinse them.
  • Preheat your oven to 200C and brush your baking sheet(s) with olive oil.
  • Place a large frying pan over a medium heat. When hot, add the olive oil and swirl it around the pan. Add the garlic and leeks (or spring onions) and stir and fry for about 4 minutes or until the leek whites have become translucent.
  • Add the cumin, grated ginger and grated carrot to the pan and stir and fry for another couple of minutes, then remove from the heat.
  • In a large bowl, mash the chickpeas coarsely, either using a potato masher or a fork.
  • Add the carrot and leek mixture to the mashed chickpeas, along with the chopped coriander and parsley, lemon juice, oats and salt. Mix well to combine – you should end up with a fairly stiff mixture.
  • To make each burger, scoop out a generous heaped tablespoon of the mixture, flatten and form into a patty around 5cm or so in diameter and around 0.5 cm thick and place on the baking sheet. Continue until you’ve used up all of the mixture.
  • Bake for about 10 minutes, then flip the patties over and bake for another 7-10 minutes until golden.
  • Serve with pita bread, yoghurt and/or tahini and salads.
The Variations:
  • You could easily add some fresh mint here I think – either use it to replace the fresh coriander or use both.
The Results:
  • This amount make 12-15 burgers and feeds 3-4, along with pita breads and salads.


  1. ValleyWriter

    Wow -these look delicious! I’ve made black bean burgers before, but never really thought about trying other beans. I bet the chickpeas are perfect for this!

  2. sweetlife

    what a wonderful burger…and baked yummy!!

  3. OysterCulture

    Yum, love the sound of this burger – I love (adore) chickpeas, too. I also like to slow cook them in olive oil and spices and they make a tasty snack! But I digress, you managed to make me hungry after a nice Chinese meal, now all I can think about are chickpea burgers.

  4. sarah

    Yum, and super healthy too, since it’s baked. I could eat chickpeas everyday. I used to let them cook overnight in the slow cooker.

  5. Sarah, Maison Cupcake

    The world would be a lesser place without chick peas, I have even been known to shop *shock horror* in Tesco because I’ve seen them selling cans x 12 for 2.99 or something silly. I know you can make all the same stuff with other pulses but chick peas have a personality of their own and a flavour that makes them much more individual than any other pulse. Not sure I would enjoy them so much if they were the only thing I ate but I certainly can’t live without them.

  6. The Duo Dishes

    If there’s anything a foodie knows how to do, it’s not starve. No matter how much money we have (or do not have), we’ll make a meal, and it will be fabulous. Great burgers!

  7. Phoo-D

    What a great idea! These look delicious and I love eating chickpeas.

  8. Bob

    I haven’t used chickpeas as much as I should, so I really need to try those burgers. They sound awesome.

  9. Phyllis

    I think I could survive on those chickpea burgers! Can’t wait to try the recipe (I once made some disappointing baked falafel patties that were blah-tasting, but your recipe is absolutely bursting with flavor!)

  10. Daily Spud

    ValleyWriter: chickpeas are great in something like this – as are black beans, of course!

    sweetlife: thanks – the baked option is definitely worth a try

    OysterCulture: there are so many wonderful ways with chickpeas, any of which are bound to make me hungry too!

    sarah: sounds like a perfect use for a slow cooker

    Sarah, Maison Cupcake: I’ve been known, shock horror, to shop in Tesco myself on occasion and would be likely to do so with an offer the likes of that!

    Duo Dishes: you said it!

    Phoo-D: they are tasty indeed :)

    Bob: I think it’s certainly worth having more chickpeas in your life – hope you give the burgers a go

    Phyllis: yep, lots of not-so-blah ingredients in those burgers I reckon :D

  11. The Diva on a Diet

    Spud, that first picture “Chickpeas, lots thereof” … cracked me right up! :)

    Love, love the looks of these chickpea burgers, especially the spices, and that they’re baked. Phenomenal recipe, I’m printing it out to make post haste!

  12. sippitysup

    Chick peas have a meaty quality that makes me believe the burgers have all the satisfying qualities one could ever want. GREG

  13. Lynda (The Ten Pound Pom)

    I can’t tell you how useful I have found chickpea burgers especially as two of my sons have vegetarian girl-friends. Try the burgers with a tablespoon of crunchy peanut butter added to the mix and serve with sweet chilli sauce. They are even more yummy cold.

