I'm going to show you how to cook chickpeas (garbanzo beans) from dried, 3 ways! Plus quick soak instructions, and a few of my favorite recipes using chickpeas.
Cooking dried beans may seem like more trouble than it's worth, but I assure you, it’s easy! Plus, there are plenty of reasons to do it. For starters, dry garbanzo beans are less expensive than canned.
Of course, I like shortcuts, so I stock up on cans of garbanzo beans when they’re on sale. But do you know that there are only 1 ½ cups of cooked garbanzo beans in a can? For the price of one can of cooked chickpeas, you can buy a one pound bag of dry chickpeas yielding 6 to 7 cups after cooking!
If you make recipes using chickpeas often, you’ll love the benefit of cooking a large batch at one time. This way, you’re able to freeze them for later use to make a quick batch of hummus, add some beans to a Greek feta salad, or into a pot of stew.
By the way, YES, chickpeas and garbanzo beans are the same thing. They are just two different names for one type of legume. Chickpea is derived from Latin and garbanzo is a Spanish word.
How to Cook Chickpeas
There are a few different ways to cook dried chickpeas. The method you use is personal preference, depending on what kitchen equipment you have, of course.
Most of the time, I cook them in an Instant Pot (electric pressure cooker) or on the stove top. They can also be prepared in a slow cooker / crock pot, so I’ll give you those directions as well.
No matter what method you use, unless you use a chickpea quick soak method, you’ll start by sorting, then soaking the dried beans for several hours.
Sorting Dried Beans
This particular legume grows on tall bushes and the pods dry naturally, right on the plant. Because of the way the peas/beans are harvested, you may find little pebbles and other debris in the bag with them.
For this reason, you’ll want to spread the dry garbanzo beans out and sort through them. I like to do this on a baking sheet so the debris is easier to spot.
Soaking Garbanzo Beans
If you're cooking them on the stovetop, the beans will need to soak in water for about 8 hours first. If you don’t want to wait and you don’t own a slow cooker or pressure cooker, you can use a quick soak method.
Chickpea Quick Soak Method
Add the beans to a large pot and cover them with about 2 inches of water. Bring the water to a boil and cook the beans for 5 minutes without a lid.
After 5 minutes, remove the pot from the heat and place the lid on. Let the beans soak in the hot water for an hour, then strain and rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking process.
How to Cook Chickpeas Dried (or After Soaking)
See the recipe card at the bottom of this post for full instructions. This is just a summary of the steps for cooking dried garbanzo beans. I’m also including cooking time for stovetop, crock pot, and Instant Pot chickpeas.
As mentioned earlier, the stovetop method does require soaking dried garbanzo beans before you can cook them. If you use a crockpot (slow cooker) or an Instant Pot (pressure cooker), you can soak them as part of the cooking process.
How to cook garbanzo beans on stovetop
- Long soak and simmer- Soak Time: 8 hours (or overnight). Cook Time: 2 hours
- Quick soak and simmer- Soak Time: 1 hour. Cook Time: 2 hours
Whether you use the long soak or the quick soak to rehydrate your beans, you will still need to cook them. After soaking, drain and rinse them well before cooking.
Long soak method
- Add the beans to a large pot or bowl and cover with several inches of water. Add plenty of water- more is better than less, because as they rehydrate, the beans will at least double in size (sometimes they triple in size!).
- Soak the beans for at least 8 hours, or overnight if you prefer. Then cook according to the recipe card instructions at the bottom of this post.
Quick soak method
- Add the beans to a large pot or bowl and cover with several inches of water.
- Bring water to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, then take the pot off of the heat and cover the pot with a lid. Let the beans soak for 1 hour, then cook according to the recipe card instructions at the bottom of this post.
Instant Pot Chickpeas
When using a pressure cooker, the beans can be soaked or unsoaked; it’s completely up to you. The consistency is nearly identical, but pressure cooking dried garbanzo beans does take longer.
