Dinner Plans: Chickpeas

Prep 3 Delicious Meals From 1 Batch of Chickpeas Recipe

Bowl of chickpeas
Michael Möller / EyeEm/Getty Images

Chickpeas are affordable, accessible (you can find them in any grocery store), nutritious, and extremely versatile. They’re essential in all kinds of dishes all over the world, and cooking them from dried produces beans that are far and away better than the canned version. Think of a bag of dried chickpeas as your gateway to several diverse and delicious dinners. You can soak beans overnight before cooking, but the quick soak method allows you to cook a big batch without having to start a day ahead.

1:01

The Shortcut to Soaking and Cooking Dried Chickpeas

Game Plan

Prep Time: 1 1/2 hours (plus 1 hour soak time)

  1. Cook one pound of dried chickpeas. Soak overnight before cooking or use the quick soak method.
  2. One cooked, drain and set aside 1 1/2 cups of chickpeas for prep day dinner. Measure out 2 cups into an airtight container and label burgers. Measure out 1 1/2 cups into another container and label chana masala. Use the remaining chickpeas to make hummus or freeze for later use.
  3. Make easy potato salad or vegan potato salad for chickpea burger night. Store in the fridge in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Prep Day Middle Eastern Couscous

Time: 35 minutes

Use your perfectly cooked chickpeas to make a falafel-spiced couscous salad with roasted tomatoes and feta cheese. Serve with grilled chicken or fish and an easy tahini sauce for extra flavor.

Falafel Spiced Middle Eastern Couscous
Falafel Spiced Middle Eastern Couscous.  Anita Schecter

Getting Dinner on the Table

  • Use 1 1/2 cups of the homemade chickpeas instead of canned beans.
  • Grill the chicken or fish and make the tahini sauce while the tomatoes roast.
  • The couscous salad makes a great leftover lunch. Store the tahini sauce separately and add warm water as needed to thin it enough for drizzling.

Chickpea Burger Night

Time: 25 minutes

Chickpea burgers are quick and easy to make with your homemade beans. Serve with your choice of toppings and with the potato salad you made on prep day on the side for a tasty weeknight meal.

Vegan Chickpea Veggie Burgers
The Spruce

Getting Dinner on the Table

  • Use 2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained well and patted dry (extra liquid keep the patties from holding together as they cook).
  • Use a potato masher to crush the chickpeas. A few lumps are better than a smooth puree here.
  • Bake the patties at 350 F for 8 to 10 minutes instead of frying them in a skillet, and use that time to prep your toppings and toast your burger buns.
  • Prepping the potato salad ahead of time saves lots of work during the week and lets the flavors develop.

Chana Masala Night

Time: 25 minutes

This vegetarian chana masala delivers big flavor in a short amount of time, thanks to a savory mix of spices. Fresh spinach adds nice texture, color, and nutrition. Serve with a cool cucumber raita and warm pita bread.

Chana masala spicy chickpeas with spinach recipe
Chickpeas and spinach. Emily Hawkes for The Spruce

Getting Dinner on the Table

  • Use 1 1/2 cups of leftover chickpeas along with 1/2 cup water to make the chana masala.
  • Make your own garam masala, an Indian spice blend, if you don’t have it in your pantry. 
  • Quickly mix up the cucumber raita first to let the flavors meld.
  • Heat the pita breads in the oven or under the broiler until warm while the entree cooks on the stovetop.

Essential Info

Making quick weeknight dinners is easier when you start with a few building blocks. Dinner Plans is a realistic roadmap to help you achieve that goal, by putting in a few hours of work (planning, shopping, and prepping) at the outset. Preparing a big batch of one ingredient (protein, vegetables, or grains) gives you the flexibility to plan a variety of meals. And who knows? You just might discover your new favorite weeknight recipe in the process!

Show everyone how together you are: Instagram your meal prep photos and tag them #thespruceeats.