For all of the time I find myself in the kitchen space cooking between my stovetop and kitchen counter, it’s really a wonder how many boxes of crackers I eat in a week.  Crackers, that is, that I don’t have to measure, chop, saute or bake.  Crackers, that is, that I don’t have to tidy up after. Crackers that I can eat quickly to satisfaction.  

But… crackers do not a meal make…arguably and unfortunately.  

I’ve found a healthier option to my lazy cracker obsession.  It’s the can of chickpeas that live right next to the box of crackers in the pantry.  Take the can, drain and rinse and turn the contents in olive oil, good parmesan, and fresh cracked black pepper.  

The result is a toasty and tender, elevated bean snack that’s salty and spicy and deeply snackable!  Get at this with me!

It’s a really simple snack.  Salty, spicy, and satisfying.  

Here’s what you need:  

•  two cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed.  

•  olive oil, plenty for roasting.

•  very finely shredded parmesan cheese and very coarsely ground black pepper.  The cacio and the pepe.  

•  sea salt, coarse and tasty. 

Spread the chickpeas in a single layer across a parchment lined baking sheet.  

Drizzle with olive oil.

Add a generous amount of fresh cracked black pepper.  Sprinkle it evenly and add a few pinches of salt, too. 

Add an even more generous amount of very finely shredded parmesan cheese.  

I bought a block of good parmesan and used a microplane to grate it into fine shreds. Fine shreds melt and crisp in a way that coats the beans well.  

Toss to coat the mountains of soft parmesan, olive oil, salt and pepper to evenly coat the beans. 

Crisp on the outside, salty and spicy.  Tender and creamy on the inside.  They’re an easy and satisfying bite warm or at room temperature.  

It’s a can of beans, made earnestly and simply delicious with heat and spices. 

From a can to a goblet.  These beans have gone elegant!  

Photos with my dear Jon Melendez

Cacio e Pepe Roasted Chickpeas


  • 2, 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon coarse fresh cracked black pepper (if you have more fine ground black pepper, use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon)
  • 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese, plus much more for serving


  1. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Spread drained and rinsed chickpeas in a single layer across the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat.
  3. Sprinkle finely grated cheese over the mixture. Toss to coat.
  4. Place in the oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, tossing the mixture twice during baking.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool enough to touch. Sprinkle with more finely grated cheese, place in a serving bowl, and sprinkle with more fresh cracked pepper. Enjoy!
  6. Store the roasted chickpeas in an air tight container at room temperature.