It feels like we’ve been frying eggs in everything these days, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for one more! Enter scene: Chickpea Fried Eggs, with a hit of za’atar and Calabrian chili paste that makes it an absolute dream. Similar to frying eggs in cheese, the chickpeas help give the bottom of the egg a crispy, golden crust (see the last picture of this blog post if you don’t believe me), while still providing a powerhouse level of nutrition and protein. This is one of my all-time favorite quick vegetarian breakfasts, lunches, quick dinners or even a hearty snack. It’s salty and savory, crispy, filling and a great high-protein option for when you need something quick and easy.
You can opt to swap out the spices and oil as you like, but I love using the mix of za’atar and Calabrian chili paste. It adds a hit of red color to the chickpeas, and the za’atar is simultaneously nutty and herby in a way that keeps me coming back for more. Plus, the eggs only take minutes to make!
How to perfectly fry an egg
The key to a perfectly fried egg is simple: hot oil and a spoon! To achieve those totally addictive crispy edges, the pan has to be hot enough that when you stick a wooden toothpick in the oil, it slightly bubbles. That’s when you know that your pan is ready for frying. From there, crack the egg into the pan and let it cook for a few seconds before basting the egg whites with the spoon for 30-60 seconds, or until the egg whites are cooked through. And there you have it, a perfectly fried egg.
Yes! However, I suggest having the chickpeas ready to be cooked in an air-tight container in the fridge and cooking the eggs fresh. When you’re ready to eat, all you have to do is toss some oil and the chickpeas in the pan and fry the eggs!
Sure! Although I think chickpeas work best for this recipe, you can use any type of bean. White beans or black beans would produce the most similar result to the chickpeas but are still flavorful and protein-packed.
If you don’t have za’atar and Calabrian chili paste lying around the kitchen, no problem! Chickpeas and eggs go well with almost any seasonings. For this recipe, I suggest using seasonings like ground thyme, and cumin in replacement for the za’atar and paprika and chili flakes for the Calabrian chili paste.
Looking for similar recipes?
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And that’s everything for these Chickpea Fried Eggs!
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Chickpea Fried Eggs
- 1 (15-ounce) can of chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon za'atar
- 1 tablespoon Calabrian chili paste
- Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 large eggs
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh dill and mint optional, for serving
- Add the drained and rinsed chickpeas to a large bowl. Mix in the za'atar, chili paste, and season with a liberal amount of salt, about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon. Plus more to taste. Set aside.
- Put a large pan over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Add half the chickpeas to the pan and toast, stirring the chickpeas often so they don't pop. Cook the chickpeas for 2-3 minutes. Then shape them into two circles with small empty pockets in the center.
- Crack two eggs into the pan, aiming the yolk for the center of the chickpea circles.
- Tilt the pan to the side, letting any spicy oil pool to the side. Baste the egg whites with this spicy oil for 30-60 seconds, or until the egg whites are cooked through.
- Remove these two eggs from the pan, scooping out any straggler chickpeas with them, then repeat with the remaining chickpeas and eggs.
- Garnish with black pepper, dill and mint and eat immediately!