Are chickpeas high or low in calories?

Quick Answer

Chickpeas are considered a low-calorie food. One cup (164 grams) of cooked chickpeas contains 269 calories, which is relatively low compared to many other foods. Chickpeas are a good source of protein and fiber, which can help promote feelings of fullness and manage hunger. Their low calorie density makes them a smart choice for weight management or weight loss diets.

Calorie Content of Chickpeas

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are the edible seeds of the Cicer arietinum plant. They are considered legumes along with beans, peas, and lentils.

Here is the calorie content of chickpeas (1):

Food Serving Size Calories
Cooked chickpeas 1 cup (164g) 269
Canned chickpeas, drained 1 cup (164g) 269
Canned chickpeas, with liquid 1 cup (164g) 165
Dry chickpeas 1 cup (180g) 632

As you can see, cooked chickpeas contain 269 calories per 1 cup (164 grams) serving. Canned chickpeas that are drained have the same calorie count.

Canned chickpeas that include the liquid have fewer calories at 165 per cup. This is because part of the weight is coming from the water they are packed in.

Dry, uncooked chickpeas are very high in calories at 632 calories per cup. This is because the dry form is very condensed and loses significant water weight when cooked.

So the form of chickpeas makes a major difference in their calorie content. No matter what, when prepared properly, chickpeas are considered low in calories for the amount of nutrients they provide.

Chickpeas Are Low in Calories Compared to Other Foods

At just 269 calories per cup, chickpeas are lower in calories than many common foods (2):

Food Calories
Chickpeas (1 cup) 269
Pasta (1 cup) 220
Rice (1 cup) 205
Bread (1 slice) 75-100
Chicken breast (3 oz) 142
Salmon (3 oz) 175
Avocado (1 fruit) 322
Potato (1 medium) 110
Banana (1 medium) 105
Yogurt (6 oz) 145

Pasta, rice, bread, chicken, salmon, potatoes, and bananas all have fewer calories per serving compared to chickpeas.

However, foods like avocados and yogurt are higher in calories than chickpeas calorie-for-calorie.

So chickpeas contain more calories than some common foods but less than others. Overall, they are considered relatively low in calories, especially when you factor in their high nutritional value.

Chickpeas Are Low in Calories Considering Their Nutrition Profile

What really makes chickpeas shine is that they provide a lot of nutrition for their calorie content.

Here are some of the key nutrients found in 1 cup (164 grams) of chickpeas (1):

Nutrient % Daily Value
Fiber 12.5 g
Protein 14.5 g
Iron 28%
Phosphorus 28%
Copper 57%
Folate 57%

Chickpeas provide over 10 grams of fiber and 14 grams of protein, as well as high amounts of iron, phosphorus, copper and folate. All for just 269 calories.

This nutrient density is much greater than many other foods. For example:

Food (1 cup) Calories Protein (g) Fiber (g)
Chickpeas 269 14.5 12.5
Pasta 220 8 2.5
Rice 205 4.5 1.5
Bread 75 4 1

Compared gram for gram, chickpeas contain much more protein and fiber than pasta, rice, and bread. All for roughly the same number of calories.

This demonstrates how chickpeas provide more nutrients for their calorie content.

High in Satiety

The protein and fiber in chickpeas also make them very high in satiety. This means they keep you feeling fuller for longer after eating them (3).

Protein and fiber are the two most satiating macronutrients, and chickpeas have plenty of both.

Eating high satiety foods like chickpeas makes it easier to eat fewer calories overall, which can assist with weight management.

Low Calorie Density

In addition to satiety, chickpeas have a low calorie density. This means there are fewer calories per gram compared to some other foods.

Here are calorie densities for some common foods (4):

Food Calories per gram
Broccoli 0.4
Chickpeas 1.6
Beef 2.9
Bread 3.2
Cheese 4.1
Nuts 5.7

Foods with a low calorie density allow you to eat a larger portion size for fewer calories. Broccoli and chickpeas have the lowest calorie densities, while nuts and cheese are the most calorie-dense.

This makes chickpeas a smart choice for lowering your overall calorie intake at meals while still providing plenty of volume and nutrition.

Weight Management Benefits

Due to their high satiety, low calorie density, and strong nutrition profile, chickpeas can be very beneficial for weight management and weight loss.

Multiple studies have found that eating chickpeas and other legumes regularly is linked to lower body weight and waist circumference compared to non-legume diets (5, 6).

Some research also indicates people feel fuller after eating chickpea-based meals compared to chicken or bread-based meals with the same calories (7).

Their low calorie density allows you to eat a larger portion of chickpeas to boost fullness at meals without overdoing it on calories. Plus, their fiber keeps you satisfied between meals, which helps cut down on snacking.

Chickpeas really are a weight loss friendly food.

Are Roasted Chickpeas Higher in Calories?

Roasted chickpeas have recently surged in popularity as a crunchy and flavorful snack. But are they higher in calories than regular chickpeas?

