Cheez-it Roasted Chickpeas: a healthy, homemade snack that's vegan, gluten free, and packed with protein! Requires only 6 ingredients! || recipe

Cheez-It Roasted Chickpeas

My favorite childhood snack mixed with my favorite adult-life snack. This is really happening!!

Cheez-it Roasted Chickpeas: a healthy, homemade snack that's vegan, gluten free, and packed with protein! Requires only 6 ingredients! || recipe

Friends, my love of Cheez-Its ran deep when I was a kid. Heck, even into my college years I adored the things!

It was not uncommon that I devoured a half a box of Cheez-Its in between the time I came home from school and the time we ate dinner. *facepalm*

I craved that cheesy, crunchy goodness pretty much every day. White cheddar and the reduced-fat varieties were my favorite. White cheddar for obvious reasons (YUM), and the reduced-fat version was so much crunchier and saltier than the regular version. But I really didn’t discriminate when push came to shove. I loved each and every little cheesy square.

BUT by filling up on these crackers, I was filling up on empty calories. There was a reason why I was hungry for dinner an hour after I inhaled my “snack.” I was basically just inhaling refined flour, preservatives, and cheese. Yum…?

Enter: Cheez-it Roasted Chickpeas.

All of the flavors of my favorite childhood snack in one tidy, protein-packed treat.

Friends, I’m crazy about these things.

Cheez-it Roasted Chickpeas: a healthy, homemade snack that's vegan, gluten free, and packed with protein! Requires only 6 ingredients! || recipe

And would you believe that you can have them right in front of you in a half hour? IT’S TRUE. It’ll probably take you less time to make this healthier snack than it would if you drove all the way to the store to pick up a box of the original. Can I get a “woot woot”?!

Roasting chickpeas could not be easier. You dry the chickpeas, you season the chickpeas, you roast the chickpeas. It really is as simple as that. A tip for you though: removing the chickpea skins. I’ll be the first to admit that removing those pesky skins is annoying as heck. I know. It sucks. BUT it really does make a world of difference. Chickpeas without their skins are much crunchier than chickpeas with their skins.

That was a weird sentence, but you get my point.

AND! We’re using a mere four seasonings to make our chickpeas taste like those addictive cheese square crackers. Nutritional yeast is at the forefront, due to its naturally [vegan!] cheesy flavor. We’ll also use some salt, pepper, and a teeny tiny dash of cayenne. Because everything in life should have a teeny tiny dash of cayenne.

Cheez-it Roasted Chickpeas: a healthy, homemade snack that's vegan, gluten free, and packed with protein! Requires only 6 ingredients! || recipe

Because these are so simple, I was a little apprehensive about them actually tasting like those crackers I loved oh-so much as a kid.

But guys, they really do. And Mark, a self-proclaimed nutritional yeast hater, agrees!

These roasted chickpeas are the perfect protein-filled snack, and I know you’re gonna love ’em. Enjoy, friends!

Cheez-It Roasted Chickpeas

From at
Prep: Cook: Yield: 1 cupTotal:

A healthy, protein-packed snack that tastes like a classic Cheez-it!

You'll Need...

  • 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • salt + pepper
  • tiny pinch cayenne


  1. After rinsing your chickpeas, dry them very well. I let mine sit out on a paper towel for a couple of hours. You can also remove the skins from the chickpeas. It's tedious for sure, but removing the skins seriously does make these so much crunchier. Rubbing them between some paper towels works well!
  2. Once your chickpeas are virtually dry, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
  3. Place chickpeas in a medium bowl. Pour olive oil over top, and toss to coat. Season with nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Mix to combine.
  4. Pour seasoned chickpeas directly onto a baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, toss the chickpeas and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the chickpeas are golden and crunchy. The chickpeas will harden a bit after you remove them from the oven.
  5. Store in an air-tight container.

Additional Notes

Chickpea roasting method from one of the best bosses ever, Jessica @ How Sweet It Is

Cheez-it Roasted Chickpeas: a healthy, homemade snack that's vegan, gluten free, and packed with protein! Requires only 6 ingredients! || recipe

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  • Reply Christina @ The Blissful Balance September 1, 2016 at 6:30 AM

    OH EM GEE you are a genius! I recently [finally] tried roasting chickpeas and I fell in love. Cheez-Its are STILL a love of mine (that I never embrace.) haha but these look like an amazing option!

    • Reply Alexa [] September 5, 2016 at 2:03 PM

      Ugh, I know. Cheez-its are the best, aren’t they?! I hope you have the chance to give these a try, Christina!

