Crispy air fryer chickpeas are ready in less than 15 minutes.
Garbanzo beans are seasoned with a sprinkling of nutritional yeast flakes, granulated onion, and a pinch of salt.
Eat them on their own or as a salad topping. Vegan & gluten-free.
Crispy fried chickpeas are a tasty, protein-packed snack.
They’re great warm, eaten by the handful, like a beany alternative to popcorn.
They’re also a satiating kale salad topper.
I started roasting chickpeas a million years ago when I first went vegan.
I regularly made roasted chickpeas in the oven on a baking sheet.
But once I got an air fryer, I realized I could make the same snack in less time with even better results.
(Want more air fryer ideas? Here are 30 vegan air fryer recipes I know you’ll love!)
No fuss cooking
When I roast them in the oven, I always recommend drying them first on a clean kitchen towel.
However, when you’re cooking in the air fryer, you don’t need to dry them first.
Instead, let the first few minutes of cooking time do the drying for you while the machine blows hot air around the beans.
Also, when cooking in the oven, I use parchment to make sure the chickpeas wouldn’t stick.
But in the air fryer, that’s not necessary.
Finally, the beans cook more quickly than they do in the oven & no preheating is required.
Use homemade or canned beans
You can use cooked-from-scratch chickpeas or the canned variety for this recipe.
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that chickpeas vary in their softness.
Softer chickpeas will take longer to get crispy.
Depending on how crispy you like them, you may want to decrease or increase the cooking time a bit.
Here are the ingredients you will need to make this recipe.
Chickpeas: You can use canned (drained & rinsed) or homemade chickpeas that have been fully cooked.
Cooking spray: A spritz of oil makes the chickpeas golden brown.
Nutritional yeast flakes: Nutritional yeast flakes add cheesiness & umami.
Look for it at natural grocery stores or Trader Joe’s.
If you don’t have yeast flakes, they can easily be omitted.
Granulated onion: I prefer granulated onion over powder because of its pop of flavor. However, it can be replaced with onion powder if you prefer.
Salt: A pinch of salt brings it all together.
Step by step instructions
Here’s how to make this recipe at a glance. For complete ingredient amounts & instructions, keep scrolling to the recipe card below.
- Drain a can of chickpeas in a colander.
- Pour them into the air fryer.
- Set the timer to 12 minutes & 400 degrees.
- After five minutes, open the air fryer basket.
- Spritz the chickpeas with oil.
- Then season them with nutritional yeast flakes, granulated onion, and a pinch of salt.
- Close the basket & let them finish cooking.
Make them your own
You can make these chickpeas your own by varying your seasonings.
If you don’t have nutritional yeast flakes (which add a cheesy taste) or granulated onion, simply leave them off.
Add the spices you prefer instead.
Start with just a sprinkle. Then work your way up to your desired intensity.
Keep in mind that the chickpeas will shrink a little, intensifying the flavor.
Flavorings that work well include:
- Garlic powder
- Dried parsley
- Dried oregano
- Chili powder
- Paprika or smoked paprika
- Curry powder
Here are a few ways to enjoy air fried chickpeas:
- Eat them by the handful as a snack
- Pour them over a salad with creamy cashew salad dressing
- Add them to a dinner of artichoke pesto pasta
- Use them as a bowl topper with pesto rice
- Enjoy them in bowtie pasta salad
Fried chickpeas in the air fryer
- 1 can (15 ounce) chickpeas drained & rinsed (1 ½ cups)
- Spritz of cooking spray
- 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast flakes
- ½ teaspoon granulated onion
- Pinch of salt
- Put the drained chickpeas into the air fryer basket. Set the air fryer for 400 degrees and 12 minutes.
- Cook the plain chickpeas for the first 5 minutes. This will dry them out.
- Then open the basket, spritz the chickpeas with oil, give a shake, and spritz them again. Sprinkle on nutritional yeast flakes, granulated onion, and a pinch of salt.
- Return the basket to the air fryer and cook for the remaining 7 minutes.
- Test a chickpea to see if it's done enough for you. Depending on your air fryer, the softness of your chickpeas, and your personal preferences, you may want to cook them an additional 3 to 5 minutes. If desired, add another pinch of salt before serving.
Content, recipe, and photos updated May 2020. Originally posted January 2017.
I adapted this for the pasta salad I was making. I still wanted them to be a little soft, not crunchy, so I put the oil and spices/yeast on at the start and cooked for 7 minutes instead of 12. They came out exactly like I wanted. Perfect recipe, thank you!
That’s great to hear. So glad you enjoyed them, Queen!
I love air fryer chickpeas! So fast and easy, and they really step up a salad! 🙂
Agreed! I love adding something protein-dense, warm, and satiating to a salad to make it more of a meal.
Oh Kale chips…. If I could learn how to make kale chips I’d be sooo thankful. I thought I was going to have to buy a dehydrator to make kale chips. Please let me know if a dehydrator is better for kale chips.
The air fryer makes terrific kale chips! I can’t compare them to a dehydrator, because I don’t have one of those. I usually just rub chopped kale with a bit of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast flakes. Then I cook them at 370 degrees for 4 or 5 minutes, stopping once or twice to move the kale chips around. You want to be sure everything gets evenly browned. I’ve also made ranch kale chips from Becky at Glue & Glitter. They are really tasty too!
I used this recipe to make chickpeas in the air fryer. Total game changer. I had perfectly roasted chickpeas in 12 minutes! The only problem was that I spilled them all over the floor after Allison and I had only eaten a few.
Aw, that’s a sad story! I hope you had a back-up can of chickpeas in the pantry.
I am still loving this recipe! Making them right now. 😀
I’m so glad to hear it’s still a favorite. Thanks for letting me know!
Why the yeast flakes? What if I dont have?
It’s used here as a seasoning basically. Nutritional yeast flakes give a cheesy taste. However, these chickpeas are great without yeast flakes too. Just skip them.
I tried this last night, and it’s a winner! I think I ate about half of the can right after it came out of the fryer. Oops! So tasty! I put some on my salad today along with your creamy cashew dressing. Delicious! I had some salad leftover so threw that in with some vegetable soup I made on Sunday and added some of your dressing to the soup, too! I have a fave veggie soup I make, and it calls for making some cashew cream to stir in at the end. Well, why do that when I have your dressing on hand! Now, even more deliciousness! Thanks for helping me to be excited about cooking again (well, maybe for the first time ever LOL)!
Oh, Janis! This warms my heart so much!!! I’m really glad to hear that you’re enjoying the chickpeas & my other recipes too. I always love your comments.
I love them this way but I ended up having quite a few “Pop”….little messy inside. Did that happen to you guys?
A few of mine popped open a little, but they didn’t pop completely or make a mess. You could try lowering the heat or removing them from the air fryer earlier. Good luck, Asheaff!