This roasted chickpeas recipe is an easy and delicious way to add nutrition to your toddler’s diet. And while regular roasted chickpeas can be too crunchy for little ones—and too dry to move around in their mouths with ease—it’s possible to keep the delicious flavor and nutritious ingredients by simply reducing the cooking time and temperature. This soft roasted chickpea recipe has a sweet-salty flavor that’s super yummy and makes for a healthy toddler snack option!
Roasted Chickpeas for Toddlers
When my oldest daughter was 1, I picked up a kid-specific cookbook. One of the first recipes that I cooked from it was roasted chickpeas. She was going through a phase of devouring chickpeas plain and I wanted to change up how I was serving them to her to try to prolong her interest in the food. It was such a strange thing for her to love so enthusiastically, but they are filled with good carbohydrates, fiber, and vegetarian protein, so I was totally game to follow her lead. But the roasted version I made her? They were a total choking hazard.
It turns out that “kid-friendly” is not the same as “toddler-friendly”, which was something I’ve discovered many times over the years. Since toddlers are still learning to chew and move food around in their mouths efficiently, there are some textures that are too tricky for them—super crunchy and round foods being one of them. And even though those roasted chickpeas did not turn out to be a great snack for her, I discovered that by drastically shortening the roasting length and adding lots of flavors to the beans, I could still offer her a delicious snack that was safe for her to eat. These soft-roasted chickpeas are the result!
How to Make This Roasted Chickpeas Recipe Step-by-Step
Here’s a look at the process of making this easy toddler snack of roasted chickpeas.
- Rinse and drain the beans if using canned. This removes any excess salt and the thick liquid that the beans come in.
- This step is optional but I recommend it if your toddler is very sensitive to textures: Roll the beans around in a clean kitchen towel so the skins slip off. Discard the skins and place the beans into a bowl.
- Stir in the cinnamon, vanilla, salt, oil, and maple syrup.
- Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes. Serve warm!
Roasted Chickpeas Snack
If you start with canned beans, this recipe takes under 20 minutes to prepare. If you start from dry chickpeas, I’d recommend that you do the cooking ahead of time so this roasted chickpea recipe still bakes up quickly when you want to make it. We mostly eat these as finger food—and they’re a pretty perfect one!—but we’ve also eaten them over buttered brown rice or with cottage cheese. They are slightly sweet from the cinnamon, maple, and vanilla, but there’s enough salt to make them a little addictive. (This is a great mama snack if you’re feeling the urge to dive into a bag of chips!)
How long do roasted chickpeas last?
Honestly, they are really something special when served right out of the oven and cooled slightly, but you can keep leftovers in the fridge and serve them throughout the week. Just give them a quick 10 second warm up in the microwave or a few minutes in a warm oven—or eat them cold. We do both when packing leftovers for toddler snacks and lunch components.
Healthy Finger Food for Babies and Toddlers
The beans are soft enough for older babies and younger toddlers—they smash almost instantly between two fingers—so you can easily mash them slightly for newer eaters. They are a great size for little ones who’ve mastered the pincer grasp and who are able to pick up finger foods. If you want to serve them to a younger baby, mash or puree them and serve them on a spoon or spread on toast. You can also omit the sweetener and reduce the salt a smidge.
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If you start with dried beans in this salty-sweet snack, make sure to cook them until they are very tender. If making these for a kiddo under one, use maple syrup instead of honey or skip the sweetener all together.
- 1 14.5-ounce can chickpeas rinsed, drained, and patted dry (or about 2 cups cooked dried)
- 1 teaspoon canola or coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 325 F.
- If desired, rub the chickpeas in a clean kitchen towel to remove the skins. (You don’t have to do this, but you may want to if you have a toddler who’s particularly sensitive to textures.) Discard the skins
- Stir together all ingredients in a medium bowl. Spread on a baking sheet or baking dish and bake for 12-15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, smashing beans slightly for younger eaters if desired.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat briefly for 15 seconds in the microwave or serve cold.
Add 1 teaspoon sesame seeds before baking for extra flavor and good fats.
Mash the baked beans completely with a fork or in the food processor and spread on buttered toast.