Chickpeas: Three Simple Methods for How to Cook Dried Chickpeas

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There are three simple methods for cooking chickpeas. The first two make use of the stove and the third uses a slow cooker. We use all three 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 completely hands-off. *If you use the slow cooker method, there is no need to soak the dried beans.


MAKES: 14 Half Cup Servings
PREP/COOK TIME: 10 hours

  • 1 pound dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • Water
  • Salt, optional
  • 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 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 1/2 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.

Stovetop Method: When simmering, you can keep the pot lid off or on, but slightly ajar (allowing some steam to escape while cooking). Beans simmered without a lid will be cooked, but firm (perfect for salads or chili). Beans cooked with the lid on, but ajar, will be creamier, softer, and will break apart more easily. These are perfect for hummus or dishes where you want the beans to break apart.
Adding Salt: You can add some salt, but only add salt towards the end of cooking since adding it in the beginning can cause the beans to become a little tough. We like adding a generous pinch of salt when there is about 30 minutes of cooking time left.
Adding baking soda: Baking soda is often added when cooking dried beans. Some say it can reduce the gassy effects of fresh beans since it binds to sugars and helps to break them down, making the beans easier to digest. If you plan to add baking soda, add about 1 tablespoon to the soaking water for the

Storage Will keep for 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator. They freeze well. I place them in a single layer in freezer bags with air removed.  That way they do not freeze together and you can take out as many as you need and return the rest to the freezer.


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