January 2, 2014 at 1:00 am

Use chickpeas 5 different ways

Chickpea, Sausage and Kale Pasta mixes it up. (Bryan Gardner)

Think beyond hummus. Protein-packed and versatile, canned chickpeas are a pantry must-have that can make a meal in minutes. Try our easy ideas for serving up these superstaples.

Curried Chickpeas

Saut 1 minced onion, 2 tablespoons julienned ginger and 1 tablespoon minced garlic in 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Add 1 teaspoon curry powder and cook 30 seconds. Stir in 1 tablespoon tomato paste and cook 1 minute. Add 1 can (15.5 ounces) rinsed and drained chickpeas and cook until heated through; season. Serve with yogurt and cilantro sprigs. Serves 2.

Chickpea Fritters

In a food processor, pulse together 1 can (15.5 ounces) rinsed and drained chickpeas, cup sliced scallions and 13 cup chopped cilantro until a coarse paste forms. Pulse in cup flour, 1 large egg and 1 teaspoon coarse salt. Heat inch olive oil in a large skillet over medium high. Add chickpea mixture to skillet, cup at a time, pressing to form patties. Cook until golden brown on both sides, turning once, about 4 to 5 minutes. Serve with salad and lemon wedges. Makes 6 fritters.

Chickpea, Sausage and Kale Pasta

Cook pound short pasta, then drain. In a skillet, cook pound Italian sausage meat in 1 tablespoon olive oil until opaque, breaking up with a spoon. Add 2 tablespoons minced garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add 1 can (15.5 ounces) rinsed and drained chickpeas and cook 3 minutes. Add 5 cups ribbed and shredded kale, and wilt. Add pasta and cup grated Parmesan; season. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Serves 4.

Herbed Chickpea Sandwich

Mash together 1 can (15.5 ounces) rinsed and drained chickpeas, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Stir in cup crumbled feta and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill; season. Divide mixture among 4 slices toasted rustic bread. Top with halved cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and top with dill sprigs. Serves 4.

Chickpea and Cauliflower Salad

On a rimmed baking sheet, toss 1 can (15.5 ounces) rinsed and drained chickpeas and 3 tablespoons drained capers with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil; season. Roast at 475 degrees Fahrenheit until chickpeas are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Whisk together cup olive oil and 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar. Toss together head sliced cauliflower; cup chopped, roasted, salted almonds; 13 cup golden raisins; cup chopped fresh parsley; chickpea mixture; and dressing. Season. Serves 4.

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