How to Soak and Cook Chickpeas

How to Soak and Cook Chickpeas

94 responses

  1. Em {pushups with polish}
    October 24, 2012

    Thanks for this pic tutorial, I used to avoid cooking these at all costs but they are my favorite bean (especially in hummus…OMG) Hope all is well Tori! Can’t wait to see what you’ll be cooking up around the holidays!
    xxo em

  2. Avital Stern-Buchnick
    October 25, 2012

    How do you prepare dried chickpeas to eat as a snack? They sell them in the market but I’ve always wanted to know how to make them at home.

    • Tori Avey
      October 25, 2012

      I will definitely cover this in a future blog Avital, maybe I’ll do it next week. They are great roasted as snacks, and so healthy too!

  3. Sonja
    October 25, 2012

    thanks for all the info and tips! Shabbat Shalom from Eilat

  4. John P
    October 25, 2012

    I use a similar method. I boil and soak the garbanzos, then cook in a pressure cooker to save time. This works with beans in general (pintos, white, &c).

  5. Tracy P.
    October 28, 2012

    Shabbat Shalom Tori. I always love your blog. What time would you recommend for using a slow cooker? I have 3 of them + their just sitting, waiting for good low cost recipes.

  6. Sheila
    October 28, 2012

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    i can’t believe how timely your post is, it has been in the back of mind to do some searching on how to prepare garbanzo beans, so I wouldn’t have to use the canned variety! Great post. Thanks so much!

  7. JacqueSolomons
    November 2, 2012

    LOVE your blog!!! The part I really think is best is that you show pictures step by step – I never have to think “Hmmm, wonder if I am doing this right?!” You make it so easy to be a healthy cook! THANK YOU!!!

  8. RV Mendoza
    December 22, 2012

    Is it possible just to soak it overnight and then start using it from there? Is boiling it necessary?

    • Tori Avey
      December 23, 2012

      Hi RV, it depends on what you’re making. Foods like falafel can and should be made directly after soaking, whereas hummus needs to be cooked. It really depends on the recipe, however more dishes require them to be cooked in addition to soaking.

  9. Meeko
    January 1, 2013

    I love chickpeas! I soak them over night. Cook them for 15 minutes in pressure cooker. Then peel the skin off or else I am in agony with colic. Spice them up with a tin of tomatoes, cook them for another 15 minutes in the pressure cooker. I’m allergic to milk and soya so use chickpeas as a bread replacement.

  10. kris
    January 13, 2013

    I have cooked and frozen beans a few times however when I use them in stews I find them quite dry. Is there anything I can do to prevent them from being dry?

    • Al Swilling
      November 6, 2013

      I find that freezing chickpeas the way I do raw fish not only keeps them from being dry, but also preserves the fresh-cooked flavor better. In freezing raw fish, it’s best to put some water in the zip-lock bag with the fish. That preserves the fresh flavor and texture. It’s the same with chickpeas. Not a lot of water is necessary, just enough to cover them. Use the water that they were cooked in to preserve the nutritional value as well as the flavor. Don’t leave any “head” (air) space in the bag, either. The air space can cause freezer burn in spite of the plastic.

  11. Marissa
    January 16, 2013

    Do you know what the weight substitution would be if I wanted to replace a 300g can of chickpeas with beans I will soak and cook myself? What weight of dried beans would I need? thanks

  12. Tash
    January 30, 2013

    Hi! If i freeze these in batches and then defrost in the fridge how quickly to i have to use them? Still 3-4 days? And if i make into hummus still 3-4 days? Thanks so much!

  13. Helen
    March 12, 2013

    Thanks for the instructions! I make chickpea patties for my baby son, as part of our Baby-Led Weaning, and discovered, to my horror, that the canned variety had too much salt!!! I’ve just followed your instructions and now have half a kilo of chickpeas ready to be frozen. :)

  14. Mollie C
    April 30, 2013

    Hi! This post is so helpful and I check it every time I make a new batch of chickpeas. Today I am freezing some of my batch for the first time (I got a little over zealous with how many I soaked) and I am not sure how to defrost them for later use. Any tips?

    • Tori Avey
      April 30, 2013

      Hi Mollie! It depends on what you’re making with them. If you’re adding them to a soup or stew, you can go ahead and add them frozen, they’ll defrost quickly in the hot liquid. If you’re using them for hummus or salads, just keep them in a cold water bath in the sink till they’re thawed. It shouldn’t take too long to thaw them.

