I’m a snackster. I’m always rustling through the pantry, fridge, cabinets– anything I can get into, trying to find snacks. I swear I was a chipmunk in a past life. I even store hidden snacks from my partner in snackster crime, Tony, who was probably a locust in a past life. Seriously, hide your goodies, he’s a monster.
Since I try to keep my grocery shopping down to once a week, we are often out of snacks mid-week (I told you, he’s a locust!) Fortunately, I can usually count on a pantry stocked with a few cans of chickpeas. Hummus regularly makes it’s way into our munchie rotation, so chickpeas are always hanging around.
So when my family and I are crawling pathetically on the floor groaning, “Snaaaccckkkksss….” it’s a relief knowing I can quickly whip up a batch of crispy chickpeas. These little suckers are salty, crunchy, satisfying, and packed with protein and fiber. They’re awesome plain, with just oil and salt, but this particular recipe is to die for.
Did I mention they’re bacon flavored? Oh yes, indeed.
As you pop these nuggets of joy into your mouth, you may notice that each and every one tastes and feels like a crispy piece of bacon. But these are way better for you– and they’re spicy!
These chickpeas are strongly inspired by the crispy chickpeas you’ll find in Mexican stores. Like this recipe, they’re coated in a generous dose of chile, salty, and crunchy. This recipe starts out with just enough cayenne for a gentle heat– you, of course, can adjust the chile to your liking. We like our crispy chickpeas face-melting spicy with a squeeze of fresh lime. The lime, which is essential for this recipe, keeps things fresh and lightens up the chile. Yummy in my tummy.
Too little time? Try this hack! After finishing your chickpeas (this shouldn’t take too long), you may notice a nest of tiny bacon bits resting on the bottom of your bowl. What a great way to punctuate an amazing snack– with spicy, salty bacon nibs! If you’re willing to forego these tasty bits, I’ve got a quick trick for you.
Are you one of those people who has bacon grease sitting around from the last time you made bacon? You know who you are! If you just happen to have some bacon grease, you can save time by using only this, along with the salt, paprika, and cayenne, to flavor your chickpeas. Simply toss your drained chickpeas with the 1 tablespoon of melted bacon grease, cayenne, paprika, and salt. Spread those suckers out on your lined baking sheet and let ’em cook for 40-50 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are crispy. This method is a bit faster and still chocked with tons of smoky, piggy flavor!
What are your favorite snacks? How long do they last in your house? We wanna hear all about it! See you next time!
- 2 (14.5-ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed and thoroughly drained
- 4 slices bacon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cayenne, or more to taste
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 lime, cut into wedges for serving
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- Spread the chickpeas on the lined cookie sheet and place in the oven. Bake, stirring halfway through the cooking process, until the chickpeas start to brown on the bottom.
- While the chickpeas are cooking, place the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the bacon until crispy, about 7 minutes. Reserve the bacon grease in the pan.
- Drain the bacon pieces and place them in a food processor with the salt, cayenne, and paprika. Process until the bacon is chopped finely.
- Remove the chickpeas from the oven and place in a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved bacon grease along with the cayenne-bacon mixture. Toss to coat, then return to the cookie sheet.
- Continue baking, stirring occasionally, until the chickpeas are mostly crispy, about 20-30 minutes more. They will crisp a little more as they cool.
- To serve, squeeze lime juice over the chickpeas and devour right away. Store any extra (un-juiced) chickpeas in a cool, dry place in an airtight container for up to 3 days.