Ceci Fritos - Italian Fried Chickpeas Snack Recipe

Philippe Desnerck/Getty Images
  • 11 mins
  • Prep: 1 mins,
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 2 servings

How can something so simple and so easy be so good? Nevertheless, these wonderful fried chickpeas, that aren’t so much fried as sautéed, are one of my favorite snacks. They take 10 minutes to make and about 30 minutes to eat with a glass or two of wine or a cocktail.

These little nuggets are best straight out of the skillet, but they also keep for three days in an air-tight container so I often double the recipe, knowing I'll want another few peas tomorrow after work. And they sure are healthier than potato chips or cheese crackers when I need a midday snack

Familiar with chickpeas? Chickpeas are a roundish legume slightly larger than a pea popular in the Middle East, the Mediterranean, Mexico and the United States. In Spain, they’re known as “garbanzo beans” and in Italy as “ceci.” When they’re fried, as I have done here, they’re called “ceci fritos.”

What You'll Need

  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas/garbanzos, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to Make It

  1. Drain, rinse, and then dry chickpeas in a towel.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chickpeas, garlic powder, thyme, cumin, salt, and pepper,  and cook, shaking the pan occasionally until the peas begin to pop ( about 7 minutes).
  3. Drain chickpeas on a paper towel, taste and adjust seasonings.


Edited by Barbara Rolek

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 572
Total Fat 16 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Unsaturated Fat 7 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 475 mg
Carbohydrates 84 g
Dietary Fiber 19 g
Protein 28 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)