There are four simple methods for cooking chickpeas. The first two make use of the stove, the third uses a slow cooker, and the fourth method uses a pressure cooker. We use all 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 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 for 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 ½ 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. Note that some of our readers have found this method to make very soft beans, so if you are looking for firmer beans, keep an eye on them towards the end of cooking.
If using a pressure cooker, add 1 pound of dried chickpeas and 6 cups of water to the pressure cooker. Seal the lid and cook on High Pressure for 50 minutes, and then naturally release for 10 minutes. Vent the remaining pressure before opening the lid (you can tell when it is safe to open the cooker when the steam release valve drops). We recommend you read the user manual of your specific pressure cooker before using this method.