How To Cook Dried Chickpeas: Soak, Simmer, Savor!

Learn how to soak and cook dried chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) using an Instant Pot, on the stove, or in a slow cooker with this ultimate guide.

Cooked chickpeas in a white bowl placed on white surface.

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Chickpeas are a common ingredient used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. This versatile legume has a nutty flavor with a creamy undertone. Keeping cooked chickpeas in the refrigerator or freezer can come in very handy. They go into a variety of dishes, including curries, hummus, soups, and salads.

While canned chickpeas are easily available, they may have preservatives and high sodium. Cooking dried chickpeas from scratch is really simple, and it allows for greater control over the texture and flavor. In this post, I will show you how to soak them (with a quick-soak option) and cook them perfectly using different cooking methods.

Ingredients

Dried chickpeas in a white bowl.

You will need dried chickpeas, salt, and water. Optional seasonings that can be added are bay leaf and cinnamon stick.

How to soak dried chickpeas

There are two ways to soak chickpeas – long soak and quick soak.

Take the chickpeas in a large bowl or pot and add sufficient water. The chickpeas absorb a lot of water and become almost triple in size after soaking. So, it is important to add lots of water. Cover and let it soak for at least 8 hours (or overnight). Drain and rinse once soaked.

If you have not planned ahead, use the quick soak method. Take lots of water in a large pot and bring it to a rolling boil. Once the water boils, turn off the heat and add the dried chickpeas. Give it a quick stir, cover and let it sit for one hour. Drain and rinse once soaked.

How to cook soaked chickpeas

Soaked chickpea and water in Instant Pot.

Step 1: Add the soaked chickpeas to the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Add five cups of water and salt.

Cooked chickpea in the Instant Pot.

Step 2: Set the Instant Pot in ‘Bean/Chili’ mode for 20 minutes. Do a natural pressure release. For unsoaked beans, cook for 50 minutes.

To cook dried chickpeas on the stovetop:

  • Add them to a large pot and cover them with several inches of water.
  • Add salt and give it a quick stir. Bring it to a boil and cover with a lid, leaving a small gap for the steam to escape.
  • Simmer for 1½ to 2 hours or until the chickpeas are done to your liking.
  • Check once every 30 minutes to ensure there is sufficient water.

To cook dried chickpeas in a slow cooker:

  • Add the soaked chickpeas and salt to the slow cooker.
  • Pour enough water into the slow cooker to cover the chickpeas by about two inches.
  • Set it to low and cook for 6-8 hours or until they’re tender to your liking.
  • Check on them occasionally and add more liquid if needed.

Expert Tips

  • Don’t skip the soaking, as it significantly reduces cooking time. Aim for at least 8 hours, or use a quick soak method.
  • Adding salt while boiling the chickpeas will enhance their flavor.

How to use cooked chickpeas

Having cooked chickpeas can come in very handy to make quick meals, salads, and snacks. Use them in Indian curries like chana paneer or chana madra, whose tender texture absorbs the rich blend of spices. Alternatively, enjoy this marry me chickpeas recipe with a rich and creamy Tuscan sauce.

Add them to salads and Buddha bowls (my favorite is this roasted eggplant and chickpea Buddha bowl), or roast them with your favorite spices for a crunchy snack.

Chickpeas also make a satisfying addition to soups or as a base for vegetarian patties, burgers, and sandwiches like this chickpea salad sandwich. With cooked chickpeas, you have a versatile ingredient ready to enhance a variety of dishes, from main courses to wholesome snacks.

Storage Tips

To store cooked chickpeas, transfer them to an airtight container. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. They can be stored with or without the cooking liquid in the refrigerator.

Cooked chickpeas also freeze well and can be stored in the freezer for up to six months. Drain all the cooking liquid from it, and pat dry the chickpeas using paper towels. Place them in a ziplock bag in a single layer and freeze them lying flat. To use frozen chickpeas, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight or microwave them for a quick defrost.

Recipe FAQs

Can I skip the soaking step and cook chickpeas directly?

While it’s possible to cook chickpeas without soaking, soaking helps reduce cooking time and promotes even texture. For convenience, consider the quick soak method.

How long does it take to boil chickpeas?

Soaked chickpeas typically take from 30 minutes up to 2 hours. Timing can vary depending on your cooking method (stovetop, Instant Pot, etc.).

Should I cook canned chickpeas?

Canned chickpeas are pre-cooked and ready to eat, requiring no additional cooking. However, when we add them to curries, soups, or stews, briefly simmer them to enhance flavor. Adjust based on your preferences and recipe requirements.

Cooked chickpeas garnished with fresh cilantro.

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Cooked chickpeas in a white bowl with cilantro in the background.

How To Cook Dried Chickpeas

Learn how to soak and cook dried chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) using an Instant Pot, on the stove, or in a slow cooker with this ultimate guide.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Soaking Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 50 minutes
Course: Other
Cuisine: All
Servings: 6 cups of cooked chickpeas
Author: Shilpa Kerur

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried chickpeas
  • Water depending on the method of cooking
  • 2 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Pick any dirt or stones from the dried chickpeas. Give it a quick rinse.

Long Soak Method:

  • Take the chickpeas in a large bowl or pot and add sufficient water. The chickpeas absorb a lot of water and become almost triple in size after soaking. So, it is important to add lots of water.
  • Cover and let it soak for at least 8 hours (or overnight). Drain and rinse once soaked.

Quick Soak Method:

  • Take lots of water in a large pot and bring it to a rolling boil. Once the water boils, turn off the heat and add the dried chickpeas.
  • Give it a quick stir, cover and let it sit for one hour. Drain and rinse once soaked.

Instant Pot Method:

  • Add the soaked chickpeas to the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Add six cups of water and salt.
  • Secure the lid and set the Instant Pot in 'Bean/Chili' mode for 20 minutes. Do a natural pressure release.
  • For unsoaked chickpeas, set the Instant Pot in 'Bean/Chili' mode for 1 hour and do a natural pressure release.

Stovetop Method:

  • Take soaked chickpeas in a large pot and cover with several inches of water. Add salt and give it a quick stir.
  • Bring it to a boil and cover with a lid, leaving a small gap for the steam to escape. Simmer for 1½ to 2 hours or until the chickpeas are done to your liking. Check once every 30 minutes to ensure there is sufficient water.

Stovetop Pressure Cooker Method:

  • Add the soaked chickpeas to the pressure cooker. Add six cups of water and salt.
  • Cook on high for two whistles, then reduce the heat and cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the pressure come down naturally.

Slow Cooker Method:

  • Add the soaked chickpeas and salt to the slow cooker. Pour enough water into the slow cooker to cover the chickpeas by about two inches.
  • Set it to low and cook for 6-8 hours or until they're tender to your liking. You can check on them occasionally and add more liquid if needed.

Notes

  • Don’t skip the soaking, as it significantly reduces cooking time. Aim for at least 8 hours, or use a quick soak method.
  • Where possible, use filtered water to boil the chickpeas.
  • Adding salt while boiling the chickpeas will enhance their flavor.

Nutrition

Calories: 243kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 791mg | Potassium: 583mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 45IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 4mg
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Cooked chickpeas topped with cilantro and placed in a white bowl.

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