Bean Snacks

Homemade bean snacks shine as both party treats and everyday munchies. Get healthy snack recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
We often think of beans in two stages: rock-hard dried beans and soft cooked or canned legumes. But there’s a third stage that will have you reaching for beans instead of potato chips or cheese puffs: the crunchy stage. If you’re a fan of healthy snack substitutes, you’ve probably bought bags of chips, crisps, crackers, or other snacks made from legumes. But there are plenty of advantages to making your own.

Commercial brands likely have more salt, sugar, and other additives than you expect, and some versions rely on deep-frying for crispness. By making your own, you control all of those factors; and let’s face it—if you’re eating a snack because you think it’s healthier, it really should be healthier. Even the healthiest commercial bean snacks tend to come in single-use packaging that’s unhealthy for our planet. You’ll pay a pretty penny for them too.

I started experimenting with homemade bean snacks for Twice as Tasty Live events, and they’ve become favorite everyday munchies. Larger beans, like chickpeas, we eat out of hand, but smaller ones, like lentils, are best spooned onto other dishes.

Ready to give it a try? Full details are in the recipe below, but here are the basics:
You need just 1 main ingredient plus seasonings of your choice.
1. Drain and dry the beans.
2. Toss them with seasonings.
3. Bake and eat.

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Baked Chickpea Snacks

  • Servings: 2 cups
  • Difficulty: 1
  • Print
2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 2 15-ounce cans)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lime zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pour the chickpeas, whether you’ve cooked them at home like you would for Roasted-Garlic Hummus or popped open cans, into a large colander and let them drain. Spread them in a single layer on a tea towel and let them dry for at least 30 minutes.

Pour the chickpeas into a large bowl. Add the olive oil and seasonings. Line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Spread the chickpeas into the pan and then bake at 350°F for 30–45 minutes, until the chickpeas are crisp. Stir the chickpeas occasionally so that they cook evenly, and test for crispness after 20 minutes. When crunchy, let the chickpeas cool for a few minutes, and then eat while warm or at room temperature. Makes about 2 cups.

Tips & Tricks
  • Whether you cook your own or use cans of beans, draining them well is key to getting any beans to bake into crispy snacks. You can even roll the chickpeas between your hands and the tea towel to remove as much moisture as possible.
  • If you have problems getting your chickpeas as crispy as you’d like, or if you find your seasonings are sloughing off the beans, bake them without any seasonings for the first 20–30 minutes and then toss the hot chickpeas with the oil and seasonings and finish baking.
  • Baked chickpeas and other beans (see below) will continue to crisp up after you pull them from the oven. Err on the side of roasting too little—you can always put the pan back in the oven, but burnt chickpeas won’t be tasty.
  • Your seasoning options go beyond the flavors listed here and can include fresh herbs, crushed garlic, and dried spices. You can even toss the beans with a dried Indian spice blend or go African style with a Homemade Harissa paste.


Homemade bean snacks shine as both party treats and everyday munchies. Get healthy snack recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.

Twice as Tasty

Homemade bean snacks shine as both party treats and everyday munchies. Get healthy snack recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.I started making lentil snacks with the idea that I could still eat the tiny legumes by the handful. You certainly can, but they’re so small that they work better as a topper. Substitute them for croutons on a green salad or mix them with Dry-Salted Feta in a quinoa salad. They’re delicious sprinkled on Sourdough Pita Bread smeared with goat cheese or on a bowl of Spiked Guacamole.

Be sure you grab the right lentils for this recipe. Red lentils work beautifully in a dip but will be too soft for a crunchy snack. For a crisp snack, choose a brown or green (sometimes called French) lentil. These will have a firmer texture when freshly cooked and will hold their shape best for baking.

Ready to give it a try? Full details are in the recipe below, but here are the basics:
You need just 1 main ingredient plus your favorite seasonings.
1. Cook the lentils.
2. Drain the lentils and let them dry.
3. Toss them with seasonings.
4. Bake and eat on their own or as a crispy topping.

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Crunchy Baked Lentils

  • Servings: 1 cup
  • Difficulty: 1
  • Print
1/2 cup dried lentils
1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Smoked Chilies or red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon oregano
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pour the lentils into a fine-mesh sieve, remove any debris, and rinse under running water. Add the lentils to a medium saucepan and cover with about 1-1/2 inches of water. Bring them to a boil, skimming off any foam to ensure the pot doesn’t boil over. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 15–20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape. Drain and dry the lentils as you would for Baked Chickpea Snacks.

Pour the lentils into a medium bowl. Add the olive oil and seasonings. Line two rimmed baking pans with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Divide the lentils between the pans, spreading them into a thin layer, and then bake at 350°F for 20–25 minutes. Stir the lentils and rotate the pans halfway through the baking time, and watch closely toward the end to prevent them from burning. When the lentils are crunchy, let them cool for a few minutes, and then eat while warm or at room temperature. Makes about 1 cup.

Tips & Tricks
  • Lentils cook so quickly that I’ve included that process in the instructions given here. But you can cook a big batch of lentils or chickpeas to use in a main meal and set some aside for your snacks.
  • As with Baked Chickpea Snacks, choose the seasonings that appeal to you. Because lentils are so small, I tend to reach for a homemade curry powder or other ground and dried seasonings.
  • Bean snacks are best eaten straight away, but they’ll keep for a few days in a glass canning jar or other nonreactive container. I leave the lid loose; a little air helps them stay crisp. Larger beans can start to seem stale after a few days, but I’ve enjoyed crunchy lentils on salads and dips after a couple of weeks.


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