There are three simple methods for cooking chickpeas. The first two make use of the stove and the third uses a slow cooker. We use all three methods in our kitchen and the one we choose will usually depend on timing. The long soak allows you to get most of the prep time done overnight. The quick soak allows you to start with dried beans and finish with cooked in about 3 hours and the slow cooker is completely hands-off. *If you use the slow cooker method, there is no need to soak the dried beans.
1 pound dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
Bay leaf, garlic cloves, onion or carrot, optional
Look through the dried beans and pick out anything that doesn’t look like a bean — sometimes a rock or something else from the bulk aisle sneaks in. If you are using the stovetop to cook the beans, you need to soak the dried beans. There are two options: Long Soak and Quick Soak.
Long Soak Beans: Add dried beans to a large bowl and cover with several inches of water. As the beans rehydrate, they triple in size — adding plenty of water is key. Soak the beans 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse.
Quick Soak Beans: Add the dried beans to a large pot, cover with several inches of water and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes then take the pot off of the heat and let the beans sit in the water for 1 hour. Drain and rinse.
If using the stovetop, add the soaked, drained and rinsed beans to a large pot. Cover with several inches of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until they reach your desired tenderness, 1 1/2 to 2 hours (see notes).
If using a slow cooker, add dried chickpeas and 7 cups of water to a slow cooker. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours. There is no need to soak the beans when using a slow cooker.