Are chickpeas good for weight gain? They can be! If you wonder, “how do I gain weight without eating meat and dairy?”, try high protein chickpeas (AKA chana or garbanzo beans)! These high calorie chickpeas for weight gain are an example of healthy foods that can help you gain weight. Learn the calories in chickpeas, get more ideas for food that helps gain muscle, and more!
Does eating chickpeas increase weight? Chickpeas do not cause weight gain automatically. Instead, it is maintaining a calorie surplus over time that leads to gaining weight.
I get questions all the time like “are chickpeas fattening?” and “do chickpeas make you fat?” Though you can use garbanzo beans for weight gain, you don’t necessarily have to give up chickpeas to lose weight.
That said, these high cal chickpeas are an energy dense food (i.e., low volume and high calorie). The chickpeas, cheese, and oil in this recipe may make it easier to gain weight, because they may not fill up your stomach too early.
If you’re looking for foods for gaining weight and muscle, you want calorie dense foods that are also rich in protein. This roasted chana for weight gain recipe is a great option because it is packed with plant based protein.
I hope that this easy chickpeas recipe helps you with your goal of gaining weight. It’s perfect as a healthy afterschool snack for growing kids, but can be enjoyed by anyone who wants to eat something tasty!
- 📋 Calories in Chickpeas (Canned)
- ❓ How many calories in 1 cup cooked chickpeas?
- ⭐ Chickpeas Benefits
- 🤔 How to Eat Chickpeas for Weight Gain
- 🔪 How to Make Chickpeas for Weight Gain
- 🌡️ Can you freeze chickpeas?
- 💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
- 👩🍳 Other Foods to Gain Weight and Muscle
- The Disclaimer…
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
📋 Calories in Chickpeas (Canned)
How many calories in chickpeas? One half-cup serving of canned chickpeas has 100 calories, 14 grams of net carbs, and 5 grams of protein. One serving of the high calorie chickpeas recipe below has 270 calories, 24 grams net carbs, and 15.3 grams protein.
Is chana high in protein?
Cooked chana (chickpeas) provide about 5-6 grams of protein per half cup serving. As a legume, they are one of the higher protein options among the plant-based foods. If you are vegan or vegetarian and looking for what to eat to gain weight and muscle, make sure to get legumes like chickpeas in your daily diet.
This recipe has cheese, which adds additional protein. For roasted vegan chickpeas for weight gain, experiment with flavoring with nuts and seeds. Tahini, almond butter, and peanut butter are some high fat options that provide a little more protein.
❓ How many calories in 1 cup cooked chickpeas?
One cup of cooked chickpeas provides 200-220 calories and 10-12 grams of protein. According to my can of chickpeas, 100 grams of chickpeas provides about 77 calories (and equals about ⅜ cup chickpeas). Other sources report 100 grams of cooked and drained chickpeas providing 140-160 calories.
A quick Google search often turns up the nutrition info for dried chickpeas rather than cooked. This can make chickpeas look much higher in protein and other nutrients than they are. One cup of dried chickpeas provides over 700 calories, and is far more than many individuals would eat in a meal!
⭐ Chickpeas Benefits
What are the nutrition benefits of chickpeas? Here are some nutritional benefits of chickpeas (AKA why you should make this recipe):
- Fiber: Chickpeas, along with other legumes like beans, peas, and lentils, are packed with heart-healthy fiber. Diets rich in fiber may help you achieve healthy blood cholesterol levels. (Tip! If you don’t normally eat a high fiber diet, go slowly with chickpeas for a comfortable digestive experience.)
- Lean protein: Chickpeas count among the low fat, muscle gaining foods. You get a lot more protein per calorie with animal-based foods like skinless chicken breast, tuna, and egg whites. But if you aren’t eating enough animal-based protein sources to cover protein needs, legumes can count as a protein.
- Vegetables: If you are an omnivore, legumes (like chickpeas) can also count towards the vegetable group. These roasted chickpeas are great for feeding hungry teens who may not be getting enough veggies!
- Vitamins and minerals: Chickpeas are rich in an assortment of essential B vitamins, magnesium, and non-heme iron. To help increase the absorption of the iron in chickpeas, enjoy them with vitamin C-rich foods (e.g., orange juice, strawberries, bell peppers).
- Healthy complex carbs: Chickpeas are considered a low glycemic index food, meaning they’re associated with a slower rise in blood sugar levels. Choosing “slow carbs” like chickpeas may make it easier to maintain blood sugar control in diabetes.
- Delicious: These chickpeas have a crispy herbed cheese coating but are still soft on the inside. They are so good, you might want to make a double batch!
🤔 How to Eat Chickpeas for Weight Gain
When making roasted chickpeas for weight gain, we want to add energy-dense foods, such as cheese and oil. Here is your shopping list:
- Canned chickpeas (drained)
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Olive oil (or avocado oil, canola oil, or another cooking oil)
- Dried rosemary
- Dried sage
- Garlic powder
- Dried thyme
Get specific quantities of all ingredients in the recipe card at the bottom of the post!
We’re using canned beans, so all you have to do is stir ingredients together and pop everything in the oven. There’s no peeling, no chopping, and no need to clean a food processor. The chickpeas get roasted on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, so clean up at the end is easy-peasy.
Which chickpeas are best for weight gain?
Plain, unseasoned chickpeas are about the same for weight gain, regardless of whether they’re canned or cooked from dry. Dried chickpeas absorb a lot of water, increasing in weight and volume when cooked. After cooking, dried chickpeas (including soaked chickpeas and boiled chickpeas) are about the same nutritionally as canned chickpeas.
About 1.75 cups cooked chickpeas (from dry) equals a 15.5 ounce can of chickpeas. Dried chickpeas tend to be less expensive while canned chickpeas are more convenient. Pick the type of chickpeas that works best for you!
