Chickpea Spread with Caramelized Onions

$3.58 recipe / $0.60 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
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Party season is just around the corner so it’s time to start bookmarking all the good appetizer recipes to bring to holiday gatherings! When I saw this simple but elegant (and budget-friendly!) Chickpea Spread with Caramelized Onions in Michal Korkosz’s new book, Polish’d: Modern Vegetarian Cooking from Global Poland, I knew I had to try it because I l-o-v-e turning a humble can of beans into something special. And guess what? This dip was every bit as delicious as it looked. So big thanks to Michal and his publisher for letting us share this amazing recipe with you today, just in time for the holidays!

Close up overhead view of a bowl full of chickpea spread with caramelized onions, a cracker being dipped into the side.

What’s in This Chickpea Spread?

The base of the chickpea spread is simply chickpeas brightened up with a little lemon juice and puréed until smooth with cold water. To give the spread a boost of flavor, caramelized onions and fresh parsley are added to the mix. The caramelized onions give the chickpeas a subtly sweet and savory flavor, while the parsley adds a breath of freshness. The combination of flavors is absolutely divine and it will definitely have you coming back for dip after dip!

How to Serve the Chickpea Spread

This appetizer is best served with a variety of crackers or bread for dipping, but I think it would also make an amazing spread to add to sandwiches or even just a slice of toast. Michal notes in his book to serve with bread and dill pickles. Yum!

Storing Leftovers

The chickpea spread will stay good in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days, but the presentation is definitely best on the day it’s made when the caramelized onions are at their most beautiful. Caramelized onions do tend to get a little cloudy when refrigerated as they absorb moisture.

Close up overhead view of the caramelized onions on top of the chickpea dip.
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Chickpea Spread with Caramelized Onions

This simple but elegant chickpea spread combines sweet caramelized onions with a creamy, savory puréed chickpea spread, the perfect appetizer for any occasion!
Overhead view of a bowl full of chickpea spread with caramelized onions surrounded by crackers.
Servings 6 (¼ cup each)
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 25 minutes
Total 40 minutes


  • 1/4 cup olive oil ($0.63)
  • 1 lb. white onions ($1.29)
  • 3 bay leaves ($0.45)
  • 1 tsp salt, divided ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar ($0.01)
  • 1 15oz. can chickpeas ($0.79)
  • 1/3 cup cold water ($0.00)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice ($0.06)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley ($0.30)


  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, bay leaves, ½ teaspoon of the salt, and the brown sugar. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and caramelized, about 25 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and discard.
  • Place the chickpeas in a food processor with the cold water and remaining ½ tsp salt. Blend until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the caramelized onions (save some for the garnish) and the lemon juice and parsley. Pulse once or twice to combine. Season with pepper.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl. Top with the remaining caramelized onions and season with more pepper. Serve with your favorite bread and dill pickles.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.


Serving: 0.25cupCalories: 175kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 4gFat: 10gSodium: 589mgFiber: 5g
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Side view of a cracker being dipped into a bowl of chickpea spread with caramelized onions.

How to Make Chickpea Spread with Caramelized Onions

Sliced onions in a skillet with brown sugar and bay leaf.

Start caramelizing the onions first, as they’ll take about a half hour to cook. Slice one pound of white onions and add them to a skillet with ¼ cup olive oil, 3 bay leaves, ½ tsp salt, and ½ tsp brown sugar.

Caramelized onions in the skillet.

Cook the onions over low heat, stirring occasionally, until they deep golden brown and caramelized. You can increase the heat to medium-low if they are taking too long, just make sure to stir often. Discard the bay leaves.

Chickpeas in a food processor with lemon juice, salt, and water.

Drain one 15oz. can of chickpeas and add them to a food processor with ½ tsp salt and ⅓ cup cold water.

Puréed chickpeas in the food processor.

Purée the chickpeas until smooth. If the chickpeas seem dry, you can add a little extra water or olive oil until they blend smoothly.

Caramelized onions and parsley added to the food processor.

Add 1 Tbsp lemon juice, half of the caramelized onions, and about ¼ cup fresh parsley to the food processor.

Finished chickpea spread in the food processor.

Pulse the chickpeas to combine with the parsley and caramelize onions. Give it a taste, season with pepper, and adjust the salt, lemon, or other ingredients to your liking.

Overhead view of a bowl full of chickpea spread with caramelized onions surrounded by crackers.

Serve the chickpea spread in a bowl, topped with the remaining caramelized onions, and some freshly cracked pepper. Enjoy!

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  1. This looks great! And I love you featuring recipes from other cookbooks/chefs. Wonderful way to spread the spotlight. Thanks for all you guys do!

  2. This is on my list to make – I love hummus but at my age the garlic doesn’t love me.
    I’ve been looking for a flavorful alternative.