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Chickpea Breadcrumbs (grain-free, oil-free)

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Chickpea breadcrumbs, made with canned chickpeas, are grain-free, oil-free, & bread-free! High-protein, oil-free, frugal, and easy-to-make, they are every bit as delicious & versatile as traditional bread crumbs.

dark wooden bowl filled with chickpea breadcrumbs, with a wooden spoon inserted into crumbs

I am a sucker for all things crunchy. Toasted nuts & seeds, crisp crackers, cold crudités, and crumb-coated anything–yes please, it’s all satisfaction to me. If you have spent any time here on my blog, then you know I have quite a thing for chickpeas in all forms.

Add these two together and you can imagine that I wanted to leap for joy when  I spotted a new variety of breadcrumbs at the health food: Chickpea Crumbs. 

Chickpea crumbs!!! With nary a hesitation, into the shopping basket they went.

What are Chickpea Breadcrumbs?

Chickpea breadcrumbs–or chickpea crumbs–are a breadcrumb alternative made from nothing more than whole chickpeas.

The chickpeas in question are cooked (canned or homemade) and the crumbs are a result of processing (ultra-fine, chunky, or any where in between) into breadcrumb-size bits and then baked until dry.

a wooden spoon filled with chickpea breadcrumbs , with a bowl of the crumbs and a navy napkin in the background

My purchase of ready-to-use chickpea crumbs was worth the new discovery. The price, however…less than thrilling. At almost $8 for a 7-ounce bag, I knew I had no other choice:

I had to make my own version. 

And so I did! Moreover, I am happy to share the recipe for this healthy, grain-free staple with all of you.

Ingredients for Chickpea Breadcrumbs

To make the breadcrumbs, you will need a single ingredient:

  1. Cooked chickpeas

Specifically, you will need two 15-ounce of chickpeas (garbanzo beans). If home-cooked chickpeas are your preference, you will need about 3 and 1/4 cups of cooked chickpeas.

Ingredient price: about $.75 to $3.00 for a comparable yield.  That’s more like it!

overhead shot of a black ceramc bowl filled with drained chickpeas (garbanzo beans)

How to Make Chickpea Breadcrumbs

Making chickpea breadcrumbs is almost as simple as the ingredient list. The active time commitment is a few minutes. The remaining time is unattended baking.

Ready? Let’s have a crumby day!

Step 1: Rinse, Drain & Blot the Chickpeas

Begin by rinsing and draining the chickpeas in a colander or mesh sieve. Transfer the drained chickpeas to a layer of paper towels or a clean dish towel and blot to remove any excess moisture. Discard any loose skins that come off as a result of blotting. 

rinsed and drained chickpeas (garbanzo beans) being blotted between sheets of paper towels to remove moisture

Step 2: Bake the Chickpeas

Spread the drained and dried chickpeas on a large rimmed baking sheet. There is no need to grease or spray the baking sheet, nor line with parchment paper. I usually avoid the word “dump” in relationship to food, but dump and go is all the prep that you need here.

rinsed and blotted canned chickpeas spread out on a large rimmed baking sheet

Bake the chickpeas in a preheated 350F oven for 40 minutes. The chickpeas will shrink, feel dry to the touch, and have a light golden brown color.

Let the chickpeas cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes (leave the oven on).

Step 3: Blitz the Chickpeas

Time to make some crumbs! Transfer the baked chickpeas to the bowl of a large food processor.

baked chickpeas in a food processor bowl, shortly before being blitzed into crumbs

I prefer to use the pulse function here, for greater control (plus, I am easily distracted:)). Keep pulsing until the crumbs are the desired size.

Fine crumbs are best for coating and all-around use. Stop and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl once or twice. Do not worry if the crumbs start to look somewhat powdery; the remaining moisture in the breadcrumbs will help the crumbs glom together into crumbs (not dust) during the final bake for crumbs.

If the goal is large crumbs, for garnishing purposes, then the texture can be (and is preferable) ragged and uneven (i.e., no need to scrape down the bowl as you go). Pulse to desired level of chunky crumbleness

Spread the crumbs on the same baking sheet used for the first bake.

baked chickpeas that have been broken down into crumbs and spread out on a baking sheet for a second bake

Step 4: Bake a Second Time

Bake the chickpea crumbs (still at 350F) for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the crumbs to remain in the oven as it cools. This will dry out the crumbs without over-toasting them. You want to remove all the moisture so that the crumbs remain crisp and crunchy once cooled and stored.

