"Master the Art of Cooking Chickpeas: 3 Ways to Elevate Your Recipes (Ultimate Guide)"
This comprehensive handbook covers everything you need to know about cooking chickpeas on the stove, in your slow cooker, or in a pressure cooker! All of your questions will be answered, from how to soak chickpeas to how to cook them, and how to put them to good use in delectable chickpea recipes!
There are certain ingredients that I always have stocked in my pantry, and at the top of that list are chickpeas. These protein-rich legumes have a mild, nutty flavor and are a staple in Mediterranean cuisine. They're the star of dishes such as hummus and falafel, however, we also use them in a variety of other ways such as in bean soup, tagine, tossed in orzo, in salads, or even as a deliciously crunchy snack!
In fact, chickpeas can easily be the main course of a meal! I'm known for smashing them up with garlic, lemon juice, a variety of spices, and a generous helping of top-quality extra virgin olive oil. Simply serve with some pita bread and you'll be enjoying a mouth-watering experience!
Canned chickpeas are very handy and I use them often to save time. In my own vegetarian smashed chickpea toast recipe, canned chickpeas enable me to have a quick dinner in 10 minutes or less! Additionally, they are incredibly versatile, making them an excellent source of healthy protein that I frequently add to simple salads, such as the Mediterranean Cucumber Tomato Salad, to make them more filling. With all of these options, why would you bother learning how to prepare dried chickpeas?
It's true that a bag of dehydrated chickpeas is more budget-friendly, but let me tell you why cooking chickpeas from scratch is worth it. First off, the texture of homemade chickpeas are tender with a creamy feel that canned chickpeas just can't compete with. Plus, cooking them yourself allows you to control the sodium and experiment with different flavors to your heart's content. I usually keep my seasonings simple so that I can store the chickpeas and use them in a variety of dishes without overwhelming any particular flavor.
Now, I'm thrilled to present my ultimate guide on how to cook chickpeas. This guide includes all the answers to your burning questions and even a few exciting recipes for you to try!
If you've never worked with dry beans or garbanzo before, you may not know how much to use. In general, one cup of dry beans will yield three cups of cooked beans. In this recipe, I use one pound of dehydrated chickpeas (about two cups), which yields nearly six cups of cooked chickpeas. However, here's a quick conversion table to help you out:
- - One pound of dry beans = around two cups of dry beans
- - One pound of dry beans = roughly six cups of cooked beans
- - One part dry beans = three parts cooked beans
- - One cup of dry beans = three cups of cooked beans
- - Roughly a third of a cup of dry beans = one cup of cooked beans
You might be wondering whether or not you need to soak chickpeas before cooking them. Like other beans, chickpeas benefit from soaking, particularly if you're boiling them on the stovetop. However, if you're using a slow cooker or instant pot, you don't need to soak them, although you can if you have the time. Soaking the chickpeas will help soften them and make them more digestible. There are two ways to soak dehydrated chickpeas, and both will result in the chickpeas softening and expanding in size. Here's how to do it:
Long Soaking Method: This method is simple but takes a bit of advance preparation. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover them with water by a few inches. Allow them to soak overnight (8 to 24 hours).
Quick Soaking Method: For those in a hurry, this method takes only an hour before cooking. Put the chickpeas in a large pot and cover them with plenty of water. Bring to a boil and cook for two minutes. Turn off the heat, cover, and let the chickpeas soak until they soften, which should take about an hour.
How long it takes to cook dried chickpeas will depend on their size, freshness, and the cooking method you choose:
- Stovetop: Boiled chickpeas cooked over the stovetop will take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours.
- Slow Cooker: Cook for four hours on high heat or six to eight hours on low heat.
- Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot: They'll take around an hour to cook.