  • Reply Marina @ A Dancer's Live-It September 1, 2016 at 7:31 AM

    LOVE roasted chickpeas!! And Cheez-Its. I used to eat those like it was my JOB. ;)

    • Reply Alexa [] September 5, 2016 at 2:04 PM

      HA! Same here, Marina. Love Cheez-its and roasted chickpeas both :)

  • Reply Erin @ The Almond Eater September 1, 2016 at 8:21 AM

    YES these need to happen! I make roasted chickpeas at least once a week, but always stick to my traditional cajun spice flavoring. This looks awesome, and I just bought nutritional yeast the other day. These are definitely happening!

    • Reply Alexa [] September 5, 2016 at 2:04 PM

      I love love love having roasted chickpeas around for whenever I get hangry during the week. These are definitely a new favorite!

  • Reply Ellie September 1, 2016 at 8:45 AM

    I was a big cheez-it person too! I used to love putting them in tomato soup. I think adding the chickpeas to soup would be great too!

    • Reply Alexa [] September 5, 2016 at 2:05 PM

      Ahh! These would be SO GOOD in tomato soup! Definitely trying that!

  • Reply Liz September 1, 2016 at 4:17 PM

    Roasted chickpeas are the BEST! And while I was never a cheez-it fan (I never liked cheese as a kid, I know, so weird), I LOVE nutritional yeast now. Can’t wait to try!

    • Reply Alexa [] September 5, 2016 at 2:06 PM

      I CANNOT believe you weren’t a cheez-it fan as a kid!! I hope you like these!

  • Reply Ellen B Simon September 1, 2016 at 4:22 PM

    what is nutritional yeast and what affect does it have on the chick peas

    • Reply Alexa [] September 1, 2016 at 10:33 PM

      Hey, Ellen! Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast. You can use it as a seasoning (as I did in this recipe), as it imparts a “cheesy” flavor. It’s completely vegan, and a great source of vitamin B-12! It’s also super yummy on popcorn :)

  • Reply Jess @hellotofit September 1, 2016 at 6:19 PM

    Dude, I could CRUSH some cheez-its!! So so so so good, except when it all gets stuck in the back of my teeth :( do you know what I’m talking about? hahaha.
    LOVE nutri yeast. Normally I only sprinkle it over toast and drizzle with olive oil…..

    • Reply Alexa [] September 5, 2016 at 2:08 PM

      haha! YES! I know exactly what you’re talking about. These babies don’t have that issue ;)

  • Reply Megan September 1, 2016 at 7:57 PM

    I love roast chickpeas! We don’t have cheez-its here but I love cheese crackers so I’m sure I’d love them. You can’t really go wrong with cheese, it is just awesome.

    • Reply Alexa [] September 5, 2016 at 2:09 PM

      Cheese is awesome, especially when it’s covering roasted chickpeas!

  • Reply Emily September 1, 2016 at 11:14 PM

    Cheesy chickpeas with the flavors of cheese and protein! This sounds so good!

  • Reply Jess | Urban Alchemy September 2, 2016 at 7:29 AM

    I need to make these for my boyfriend. He is obsessed (like Costco sized-boxes obsessed) with Cheez-Its!

    • Reply Alexa [] September 5, 2016 at 2:10 PM

      HA! I’m the exact same way! Luckily, these are a tad bit healthier ;)

  • Reply Monday must-reads! - Apron Strings and Sticky Fingers September 4, 2016 at 4:46 PM

    […] Cheez-it roasted chickpeas.  […]

  • Reply Katie Bellino November 1, 2016 at 1:01 PM

    THESE LOOK AMAZING! I bet you could do some kind of honey mustard flavor too huh? nums.

    • Reply Alexa [] November 1, 2016 at 9:23 PM

      Um. HECK YES. Honey mustard is my fave – I’ll have to try that out!

  • Reply Cara November 13, 2016 at 3:23 PM

    I’m a huge fan of cheez-its but trying to follow a low-glycemic diet nowadays and was super excited to see this! I’m not getting too much of a cheez-it flavor from the chick peas though, and I’m wondering if anyone’s tried shredding a little bit of cheddar cheese on top, maybe? Just trying to think of ways to really amp up the flavor of these guys. They’re delicious, just not quite what I expected. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Reply Alexa [] November 13, 2016 at 8:07 PM

      Hey, Cara! Sorry these weren’t cheesy enough for you – I think some additional nutritional yeast or some cheese grated over top near the end of cooking would both be lovely additions :) Let me know if you do try it!

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