How To Cook Chickpeas

By Rena Awada | Updated On January 18, 2024

Learn How to Cook Chickpeas that taste better than canned ones! They are super easy to make on the stovetop and require very little hands-on time. Simply soak the chickpeas (garbanzo beans), and then cook them to perfection! You will end up with incredibly creamy legumes to use in soups, pasta, salads, and your favorite hummus recipe.

Spoonful of cooked chickpeas over a plate full of chickpeas.


Once you learn how to cook chickpeas, you’ll never want the canned variety again! While these require extra time, the result is well worth it. Homemade chickpeas taste better and have a more creamy texture than what you’ll find in the can. Plus, when you make them yourself, you can add seasonings and control the amount of salt in the recipe.

Chickpea, also referred to as garbanzo beans, are seeds that come from a plant in the legume family. They are the main ingredient in hummus but also delicious in a variety of other recipes from stews and soups to salads and sandwiches. In addition, according to Healthline, they are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They’re also high in protein and make a great substitute for meat in vegetarian and vegan dishes.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Easy to make: Cooking your own chickpeas is super simple, and while it takes some time, it’s mostly hands-off time.
  • Healthy: Chickpeas offer lots of nutrition and can make salads and soups more satisfying while increasing the protein.
  • Tasty: The flavor and texture of homemade chickpeas is way better than from a can.
  • Versatile: Chickpeas are not only a great replacement for meat in recipes like stews, salads and pastas, but they also can take on the flavor of whatever they’re seasoned with since they’re so mild tasting.
Cooked chickpeas in a white bowl.

Ingredients needed

To cook chickpeas you’ll just need the dried garbanzo beans, salt and water. Here’s a quick note about each ingredient:

  • Chickpeas: For this recipe, you’ll need 1 cup dried beans, which will make about 3 cups of cooked beans. The serving size for this recipe is 1/2 cup, so there are a total of 6 servings.
  • Kosher Salt: To flavor the chickpeas a bit. Feel free to season them further once they’re cooked.
  • Water: For soaking and cooking the chickpeas.

How to cook dry chickpeas quickly

Here’s how to cook chickpeas:

  1. Rinse: First, rinse the chickpeas with water using a strainer.
  2. Cover with water: Add the rinsed chickpeas into a bowl, and add cold water over the top until they are fully covered with water about 2 inches above the chickpeas.
  3. Soak: Cover the bowl and allow the chickpeas to soak overnight.
  1. Drain: Next, drain the chickpeas and rinse really well.
  2. Bring to boil: Add the rinsed chickpeas into a large pot, pour water over them (enough to cover them by 2 inches), add salt, and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Simmer: Cover, and then reduce the heat and let them simmer for 1.5-2 hours.
  1. Cool & serve: Once the chickpeas are cooked through, drain and allow them to cool. Use as desired.

Expert tips

  • Over-soaking: You can over-soak chickpeas. Eventually, the beans will sprout or ferment. If you are going to soak them longer than overnight (more than 9 or so hours), you should put them in the refrigerator while soaking.
  • Eating soaked raw chickpeas: Even though the chickpeas will be softened after soaking, you do not want to eat soaked raw chickpeas. They will be really difficult to digest.
  • Cook time: For al dente chickpeas that have more of a bite, boil for 1.5 hours. For soft chickpeas, you will need to let them simmer over medium heat for 2 hours. Check the water level and add water as needed.

Frequently asked questions

How should chickpeas be cooked?

There are a variety of ways to cook dried chickpeas! You can use an instant pot, slow cooker or stovetop. We’ve found the stovetop to be the easiest way that yields the best results.

Do chickpeas need to be soaked before cooking?

Like other beans, chickpeas benefit from soaking in water. They need to be softened before they boil, and the pre-soaking helps to make the beans more digestible.

How many hours do chickpeas need to soak?

For best results, we recommend soaking them overnight or for 8-12 hours to absorb water and swell.

Variations

Here’s a few ideas for giving your chickpeas extra flavor:

  • Brighten the flavor with a squeeze of lemon juice or sprinkle some cumin over it.
  • For savory flavor, cook the chickpeas with a couple of bay leaves.
  • Spice it up by sprinkling red pepper flakes over the top.

Serving suggestions

Need ideas for ways to use your cooked chickpeas other than as a side dish? We’ve got you covered with these delicious chickpea recipes:

Storage recommendations

  • Storing: Cooked chickpeas can be drained of excess liquid and stored in an airtight container or storage bag in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
  • Freeze: Once drained, leftovers can be frozen in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 3-6 months. Thaw before reheating and enjoying.
  • To reheat: Reheat by microwaving or simmering them in a small amount of water on the stovetop just until warm. They can also be baked on a lined sheet pan for 10 minutes at 350°F. Baking will result in a bit of a drier texture.
Spoon on a white bowl filled with chickpeas.

More How To Guides

If you found this tutorial helpful, you may enjoy these other how-to guides:

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spoonful of cooked chickpeas over a plate full of chickpeas

How to Cook Chickpeas

Learn How to Cook Chickpeas that taste better than canned ones! They are super easy to make on the stovetop and require very little hands-on time. Simply soak the chickpeas (garbanzo beans), and then cook them to perfection!
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Soaking time: 8 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 121kcal
Author: Rena

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cups water

Instructions

  • First, rinse the chickpeas with water using a strainer.
  • Add the rinsed chickpeas into a bowl, and add water over the top until they are fully covered with water about 2 inches above the chickpeas.
  • Cover the bowl and allow the chickpeas to soak overnight.
  • Next, drain the chickpeas and rinse really well.
  • Add the rinsed chickpeas into a pot, pour water over the them (enough to cover them by 2 inches), add salt, and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  • Cover, and then reduce the heat and let them simmer for 1.5-2 hours. *See notes until they are soft to your liking.
  • Once the chickpeas are cooked through, drain and allow them to cool. Use as desired.

Notes

*For al dente chickpeas boil for 1.5 hours. For soft chickpeas, you will need to let them simmer over medium heat for 2 hours. Check the water level and add water as needed.
    • Storing: Cooked chickpeas can be drained of excess liquid and stored in an airtight container or storage bag in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
    • Freeze: Once drained, leftovers can be frozen in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 3-6 months. Thaw before reheating and enjoying.
    • To reheat: Reheat by microwaving or simmering them in a small amount of water on the stovetop just until warm. They can also be baked on a lined sheet pan for 10 minutes at 350°F. Baking will result in a bit of a drier texture.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 121kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Sodium: 403mg | Potassium: 292mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 22IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 2mg
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