🔪 How to Make Chickpeas for Weight Gain
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200C). Drain the chickpeas well and put them in a large bowl. Stir in the oil, and set the bowl aside.
In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese, rosemary, sage, thyme, and garlic powder. (Feel free to add salt as well if you’re using no salt added chickpeas.) Sprinkle this mixture over the chickpeas, and stir to combine.
Line a large, dark cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spread the chickpea mixture on the parchment in a single layer.
Bake the chickpeas for 45-55 minutes at 400F (200C) on a rack ⅓ down from the top of the oven. Stir and flip the chickpeas every 20 minutes, moving the chickpeas on the edges of the tray to the middle (and vice versa).
The chickpeas on the outer edges of the tray tend to cook fastest. Moving them to the middle when we stir helps to keep them from burning.
After the chickpeas are cooked and crispy enough for you, let them cool for a few minutes. We love these best when freshly made, often right off the slightly cooled tray!
🌡️ Can you freeze chickpeas?
Plain chickpeas can be frozen, but this crispy chickpea recipe is best enjoyed fresh. These high calorie chickpeas lose their crispiness when frozen and thawed. Leftover chickpeas can be kept in the fridge in a covered container for up to 3-4 days.
Can you reheat chickpeas?
You can reheat these chickpeas for a short time in an air fryer or oven to crisp them back up. That said, they’re really best made and enjoyed fresh.
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). At almost 300 calories for only ¼ of the recipe, this is a high-calorie snack. This is a great recipe for those with higher energy needs, such as athletes and teenagers.
It’s also perfect for those looking to gain weight. In truth, it can be challenging to stop at one portion of this tasty treat!
With 12 grams of fiber and 15 grams of protein per serving, I do consider this to be a healthy snack. It’s important to remember that eating a diet primarily of whole foods may not necessarily equate to weight loss. Weight loss or gain ultimately depends on whether your healthy diet results in a calorie deficit or a calorie surplus.
To make this a meal, you can serve these chickpeas with rice or a whole wheat wrap. These grains provide complete protein when served with chickpeas. Grains are another good way to add low volume calories to weight gainer meals.
If you want to lose weight, I’d expand this snack into a meal that adds more low-calorie volume. Add non-starchy veggies, fruit, and (possibly) a serving of whole-grain crackers to these chickpeas. That will get you a higher volume meal that may feel more satisfying than enjoying the chickpeas alone.
It’s true that chickpeas are lower in protein than many lean protein options. However, some report that the resistant starch and other fiber in chickpeas helps them stay full on fewer calories, making up for the lack of protein. I have not personally found this to be true, but it’s something to investigate if you have a weight change goal.
Is there a best time to eat chickpeas for weight gain?
You don’t have to eat at certain times of the day to gain weight, just maintain a calorie surplus. That said, if you find snacking at night helps you gain weight (as it does for some), you can use that strategy.
Another thing that may help with weight gain is increasing your dietary variety (like what happens at a buffet). Enjoy these crispy roasted chickpeas, but also hummus, other legumes, other proteins, and foods from other food groups.
Chickpeas are fairly high calorie relative to the protein they provide because they are high carb. Lean animal-based protein (tilapia, egg whites, etc.) is low fat, low carb, and very low calorie. Lean plant-based proteins are low fat but may contain more calories from carbs.
Chickpeas are naturally gluten free, but be sure to check the label of the product you buy. Some canned chickpeas may have seasonings containing gluten. Other items, such as chickpea flour, may have had cross contact with gluten-containing flour during processing.
No, chickpeas are not keto-compatible. Chickpeas are relatively high in carbohydrates, thus not a keto friendly food. Two legumes that are a better fit for very low carb diets are lupini beans and black soy beans.
The calories and protein per 100 grams of kala chana (AKA black chana) and white chickpeas are similar. The differences in terms of weight gain should be minimal (unless you tend to eat more of one of them).
As long as you maintain an overall calorie deficit, any food (including chickpeas) can be included in a weight loss diet. There is no best time of day to eat chickpeas for weight loss. That said, front-loading calories (by eating bigger meals in the morning), may help support losing weight. Chickpeas (like other foods) can’t help you spot-reduce belly fat.
According to Monash University, legumes like chickpeas are naturally high in oligosaccharides (i.e., not low FODMAP). That said, canned chickpeas, as well as boiled and drained garbanzos, tend to be lower in FODMAPs. This is because some of the oligosaccharides leach into the cooking water, where they’re drained off.
👩🍳 Other Foods to Gain Weight and Muscle
Want more ideas for foods to gain muscle and weight? Here are some more foods to help gain muscle:
- Overnight Oats for Weight Gain
- High Calorie Pasta for Weight Gain
- High Calorie Vegan Meals and Foods for Weight Gain
And while you’re here, be sure to check out our entire collection of High Calorie Recipes!
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats no sugar post. Let's get cooking!
High Calorie Chickpeas for Weight Gain Recipe
- 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed (each can 15½ ounces/439 grams)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ½ teaspoon dried sage
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Drain the chickpeas well and put them in a large bowl. Stir in the oil, and set the bowl aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese, rosemary, sage, thyme, and garlic powder. (Feel free to add salt as well if you’re using no salt added chickpeas.) Sprinkle this mixture over the chickpeas, and stir to combine.
- Line a large, dark cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spread the chickpea mixture on the parchment in a single layer.
- Bake the chickpeas for 45-55 minutes at 400°F (200°C) on a rack ⅓ down from the top of the oven. Stir and flip the chickpeas every 20 minutes, moving the chickpeas on the edges of the tray to the middle (and vice versa).
- After the chickpeas are crispy enough for you, let them cool for a few minutes before serving.