  15. Sharon
    May 5, 2013

    Oh dear, chick peas, so simple and straight forward and only a little common sense needed,which clearly some of the people above seem to lack.

    • Stephi
      August 1, 2013

      Was it necessary for you to be nasty? I don’t believe “chickpea preparation” is a gauge for common sense. Not everyone was raised in an environment that taught all their children garbanzo bean technique. So no, I don’t agree the sense is all that common.

    • steven
      March 16, 2014

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      “Only fools don’t decide the path before them.” I read 10+ comments and have 4 great ideas: let them sprout before cooking, chick pea patties (will be looking for the recipe) and as a flour substitute or chopped and added to bread. Roasted chick peas, I forgot how much I loved them as a kid.
      Stephi, I got your back – share on!

  16. Sharon
    May 5, 2013

    Sorry meant to sat that I have always been told not to salt them while boiling them as it makes them tough. But the toughest thing is remembering to soak them the day before you need them. Therefore cook too many and freeze some.

    • Tori Avey
      May 5, 2013

      Re: your previous comment – I don’t think it’s a matter of common sense; it’s just that some people (me included) never learned this kind of thing growing up. Luckily I was able to learn later in life, and now I can share the information with others. I’m glad people feel comfortable asking for advice here. My mom always said there are no stupid questions. :) As for the salt, I’ve never heard that it makes them tough but that’s interesting. I’ll try it without salting next time to see if it makes a difference. I do agree that remembering to soak is important, and so many times I don’t have the foresight to do that. That’s where the quick soak method outlined above can come in handy, as well as freezing several batches ahead of time.

  17. Marsha
    May 12, 2013

    New to chickpeas. If a recipe calls for 2 cups of chickpeas, soaked – Is that 2 cups of dry peas or 2 cups of the soaked peas which would generate larger chickpeas since they swell.

  18. Jessica
    May 21, 2013

    I want to use a portion of previously cooked (to firm) and frozen chickpeas for hummus. Can I defrost them, and then cook them a little longer until they are softer?

    Or when I originally cooked them, should I have cooked some firm and some softer, depending on the usage?

    • Tori Avey
      May 21, 2013

      Hi Jessica, there is no harm in cooking them more after defrosting. Enjoy!

  19. Maureen Webb
    May 30, 2013

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    Thanks for the tips. Just learned a great chef’s trick if you want really smooth hummus. Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda to your soak water. Cover peas and leave in fridge for 18 or more hours. Rinse and continue as described above. I tried it and it made a bigger difference than I thought it would.
    As far as salt, I use salt in my recipes so I don’t use it in preparing my chickpeas.
    Thanks again.

  20. Kirsten
    June 20, 2013

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    Thanks so much for this great tutorial! When searching ‘how to cook chick peas’ your site came up second but because I recognized your site and you had a photo I clicked and came here. I’m glad I did. Now I know I’ve got another 45 minutes or so before I’ll be ready to make my garlic scape hummus.

    Appreciate it!

  21. Suzie
    June 30, 2013

    Thank you for posting this information. I love homemade hummus but hate to cook up a whole bag. This was tremendously helpful and will be used today.

  22. Allison
    July 19, 2013

    Best site for this subject. I will make these more often now. Makes an AWESOME snack too!!

  23. Cynthia
    July 24, 2013

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    Thank you for this terrific tutorial. I used to make beans from scratch eons ago but got into the habit of using cans and sort of forgot how to cook them (apart from in a pressure cooker, which I no longer own). So, my husband, bless his heart, went to three different stores to get the best deal on dry chickpeas and bought a ton. I got out my huge soup pot and soaked and am in the process of cooking 3/4 of them now that I know I can freeze them… they look sooo great, I feel so virtuous. I am using a hunk of kombu as a softener when I cook (vs. salt) as I remember doing that in a long-ago macobiotic phase in my life. Thank you for this post! And I will be back– I love Middle Eastern food!

  24. cheryl
    August 28, 2013

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    I love the pictures this page is a great tutorial!

  25. fran
    August 30, 2013

    I add turmeric to water when soaking and cooking resulting in beautiful bright yellow chick peas

  26. Lisa
    September 1, 2013

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    What a great site! I advise my young aspiring family cooks to go to “the shiksa” for their Jewish recipes… As for chickpeas…I love hummus and learned while I was in Israel that the reason their hummus is so smooth is because they remove the outer membrane on the beans before preparing (and after cooking the beans, obviously). It’s a little time consuming, but they come off easily and it makes all the difference in the world…

  27. Maria
    September 2, 2013

    Agree with the other posters about how helpful this is. I’ve read in a few other places (most notably Madhur Jaffrey) that when soaking the chick peas, one should add baking soda. Any thoughts on this? In the past, I’ve done them without. Just wondering what you think.

