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How to Cook Garbanzo Beans (or Chickpeas)

Jumes has been an online writer for five years. His articles often focus on cooking and DIY projects.

If cooked right, garbanzo beans are a delicious treat. Read on to learn how to cook them right.

If cooked right, garbanzo beans are a delicious treat. Read on to learn how to cook them right.

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.

Cooked garbanzo beans can be used in a variety of delicious dishes.

Cooked garbanzo beans can be used in a variety of delicious dishes.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried garbanzo beans
  • 6 cups water
  • Salt
  • Extras: garlic, lemon, onions, parsley, tomatoes, eggplant
  • Olive oil

Garbanzo Bean Conversion Chart

This YieldsThat

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

Dry, Raw Garbanzo Beans

Dry, Raw Garbanzo 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.
Soaked Garbanzo Beans

Soaked Garbanzo Beans

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

  1. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Scoop out any froth that forms with a spoon.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Notes

  • 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

Ingredients:

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Heat the chickpeas, tomato, parsley, and garlic in a covered pot on low heat for 15 minutes.
  2. Stir the lemon juice, olive oil, and salt together in a small container.
  3. Add the onions to the chickpea mixture. Stir over medium heat for 30 seconds.
  4. Remove from the heat. Stir in the olive oil mixture.
Eggplants and chickpeas go well together!

Eggplants and chickpeas go well together!

Easy Eggplant and Chickpeas

Ingredients:

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. Add the chickpeas and tomatoes. Cover and cook on medium heat for 10 more minutes.
  3. Check to make sure the eggplant is as tender as you'd like. If it is not, cook everything for a little while longer.
  4. Stir all the ingredients together.
  5. 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.

Indian Chhole Chana Garam

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

jumesbond lm (author) on December 06, 2014:

You don't have to soak canned beans overnight. You only have to soak raw, dry beans.

anonymous on September 09, 2013:

Should i still soak the beans overnight if i bought them canned? or can i cook right away? Thanks!

anonymous on May 08, 2013:

This was EXACTLY what I was looking for. Your directions were clear and easy to follow and I LOVE that you put the conversion in as well!

surfsusan on April 10, 2013:

@surfsusan: and I soak mine chickpeas for at least 12 hours.

surfsusan on April 10, 2013:

Thanks for the info in this lens. However, the cooking time seem very long for the chickpeas I buy here in Europe, they are nice and soft somewhere between 30 to 45 minuttes. If I cook them longer they get mushy.

anonymous on April 07, 2013:

@jumesbond lm: YEah we just made some...we soaked them overnight, and they only took 1.5 hours to cook. =)

jumesbond lm (author) on March 02, 2013:

@anonymous: Did you soak them for a long time? The longer you soak them, the less time it takes to cook them.

anonymous on March 01, 2013:

Thanks for inspiration. However, cooking times seem to vary enormously: mine were soft in 10 minutes. They were organic, that might have had an effect.

jumesbond lm (author) on February 17, 2013:

@anonymous: As far as I know, there is no easy way to remove them. Typically you would just eat them without removing the membrane.

jumesbond lm (author) on February 17, 2013:

@anonymous: Preferably add the onions in step 3. They will be crispy. The part about onions in step 1 is a typo. If you'd rather the onions be soft, go ahead and add them in step 1.

jumesbond lm (author) on February 17, 2013:

@anonymous: Yes, you can still cook and eat the chickpeas after they have sprouted. They will take a lot less time to cook.

anonymous on February 17, 2013:

Once the beans have sprouted are they still eatable?

FashionMommy on January 15, 2013:

Wanted to make some hummus tonight so this was good to read.

anonymous on January 11, 2013:

Well I finished them today. Recipe was great thank you. Also I used Crock Pot.

anonymous on January 03, 2013:

@anonymous: Yes, I do it all the time. Just freeze without any liquid.

anonymous on December 23, 2012:

How do you remove the membrane that covers the chickpeas? I have been searching for an easy way to do this but can not find one. :-(

anonymous on December 14, 2012:

I'd love to try your Garlic Chickpeas recipe but I have a question:

In Step one you say to heat the chickpeas and onions (and other ingredients) together. Then in Step 3 you said to add onions to the chickpea mixture. I'm a little confused, when should I be adding the onions? Thanks so much!

chrissyjmarq22 on December 04, 2012:

Great explanation of how to cook chickpeas. I love making fresh hummus and using chickpeas for soup. Thank you very much

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on December 02, 2012:

I will certainly try these two recipes. I love garbanzos. Thanks.

jumesbond lm (author) on November 10, 2012:

@jumesbond lm: I should add that, after freezing them in a layer in a pan for 5-15 minutes, you can put them in a bag, and they should stay separate.

jumesbond lm (author) on November 10, 2012:

@anonymous: Yes. People like to freeze them in a single layer on a pan or in plastic bags so that the beans freeze individually rather than together in a big clump. That way, you can easily take out as much as you want to when you want to thaw a certain amount.

jumesbond lm (author) on November 10, 2012:

@anonymous: I agree with Nelson. Traditionally, people drain out the water that the beans are cooked in. I imagine it has to do with toxins and indigestible substances that end up in the water during cooking.

jumesbond lm (author) on November 10, 2012:

