6 Chickpea Substitutes! What To Use Instead of Chickpeas?

Chickpea or Egyptian pea or garbanzo bean is a unique food. It has a distinctive taste and hey, it’s a good source of plant-based protein!

Finding an alternative to chickpeas in cooking can be challenging. There is probably nothing that 100% resembles chickpeas in the overall look and flavor.

However, there are some foods that have a similar taste or flavor to chickpeas. Sometimes their shapes are similar too. You can use them as chickpea alternatives in cooking.

What is an alternative to chickpeas?

You can try black beans, lima beans, pinto beans, cannellini beans, navy beans, or even lentils.

Different food has different characteristics. Each of those alternatives can perform differently in different dishes. So, you gotta pick the right one for the right reason.

Black Beans

Last but not least, you can use black beans as an alternative to chickpeas! It has an earthy and mildly sweet flavor. You can use black beans in soup, salad, or even casserole!

Oh, and the good news is, black beans have lower calories than chickpeas! So if your recipe calls for chickpeas and you want to decrease the number of calories a little bit, you can substitute black beans for the chickpeas!

Lima Beans

Lima beans have a nutty and buttery taste. Those flavors are similar to chickpea flavors. So, you can use this as an option.

However, if you want to substitute lima beans for cooked chickpea, make sure that your lima beans are removed from the heat just at the right time, because overcooking them can change the taste into something bitter.

Pinto Beans

Pinto beans and garbanzo beans have definitely different looks. But hey, you should not judge the book by its cover. Pinto beans taste earthy and nutty and somehow creamy, which is similar to crushed chickpea.

If your recipe calls for mashed chickpea, but you don’t have it at home, you can try pinto beans as an alternative.

Cannelini Beans

Chickpeas are popular ingredients for hummus. But what should you use when you don’t have chickpeas at home and you have to make some hummus?

Then you can try using cannellini beans!

Cannelini bean has a similar taste to chickpea and you can use it to make hummus!

You can also use cannellini beans as a chickpea substitute in soup!

Navy beans a.k.a. pea beans can be an alternative for chickpea.

They have a bit of a nutty taste and they are quick to cook.

When cooked, navy beans become creamy and somehow velvety.

BTW, navy beans have more vitamin C compared to chickpeas.

If you love falafel, you probably would love cooking one at home.

But what can you do when you don’t have chickpeas for falafel?

Well, you can try navy beans.


Lentils have a better amount of proteins and fiber than chickpeas.

Lentils have a nutty and earthy flavor.

However, they have a bit of peppery flavor that might be noticeably different if compared to chickpeas.

Lentils can hold their shape after being cooked. So, if you need a chickpea substitute for salad and you don’t have any other foods mentioned above, consider lentils as the last option.

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