How to Cook Dried Chickpeas (and ditch the can!)

You haven’t experienced chickpeas until you’ve cooked your own.  I’m serious.  The taste difference between the can and home-cooked beans is amazing!  This is another one of those simple recipes that not many people even consider trying.  Yes, it’s super convenient going to the cabinet and grabbing a can of chickpeas, but once you make a huge batch of fresh cooked beans they’re just as easy to reach in the fridge.  I constantly switch between “chickpeas” and “garbanzo beans” when referring to these delicious beans, so I apologize if I say “garbanzo bean” in this post after I started with “chickpea”.  These beans are so important they get two names and they deserve it!

Not only are home cooked chickpeas tastier than their canned counterparts, it is also cheaper to buy them dried and then cook them yourself.  I usually one cup of dried beans that yields about 3 1/2 cups of beans, or a little over two cans.  If I am having company, going away, or am seriously craving chickpeas, I double that amount and freeze leftovers (if there are any).  Dried chickpeas are the only ingredient necessary for this recipe, so it’s super simple.  No more excuses for buying canned beans.

The first step is measuring one cup of dried garbanzo beans. I usually eyeball it (half a pound of dried beans).  Pour them in a bowl and cover them with about 4-5 inches of water.  You need a good amount of water covering the beans because as they soak they absorb lots of water.  Let the beans sit overnight.  You will notice in the morning that the beans are much larger than they were when you first started soaking them.  Notice the difference between the first picture of the beans when I started soaking them and they just covered the bottom of the bowl, and the the second picture where they are almost level with the top of the bowl.

The next morning, drain the beans, rinse them, and put them in a pot with and cover them with about 4-5 inches of water.  Bring the the water to a boil, turn the heat to low, and place the lid on the pot.  Simmer for 2-3 hours.  The amount of time depends on how tender you want the beans.  After two hours the beans will be pretty firm and good for roasting or sprinkling in salads. After three hours the beans will be super soft and perfect for making dips and spreads.  The longer you cook, the more tender they will be.  Think of this stage like cooking pasta.  Do you like your pasta al dente, or soft?

When the chickpeas have reached your desired tenderness, drain them, rinse them again, and then you are free to eat to your heart’s content!  Use them to make Supreme Chickpea Veggie Burgers, or some Heavenly Hummus!  I guarantee you will fall in love with the fresh taste of cooked chickpeas that don’t come from a can.  And now that you know how easy it is, what are you waiting for?  Make a big batch today and get to eating!

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  1. I'm so glad you posted this. Once I tried to cook my garbanzo beans on the stove and I burned them. We haven't tried again since then. Usually I make my beans in the crock pot, so maybe I'll try that once before I do it on the stove again. Whatever the case, the plan is to ditch the can!

  2. I've actually never made them in the crockpot, but I'm sure it works just as well! Did you have enough water in the pot when you cooked them on the stove? They soak up a lot so not enough water can cause them to burn. Anyway, ditch the can! It feels great and tastes even better 🙂 If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!

  3. Yes, soaking beans is actually serves several purposes besides reducing their cook time. For one thing, it increases digestibility and therefore more nutrients are absorbed by the body and they will cause less gas:) Another benefit is it helps remove contaminates such as small dirt particles or pesticides. Although beans go through a cleaning process before they are sold, they are not rinsed because the moisture would encourage sprouting. Lastly, soaking beans reduces phytic acid that is naturally in most legumes and grains and inhibits the absorption of vitamins and minerals.

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