Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) are a buff-colored legume about 1/4" in diameter. Garbanzos are available fresh, dried, or canned. The little pea is the principal ingredient in hummus and Minestrone soup. They are also very popular in Middle Eastern cooking, beyond hummus.
Chickpeas can be used as a base for various soups and stews, dips, and even fried and are eaten as a snack food.
What can I use instead of chickpeas?
Of course, it will depend on what other ingredients are in your recipe but if you're using then for a soup or stew or hummus you can select equal amounts of any of these substitutes:
You can find canned and dried chickpeas at most grocery stores and fresh garbanzos, still in the pod, at Mexican markets. They are very common in Middle Eastern cooking. They are also available online at Amazon.com: Chickpeas.
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Garbanzo beans, also know as chickpeas are available in dried form. The dried beans can be cooked then added to soups, stews, salads, or used to make hummus. Look for garbanzo beans in the dry goods section of your grocery store.