Are Chickpeas Keto: Everything You Need To Know

Packed full of nutrients and known for a variety of health benefits, it is no surprise that chickpeas have become a favorite for many health fanatics. With a rich nutty taste and a popular replacement for meat in vegetarian and vegan diets, the chickpea (garbanzo bean) is climbing up the ranks.

Unfortunately, whilst chickpeas provide a host of benefits, chickpea is not an ideal fit for every diet.  

With too high a calorie count, the chickpea is not keto-friendly. Eating chickpeas on a keto diet would result in too many carbs being included in the diet potentially resulting in pushing an individual out of ketosis as a result of too high a blood glucose. So what’s the solution for someone on a keto diet who loves chickpeas or chickpea recipes? 

Luckily, there are a variety of chickpea alternatives and substitutes for some of our favorite chickpea recipes such as hummus and falafel that provide the same health benefits without the high carb content. 

The following will tell you everything you need to know. 

Why chickpeas are not keto-friendly

The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that involves significantly reducing your carb intake and replacing it with fat. The reduction of carbs results in your body entering a metabolic state called ketosis.

Legumes, including chickpeas, beans, and lentils are all starch-filled nutrients and should be avoided in a keto diet. 

How many carbs are there in chickpeas? 

 Chickpeas are not keto-friendly because their net carb profile is far too high for keto diets. A ½ cup serving of chickpeas contains nearly 13g of net carbs. This may seem like a small amount of food, yet, it is too great a serving size (carb-wise).

Typically, a keto diet involves 30 and 50 net carbs being allotted each day. This range makes chickpeas a difficult food to include in a keto diet. 

Making Chickpeas Work With Your Keto Diet

The health benefits of including chickpeas in your diet are undeniable. Not only are they a rich source of iron, protein, and healthy fiber, they improve digestion, reduce the risk of multiple diseases and assist in weight management. 

Therefore, if you feel like you’re not quite ready to part ways with all your chickpea favorites like hummus, falafel, and chickpea curries, there is a solution. There are some delicious low-carb foods and dips made with chickpea alternatives. All of which provide the same, if not more, health benefits but also taste amazing!

Keto-Friendly Substitutes 

Keto-Friendly Hummus

Whilst the carb content in chickpeas is high, it is valid to consider your daily carb intake in relation to everything else you consume in a day.

As hummus is made from chickpeas, it is easy to assume that it too can’t be consumed on a keto diet. However, eating hummus with a combination of vegetables such as cucumber and celery is a fantastic way to get all the health benefits of chickpeas with fewer carbs.

But, if you’re looking to stay clear of chickpeas altogether, to stay on track with your keto diet, why not try a delicious keto hummus that uses roasted cauliflower or avocado as an alternative. Not only are these alternatives healthier than traditional hummus, but they also have fewer calories and still taste great. 

Keto-Friendly Falafel 

Falafel is another favorite for chickpea lovers. There are so many ingredients you could use to substitute chickpeas yet still making delicious falafel. A popular substitute is a cauliflower.

A favorite amongst keto dieters, cauliflower is not only a superfood; it is naturally high in fiber and B-vitamins. It takes well to spices and has the same crunch needed for great falafel but without the carbs.  

Keto-Friendly Bean Substitutes 

Black soybeans are a great alternative to carb-heavy beans. The fibrous bean is packed with healthy fat and protein. The black soybean provides a host of health benefits with fewer carbs, making it an ideal substitute for chickpeas.

Enjoy as a roasted snack or use it as an alternative in chickpea curry or salad recipes. The black soybean is great for keto!

Chickpea VS Black Soybean Nutrition

Per 1 Cup Serving (Chickpea)

  • Calories: 50 
  • Fat: 0g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Carbs: 11g
  • Sugar: 0g
  • Dietary Fiber: 6g

Per 1 Cup Serving (Black Soybean)

  • Calories: 120
  • Fat: 6g
  • Protein: 11g
  • Carbs: 8g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Dietary Fiber: 7g

Substitute Recipes

Keto-Friendly Avocado Hummus

If you’re looking for a creamy alternative to chickpea hummus with that same delicious nutty taste, why not give avocado hummus a try?


  • 3 ripe avocados
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro
  • ½ olive oil
  • ¼ sunflower seeds
  • ¼ tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed 


  1. Slice the avocado lengthwise. After removing the put, spoon out the flesh.
  2. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and mix until fully blended to a smooth consistency.
  3. Add a drizzle of olive oil, lemon juice, or water if you want to have a looser consistency. Adjust seasoning as you please. 

Keto-Friendly Cauliflower Falafel

If you’re looking for well-seasoned falafel with a crunch and fewer carbs, why not give this delicious cauliflower falafel a try. 


  • 1 small white onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ½ fresh cilantro
  • ½ fresh parsley
  • 8 ounces of cauliflower 
  • ½ cup of almond flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric  
  • ½ tsp chili powder 


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/ 400. Line a tray with greaseproof paper
  2. Break the cauliflower into florets and place it into a food processor. Blend into small rice textured chunks. Scoop into a bowl and set aside. 
  3. Add onion, garlic, parsley, and cilantro into your food processor. Blend until finely chopped. 
  4. Add the cauliflower back into the food processor with all the remaining ingredients. Blend until combined. 
  5. Gently form the mixture into discs using 2 tbsp of mixture. Alternatively, use an ice cream scoop.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes, turning the cookie sheet halfway through. 
  7. Remove from the oven and serve with a slice of lemon or a side of dipping sauce. 

Final Considerations

Whilst chickpeas are not suitable for a keto diet, we have found that there are plenty of healthy and delicious low-carb alternatives that allow you to enjoy your favorite chickpea recipes.

But, if you’re not quite ready to let go of chickpeas, consider your wider carb intake and eat them in moderation every now and then.