Ceci Fritos: an Italian Fried Chickpeas Snack

a bowl of chickpeas
Philippe Desnerck/Getty Images
  • Total: 11 mins
  • Prep: 1 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 2 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
572 Calories
16g Fat
84g Carbs
28g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 572
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 20%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 475mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 84g 31%
Dietary Fiber 19g 67%
Protein 28g
Calcium 154mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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 our 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 we often double the recipe, knowing we'll want another helping tomorrow. And they sure are healthier for a midday snack than potato chips or cheese crackers.

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 here, they’re called “ceci fritos.”


  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (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

Steps 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.