- Cook Time for Soaked Beans- Cook Time: 12 minutes at high pressure. Natural Release: 10 minutes
- Cook Time for Dried Beans- Cook Time: 50 minutes at high pressure.. Natural Release: 10 minutes
Dried Garbanzo Beans in a Slow Cooker
This method is as easy as it gets; no soaking is necessary! Simply add the dry beans and water to the crockpot, turn it on and walk away.
For the crockpot method, you’ll need 7 cups of water for every pound of dried garbanzo beans.
Crockpot Cook Time for Dried Beans- High for 4 hours or low for 7 to 8 hours.
When cooking, the pot lid can be completely on or slightly ajar (to allow steam to escape). Beans simmered in a covered pot will be firmer than those cooked with the lid slightly ajar.
Letting some steam escape results in beans that are creamier, softer and break apart more easily. This is the perfect consistency for recipes using chickpeas like hummus, where you’ll want to mash or break them up.
For the proper texture, add salt when there is about 30 minutes of cooking time left. Adding it at the beginning can result in beans that are tough and chewy.
2 cups of dried chickpeas = 1 pound dried beans, and that 1 pound of dried garbanzo beans makes 7-8 cups of cooked. So, 1 cup (½ pound) dried chickpeas makes about 3-4 cups of cooked.
Cooked chickpeas need to be refrigerated. Store them as-is (without any liquid) in an airtight container or food-safe bag. Cooked beans will keep for up 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. Then, transfer the beans to a freezer storage bag and keep frozen for up to 3 months.
Recipes Using Chickpeas
Now that you know how to cook chickpeas, you may want some ideas on how to use them. Here are a few favorites of mine.
Garbanzo beans are high in protein and fiber, so they're perfect for a hearty, healthy breakfast! Serve them alongside fried eggs, or add them to whole wheat pita bread with scrambled eggs for a grab and go breakfast sandwich.
You can never go wrong adding chickpeas to a salad! Step outside of the box and add a handful to a chopped veggie salad. SO good!
Of course, there's always room for crackers or slices of Barbari bread and fresh veggies with a side of Mediterranean hummus.
How to Cook Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)
- 1 lb dried chickpeas garbanzo beans
- 8 cups Water
- 1 medium onion halved
- 3 garlic cloves smashed
- 2 bay leaves
- Pick through and discard any little stones or debris that may be packaged with the beans.
- Rinse your beans in a colander with cool water.
- Quick Soak Method: Add the beans to large pot and cover with about 2 inches of water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat and cook the beans without a lid for 5 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and cover pot with a lid. Let the beans soak in the hot water for 1 hour. Drain the beans into a colander, then rinse with water.
- Overnight Soak: Cover the beans in a pot with about 2 inches of water. 1 pound of dried will expand to 7-8 cups in 8 hours or overnight. Drain the beans into a colander, rinse.
- Stovetop Method: After soaking and rinsing, drain and add to a large stock pot. Cover again with at least 2 inches of cool water. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 2 hours (leave lid slightly ajar to vent). Add salt when there is about 30 minutes of cooking time left.
- Instant Pot Method: If using unsoaked chickpeas, add to inner pot and cover with 4 cups water. Add 1 ½ tsp kosher salt and any Optional Seasoning or none.
- Close lid and seal, set to High Pressure for 60 minutes, Natural Release 10 minutes.
- If using soaked chickpeas, add to inner pot and cover with 4 cups water. Add 1 tsp kosher salt and any Optional Seasoning or none.
- Close lid and seal, set to High Pressure for 5 minutes, Natural Release 10 minutes.
- Slow Cooker Method: Add the dried chickpeas and any Optional Seasoning or none and 7 cups of water. Cover and cook on High for 3 to 4 hours or on Low setting for 6 to 8 hours. Add 1 ½ tsp kosher salt when there is about 30 minutes of cooking time left.
- Only add salt toward the end of the cooking process, not while soaking. I've found this helps in the beans not being tough in texture.
- Baking soda (1 tablespoon) is often times added with dried chickpeas while soaking to alleviate gas issues (it binds to sugars and helps to them to break down, in turn being easier to digest). This can be added to the Instant Pot and Slow cooker when using dried chickpeas.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.