Chickpeas are naturally vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free, making for the perfect healthy snack. They can be roasted to crunchy perfection, fried into crispy falafel, mashed into tasty hummus, or eaten fresh on salads or sandwiches. In this guide, we’re going to cover how to cook chickpeas in a number of ways and how to enjoy them. Let’s get started!
How to Cook Chickpeas from Scratch
There is absolutely nothing wrong with canned chickpeas, in fact I use them all the time. However, if you have the time to cook your own batch of chickpeas from the dried bag you can get at the store, then I highly recommend trying it out. Chickpeas that are cooked from scratch taste better and have a nicer texture than canned chickpeas. They are also incredibly cheap and easy to make!
You can cook chickpeas from scratch in a variety of ways. We’re going to cover three easy methods that you could use to cook your chickpeas, all of which work great. It all depends on your preference and the amount of time you have to spare.
How to cook chickpeas on your stove
There are actually 2 different ways you could cook chickpeas on the stove, depending on whether you long soak or quick soak the chickpeas. Long soaking the chickpeas means adding them to a large pot for about 8 hours (typically overnight) and covering them with several inches of water. The excess of water is necessary, as the chickpeas triple in size as they soak.
The quick soak method involves adding the chickpeas to a large pot and covering them with several inches of water before bringing the water to a boil for 5 minutes. After boiling, let the chickpeas soak in the water for an hour.
Once you’ve rehydrated the beans with either soaking method, you can cook the beans. To cook them on the stove, you bring them to a boil in the large pot with water, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 1.5-2 hours. This gives you soft, creamy chickpeas that are perfectly cooked.
How to Pressure Cook your chickpeas
When cooking chickpeas in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, it’s up to you whether you soak your chickpeas prior to cooking. If you choose to soak your chickpeas overnight before cooking them, it will save you time in the pressure cooker. Either way, you will end up with great results.
If using soaked chickpeas, add them to the pressure cooker along with 6 cups of water. Cook on High Pressure for 12 minutes and let the pressure naturally release 10 minutes before releasing the valve. If using unsoaked chickpeas, add them to the pressure cooker along with 6 cups of water. Cook on High Pressure for 50 minutes and let the pressure naturally release 10 minutes before releasing the valve.
For recipes like homemade hummus, you may want your chickpeas to be softer. If you find that your chickpeas are not soft enough after cooking, you can simmer them in the pressure cooker until you’ve reached your desired consistency.
How to cook chickpeas with a slow cooker
Cooking the chickpeas in a slow cooker is an easy method that doesn’t require any prior soaking. You simply add your dried chickpeas to the slow cooker with 6-7 cups of water and either cook them on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.
How to Store Cooked Chickpeas
You can store cooked chickpeas in one of two ways. Cooked chickpeas can be patted dry and refrigerated in an airtight bag or container for up to 3-4 days. To freeze your cooked chickpeas, pat them dry before spreading them onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 20 minutes, then transfer the chickpeas to an airtight bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
How to Make Chickpea Snacks in an Air Fryer
Personally, I prefer making chickpea snacks in the air fryer because they get way crispier than they do in the oven. The cooking time is also significantly less than with the oven. Cooking chickpea snacks in the air fryer is easy. You simply toss your chickpeas with olive oil and the spices of your choice, then air fry them at 390 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. You’ll want to shake the chickpeas a few times while cooking to make sure all sides are evenly crisped up.
How to Make Chickpea Snacks in an Oven
If you don’t have an air fryer, oven-cooked chickpea snacks are still a delicious and crunchy choice. I’ve learned that the best results come from roasting the chickpeas with a very small amount of oil and waiting until the end to season them. Adding a bunch of seasonings before roasting prevents the chickpeas from getting as crispy, so it’s important to wait until afterwards before coating them on.
To roast chickpeas in the oven, you first need to set the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. After tossing your chickpeas with half a teaspoon of olive oil and just a sprinkle of salt, spread them onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and cook them for 35-40 minutes. You’ll want to shake the pan halfway through cooking to move them around and then toss the roasted chickpeas with your desired seasonings.
Now that you know how to cook chickpeas like a pro, you’ll need some ways to use your new skill! Here are some of the best chickpea recipes to try:
- Mediterranean Chickpea Salad that is filled with bright, vibrant flavors
- Moroccan Chickpea Stew that is hearty and satisfying for the perfect healthy comfort meal
- Chickpea Gyros that make for a flavor-packed vegetarian meal
- Asian Chickpea Salad for a simple plant-based salad with a delicious chickpea crunch
- Hummus that makes for the perfect smooth, creamy dip for bread or veggies
- Chickpea Salad that is filled with fresh herbs and crunchy veggies that make a fantastic filling for a sandwich
- Crispy Baked Falafel that can be stuffed into pitas or added to salads
- Spicy Indian Roasted Chickpeas that make the ideal flavorful snack to munch on
- Roasted Chickpea Snack Mix that makes a healthier version of trail mix with all the deliciousness of the original version