Chickpeas are a breeze to prepare on the stovetop, using a slow cooker, or an instant pot. Regardless of method, begin with one pound of chickpeas, which equates to roughly two cups of dried chickpeas, adjusting water amounts as needed. Feel free to season to taste with kosher salt, bay leaves, and garlic cloves that are slightly smashed. Here is a brief overview of the stovetop method (the printable recipe is located at the bottom):
Method 1: Stovetop This is my method of choice. Before cooking, soak the chickpeas in water, and then drain them (see Soaking Instructions). Then, cook the chickpeas on medium-high heat with a pinch of baking soda for three minutes while occasionally stirring. This process will make the chickpeas tender and helps rid them of the skin, making them great for hummus. Afterwards, add seasoning and seven cups of water, bring to a boil, then simmer until the chickpeas are tender (this could take anywhere from thirty minutes to two hours).
Method 2: Slow Cooker With this method, soaking the chickpeas is optional, but if time permits, soak them. Put the chickpeas, seven cups of water, and seasoning in a 2 ½-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for four hours or on low for six to eight hours, or until soft.
Method 3: Instant Pot This method is similar to the slow cooker method because soaking the chickpeas is optional. For this method, put the chickpeas, seasoning, and six cups of water in the instant pot. Close securely, then cook on High Pressure for approximately fifty minutes. Afterward, natural steam release should be permitted for ten minutes before venting the remaining pressure (please refer to your pressure cooker manual for safety and precautions).
Yes! Cooked chickpeas can be stored, sans extra liquid, in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days or in the freezer for several months. Ensure the chickpeas are dried thoroughly before putting them in freezer safe bags and storing them flat in your freezer for later use.
Although there is a multitude of tasty chickpea recipes located on the blog, a few are highlighted below to help inspire you:
- Other essential Mediterranean ingredients worth learning about:
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How to Prepare Chickpeas for Cooking: Search through the beans and discard any items that don't resemble chickpeas.
Soaking Instructions: Chickpeas may be soaked overnight or with the quick-soak method. To soak them overnight, place the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough water to cover them by at least three inches. Allow them to sit for twenty-four hours. To use the quick soak method, place the chickpeas in a pot with six cups of water. Bring them to a boil and allow them to cook for two minutes before turning off the heat. Cover the chickpeas and let them soak for one hour. Drain the chickpeas.
For stovetop cooking, combine chickpeas and a teaspoon of baking soda in a pot over medium-high heat, and stir for approximately three to four minutes. Add seven cups of water to cover the chickpeas. Season with a teaspoon of kosher salt, bay leaves, and garlic. Allow the chickpeas and seasoning to boil, and then let simmer while removing any foam and skin that appear on the surface. Depending on the type and freshness of the chickpeas, it can take anywhere from forty minutes to an hour and a half to cook them.
For slow-cooking, place chickpeas, water, half a teaspoon of baking soda, salt, bay leaves, and garlic in a slow cooker and leave it to cook for four hours on high or six to eight hours on low.
Place chickpeas, six cups of water, and seasoning in an instant pot for the pressure cooker method. Seal the lid before selecting High Pressure, and then cook for 50 minutes. After 10 minutes of natural steam release, vent the remaining pressure and wait for the release valve to drop before opening the lid (be sure to reference your pressure cooker manual for safety and precautions).
Yield: This recipe yields approximately five to six cups of cooked chickpeas, with a serving size of an estimated half a cup.
Looking to spice up your chickpeas? Add a dash of your favorite spices, such as cumin, to give them a savory twist. If you crave a hint of sweetness, throw in a few chopped carrots while cooking.
For optimal storage, refrigerate cooked chickpeas in a shallow, airtight container without any additional liquid, and they'll stay fresh for 3 to 4 days. If you prefer to freeze them, pat them dry, spread them out in a single layer, and freeze in a ziptop bag. They'll last for 6 months or longer in the freezer.
When it comes to preparing chickpeas, the options are endless. Use them for hummus, salads, soups, stews, or simply on their own as a delicious side dish. For some great ideas, check out our assortment of mouth-watering chickpea recipes.
Looking to enhance your Mediterranean cooking experience? Browse our shop for high-quality ingredients, including extra virgin olive oils and flavorful spices.
In terms of nutrition, these addictive legumes clock in at 138.4kcal per serving, with 23.1g of carbohydrates and 10.1g of protein. They also boast an impressive fiber content of 6.6g, with smaller amounts of key vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, and vitamin C.
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