Chickpeas vs Garbanzo Beans: Are They Different?

Chickpeas vs Garbanzo Beans: Are They Different?

Beans and legumes are pantry staples with a range of culinary uses and health benefits.

Of the many types of legumes, chickpeas are one of the more popular types. In the United States, both “chickpeas” and “garbanzo beans” can be found on supermarket shelves (1

But are chickpeas the same as garbanzo beans? This article explains the difference between chickpeas and garbanzo beans and discusses ways to use these delicious legumes.

In short, no. There is no difference between chickpeas and garbanzo beans.

However, understanding the varieties of chickpeas helps explain the addition of the term “garbanzo bean.”

classification of chickpeas

Chickpeas are a type of legume, the plant family that also includes peanuts, soybeans, lentils, and peas. Legumes have edible seeds that grow in pods.

Within the legume family, there are two categories: oleaginous and non-oleaginous legumes. The non-oleaginous legumes include a subcategory called “legumes” and chickpeas fall into that subcategory (2

Chickpea Varieties

Chickpeas are a type of pulse and can be further broken down into two main types: design and kabuli3

The design chickpea is a smaller seed with a thick outer layer that must be removed before eating. These types of chickpeas come in multiple color varieties, including brown, black, green, and yellow (4

Kabulic chickpeas are larger, have a thin outer layer and are lighter in color.

The design and kabuli Chickpea varieties are the most common on store shelves, but there are currently several related wild chickpeas under study for crop diversity (5

When you buy chickpeas at your local grocery store, chances are you’ll get a design or kabuli chickpea variety.

When Are Chickpeas Called Garbanzo Beans?

In the United States, kabuli chickpeas are often labeled as garbanzo beans. However, the name difference does not indicate a functional difference in the plant.

All garbanzo beans are considered chickpeas. However, it is most common that those labeled as “garbanzo beans” de kabuli variety of chickpeas.


Chickpeas and garbanzo beans are interchangeable names that refer to the same variety of chickpeas known as the kabuli chickpeas.

Chickpeas are a versatile ingredient with a variety of culinary uses. Their culinary application and nutritional composition – including the fact that they are a great source of protein and fiber – makes them ideal for use in recipes as plant-based protein.

Chickpeas are common in Mediterranean, South Asian, and Middle Eastern recipes, such as hummus, falafel, and some curry dishes (16

Non-traditional culinary uses for chickpeas have also become increasingly popular. Some food manufacturers use chickpeas as a gluten-free flour substitute and, in some cases, as an egg substitute (made from the liquid of canned chickpeas) (78

Cooking at home with chickpeas

For the home cook, chickpeas are a pantry staple that comes in both dried and canned preparations. This legume can be eaten cooked or roasted and can also be ground into flour for use in recipes.

Canned chickpeas come in both regular and low-sodium varieties and typically require minimal preparation before use.

Unlike canned chickpeas, the dried variety requires extra planning and preparation. You have to soak them in water, drain and heat them until they are soft.

However, dried chickpeas can be a good choice if you need to limit your sodium intake, as canned beans often have extra salt.

Chickpea flour is also available to home cooks for use in baked goods as a gluten-free flour substitute.

It’s the base for many gluten-free chickpea pastas and can add a boost of fiber and protein to recipes compared to traditional flours.

Chickpea recipes

Chickpeas can be used in multiple recipes, including:

  • soups, chili, stews
  • bean based burgers
  • vegetarian meatballs
  • hummus and other dips
  • baked goods such as brownies and cookies
  • sauces and curries
  • salads made with vegetables or pasta
  • snacks like roasted chickpeas


Chickpeas are a versatile ingredient that can be used in many recipes, including salads, soups, sauces and dips. You can buy them dried or canned and use both varieties in your recipes.

Does it matter if you buy chickpeas or garbanzo beans?

No, chickpeas and garbanzo beans can be used interchangeably. They are the same kind of chickpeas.

Can you mix chickpeas in a recipe?

Yes, chickpeas can be used interchangeably in recipes, regardless of type.

If you’re buying canned chickpeas, you’ll probably want to drain and rinse them before using them in a recipe, unless the instructions say otherwise. Dried chickpeas require additional preparation by soaking and cooking them before using them in recipes.

Are there any nutrient differences between chickpeas and garbanzo beans?

No, chickpeas and garbanzo beans have no nutritional difference because they are the same type of legume.

Whether you call them chickpeas or garbanzo beans, these versatile legumes are a handy pantry ingredient that can be used as plant-based protein. They can also add fiber and other essential nutrients to your favorite recipes.

You may want to buy dried chickpeas if you don’t mind cooking the legumes before eating them. Otherwise, canned chickpeas provide a quick and easy way to add protein and fiber to your recipe.