I’m all about snacks. Whether it’s something to crunch on during a movie, or giving dinner guests something to munch on while dinner’s in the oven, any new additions to my snack game are welcome.
If I can make those snacks healthy, that's even better. If I can somehow give chickpeas the addictive crunch and cheesy taste of a bag of Cheetos? Holy moly — hold me back from going into full-on snack-attack mode.
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I wanted these chickpeas to have the same sort of satisfying, finger-licking sensation as finishing off a bag of Cheetos. So I baked them until they were crispy, and then tossed them with a mixture of nutritional yeast, salt, and garlic powder while they were still warm. This vegan spice substitute tastes perfectly cheesy, and gives the chickpeas that dusting of flavor that makes snacking super addicting.
If you're looking for a healthy snack that feels a little bit naughty, this might be your jam! Just make sure to make enough, since they won't last long.
Vegan Cheetos Chickpeas
For the chickpeas:
1 (15-ounce) can unsalted chickpeas, drained
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
For the Cheetos seasoning:
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic (no salt added)
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Drain and rinse chickpeas thoroughly in a colander. Pat the chickpeas dry with clean paper towels and allow them to dry for five minutes.
Put the chickpeas into a bowl with the olive oil and the sea salt. Toss until chickpeas are fully coated with both oil and salt. Pour the mixture out onto the parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, tossing the chickpeas every 10 minutes or until just crispy.
While the chickpeas are in the oven, make your Cheetos seasoning. Whisk together the nutritional yeast, salt, and granulated garlic in a bowl. Set it aside.
After the chickpeas are crispy, remove them from the oven. While they are still warm, toss them in the Cheetos seasoning until each chickpea is generously coated. Now they're ready for snacking!
- As the chickpeas cool, they will lose their crispy texture and become more of a chewy snack. They are equally addictive this way, but the texture is different. If you want to enjoy your chickpeas crispy, enjoy them straight after tossing them in the seasoning!
This post has been updated — originally published February 2016.
(Image credits: Gina Eykemans)