The answer is yes…but only by a bit. Here is a calorie comparison (8):

Food Serving Size Calories
Roasted chickpeas 1 oz (28g) 120
Regular chickpeas 1 oz (28g) 104

Roasted chickpeas contain about 16 more calories per serving compared to the same weight of regular boiled chickpeas.

However, this difference is minor in the grand scheme of your daily calorie intake. Roasted chickpeas still provide the same health benefits like fiber, plant-based protein, and essential vitamins and minerals.

The extra 16 calories per ounce is a worthwhile tradeoff for their delicious crunchy texture when you want a snack with some satisfying texture.

Should You Avoid Roasted Chickpeas on a Diet?

Avoiding roasted chickpeas completely on a weight loss diet is unnecessary. As mentioned earlier, they only contain slightly more calories than plain chickpeas, so including them occasionally won’t sabotage your efforts.

Here are some tips for enjoying roasted chickpeas on a diet:

– Stick to a 1–1.5 ounce portion for a snack. Measure accurately with a food scale.

– Roast your chickpeas without oil to prevent excess calories from fats. Season them with spices instead for flavor.

– Eat them in place of less healthy snacks like chips, crackers or nuts.

– Don’t eat roasted chickpeas right before a meal, as they can fill you up and kill your appetite. Enjoy them between meals when hunger strikes.

As part of a balanced, calorie-controlled diet, roasted chickpeas can definitely fit into a weight loss plan. They make a tasty and nutrition-packed snack when eaten mindfully.

How Chickpeas Fit Into a Weight Loss Diet

Here are some ways to integrate chickpeas into your diet if you are trying to lose weight:

1. Use Them to Boost Meal Satiety

Add chickpeas to your main dishes like salads, Buddha bowls, soups, stews, and curries. They will ramp up the protein and fiber content to leave you feeling fuller after eating.

Some easy recipes to try:

– Chickpea salad wraps or sandwiches

– Chili or minestrone soup with chickpeas

– Curried chickpea stew served over rice

– Falafel wrap with veggies and tahini sauce

2. Swap Them for Higher Calorie Foods

Chickpeas can often be swapped for higher calorie ingredients in recipes. Some ideas:

– Use chickpeas instead of pasta or rice in dishes

– Blend them into hummus to swap for mayo or sour cream

– Make chickpea burgers rather than beef burgers

– Blend chickpeas into cookie or cake batter instead of using some of the flour

3. Turn Them Into a Plant-Based Snack

Roasted or spiced chickpeas make the perfect high protein and high fiber snack to tame hunger between meals. Portion into 1–1.5 oz servings.

Some additional snack ideas:

– Air fried chickpeas

– Chickpea popcorn seasoned with spices

– Chickpea energy bites held together with nut butter

– Chickpea “nachos” with salsa and avocado

4. Use Chickpea Pasta and Flour

Chickpea pasta and flour have more protein and fiber compared to traditional wheat varieties. Use them as a swap when cooking.

Some recipe ideas:

– Chickpea pasta salad with veggies

– Chickpea flour banana muffins or bread

– Chickpea pasta with marinara sauce and shrimps

Sample Meal Plan with Chickpeas for Weight Loss

Here is a one day sample meal plan featuring chickpeas to promote weight loss:

Breakfast: Chickpea flour banana muffin + Greek yogurt + berries

Snack: Roasted chickpeas (1.5 oz)

Lunch: Chickpea salad sandwich on whole grain bread + side salad

Snack: Edamame

Dinner: Curried chickpea stew with brown rice + side salad

Dessert: Chickpea blondies (small square)

This provides a good balance of protein, fiber, and nutrients to keep you feeling full and satisfied all day long within your calorie needs for weight loss.

The chickpea ingredients help increase the meal satiety at breakfast, lunch and dinner. They also make perfect high protein snacks between meals.

Precautions Around Chickpeas and Weight Loss

Here are a few precautions to keep in mind:

– Monitor your portions of chickpeas. Though low in calories, overeating will still lead to excess calories. Stick to 1/2–1 cup serving sizes.

– Avoid adding high calorie oils or tons of sauce to chickpeas, as that boosts the calories significantly.

– Roasted chickpeas are higher in calories than cooked. Keep your portion to about 1–1.5 oz for a snack.

– Choose low sugar, high protein Greek yogurt to pair with chickpeas. Avoid sweetened yogurts.

– When using chickpea pasta or flour, still watch your portion sizes. They are higher in protein than regular pasta or flour but not extremely low in calories.

As long as you pay attention to serving sizes and overall calorie intake, chickpeas are an excellent addition to a weight reduction eating plan.


Chickpeas are considered a low calorie food, providing just 269 calories in one cooked cup (164 grams).

They are lower in calories than many common foods and provide lots of volume, fiber, and plant-based protein for their calorie content.

This makes them very effective for improving satiety, reducing calorie density, and managing hunger, which can promote weight loss over time.

Prepare chickpeas on their own, add them to recipes, or swap them for higher calorie ingredients to boost the nutrition in your diet without going overboard on calories.

Pay attention to portion sizes and overall calories, and chickpeas can be a beneficial addition to a weight loss regime.

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