Vegan Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten-free, Nut-free)

Never in a million years would I have considered adding beans to my chocolate chip cookies, but that’s the fun thing about being an ambassador for the 2016 Year of Pulses– it’s giving me a great excuse to experiment with more ways to incorporate beans, lentils and dried peas into my recipes.

And the result is REALLY tasty.

cooling rack with chickpea chocolate chip cookies and a glas of milk

I’ve been asked what my process is like when I develop recipes, so I thought I’d share a bit more about that today. Usually, I’ll get an idea for a recipe in my head, either from a craving or from sort of inspiration I see at a grocery store or online. In the case of these cookies, I was inspired to try adding pulses to a dessert because I’m in the middle of working on a new recipe in partnership with USA Pulses and Pulse Canada– and these cookies were one of the happy results that I thought I’d share in the meantime.

Once I have the idea for what I want to make, I’ll do a quick Google search to see what’s already out there. When it comes to recipes, almost everything has been tried, so it’s just a matter of seeing if someone has already tried the recipe the way I would do it. In the case of chickpea cookies, it seems that most websites have used a combination of chickpeas, peanut butter, and honey or maple syrup. That wasn’t the direction I was originally planning on going with it, but usually if a recipe is popular enough (meaning that there are enough copycat posts out there), I assume the recipe is decent and will try it as written to see what I think. My own taste buds and intuition are always my best guide! I made this recipe as written, and while the cookies were fine, they weren’t exactly what I was going for. (My toddler son took a bite, and immediately asked me to remove that bite from his mouth… so it wasn’t a winner across the board.)

hand holding chickpea chocolate chip cookie with a bite taken out of it

What was good about that recipe, though, is that I didn’t taste beans at all. So, I knew that this idea could work, I just wanted a slightly better outcome. Lately, I’ve been aiming to create more nut-free and egg-free recipes, so I went with my original gut-feeling, which was to combine the chickpeas with a combination of gluten-free oat flour and coconut sugar. The coconut sugar helps give these cookies a dryer texture, rather than using a liquid sweetener like honey or maple syrup, and I think its maple-like flavor works perfectly in masking any chickpea flavor. My taste testers couldn’t tell there were beans in these cookies at all! (In fact, my husband’s co-worker has deemed these cookies BETTER than a “normal” cookie. Win!!) The beans act as the binder in this recipe, making eggs unnecessary, and they also add a hefty dose of fiber and protein to help stabilize blood sugar.

Knowing how much of each ingredient to add when developing a recipe is just a matter of experience and experimentation– usually it can take anywhere from 3 to 10 attempts to get a recipe right! So, we giveaway a lot of recipe experiments to neighbors or freeze them for future snacking. (In the case of my cookbook recipes, I usually test each recipe 20+ times, and then I also give the recipe to 25+ strangers to make in their own kitchens to make sure my instructions are clear.) I hope that you won’t have to do too much experimentation with the cookie recipe below, as it tastes pretty perfect to me! Keep in mind that adding a bean or vegetable puree to a cookie, in lieu of using eggs, will give any cookie a softer texture, but that hasn’t stopped anyone from gobbling these up– including my very picky son!

Vegan Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 16 cookies

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, or 1 (15 oz.) can, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour*
3/4 cup coconut sugar
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon raw apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

*Note: You can make your own flour by simply grinding gluten-free rolled oats in a food processor or coffee grinder until a fine flour is created. 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Process the chickpeas, coconut oil and vanilla in a large processor until relatively smooth. Add in the coconut sugar, flour, salt, baking soda and vinegar and blend until until a smooth batter is formed.
chickpea chocolate chip cookie batter in a processor and placed on a cookie sheet
Add in the chocolate chips and pulse briefly until incorporated. Drop the dough by heaping tablespoons onto a lined baking sheet and use wet fingers to gently flatten each mound (they won’t spread a lot on their own.) Bake until the tops begin to crack and the edges are dry to the touch, about 18 to 20 minutes. Cool completely before serving.
 plate with chickpea chocolate chip cookies and a glass of milk
As I mentioned above, egg-free and gluten-free baked goods tend to be on the softer side, especially if you leave them in an airtight container at room temperature. For best shelf life and texture, I recommend storing and serving these cookies directly from the freezer, as that’s they way my family likes them best. If you don’t like cold cookies, they thaw relatively quickly (in about 30 minutes) and can be enjoyed at room temperature, too.
4.79 from 38 votes
Print
Vegan Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 
An easy vegan cookie that is loaded protein, fiber and minerals thanks to the addition of chickpeas.
Course: Dessert
Servings: 16
Calories: 207 kcal
Author: Detoxinista.com
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Process the chickpeas, coconut oil and vanilla in a large processor until relatively smooth. Add in the coconut sugar, flour, salt, baking soda and vinegar and blend until until a smooth batter is formed.
  2. Add in the chocolate chips and pulse briefly until incorporated. Drop the dough by heaping tablespoons onto a lined baking sheet and use wet fingers to gently flatten each mound (they won’t spread a lot on their own.) Bake until the tops begin to crack and the edges are dry to the touch, about 18 to 20 minutes. Cool completely before serving.

