5 Ways to Turn Canned Chickpeas into a Restaurant-Worthy Dish

It's not complicated to understand why we love canned chickpeas: they're low in calories, high in protein, and have a mild nuttiness that elevates the flavor of countless dishes. In fact, we're such big fans of these adaptable beans that we've featured them in five new recipes in our October issue.

Chickpea Fritters

These quick and flavorful fritters are made in a food processor, then lightly fried on your stovetop. This light meal also happens to be completely vegetarian.

1 can (15.5 ounces) rinsed and drained chickpeas
1/2 cup sliced scallions
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup flour
1 large egg
1 teaspoon coarse salt
Olive oil
Salad and lemon wedges, for serving

1. In a food processor, pulse together chickpeas, scallions, and cilantro until a coarse paste forms. Pulse in flour, egg, and salt. Heat 1/4 inch olive oil in a large skillet over medium high. Add chickpea mixture to skillet, 1/4 cup at a time, pressing to form patties. Cook until golden brown on both sides, turning once, 4 to 5 minutes. Serve with salad and lemon wedges.

Related: Quick, One-Pot Meal Ideas To Feed the Whole Family

Curried Chickpeas

Not a fan of curry? Try replacing it with the words well-spiced and then give this fragrant dish a try. Garlic, ginger, and tomato paste combine to create robust flavors in just a few minutes (no lengthy simmering or braising necessary!).

1 minced onion
2 tablespoons julienned ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 can (15.5 ounces) rinsed and drained chickpeas
Yogurt and cilantro sprigs, for serving

1. Saute onion, ginger, and garlic in oil. Add curry powder and cook 30 seconds. Stir in tomato paste and cook 1 minute. Add chickpeas and cook until heated through; season. Serve with yogurt and cilantro sprigs.

Related: 15 Kitchen Shortcuts That Will Change the Way You Cook

Chickpea, Sausage, and Kale Pasta

We could describe this recipe as the perfect last-minute meal -- and it is just that -- but the title really wouldn't convey how much we crave this pasta. Instead, we'll describe it as a flavor smorgasbord (rich Italian sausage meat is punched up with garlic, while kale and chickpeas act as mellow but hearty additions) that we'd happily enjoy even if it was planned well in advance.

1/2 pound short pasta
3/4 pound Italian sausage meat
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 can (15.5 ounces) rinsed and drained chickpeas
5 cups ribbed and shredded kale
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper
Lemon juice, for drizzling

1. Cook pasta, then drain. In a skillet, cook sausage meat in 1 tablespoon olive oil until opaque, breaking up with a spoon. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add chickpeas and cook 3 minutes. Add kale and wilt. Add pasta and Parmesan; season. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.

Herbed Chickpea Sandwich

Hummus fans, rejoice! This open-faced sandwich is reminiscent of your favorite spread, but calls for tangy feta cheese in place of tahini, as well as fresh dill. The cherry tomatoes add a pleasantly sweet touch, but thinly sliced beefsteak or plum tomatoes would work well, too (they just won't look nearly as cute).

1 can (15.5 ounces) rinsed and drained chickpeas
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, plus dill springs for topping
Salt and pepper
4 slices toasted rustic bread
Halved cherry tomatoes

1. Mash together chickpeas, olive oil, and lemon juice. Stir in feta and chopped dill; season. Divide mixture among 4 slices bread. Top with tomatoes. Drizzle with oil and top with dill sprigs.

Chickpea and Cauliflower Salad

Our test kitchen team loved this recipe so much that is disappeared almost immediately after being created. The contrast of soft, warm chickpeas with raw, crunchy cauliflower is an unexpected delight. Keep in mind, the longer the cauliflower sits in its dressing, the more it will soften, so plan your meal according to your preferences.

1 can (15.5 ounces) rinsed and drained chickpeas
3 tablespoons drained capers
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1/2 head sliced cauliflower
1/2 cup chopped, roasted, salted almonds
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss chickpeas and capers with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil; season. Roast at 475 degrees until chickpeas are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Whisk together 1/4 cup olive oil and red-wine vinegar. Toss together cauliflower; almonds; raisins; parsley; chickpea mixture; and dressing. Season.

More from Everyday Food:
10 New Ways to Use Leftover Bacon Grease
35 Beyond Delicious No-Bake Dessert Recipes
Healthy Afternoon Snacks You'll Dream About All Day
15 New Ideas for a Healthy, Delicious Breakfast

This healthy main-course salad is another winner.