How to Cook Chickpeas

Here’s how to cook chickpeas! It’s so easy to cook garbanzo beans from dried: they’re cheaper and taste much better than canned.

How to cook chickpeas

Wondering how to cook chickpeas? You’ve come to the right place. Here at A Couple Cooks, we eat a lot of chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans. These little legumes pack loads of healthy protein and nutrients: and they’re especially essential for plant-based diets. And what better way to eat them than cooked from dry? It takes a little planning, but if you’ve tried it before you know: Dried chickpeas are much more delicious than canned. They’ve got a firmer texture and better flavor: and they’re cheaper, too! Here’s our master method on how to cook chickpeas.

How to cook chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans (basic steps)

The hardest part about how to cook chickpeas is this: thinking ahead. You do have to soak the garbanzo beans overnight, and cooking them takes about 1 hour. But once you get into the rhythm of cooking beans from dried, you can memorize it and it will become second nature. Cook up a pot of beans in the evening or on a weeknight, then refrigerate or freeze for cooking that week. Here’s what to do:

  • Soak the chickpeas overnight. Soaking beans helps them cook faster and more evenly. You can also get away without soaking, especially if the beans are fresh (see the section below on soaking).
  • If desired, add flavorings! Add lots of flavor to your beans in no time by throwing adders into the pot like onion and garlic.
  • Simmer in water for 25 minutes to 45 minutes (soaked) or up to 1 1/2 hours, unsoaked. The timing will be different every time you make them, based on the age and brand of beans. Keep reading for more on that…
How to cook chickpeas

Taste test to get the right timing

How long to cook chickpeas? The cook time is variable, and depends on the age and brand of the beans. A fresher bean cooks better than an older bean. You’ll notice slight variations between brands and even within the same brand. Here are some notes on how to know when you’re beans are done:

  • Taste test. Start taste testing at 25 minutes (if they’re soaked) or around 45 minutes for unsoaked. If the chickpea still has a little raw bite in it, keep on cooking. Do this every 10 to 15 minutes until the beans are tender. You’ll want them more tender if you’re making hummus, more chewy if you’re using them for salads.
  • Add water if necessary. The water level in the pot might start to lower while you’re cooking. That’s ok! Just add a splash more to cover the beans if they’re not tender yet.

Can you skip soaking the chickpeas before cooking?

Actually…yes! You can cook chickpeas without soaking them. Then why soak them at all?

  • Soaking helps them to cook more evenly AND faster. It really is worth it, in our opinion, to get the most evenly cooked pot of garbanzo beans. And they’ll cook faster!
  • No time to soak? Cook them longer. You’ll need to cook them a bit longer (timing will vary). Or you can use our Instant Pot method, which doesn’t require soaking. Speaking of…
Chickpeas

Got an Instant Pot? Use that instead.

Got a pressure cooker? It’s even easier to cook garbanzo beans in an Instant Pot! Go to Instant Pot Chickpeas. Here are the main advantages:

  • You don’t have to soak the chickpeas. Just throw them in the pot with water.
  • They take less than 1 hour! The Instant Pot speeds up the process.
  • You don’t have to babysit the stove. There’s less checking and tasting with the pressure cooker method.

Add flavor with mix-ins!

Here’s the fun part: adding more flavor! You can simply cook chickpeas in water (which is what we normally do). But if you have some of these aromatic ingredients on hand, they add big flavor:

  • Onion, peeled and quartered
  • Garlic, peeled and smashed — as many cloves as you’d like
  • Kombu – dried seaweed often used in Japanese recipes. It adds mega meaty flavor to vegetarian and vegan dishes! You can buy a package and store it in your freezer.
  • Carrots or celery, roughly chopped
How to cook chickpeas

How to store cooked chickpeas

This recipe leaves you with 6 cups of chickpeas or four 15-ounce cans. That’s quite a lot of chickpeas! Because it makes a large quantity, it’s perfect for meal prepping. Here’s what we like to do:

  • Store part of the chickpeas refrigerated. These will last in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.
  • Freeze anything you won’t eat in the short term! Drain the cooking liquid and place the chickpeas in sealed containers (we like to use mason jars). Place them in containers in 1 1/2 cup increments, which equals 1 15-ounce can. Then you can freeze them for up to 8 months.

Chickpea recipes

Now that you know how to cook chickpeas, there are so many recipes to use them! Here are some of our favorite chickpea recipes:

This chickpeas recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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How to cook chickpeas

How to Cook Chickpeas


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: Overnight
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 11 minute
  • Yield: 6 cups chickpeas (4 15-ounce cans) 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Here’s how to cook chickpeas! It’s so easy to cook garbanzo beans from dried: they’re cheaper and taste much better than canned.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dry chickpeas
  • Kosher salt
  • Optional add ins: 1 white onion, peeled and quartered, 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed, 1 strip kombu seaweed (adds big savory flavor), other herbs as desired

Instructions

  1. Soak the chickpeas overnight*: Place the chickpeas in a large container with a cover with 2 inches of room temperature water and stir in 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Cover and allow to soak at room temperature.
  2. Cook the chickpeas: When ready to cook, drain the chickpeas from the soaking liquid. Place them in a pot and cover with 2 inches of water. Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt and bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. If using, add onion, garlic, or herbs for additional flavor.
  3. Simmer uncovered for 25 to 45 minutes (if they’re soaked) or up to 1 1/2 hours unsoaked, until the chickpeas are tender. You’ll want them more tender if you’re making hummus, more chewy if you’re using them for salads. Taste test as you cook; the exact timing will depend on the age and brand of chickpeas. Add a bit of water if necessary to keep the chickpeas covered with water while cooking. Drain the water.
  4. Storage: Store refrigerated for 3 to 5 days, or frozen for up to 8 months. To freeze the chickpeas, place the drained chickpeas into a sealable storage container: we like to use mason jars. It’s helpful to freeze them in 1 1/2 cup increments, which equals 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas.

  • Category: Essentials
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Beans

Keywords: How to cook chickpeas

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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