How to soak and cook chickpeas including how to cook them in a slow cooker. Plus how to store them and a few ideas for using them. Jump to our recipe for How to Cook Chickpeas or watch this quick video showing you how we do it.
Have you ever wondered what to do with dried chickpeas (or other dried beans)? We used to as well until we learned how to cook them. Now we almost always have a bag of cooked beans in our fridge or freezer (yes, you can freeze them! See our tips below).
Canned chickpeas or garbanzo beans are readily available and we absolutely use them in our kitchen. That said, cooking your own batch of chickpeas is easy, they taste better and you get to control the texture. If you’re planning on making a dip or spread (like hummus) then having a batch of really soft cooked beans ready is perfect. If you’re adding them to a salad or stew, the option to keep the beans more firm is nice. And if all of that isn’t enough to convince you it’s ridiculously cheap and you will always know what’s been added to the beans. You’ll be a chickpea star!
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: How to Make Smooth Hummus – With just a few simple tricks, you really can make creamy smooth hummus at home and yes, we really do think it’s better than store-bought.
Cooking Chickpeas on the Stove and Using a Slow Cooker
There’s more than one way to deal with dried chickpeas.
Here are three methods we use in our kitchen. All three methods work really well and depending on your day you may find one makes more sense for you.
- Method 1: Long soak and simmer, about 10 hours or overnight plus 2 hours
- Method 2: Quick soak and simmer, about 3 hours
- Method 3: In the Slow Cooker, 4 hours on high heat or 8 hours on low heat
How many cups of chickpeas will 1 cup of dried chickpeas make? Dried chickpeas will triple in size when cooked (if not a little bit more). So 1 cup of dried chickpeas will make about 3 cups of cooked chickpeas.
Using the Stove to Cook Garbanzo Beans
Before cooking on a stovetop, you will need to soak the dried beans. 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.
Now, you can choose which soak method is best for you. As I mentioned above, we use both methods at home and it comes down to how much time or the time of day we’re looking at. For example, if you have a late start and need the beans tomorrow, use the long soak method and soak the beans overnight. When you get up in the morning, you’ll have plump beans ready to cook. If you need the beans cooked asap, the quick soak is best.
- For the long soak method, add the 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. After soaking the beans, you can cook them (see how below).
- For the quick soak method, add the 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. After soaking the beans, you can cook them (see how below).
Whether you use method 1, the long soak, or method 2, the quick soak to rehydrate your beans, you will still need to cook them. After the beans have been soaked, drain and rinse them well. Add them to a large pot, cover the beans with several inches of water, and bring everything to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until they reach your desired tenderness, 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours.
When simmering, you can keep the pot lid off or on, but slightly ajar (allowing some steam to escape while cooking). Beans simmered without a lid will be cooked, but firm (Perfect for salads or chili). Beans cooked with the lid on, but ajar, will be creamier, softer and break apart more easily. These are perfect for hummus or dishes where you want the beans to break apart.
Keep in mind that depending on how you plan to use the beans you may want them to be firmer or softer. If you are making hummus, you’ll want the beans to be soft. On the other hand, if you plan to add the beans to a salad or stew, you may want them on the firmer side.
The beans can be cooked by themselves or with a few extras added in for flavor. We love adding a bay leaf and a few garlic cloves. Adding a quarter of an onion, some carrot, or celery is also a great idea. You can add some salt as well, but only add salt towards the end of cooking since adding it in the beginning can cause the beans to become a little tough. We like adding a generous pinch of salt when there is about 30 minutes left.
Cooking Chickpeas in the Slow Cooker
Another option is to cook them in a slow cooker. The benefit of this is there is no soaking step — everything is added to the slow cooker you turn it on and walk away. Pretty easy. Add 1 pound of 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.
Storing Cooked Beans
Store the cooked beans in an airtight container or food-safe bag without additional liquid. Cooked beans will keep 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.
To freeze cooked chickpeas, pat them dry then place in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Slide the baking sheet into the freezer and wait until the beans are mostly frozen, about 30 minutes. Throw the beans into a freezer bag and store up to 3 months.
Now that you know how to cook them, here’s some ideas for using them!
- Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Recipe: How to make simple, creamy roasted red pepper hummus with sweet red bell peppers, canned chickpeas, garlic and tahini.
- Easy Chickpea Salad with Lemon and Dill: An easy chickpea recipe with lemon, fresh dill, crisp cucumber and tomatoes that’s quick to make and can be made in advance.
- Honey Roasted Chickpeas with Sea Salt: How to make crunchy roasted chickpeas with honey, cinnamon, and sea salt. We love how easy it is to make this honey roasted chickpea snack. They are so good that once you start eating them, it’s hard to stop.
- Honey Dijon Chicken Lettuce Wraps Recipe: We love these chicken lettuce wraps because they are easy, healthy, and so tasty.
- Hummus with Spiced Ground Beef, Feta and Mint: How to make hummus topped with spiced ground beef, feta cheese and mint.
- Use these cooked chickpeas to make our Utterly Delicious Chipotle Bean Chili Recipe!
- Toss them into a salad — here’s one of our favorites: Easy Kale and Bean Salad with Tahini Dressing and Walnuts.
We all struggle with what to cook for dinner and yes, I am definitely including Adam and I in that! So you never run out of inspiration, we want to send you a completely free weekly email with easy, delicious and fresh recipes perfect for dinner! Click here to sign up for free now!
Three Simple Methods for How to Cook Dried Chickpeas
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.
You Will Need
1 pound dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
Bay leaf, garlic cloves, onion or carrot, optional
- Prepare Chickpeas
- Cook Chickpeas - Stovetop
- Cook Chickpeas - Slow Cooker
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.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Stovetop Method: When simmering, you can keep the pot lid off or on, but slightly ajar (allowing some steam to escape while cooking). Beans simmered without a lid will be cooked, but firm (perfect for salads or chili). Beans cooked with the lid on, but ajar, will be creamier, softer, and will break apart more easily. These are perfect for hummus or dishes where you want the beans to break apart.
- Adding Salt: You can add some salt, but only add salt towards the end of cooking since adding it in the beginning can cause the beans to become a little tough. We like adding a generous pinch of salt when there is about 30 minutes of cooking time left.
- Adding baking soda: Baking soda is often added when cooking dried beans. Some say it can reduce the gassy effects of fresh beans since it binds to sugars and helps to break them down, making the beans easier to digest. If you plan to add baking soda, add about 1 tablespoon to the soaking water for the stovetop methods. If using a slow cooker, add 1/4 teaspoon along with the beans and water before turning the slow cooker on.
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values.