Cook dried chickpeas exactly to your liking without all the sodium (and sometimes preservatives!) that are often found in their canned counterparts. They can be cooked on your stovetop or Instant Pot with little effort and you'll soon have a batch of fresh and delicious healthy chickpeas on hand!
What's not to love about chickpeas? They are so incredibly versatile in that I can use them in almost any meal. Whether I'm topping them onto a salad, using them for hummus or soup, or even just roasting them up for a delicious BBQ snack, I don't think a day goes by where I don't eat chickpeas in some way.
Being a busy mom with limited time, I usually reach for canned chickpeas. It saves a bunch of time and gets the job done. However, when I'm feeling a little more gourmet and have the time to wait for dried chickpeas to cook all the way through, it's definitely worth it!
Should Chickpeas be Soaked Before Cooking?
Before you turn on the burner or Instant Pot, a decision needs to be made on whether you should soak the chickpeas.
I personally prefer NOT to soak chickpeas before cooking. The benefits of soaking are: (1) to soften the beans to make them easier to digest; and (2) to help them cook a little faster once soaked.
I've experimented with both soaking and not soaking, and for me it just isn't worth the extra time and effort because it creates an extra step does take quite a bit of time. I honestly just don't notice much of a difference between the two once cooked.
If you are inclined to soak the chickpeas though, there are two ways to do it. To start, sort through the beans to remove any small stones or debris and then rinse well. Then soak one of two ways (either is fine):
Standard method: Place the chickpeas in a large bowl or mason jar with lid and cover them with water by 5-6 inches for at least 3 hours (or overnight). Chickpeas absorb water and expand so it is important to use enough water to allow for that.
Quick Soak method: Boil the chickpeas for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow them to soak for one hour with the lid still on.
Note that the chickpeas will expand to roughly 2.5x the size after being soaked. Therefore, 1 cup of dried chickpeas will turn into 2 ½ cups of soaked chickpeas. This is why using enough water is so important for soaking - if you don't then they won't soak properly.
How to Cook Chickpeas on the Stovetop
The benefit to cooking chickpeas on the stovetop is that you can continue to check on them while they cook. Dried chickpeas can vary in size and freshness, both of which can affect the amount of time it takes to cook them. Older beans generally take a little longer to cook than fresh ones.
- Soak the chickpeas, drain and rinse (optional).
- Pour the chickpeas into a large pot and cover with at least 3 cups of water. Add the salt. Bring the water to a boil and then let them simmer while covered for 90-100 minutes until tender.*
*Note that for fresher beans it could take a little less time and for older beans it could take upwards of 2 hours. Therefore, I recommend checking on them at the 60-minute mark to get a baseline and then monitoring their tenderness every 15 minutes after that point until they are cooked to your liking.
How to Cook Chickpeas in the Instant Pot
The benefit of using the Instant Pot is that it saves a tremendous amount of time (about 30-40 minutes!) when compared to the stovetop method.
- Add 1 cup of dried chickpeas to the Instant Pot and add enough water to cover the chickpeas by about 2-3 inches (at least 3 cups of water). Add the salt.
- Cook for 60 minutes using manual high pressure with the valve sealed, then manually release. If you soaked the chickpeas, cook on high pressure for 50 minutes rather than 60 minutes.
- Salt the liquid: Adding salt to the water helps bring out the taste! While not necessary for cooking chickpeas, I usually add about ¾ teaspoon for each cup.
- Overcook the chickpeas for hummus: Add some extra cooking time if planning to use the chickpeas for hummus. This helps soften the chickpeas further which makes for a creamier dip!
Store the chickpeas in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Cooked chickpeas can be frozen for up to 3 months. Separate each chickpea on a parchment-lined baking sheet before freezing to prevent them from sticking together. Then transfer them all into a freezer bag once frozen. Thaw frozen chickpeas in the fridge overnight and use within 3-4 days.
How to Use Cooked Chickpeas
Now is the fun part! Chickpeas are a staple ingredient in my household and I seriously use them for everything. Check out my recipe library for all of my chickpea recipes, but here are a few of my faves:
Hummus: Whether you are whipping up quick and easy hummus or classic Israeli-style hummus, using cooked chickpeas from scratch takes it to the next level. Make sure to overcook the chickpeas a little bit to soften them more.Print
1 cup dried chickpeas, sorted to remove debris and stones
~3 cups water
pinch of salt
- Soak the chickpeas if desired (see notes for how to soak).
- Add the chickpeas, water and salt to a pot.
- Bring the water to a boil and then simmer while covered for 90-100 minutes until tender.
- Add the dried chickpeas, water and salt to the Instant Pot. Use enough water to cover the chickpeas by 2-3 inches.
- Cook for 60 minutes using manual high pressure with the valve sealed, then manually release. If the chickpeas were soaked in advance, cook for 50 minutes rather than 60 minutes.
Soaking Instructions (optional): Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover them with water by 2-3 inches for at least 3 hours (or overnight). Chickpeas absorb water and expand so it is important to use enough water to allow for that. If looking for a faster, quick-soak method, boil the chickpeas for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow them to soak for one hour with the lid still on. See blog post above for my thoughts on soaking chickpeas prior to cooking.
- Cook Time: 60-100
Keywords: how to cook dried chickpeas