This isn't necessarily a bad thing. They will create some bubbles or foam and will have a bad smell to them. Check if they have soaked up the water and that the beans look plump. They may have a bad smell to them, but make sure they don't smell like they've gone bad. If everything looks okay, they should be fine for cooking. Some people even cook their beans after they've fermented a little so you should be okay. If they have gone bad, it's possible the beans have gone bad or that there is something wrong with the water.

jumesbond lm (author) on November 10, 2012:

@anonymous: I wouldn't recommend it. You can still cook them, but putting them in the oven changes the beans so that they will give of a certain smell and maybe a particular flavor as well when you cook them. Next time you could try using rice instead. It would toast the rice, and you could still use the toasted rice for cooking.

jumesbond lm (author) on November 10, 2012:

@anonymous: Yes, you can freeze them. Some people like to freeze them in a single layer on a pan so that the beans freeze individually rather than together in a big clump.

anonymous on November 07, 2012:

Can I freeze any left over cooked chickpeas?

anonymous on October 30, 2012:

I used the garbanzo beans to keep a pie crust shell from bubbling up in middle while baking it at 450 degrees for 20 minutes, can I still cook them?

anonymous on October 23, 2012:

@anonymous: I don't use the water because I already have enough problem with gas when I eat beans, and in my experience using the water just makes it worse.

anonymous on October 21, 2012:

Loved this article :)

Very helpful

Yum

anonymous on October 19, 2012:

can i use the water for soup that i cooked the beans in,

anonymous on October 06, 2012:

Can garbanzo beans be frozen after cooked? If so, how to do it?

Amyji on September 16, 2012:

Finally, a straightforward article on how to properly prepare this delicious legume. THANK YOU!

MintySea on September 14, 2012:

I used to like to make hummus

I also liked chick pees in salad I want to eat more after reading this

anonymous on August 16, 2012:

Very helpful! This is my first time to the website and first attempt cooking any beans that aren't from a can.

gemjane on August 14, 2012:

Thanks for the lens. I've been looking for garbanzo bean recipes, and the basic cooking method.

jumesbond lm (author) on July 08, 2012:

@anonymous: I'd strongly discourage it. Uncooked garbanzo beans are hard on digestion. Cooking the beans breaks down undigestible compounds. Even if they don't cause gas, they may cause other digestive problems.

anonymous on July 08, 2012:

is it okay to eat soaked but uncooked garbanzo beans without any gastro consequesnces?

anonymous on June 21, 2012:

@anonymous: It's edible!

anonymous on June 21, 2012:

This is what I do: Put beans on a tray (after rinsing)-Shake garlic, onion powder, salt, paprika, pinch of sugar, *cayenne pepper* onto beans- Preheat oven to 400 degrees-Bake for about 40 minutes. They always come out great an crunchy:) (I take them out of a can, so no need to soak them overnight) Have fun cooking! <3Lizzie

anonymous on June 02, 2012:

@anonymous: I eat everything on the chickpea. never skinned them at all

jumesbond lm (author) on May 14, 2012:

@anonymous: You can eat the skin. If you find skins floating in the water, and you prefer to remove them, you can go ahead and scoop them out with a slotted spoon. They're fine to eat, however.

jumesbond lm (author) on May 14, 2012:

@anonymous: If you are afraid that you soaked the beans too long, take a look at the beans before cooking them. Oversoaking can soften the texture of the beans, giving them a more mushy texture. For anyone who wants more information on oversoaking beans, the following link is helpful: http://www.food.com/bb/viewtopic.zsp?t=241386&... According to the link, if the skins are split or the beans are too soft, you might just want to throw out the beans.

GrowthSpark on May 12, 2012:

You inspired me to cook up some yummy chick peas, thanks, they're delicious

anonymous on May 10, 2012:

@anonymous: I know it's a little late, but the beans are still good. Just rinse them well and cover them with clean cold water and cook as you would have.

anonymous on May 05, 2012:

I forgot my beans and soaked them for 2 days in the same water...now there's a white stickly foam on top of the water? Are the beans rancid now? Should I throw therm away....or will boiling them take care of any bad or harmful properties.

anonymous on April 28, 2012:

@anonymous: It is edible.

anonymous on April 14, 2012:

What about the skin that comes out of every chickpea, do I have to remove it or, is is eatable?

anonymous on April 14, 2012:

What about the skin that comes out of every chickpea, do I have to remove it or, is is eatable?

anonymous on December 28, 2011:

Does anyone have firsthand, personal knowledge regarding using lentils as a staple food in your diet? What do you not get from lentils? What can you eat less of as a result of lentils? Variations required in diet when consuming large amounts of garbanzo beans and such. Any tidbits appreciated.

anonymous on November 13, 2011:

Thank you for this recipe and going through the whole process! It is extremely helpful to know when you are beginning to cook this way. I am looking forward to doing a lot more with chickpeas.

jumesbond lm (author) on December 22, 2010:

@GiveInKind: I don't eat soy for the same reason! I cook mostly near east and far eastern dishes as well, and I use mostly chickpeas and lentils. Thanks for the comment and the link.

GiveInKind on December 22, 2010:

Nice recipes.I turned to chickpeas after Monsanto genetically modified soybean. I find this link interesting.http://iyer-kitchen.blogspot.com