How to Cook Chickpeas
For those of us looking for something different and a good meat substitute I suggest you give chickpeas a try. I also love mushrooms for meat substitute, but that’s another article. For those of you creative you’ll love them. For those of you not so creative, these notes on their care and handling will help. Enjoy!! Namaste, the Queen Cronista
We’ve got you covered! In this post, we’re going over all of the questions about chickpea will discuss how to cook them from the stovetop to the instant pot and more! I’ve used now for years and they are one of my all time favorite meat substitutes and foods to eat. I also use canned chickpeas when I am in a hurry. We will go through lots of different ways to cook them, how to soak them, and even show you some of my favorite ways to use them.
What are Chickpeas:
Chickpeas are legumes! In their raw form, they almost feel like beige round rocks and are very hard uncooked. You cannot eat them raw as they contain toxins (removed during the cooking process) and are simply too hard to chew or digest properly. While typically beige, they do come in other colors including red and green. Chickpeas are high in protein and fiber, they are used commonly in vegetarian cooking as a kind of meat substitute.
Garbanzo beans vs Chickpeas:
I use chickpeas in my recipes on a regular basis. You may ask, are garbanzo beans chickpeas? And the answer is Yes: chickpeas and garbanzo beans are the same.
While the average person seems to most commonly refer to them as CHICKPEAS, most store brands label them as GARBANZO BEANS. When you are looking for them in a store, be on the lookout for both words since they truly are used so interchangeably.
Chickpeas are nutritionally rich and high in protein and fiber. Here’s a quick reference guide of the basics and why these legumes are so great:
|Per 100g of raw chickpeas|
How to cook Chickpeas:
Cooking chickpeas is very similar and follows a similar process as other beans.
First soak your beans. I’ve experimented several different ways but no matter what, you simply CANNOT skip this step! But you do have 2 options: 1) long soak the beans overnight or 2) quick soak the beans by boiling them for 3 minutes and then soaking them for just 1.5 hours. Both work well but you have to pick one.
After soaking them, simply add the chickpeas in a large pot with water or broth as well as any desired seasonings. Simmer for ~1.5 hours or until the chickpeas are soft and at your desired tenderness.
Instant Pot Chickpeas:
To do this, add the soaked chickpeas into your pressure cooker with water or broth along with any other seasonings. Cook on manual HIGH pressure for 13 minutes and natural release the pressure for 5 minutes. Since the instant pot will take a while to pressurize, this ends up taking about 35 minutes total.
Slow Cooker Chickpeas:
This is not my favorite method of cooking chickpeas, but it can be done. I’ve found that it results in mushier chickpeas (which could be ideal depending on how you are planning to use them).
For this method, you actually CAN skip the soaking step and simply add the chickpeas into a slow cooker with 8 cups of water. Cook on high for 3.5-4.5 hours or on low for 6.5-8 hours.
Air Fryer Chickpeas:
This is kind of a bonus! You CANNOT actually cook chickpeas from raw in the air fryer. However, you can cook COOKED chickpeas in an air fryer to get them ultra crispy and delicious! To do this, try by mixing cooked chickpeas with some oil and seasoning. Place them in the air fryer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring half way through.
Oven Roasted Chickpeas:
You cannot cook chickpeas from raw in the oven, however, you can get them wonderfully crispy this way!
More often than not, I make them as a snack and end up eating pretty much the entire can. However, they’re also great as salad toppers or even on Buddha bowls and other meals where you want a bit more plant based protein.
My favorite way to eat chickpeas just so happens to be in their crispy form. I’ve tried a lot of different flavor variations of this recipe so today I’m sharing a few of my favorites. The ranch roasted chickpeas are THE BEST!
Here are the 4 flavors we’re working with:
- Simple sea salt and black pepper roasted chickpeas
- Garlic roasted chickpeas
- Turmeric roasted chickpeas
- Ranch roasted chickpeas
I highly recommend just starting with salt and black pepper and taste them that way. You can always add more spices/ flavoring after they’ve roasted and they’ll still taste great.
Can you freeze chickpeas?
YES, you can! To freeze the cooked chickpeas, simply spread them out on a silicon or parchment lined baking sheet (this avoids them sticking). Place in the freeze and freeze for 1/5 hours. Place the flash frozen chickpeas into a resealable container and store in the freezer for a few months.
How to make Roasted Chickpeas:
You only need two ingredients to make roasted chickpeas: cooked chickpeas and oil. I almost always just used canned.
The key to the crispiest chickpeas is to dry them well. Remove as much of the excess moisture on the outside as possible. If you are lazy with the drying then your chickpeas simply won’t get quite as crispy.
I never bother skinning all of the chickpeas but, do remove any of the skins that fell off of the chickpeas during the drying process because those will burn in the oven.
Once they’re dried, simply toss them in a little bit of oil and whatever seasonings you desire. Then roast them for roughly 30 minutes, tossing every 9 minutes. Super simple and so delicious. Great as a simple snack but they are also great on a big salad!
Let’s Start with this:
Chickpea and Spinach Breakfast Skillet
1 15 Ounce Can Of Chickpeas, Rinsed And Patted Dry
2 Cloves Of Garlic, Finely Minced
1–2 Tablespoons Of Olive Oil
2 Cups Of Spinach, Washed And Patted Dry
1/2 Cup of Fresh Chopped Leafy Herbs (I Used Basil Since It’s In Season But Cilantro, Parsley, Etc Would Be Great! You Can Also Mix Them).
Kosher Salt And Pepper To Taste
Optional: 1-2 Fried Eggs (Poached Would Be Great As Well!)
Place your cleaned and dried chickpeas in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the minced garlic and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Stir to combine.
If needed/ desired, add in more olive oil. I added a bit of water to the skillet to keep it from getting to dry. Within minutes, the water is absorbed/ evaporated. Add even more if needed.
Cook for 10 minutes or until the chickpeas begin to crisp up.
Salt and pepper to taste (this is a good time to add other spices if desired…turmeric maybe? or cumin?)
Turn the heat to low and add in the spinach and fresh herbs. Continue to cook until the greens are wilted. Take off of heat.
Top with a fried egg and enjoy!!
Note: you may place on top of rice, quinoa. You may use kale if preferred.