I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as I do!

Reader Feedback: Have you ever tried adding beans or pulses to a dessert before? 

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Comments

Julie

I adore using beans in cookies and brownies! It makes them taste SOOO GOOD!

Lois Carrington

I am keen to try these out, but can I use brown sugar, or stevia instead of coconut sugar. I simply cannot source coconut sugar.

    Megan Gilmore

    Brown sugar would probably be the easiest sub– stevia would change the recipe too drastically.

    Laura ~ RYG

    I’m trying stevia. Maybe xylitol instead. Would have never thought of beans in cookies, but why not? Glad you say we can’t really taste them though. Seen lots of beans on Pinterest for brownies but have not yet tried.

    Meagan

    If there is a Winco near you, sometimes they carry it in the bulk section.

Meagan Strodel

Think these would work ok with normal sugar and butter? My honey can’t have coconut products currently.

    Megan Gilmore

    Yes, I don’t see why not! The result might just be a little sweeter-tasting.

Cindy

Hi Megan!
These sound great! Yes, I have used beans in a dessert recipe/cookie. Sophie Uliano has a recipe that contains chickpeas that I have made. There’s another recipe on her site, she posted recipe (I think from another source not her recipe but can’t remember for sure!) that uses the juice from a can of chickpeas to make meringue!! Can you believe it!?! I haven’t tried it yet but hope to eventually. I wasn’t able to copy the recipe – is it only set up to print?
(I will answer your email eventually!! It’s been hectic.) Hope your move went well.

Hannah @ Well Lovely

I love the ingredients in these, so healthy! I’ve made black bean brownies before so I can imagine that chickpea cookies are actually pretty darn good!

Zakiya

These are the FIRST vegan “bean cookies” I’ve made that have the cake like texture of a cookie with crunchy edged and no crumble! I like them just cooled from the oven, as I enjoy a softer cookie! My husband is a chocolate chip connoisseur (he wants to buy stock in Great American Cookie lol) and he even said they’re AMAZING!! I made them just as the recipe calls for, with the exception of a little extra vanilla and salt. But I would like to try and replace some of the coconut sugar with a date or two without ruining my new found love. Is this possible, or would it totally blow everything orgasmic about this cookie??

    Jenn

    I subbed dates (4 I think) and a few splashes of maple syrup for most of the coconut sugar and it worked very well. I recommend you try it!

      Cindy

      I’m going to have to try with dates! Thanks for the tip. I love sweetening my desserts with dates.
      These were fantastic! I do want to work on a lower sugar version, though, or at least fruit-sweetened. I used Great Northern White Beans since my store didn’t have canned chickpeas. My batter didn’t need to be pressed down; they spread on their own as soon as I put them on the cookie sheet. Sooo delicious!

        Cindy

        Also, I only baked 12 minutes because I checked on them at this point and they were pretty brown. The 12 minute bake time was perfect. My cookies were probably a little smaller – I got over 20 cookies.

Melané

Hi Megan, your recipe looks great and I will be baking these cookies but I wondered: I’ve been reading about the use of the chickpea liquid as an egg substitute. Have you tried it yet and if so: would you get a crisper result if you whipped some through your cookies?

Alia

Thanks for sharing your though process when developing new recipes. I really appreciate all that you do to make healthy, delicious, whole food recipes for all of us to enjoy! I can’t wait to try out this new recipe sometime in the near future! xx

Abigail

My toddler and infant have egg and nut allergies so I always get excited when you have a new cookie recipe to try! Thank you!!

Also, my little turns one year old in July. Any ideas for a egg/nut/dairy free smash cake?

Keep up the great work!! We love the Detoxinsta!

    Megan Gilmore

    Well, there’s the perfect cake recipe in my new cookbook, but it’s not going to be out by July! Boo! I’ll see if I can think of anything else in the meantime…

      Michele

      Yes!! Can we pre-order this new cookbook? Can’t wait!!!!