The resulting breadcrumbs will be a bit more golden, but not much. This light golden level of toasting is best for a multipurpose breadcrumb uses, such as breading, topping baked dishes, and as filler for meatless meatloaves, burgers and stuffing.

chickpea crumbs on a baking sheet after a second bake

Coarser breadcrumbs (intended for topping soups, pastas, and salads) can be toasted longer (15 to 18 minutes total), as desired, for increased crunch and toasty flavor. 

Cool the crumbs completely before transferring to an airtight container for storage. That’s it, crumbs done!

How to Store Chickpea Breadcrumbs

The chickpea breadcrumbs will keep, in the aforementioned airtight container, at cool room temperature for a month (for optimal flavor and crunch). Alternatively, store in the freezer for up to 6 months.

chickpea breadcrumbs in a dark wood bowl

Can I Season the Chickpea Breadcrumbs?

Yes! You can season the crumbs with any dried herbs or spices you choose. Seasonings are especially welcome on chunkier crumbs (intended for topping soups, salads, and pasta).

I recommend adding an seasonings to the blitzed crumbs before the second bake (for better adhesion). Consider some of the following options:

I hope you enjoy these breadcrumbs in a wide range of delicious recipes. Happy baking!

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dark wooden bowl filled with chickpea breadcrumbs, with a wooden spoon inserted into crumbs

Chickpea Breadcrumbs (grain-free, oil-free)


  • Author: Camilla
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 and 1/2 cups (6.4 oz/181 g)) 1x

Description

Chickpea breadcrumbs, made with canned chickpeas, are grain-free, oil-free, & bread-free! High-protein, oil-free, frugal, and easy-to-make, they are every bit as delicious & versatile as traditional bread crumbs.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 15-ounce (425 g) cans chickpeas (see notes for options)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F (175C).
  2. Rinse and drain the chickpeas in a colander or mesh sieve, shaking off excess water. Transfer the chickpeas to a clean, dry dishtowel or several layers of paper towels. Blot until dry (discard any loosened skins).
  3. Spread the chickpeas on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes until light golden brown and dry to the touch. Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes (keep oven on).
  4. Transfer the chickpeas to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse into fine crumbs, stopping once or twice to scrape the bowl. Spread in an even layer on the same baking sheet.
  5. Return the baking sheet to the 350F oven to bake for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, leaving the chickpea crumbs in the oven for an hour longer (to dry).
  6. Remove the crumbs from the oven and cool completely. Transfer to an airtight storage container.

Notes

Storage: Store the crumbs in an airtight storage container at cool room temperature for 1 month or freezer for up to 6 months.

Home-Cooked Chickpeas: Home cooked chickpeas can be used in the recipe. You will need approximately 3 and 1/4 cups of drained chickpeas.

Sodium Note: To reduce sodium, use canned chickpeas that are lower sodium or no added sodium. If using home cooked chickpeas, prepare the chickpeas with little or not salt.

  • Category: Essential Basics
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 73
  • Sugar: 2.1 g
  • Sodium: 102 mg
  • Fat: 1.2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 12.2 g
  • Fiber: 3.4 g
  • Protein: 3.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: chickpeas, garbanzo beans, chickpea crumbs, grain-free, gluten-free, chickpea breadcrumbs, oil-free, 1-ingredient, ,

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Angie

Friday 26th of February 2021

I bought Chickpea crumbs for a homemade soup topping (added garlic powder, turmeric, and black pepper - store in pantry until ready to use I add freshly grated parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, and ground flaxseed) - My brand is no longer available and others well like you said - I need to find a better option. You did all the work for me! So grateful! This worked out perfectly. Appreciate the step-by-step comments and pictures that made it so easy. Depending on the food we choose to top with it - determines the other ingredients added. Thanks again!!!

Camilla

Monday 1st of March 2021

yay, yay and yay! I am so happy that this simple recipe came to the recipe, Angie!!!

Liz

Tuesday 6th of October 2020

You come up with the cleverest most unusual and great recipe ideas. I love your blog and your unique take on some many foods. These crumbs will go into my daily salad from now on. Thank you!

Camilla

Friday 23rd of October 2020

Thank you so much, Liz!

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