Crispy Air Fried Chickpea Recipe for Salads or Buddha Bowls

Crispy Air Fryer Chickpeas

Hello, my chickpeas! (Wow, that name seems even more appropriate than usual for today’s post). Today I’ve got a recipe to share with you that I have been perfecting for a very long time. Let’s welcome my Crispy Air Fryer Chickpeas to the family!

Crispy Air Fryer Chickpeas Recipe by Joyful Balance: Vegan, WFPB, and Oil Free

These Crispy Air Fryer Chickpeas are done in about 20 minutes and are a fun topping for just about anything. They can even be a delicious snack if you want to enjoy them on their own! All you need is an air fryer, a can of chickpeas, and some seasonings. So let’s jump in!

Inspiration for Crispy Air Fryer Chickpeas

Vegan Crispy Air Fried Chickpeas with tomatoes and cucumbers

Like I mentioned above, I’ve been perfecting these chickpeas for a very long time! A couple years ago I was served a salad at a restaurant, and my favorite part of the salad were the delicious crispy chickpeas (unfortunately I do not remember what restaurant it was!). It reminded me of a fun twist on a crouton, and I immediately decided I wanted to make my own version. I tested my own version a few times but could never get the cook time and the temperature quite right to achieve that crispiness that I was looking for. I eventually decided to move on to other recipes and come back to it at another time.

Well, that time came a couple months ago! I was sorting through some old recipe notes and found my crispy chickpea attempts. I decided to take a stab at it again and this time I changed up some things and created the Crispy Air Fryer Chickpeas of my dreams! I’m so excited to share this one with you.


Crispy Air Fryer Chickpeas with smoked paprika and garlic salt

This one doesn’t have many ingredients, and I bet there’s a good chance you have what you need in your kitchen already! Let’s take a look at our ingredients of the day:

  • Chickpeas: a great source of protein, fiber, and more! We are building today’s recipe around the lovely chickpea.
  • Aquafaba: aquafaba is the liquid you find in a can of chickpeas. We only need a little bit of this, but it is basically going to act as a glue to hold on our seasonings.
  • Garlic salt, smoked paprika, and onion powder: our seasonings of choice today! I picked these ones because they are relatively versatile and will go with just about anything, making these Crispy Air Fryer Chickpeas the perfect topping for any salad or Buddha Bowl.

How to Make Crispy Air Fryer Chickpeas

Plant Based Crispy Air Fryer Chickpeas with fresh vegetables

The full recipe is down below, but here are the basics:

  1. Preheat the air fryer
  2. Rinse off the chickpeas and pat them dry
  3. Air fry the chickpeas for around 15 minutes, stopping to stir them around every so often.
  4. Add your aquafaba and seasonings to the chickpeas
  5. Throw them on top of whatever you’d like, or enjoy as a snack!

Tips & Tricks

Crispy Air Fryer Chickpeas for salads and snacks

This recipe is pretty straight forward, but here are some of my ideas on fun things you can do with it!

  • Play around with the seasonings! I did pretty versatile seasonings here that I think go with just about anything, but you can change it up as much as you’d like. Maybe you throw on some dried dill and onion powder to give it some ranch vibes, or you throw on some chili powder or cayenne to make it spicy!
  • I mostly use these as a delicious topping on salads, but use them on whatever you’d like! They would also be really fun on Buddha Bowls, or even sprinkled on top of pasta or tacos. I also love snacking on them if I have some leftover.
  • These are very crispy when you first cook them, but they do lose their crispiness as they sit out. Therefore, they are best eaten right away for maximum crispiness! However, if you do have leftovers that you want to crisp up again, just throw them in the air fryer again for a minute or two at 400F.
  • Looking for a delicious salad dressing for the salad that you’re going to throw these on? Try out my Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing or my Oil-Free Zesty Italian Dressing!

Crispy Air Fryer Chickpeas

Recipe by Delaney Romero – Joyful BalanceCourse: Topping, Snack
Servings (as a salad topping)


From Start to Finish



These Crispy Air Fryer Chickpeas are done in about 20 minutes and are a fun topping for just about anything. Think salads, Buddha Bowls, pasta, tacos, and more! They can even be a delicious snack if you want to enjoy them on their own. All you need is an air fryer, a can of chickpeas, and some seasonings.

*Note that “From Start to Finish” is an estimate of the total time to complete the recipe, but the actual time may vary a bit based on factors such as your air fryer and your personal preference of crispiness.


  • 1 can chickpeas

  • 1/2 Tbsp aquafaba* (reserved from the can of chickpeas)

  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt

  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1/2 tsp onion powder


  • Preheat air fryer to 400F.
  • Open the can of chickpeas and reserve some of the aquafaba off to the side (at least 1/2 Tbsp). Once some aquafaba has been reserved, pour the chickpeas into a colander and rinse them off in the sink. Pour them onto a kitchen towel and place another towel on top. Gently roll them in between the towels to dry them off as much as you can. Set them off to the side until the air fryer is preheated.

    Chickpeas have a very thin transparent skin on them. You might find that the skins have naturally come off of some of the chickpeas during the process of drying them between the towels. This is fine, just discard the skins that have naturally come off (no need to remove the skin of each and every chickpea).
  • Add the chickpeas to the air fryer, making sure they are all in one layer and not stacking on top of one another. Air fry at 400 for 5 minutes. Give them a stir, and then return to the air fryer for another 5 minutes. Stir once more, and return for 5-7 more minutes or until they are cooked to your liking.
  • In a small bowl, combine your garlic salt, smoked paprika, and onion powder. (Combining them like this before adding them to the chickpeas is the best way to evenly distribute all of the flavors!)
  • Remove chickpeas from the air fryer and pour into a medium bowl. Add 1/2 Tbsp of aquafaba and give them a stir so they are evenly coated. Add your seasoning mixture and stir again so that the chickpeas are all seasoned.
  • Serve as desired and enjoy! (Note that the chickpeas are best served right away before they lose their crispiness. If you have leftovers and need to crisp them up again, just air fry them once more at 400F for a minute or two).


  • *Aquafaba is the liquid in a can of chickpeas.

Happy cooking! If you made this recipe don’t forget to tag me (@joyfulbalanceofficial) on facebook or instagram so I can cheer you on for your chickpea-making ways.

Stay joyfully balanced!


  1. Pingback: Vegan Caesar Dressing (Oil-Free!) - Joyful Balance

  2. Pingback: Roasted Red Pepper Hummus (Oil-Free!) - Joyful Balance

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.