        Megan Gilmore

        Aw, thanks! It’s not available for preorder yet (we still don’t have a cover for it!), but I’ll be sure to post more when I can. 🙂

    Megan Gilmore

    I thought of something– do you have my first cookbook? The Banana Coconut Muffins are grain-free, egg-free, nut-free, and dairy-free, so they might be perfect! You could top them with the dairy-free Chocolate Buttercream or Maple Buttercream in the book, too.

      Abigail

      Of course I have it! I haven’t been able to make the muffins turn out. I’ve tried twice and they fall apart when we take them out of the pan. I’ll try to find a solution becuase that maple frosting is delicious!

      Thank you for your reply! We love the Detoxinista!

        Megan Gilmore

        I’m sorry to hear that about the muffins! Are you measuring out the full 3 cups of banana? Usually the biggest error there is that sometimes people will use 3 bananas, instead of 3 cups of bananas (closer to 6 large bananas), so then the result is dry and crumbly. I’ve also heard that coconut flour varies drastically by brand, so that could have something to do with it, too. Egg-free and grain-free recipes are tricky!

Rae Dawn Hadinger

Is there anything that I can substitute for the oat flour. My son has a sensitivity to oats, even gf oats.

    Megan Gilmore

    Since many recipes call for using a 1/2 cup of nut butter instead of using flour, I imagine that would work here as well. Let us know how they turn out for you!

    Coral

    Hi! My kiddos are all genetically gluten-sensitive, so all grains (including oats, rice, and corn – which mimic the gluten protein peptide) will cause inflammation and immune reaction. The best presentation on the matter of glutenology is by Dr. Peter Osborne on his “Gluten Free Society” website…

    That being said, I substitute any grain flour with a combination of gar-fava bean flour, a finely-ground nut flour, and buckwheat (cousin of the rhubarb plant, not at all a grain). The buckwheat is useful if the flour called for is denser, like sorghum or millet or even oat. Gar-fava is just the best for lighter flour substitutions, or to sub in place of medium weight flours. If your son can handle pseudo-cereals, quinoa flour is an excellent substitution for oat flour. (My daughter is also allergic to quinoa, rice, and corn, but before that allergy took shape we used quinoa flour with beautiful results when mixed with one other grain-free option.) Best wishes!

      nina

      Awesome info Coral 🙂

Cheryl

I make a cake out of pinto beans, and it comes out very much like a honey cake. My husband loves that cake.

We had friends over, and they really enjoyed it, until they found out we put beans in it. Obviously, they are not health conscious, so to them a rich chocolate cake would have been better.

Jessica

Did you mean Heaping tablespoon or Heating a tablespoon. I assume and hope the first!

I’ll be trying these soon, will report back! Thanks for the awesome vegan recipes! Love your first book!!!

    Megan Gilmore

    Yes, that was a typo! LOL Definitely “heaping” tablespoon. 🙂

patricia

These cookies look delicious, but I cannot do grains. Is there something that I can sub for the oat flour? Thanks

    Megan Gilmore

    I imagine that a 1/2 cup of nut or seed butter would work!

      Coral

      Megan, I just love your recipes and your knowledgeable help to make foods without inflammatory properties!
      While we can’t really use the starches (like tapioca, potato, or arrowroot) in her recipes, Cara Reed of the “Fork & Beans” blog has a super duper useful chart for grain-free & gluten-free flour substitutions. Really good for pairing alternative flours by “weights”.
      I like to use gar-fava flour to sub for oat flour, and to keep it nut-free. I’m simply following recipes, using whatever my kids can eat (super limited), and not developing recipes, but i know what works from years of trying!!!

        Nina

        Thanks again Coral, great tips

Leslie torres

What do you mean by cooked chickpeas? I know you cook them. But at what temperature and for how long?

SB

What is the significance of heating the tablespoon? Is the batter too thick?

    Megan Gilmore

    Whoops, that was a typo! I just updated it to say “heaping tablespoon.” Ha!

kittyforman

Oh my! I want to try these soon!

christine

I made these today, and they are really good! I think the texture of the cookie improves when the cookies are cooled.
Megan, I love the fact that you have so many chocolate chip cookie recipes so I can give my kids variety. we love the recipe in your cookbook. Even people who do not eat a clean diet love them. This chickpea recipe will come in handy in my son’s autistic classroom since there is an egg allergy there. keep up the good work!

Mymy

Can we use black beans instead of chickpeas ? Thanks !! 😀

Cristina

I made these cookies today and they are Amazing! Even my super picky eater loved them! This is my first time to use chickpeas in a sweet recipe but it will not be my last. Thank you for the Great recipe!

Elise

Delicious and really easy to make!

