How to Cook Garbanzo Beans (or Chickpeas)
How to Cook Chickpeas Perfectly Every Time
Garbanzo beans, or chickpeas, can be used in a variety of ways to create mouthwatering meals. It can feel intimidating to try making something you've never done before, and I'm here to help. The process of cooking garbanzo beans is quite simple, and I'm sharing my tips and tricks to help you cook them perfectly every time.
- 1 cup dried garbanzo beans
- 6 cups water
- Extras: garlic, lemon, onions, parsley, tomatoes, eggplant
- Olive oil
Garbanzo Bean Conversion Chart
1 cup dry (uncooked) beans
2 3/5 cups cooked beans
2 cups dry (uncooked) beans
5 1/2 cups cooked beans
1 lb dry (uncooked) beans
6 cups cooked beans
1 19oz can
2 1/4 cups cooked beans
1 14-16oz can
1-2 cups cooked beans
1 28oz can
3-3 1/4 cups cooked beans
1. Rinse Garbanzo Beans
Place the garbanzo beans in a bowl and fill it with water. Move the beans around a little with your hand or a spoon to allow any dirt to come loose in the water. Drain the water. Repeat until the water appears clear. Don't worry too much if you can never get the water to be perfectly clear.
- If any garbanzo beans float to the top, pick them out and throw them away. These are bad beans.
- Pick out and throw out any other beans that look bad.
2. Soak the Beans Overnight
Use three cups of water for each cup of garbanzo beans. If you don't have a large bowl, use a large pot or any other container you have.
- Do not soak garbanzo beans in the fridge! Soak them at room temperature.
- Do not add baking soda or salt to the beans. Some people advise adding 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda if you have particularly hard water, but it is usually not recommended.
3. Drain and Replace the Water
Drain the water from the garbanzo beans and move them to a large pot. Add three cups water for each cup of dried beans that you used.
4. Boil the Garbanzo Beans
- Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Scoop out any froth that forms with a spoon.
- Once the water starts to boil, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Set a timer for three hours. I keep them in for the full 3 hours to ensure they are fully cooked. However, cooking times vary depending on the quantity of beans, the pot, and the time spent soaking the beans. If it's your first time cooking garbanzo beans, you may want to check after 2 hours and keep checking the beans until they are done.
- Whenever you take the lid off the pot and replace it, check to make sure the water is still at a simmer. If it isn't, temporarily bring the heat up to medium heat until the water is simmering again. Then, set the heat back to low.
- Should you stir the beans? Yes. You should stir the garbanzo beans a few times throughout the cooking process to ensure that they get cooked evenly.
- You'll know the cooking process is done when you take a garbanzo bean and bite or squeeze it. You should be able to squeeze it with your fingers, and it should have a very soft consistency.
- You can decide how cooked you want the beans to be. If you find that they are cooked but you prefer them to be a little softer, go ahead and let them simmer for a little while longer.
- Chickpeas bought in Europe only need to be cooked between 30 and 45 minutes—they will end up overcooked otherwise.
- Organic chickpeas may also cook very quickly. It's worth keeping an eye out for you chickpeas if you're using chickpeas from any particular source for the first time.
- The older the beans are, the longer they will take to cook. If you buy beans in bulk instead of packaged beans, there's a better chance that the beans will be fresher and therefore take less time to cook.
5. Drain and Season the Beans
After draining the beans, you can do whatever you want with them.
- Use them in a recipe (like the ones I've included below).
- Add a little salt, olive oil, and onions and eat them as they are!
- Add parsley, garlic, or other spices to create a tasty combination and serve.
Garlic Chickpeas with Tomatoes and Parsley
- 4 1/2 cups chickpeas, cooked
- 1 large tomato or 2 small tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 4-6 garlic cloves, mashed
- 1 onion, diced (optional)
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Heat the chickpeas, tomato, parsley, and garlic in a covered pot on low heat for 15 minutes.
- Stir the lemon juice, olive oil, and salt together in a small container.
- Add the onions to the chickpea mixture. Stir over medium heat for 30 seconds.
- Remove from the heat. Stir in the olive oil mixture.
Easy Eggplant and Chickpeas
- 2 eggplants, chopped into 1'' x 1'' pieces
- 2 cups chickpeas, cooked
- 3 tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 cup water
- Cooked rice
- Sea salt
- Olive oil
- Place 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan and add the chopped eggplant. Cover the pan and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes.
- Add the chickpeas and tomatoes. Cover and cook on medium heat for 10 more minutes.
- Check to make sure the eggplant is as tender as you'd like. If it is not, cook everything for a little while longer.
- Stir all the ingredients together.
- When serving, place a small layer of rice on the bottom of the plate and a thick layer of the eggplant mixture on top. Sprinkle the dish with sea salt and drizzle the top with a generous amount of olive oil.