Skip to content

A Global Chickpea Shortage Is Coming—Here Are the Best Substitutes

Use these chickpea alternatives in your favorite dishes.
FACT CHECKED BY Justine Goodman

Have you heard? According to Reuters, global supplies of chickpeas could drop as much as 20% this year. This is due to a multitude of factors including weather and war, which have hurt supplies of chickpeas. So what are hummus-lovers to do? Well, don't panic. There are plenty of ways to replicate the savory, creamy effect of hummus using other ingredients like beans. Read on for five dishes that traditionally require chickpeas, and how to incorporate substitutes. And if these sound good to you, go ahead and try them regardless of whether you're impacted by the chickpea shortage!


air fryer falafel
Carlene Thomas/Eat This, Not That!

These deep-fried balls of pureed chickpeas are part of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. Falafel can be stuffed into a pita and topped with chopped tomatoes and cucumbers and hummus or tahini. The good news is there are numerous ways to make falafel without chickpeas using other legumes such as edamame or black beans. You can even use grated carrots and zucchini to make it. (But if you do have chickpeas, try our take on The Perfect Air Fryer Falafel!)


hummus and pita chips

Pureed chickpeas, aka hummus, make a fabulous dip and can be flavored with herbs like parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, or even hot sauce. But instead of using chickpeas, you can make a delicious puree using white beans, black beans, or even edamame (baby soybeans). You might not even notice a difference.

Roasted Chickpeas

Multiple Types of Beans in Bowls

Roasting chickpeas with a variety of herbs and spices is a delightful snack. Using the same flavor profiles you love, swap the chickpeas for fava beans, butter beans, black-eyed peas, or even black beans. The possibilities are truly endless!

Salad Topper

white beans

Topping a salad with chickpeas adds texture and flavor along with protein and fiber. Instead of chickpeas on your salad, use pinto beans, navy beans, cannellini beans, or even edamame (as I do in my recipe for Chicken, Kale, and White Bean Salad). You can also opt for any of the roasted beans or peas listed above or peanuts, pistachios, almonds, or even pomegranate arils like in this Turkey, Walnut, and Pomegranate Salad, which add a nice crunch.


beef vegetable stew

Chickpeas are a fabulous addition to both animal and plant-based stews. But if they're in short supply, you can use cannellini beans, great northern beans, white kidney beans, or navy beans. They add the same creamy texture and slightly nutty flavor as chickpeas. If you're looking for a slightly stronger flavored substitute in your stew, try using black beans or pinto beans.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN
Toby Amidor is an award winning dietitian and Wall Street Journal best-selling cookbook author who believes healthy and wholesome can also be appetizing and delicious. Read more about Toby