Jen

These cookies are soooo goooood! I used 1/2 cup packed brown sugar and 1/4 cup cane sugar instead of the coconut sugar. We had (totally non-health nut) friends over to share them with, and they asked to take some home. I think that says it all! No one suspected beans. Mwahaha. >:)

Laura

Delicious! I didn’t have oats so used a combo of teff flour and some gluten free baking mix. They are addictive!

Parm Manhas

Just made these as per the recipe, with a small adjustment of substituting cacao nibs for the chocolate chips, and they are so yummy !
Putting the kettle on now to have a cup of tea with them.
Thank you for the great recipe !!

Rebecca

These are really good. Mu husband described them as “fudgy.. In a very good way”. Lol! They go perfect with a glass of homemade almond milk. Thanks for another awesome recipe

Kezia @ Super Naturally Healthy

Yes – I make chick pea brownies that are super filling and yum. Plus using pulses make this much cheaper too 😉

Sandra

Hi Megan.

I look forward to trying your recipes. I sometimes go on my local TV morning show, Talk of Alabama, as the chef of the day. One show was about Beans for Dessert. I have made the chocolate chip cookies using chickpeas. The recipe was not mine, but they tasted good and the show hosts couldn’t tell they had beans in them. I’ve been wanting to give the recipe a try again with my own twist. I love that yours are vegan.

By the way, how do you keep up with your recipes? Do you use an online recipe software program?

    Megan Gilmore

    I don’t use a very organized system for my recipes– just the “notes” application that comes with my Mac!

Mary

How do you think they would be without using the oil? They sound yummy!

    Megan Gilmore

    It depends on what you mean by “work.” The oil definitely adds to the texture, but you can usually sub applesauce or another puree if you’re willing to sacrifice taste and texture a bit. 🙂

Kathryn

These look Deeeeelicious! I would prefer not to use either parchment paper (unless I can find a non-bleached one that is not coated with silicone). And I don’t want to use silicone mats either. Do you think that putting coconut oil on the cookie sheet and a sprinkling of brown rice flour would do the trick? Wondering if you or anyone else has any ideas.

    Megan Gilmore

    For this recipe, oiling the pan will probably work. I just don’t like to risk expensive ingredients in general not coming off the pan, so I always use some sort of parchment paper to be on the safe side. It’s more important with grain-free baking, though, especially with coconut flour. Oat flour recipes should come off a bit easier.

Charlie

I made the cookie recipe substituting 1/3 c Truvia for the coconut sugar. The dough was a bit wet so I added 2 T of peanut butter powder. They turned out great. Thanks so much Megan for sharing all your great recipes. I appreciate you and all your hard work!

Diana

I just made these today & they are moist, chocolately & delicious! Thanks for your recipes & thinking outside the box!

Matthew

I almost always find that if I beat/mix everything by hand, the cookies come out as a superior product than when compared to using an electric mixer. Doing it by hand simply beats/mixes everything less and more gently. The cookies come out fluffier and more think instead of flatter and harder.

Lesley

This is a great recipe! Instead of oil, I used 2T of sunbutter and 1T of tahini. I ended up adding some almond milk to it since it was thicker with the butters, and I added some more old-fashioned oats without processing it. These were really good! Mine didn’t look like what I would consider a traditional chocolate chip cookie, but they sure were tasty! They were crispy on the edges and soft on the inside.Thanks for the recipe!

Maria

I tried these and they came out great. My daughter didn’t like them though because she said they are too soft. Any recommendations on how to make chewier or harder?

    Megan Gilmore

    Adding nut butter would probably make them chewier, but I haven’t experimented with that in this recipe because I wanted it to remain nut-free and using as few ingredients as possible. Perhaps try replacing half of the beans with nut butter? Let us know if you experiment!

Karen

This would be a good way to get my toddler to eat more protein!

Ps. I try to give ur recipes 5 stars but I am never able to do it. It only lets me give you 2 stars. But maybe it’s because I use my iPhone?

TJ

Good grief – these are FANTASTIC! I’m not a big cookie dough eater – even with vegan dough – but I’ll admit to sampling this dough & declaring the cookies would be awesome. And they were! Such complex depth of flavor from relatively few ingredients. The coconut sugar really makes these great. I buy organic dried garbanzo beans then soak overnight & cook the next day in a slow cooker so I always have them ready in the freezer. These cookies were great the day I made them & just as good the next day. (I put them in the refrigerator overnight.) Thank you for this marvelous recipe! A real hit in this household! And to answer your question… my husband & I love using legumes in baked goods – Black Bean Brownies, anyone? Thanks again!

Denise

I made those today and I was surprised at how good they actualy taste! I love bean brownie! Do I decided to give this a try and oh my, its do yummy!!! Thank you!

