A key ingredient in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking, the humble chickpea is probably most eaten in hummus – a creamy dip made using tahini. Chickpeas also feature heavily in falafels and curries but once baked and crispy, they make an easy snack or welcome addition to a summer salad. These legumes are an excellent source of protein and a great source of multiple vitamins, including magnesium and potassium. A can of chickpeas is a storecupboard essential – great for effortless, quick meals.
Whilst chickpeas come in five colours (red, black, brown and green), we have reviewed and taste-tested the most popular beige variety which come pre-cooked in a can or jar. We've found six top-quality chickpeas to try, so whether you're making hummus or looking for a bargain all-rounder, we've found the one for you.
Here, at olive, we have a variety of ideas for using chickpeas. Discover some of our best recipes, including hummus. Chickpeas are also a star ingredient in curries, salads and pancakes. Check out our fattoush salad with crispy spiced chickpeas for a spring lunch or chickpea fritters for something filling but gluten-free. Persian food writer and chef Sabrina Ghayour also shares a recipe for chickpea and vegetable koftes with a tahini yogurt sauce.
Best chickpeas at a glance
- Best ready-to-eat chickpeas: Biona organic chickpeas, £1.43
- Best for hummus: Morrisons Chickpeas, £0.55
- Best for roasted chickpeas: Mr Organic Chickpeas, £1.30
- Best all-rounder: Napolina Chick Peas, £1
- Best for a salad: Epicure organic chickpeas, £8
- Best for curries: KTC Chick Peas, £0.50
The results of the best chickpeas taste test 2022
Biona organic chickpeas
Best ready-to-eat chickpeas
Biona's chickpeas have a buttery mouth feel that are almost too good to blend. They are cooked to perfection, have a good amount of salt, and they are all consistently small in size making them good for everything from salads to wraps.
Morrisons chickpeas in water
Best for hummus
A particular aspect of this can of chickpeas was the quality of the liquid: it was thick and glossy, which is good to note for quick hummus as the liquid can be used. The chickpeas themselves were quite big and they were not floury at all, but deliciously buttery and soft. They had an olive oil taste on their own, too.
Mr Organic Chick Peas
Best for roasted chickpeas
These chickpeas were the least salty of the bunch. There was a nutty flavour and creaminess that came through and they were evenly sized with no floating skins or even visible skins.
Napolina Chick Peas
These chickpeas generally have a little bite to them but they are a bit inconsistent in texture. They are not very salty, which is good if you want to add your own salt mix to make crunchy chickpeas or if you are looking to make your own hummus and keep an eye on the seasoning yourself. Tasters found a thin skin on these chickpeas, though this was easy to slip off.
Epicure organic chickpeas
Best for a salad
All the chickpeas in the can were even in size, generally soft inside but with a bit of a bite, and none had a leathery skin. The chickpeas and the salted water they were held in were neutral in flavour with only a slight salty aftertaste.
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KTC Chick Peas
Best for curry
Tasters found these chickpeas quite inconsistent as some were darker then others and there was a little size variation. This means they're not the best for baking into snacks or putting into a salad. There was a neutral flavour with no strong after-taste and they were generally on the undercooked side, so could do with a bit more cooking in a tomato sauce or curry.
How we tested
We chose the best canned beige chickpeas that would work for a variety of dishes. We looked for overall taste and balanced salt levels. In terms of texture, we tasted all of the chickpeas straight from the can and looked for those that would break down easily for a hummus (chickpeas that were already well-cooked) or some with a bit more bite that could work in a salad, oven-baked or cooked in a sauce, as well as those in between. We also noted the consistency in size and texture and whether the chickpeas had skins.
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