Here’s everything you need to know about Chickpeas. What are chickpeas? What’s the difference between Chickpeas vs Garbanzo Beans? Are chickpeas gluten-free? How to cook them, plus 21 garbanzo bean recipes.

Two bowls filled with chickpeas - one cooked chickpeas and one raw. Chopped cucumber, purple onion, fresh mint and a knife sits next to the vegetables. For chickpeas vs garbanzo beans.

Chickpeas have a delicious nutty and buttery flavor with a creamy texture, making them wonderful to toss in soups, salads, skillets and stews. 

3 bags of chickpeas - 2 labeled garbanzo beans and one labeled chickpeas

What Are Chickpeas?

Chickpeas are pale, round, cream colored legumes and are frequently used in the Mediterranean, Indian, Middle Eastern, American and Latin American  cuisine. In Latin America chickpeas are called “garbanzo” and in Italy they’re called “ceci”. The name chickpea comes from the Latin word “Cicer” which refers to the plant family of legumes called Fabaceae. It’s thought that chickpeas originated in the Near East and were cultivated as far back as 7000 B.C.

What Do Chickpeas Taste Like?

Chickpeas have a creamy texture with a delicate nutty flavor.

Are Chickpeas and Garbanzo Beans the Same Thing?

Chickpeas and garbanzo beans are the same exact thing, only they are called by two different names “chickpeas” (Latin word) and “garbanzo” beans (Spanish word). There is no difference whatsoever between garbanzo beans vs chickpeas.

Types of Chickpeas

There are two main varieties of chickpeas – “Kabuli” and “Desi”. Small Desi chickpeas are yellow on the inside and Kabuli are larger and cream colored with a thin skin. Kabuli chickpeas are the most common type found in American grocery stores. 

  • Chana dal – These are small split chickpeas that look like yellow split peas. They have nutty sweet flavor.
  • Chickpea shoots – These are feather-like shoots from the chickpea plant. They can be hard to find (maybe at farmers’ markets) and great added to salads.
  • Green chickpeas – These are young gender fresh chickpeas with a sweet taste.

Five spoons scattered on a table. The spoons are filled with both dried chickpeas and cooked chickpeas for chickpeas vs garbanzo beans

Are Chickpeas Gluten Free?

Chickpeas are naturally gluten free. But when you purchase chickpea products at the grocery store (such as hummus) take a look at the labels to make sure there are no other ingredients in them which may contain gluten in case you need a gluten-free product for dietary reasons.

A mound of garbanzo beans for garbanzo beans vs chickpeas

Cooking Chickpeas from Scratch

Opening a can of chickpeas is convenient, but homemade tastes superior.  

To cook chickpeas from scratch, soak whole dried chickpeas overnight in water before cooking. Or use the quick soak method by placing them in a saucepan filled with enough water to cover them by 2 inches. Boil them for 2 minutes then remove from heat and cover. Let them rest in the water for an hour, then drain them and cover with fresh water before cooking.  Split chickpeas (like chana dal) don’t need to be pre-soaked before cooking.

A white pot filled with legumes, celery stalks, garlic cloves, carrot pieces and an onion half. - For Are chickpeas gluten free

Are Canned Chickpeas Cooked?

Yes, canned chickpeas have already been cooked. All you need to do is open the can, rinse them under cold water, drain and pat dry. Remove any loose outer skins that you can then toss them in soups, stews, skillets and salads. 

Recipes with Garbanzo Beans

If you’re wondering how to use chickpeas, the possibilities are endless really.  Whether the chickpeas have been cooked from scratch or come from a can, they’re great to add to so many recipes.

Two bowls filled with chickpeas - one cooked and one raw. Dry chickpeas are scattered on the board around the bowls - for are chickpeas gluten free


Garbanzo beans vs chickpeas

Chickpeas and garbanzo beans are the same exact same legume. They are just called by two different names – “chickpeas” (Latin word) and “garbanzo” beans (Spanish word).

Are chickpeas gluten-free

Yes chickpeas are gluten free.

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