Heather

I liked these! My 20 month old didn’t but more for me!

nina

Great recipe, fiber and protein ? especially because I don’t have baking powder, which every recipe calls for except this one. I like less sugar and mine came out sweeeet, so next time I’ll Try 1/2 cup Coconut sugar, which it’s still better glycerin than make syrup/honey/agave, and not as preceded as Stevia extract, and no aftertaste. Would dates/figs/banana work? I also didn’t have chocolate chips so I used 1/4 cup cacao powder with few chunks 100% godiva baking chocolate. I made cookies tablespoon size, so I got 28 and 1 mini ;-D
Thank you!!!

    Cindy

    Nina, did you happen to experiment with other sweeteners? I’d love to make this recipe and sweeten with dates and bananas! I’ve got some really ripe bananas on my counter… might have to try it!

      nina

      Hi Cindy, I’ve been using coconut sugar. No bananas or figs/dates yet. How about you?

        Cindy

        I finally tried these with dates in place of the coconut sugar and they turned out great! I used 10 very large dates. Probably could have gotten away with just 8.

Linnéa

So excited to have found this page and recipe. Currently the cookies are in the oven and I’m so curious of how they’ll turn out! Now, I did not have any apple cider vinegar at home, how necessary is this ingredient, what does it add to the recipe? 🙂

    Megan Gilmore

    The vinegar activates the baking soda, so if you don’t use that or lemon juice (some sort of acid) the cookies won’t rise as much and might have a slight baking soda flavor.

KW

FINALLY a chickpea cookie recipe that’s nut-free for my son whose allergy is life threatening. Thank you.
Also, in your comments you mentioned: Banana Coconut muffins that are dairy/egg/nut/grain free. Exactly what I’m after for a friend. However, the recipe didn’t show up when I clicked on it. Help please!

KS

Made this, and it was delicious! My only complaint is that you have to be very careful with the time. I made these and kind of burnt them, so only the middle was good. Otherwise, it was delicious.

Katherine

Can the oat flour be substituted with coconut flour?
Thanks,
Katherine

LUCIE

I’ve baked these this week using brown sugar instead of coconut sugar and reduced the chocolate chips to 1/2 cup. Tasted one “nearly” hot from the oven – delicious – and my husband agrees. I then froze them. Today, after my workout, I indulged in a cup of orange-gìnger green tea and two cookies right out of the freezer. Really great, but now I’m worried about the calorie count!

Jess

I love these cookies! Instead of oat flour I use a heaping tablespoon of peanut butter and 1/4-1/2 cup chickpea flour. I only add 1/2 cup coconut sugar and a few rows of dark chocolate chopped otherwise they are too sweet for my liking. We eat them from the freezer as you suggested – so yummy! Will be perfect for my daughter’s school lunchbox this year. Thank you!

Mary B.

Hi Megan, thank you for all the amazing recipes !
i can’t find any coconut sugar where i live, i am looking for other healthy alternatives but i do not know how to convert? like honey or stevia

Nicole

These are great and super quick! Here’s what I subbed (because I’m a Mom of 5 and can’t get to the store very often!). I substituted cannellini beans for chickpeas, gluten free flour for oat flour, brown sugar for coconut sugar and earth balance butter for the coconut oil. They turned out delish.

nina

LOVE THESE COOKIES! So does my not-so-gluten-free, sugar-toothed brother that I live with 🙂 he and I kept going back for more cookies!
I found this recipe when I googled “Chickpea flour chocolate chip cookies vegan” and found multiple recipes, most with excessive ingredients, starches, extra oil, and they use flour..but Detoxinista used whole chickpeas! love that! and way less oil!!!
I used 1/2Cup coconut sugar and they tasted great…next time I might try applesauce instead of oil, or a mix of some sort.
Definitely was fighting not eating these in their cookie-dough form, because they were gooood.
They were soft and tasty, the chickpea flavor came through a little, but who cares, they were still great 🙂
Thanks Detoxinista, you’re the best XOXO

nina

great recipe, very easy to follow, and only a few ingredients that are probably already in your pantry 😀

Karen

Made these yesterday! due to allergies I can’t have dairy, egg or gluten. These were AMAZING! My husband will not eat anything healthy but we are fighting over these!!!! thank you so much for an alternative for those of us with allergies! I reduced the sugar to 1/2 cup as well as the chocolate chips….still delicious!

Dominika

Omg, just put these in the oven and cannot wait to eat them! Even the batter tastes delish and I could it just that, lol 😀 thank you for this wonderful recipe! 🙂

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