  14. Tangled Noodle

    Waaaah! I used to love hummus and all manner of chickpea-ness but can no longer have them (related to peanut intolerance). If I could, I would love to try these for dinner; as it is, I can only stare and sigh deeply. Hopefully, I won’t starve – there’s still potatoes . . . and rice . . . and coconuts!

  15. Lu

    That picture is beautiful – love the recipe too

  16. Lilly

    Yum! These look amazing. I love the idea of ginger and coriander in them. I’m a big chickpea fan too, If I could live on hummus, tzatziki and tomatoes for the rest of my life I’d be a happy girl! I’ll have to try these burgers this weekend,Thanks! x

  17. gastroanthropologist

    I occasionally get the dried chickpeas (often its canned) but its not because they take forever to soak…they always seem to give off this foul odor when I soak them. Did you have the problem?
    Can not live without chickpeas…I love them in salads and soups and mashed up as a dip or hummus. Your chickpea burgers look so fresh, healthy, and delicious!

  18. Kitchen Butterfly

    Yummy, yummy, yummy, delicious. So says Dora, the explorer…..and I too!!!!!!!!!

  19. Daily Spud

    Diva: ooh I hope you enjoyed!

    sippitysup: they do have a certain satisfying meatiness – perhaps that’s why they are one of my favourite veggie things to eat :)

    Lynda: thanks for the suggestions – I’d happily eat sweet chili sauce with just about anything I reckon!

    Tangled Noodle: ah, I had forgotten (but am now reminded of) your chickpea intolerance – such a shame but, as you say, there are all manner of other good things out there to enjoy instead

    Lu: thank you, very kind of you to say so

    Lilly: you’re welcome – I reckon I could go a long way on hummmus, tzatziki and tomatoes myself!

    gastroanthropologist: I haven’t really had issues with whiffy soaked chickpeas though, mind you, it’s a long while since I’ve left chickpeas to soak overnight – I almost always quick-soak them (boil briefly and just soak for an hour) – and haven’t had any smell issues doing it that way; I can’t actually recall if I ever thought the chickpeas soaked overnight particularly smelly!

    Kitchen Butterfly: glad that you and Dora liked them so much :)

  20. Sophie

    Your chickpea & leek burgers look so tasty & inviting, Daily Spud!!

    I so love them,..you know I do!

  21. Helen

    I adore chickpeas and cook large batches in the pressure cooker and free freeze them ready for all sorts of yummyness.

    Your burgers look lovely – I need a perfect chickpea burger recipe which I have not quite found yet. I’ll be making them soon.

  22. Daily Spud

    Sophie: I do know, I do!

    Helen: Thanks so much for dropping in and hope you like the burgers! It’s a great idea to make big batches of chickpeas and freeze them – I sometimes do that with batches of homemade hummus – great to have as a freezer standby.

  23. terri burke

    i made your chickpea burgers , they were fantastic,very tasty and healthy.

  24. Daily Spud

    Thanks so much for stopping by to let me know Terri, much appreciated and glad to hear that you enjoyed the burgers.

  25. Gracie

    Ooh I really liked these. I’d make them again. Next time I might try grilling to make them harder. Thanks!

  26. Daily Spud

    That’s wonderful to hear Gracie, so glad you liked them!

  27. wendy

    I had to add at least another tablespoon of oil to half the mix when the patties fell apart and did not cook right in the oven. The “right” ones were good with a garlic tahini dressing in pita with raw broccoli salad, and a tabouli topper.

  28. Daily Spud

    Hi Wendy – sorry these didn’t work out *quite* right first time ’round – I guess the nature of cooked chickpeas can vary and some are less moist than others, hence some extra binding needed in your case. Glad they came right in the end and the garlic tahini dressing, broccoli salad and tabouli accompaniments sound spot on.

  29. Marian Daly

    Great recipe. For the dried chickpeas, I soak them overnight, rinse in cold water a couple of times. Bring to boil, put on lid, simmer for 50 minutes and they will be tender. I boil a large batch, they freeze well and they are very handy for salads, curries etc. Dried chickpeas are great value.

  30. Daily Spud

    Thanks Marian, they are indeed great value & a great idea to make batches to freeze. Must remember to do that more often!

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