    • Tori Avey
      September 2, 2013

      I have heard this too Maria, but I haven’t noticed a big difference personally between using baking soda and not. I’d be interested to hear if other readers have noticed a difference, since I haven’t experimented with it in a few years and would be willing to revisit it if people say it’s really worthwhile.

  28. Maria
    September 18, 2013

    Hi Tori, So I made my chick peas with the baking soda and all went well. Next time I’ll do it without; can’t imagine much difference, as you said. I ended up using them all in 2 different recipes but next time hope to get to the freezing stage. Love your blog! Thanks.

  29. Ann
    September 20, 2013

    Please email me vegetarian recipes. I am moving from a meat diet slowly to a fish and vegan diet.

    Thank you.

    • Tori Avey
      September 22, 2013

      Hi Ann, are you subscribed to the site? I’m not sure how to adjust your preferences to only send vegetarian recipes, however you can always check the vegetarian and vegan categories on my site, which are auto-updated each time a new recipe is added. Here are the links:

      link to

      link to

  30. Linda
    October 2, 2013

    I learned from my Grandmother to add a tsp of baking soda to any bean recipe, ie chili, navy beans, butter beans etc. The reason is it cuts down the gas one experiences commonly after bean dishes. It works, could this be the reason for chick peas as well. Hmm, have to wonder.

    • Tori Avey
      October 2, 2013

      Quite possible Linda! I think I have heard this as well.

  31. Tim Barker
    October 4, 2013

    I have been cooking chickpeas for years. However, I generally buy the tinned variety for convenience and I always thought that the time taken to cook them outweighed the lower price of the chick peas. Having said that, I think the method used here adds some sophistication to my ‘boil’em for as long as I can method’. Thanks for the tips.

  32. Shirley Pister
    October 17, 2013

    Thanks for the info. Shirley

  33. Suzi
    October 19, 2013

    Hummus tastes better without the skin of the chick pea, but it’s quite a process to remove it by hand. Do you have any tricks for taking the skin off?

    • Tori Avey
      October 20, 2013

      I wish! I’ve been on the hunt for a tip like this. I asked at my favorite hummus bar recently (which has the smoothest creamiest hummus ever), and was told that when you cook the chickpeas for a long time, a lot of the skins float to the top of the water. I’m going to try cooking my chickpeas longer next time and hope that they’re right. I agree that the skinning process is a pain in the booty! :)

    • Robert
      June 8, 2014

      Hi Tori, Love the recipe, and I cook for 100 minutes (for hummus) and the skins fall off in the rinsing process!

      • Tori Avey
        June 9, 2014

        Robert, yes, after talking with my local hummus guy I have learned that longer cooking = easy removal of skins! I should do a post about this. Glad this was helpful!

  34. Sharon
    October 20, 2013

    I’m hoping to prepare chana masala, a South Asian chickpea stew and other recipes which involve other veggies and sauces, etc. Will the flavour or texture of the cooked chickpeas be affected?

    • Tori Avey
      October 21, 2013

      Hi Sharon- I’m sorry, I don’t understand your question. Do you mean after adding the cooked chickpeas to the recipe, will the flavor or texture change? Of course the flavor would change if you put them in a sauce… and the longer you cook them the softer they become. Sorry if I’m not getting what you mean!

    • Tim Barker
      October 21, 2013

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      I just wanted to jump in here as I often use chickpeas in Asian or Indian dishes. In fact I have just made a Chickpea Korma with chapatis for dinner (very tasty). Anyway, I think I know what you mean, but forgive me too if I am wrong. As Tori said the chickpeas will change depending on the sauce etc. However, I find the great thing about chickpeas is that they generally keep there shape. I mean by this that I have never been able to boil them or fry them until they become mushy. For example other pulses absorb liquids very quickly and can go very soft. If you were making a lentil Masala for instance, after a short while of cooking you would get basically a thick sauce as the lentils soften.

      What I am trying to say it that the beauty of chickpeas is that they retain there shape even though they may be soft inside. For this reason I would make the Masala sauce quite thick as the chickpeas will not take on too much liquid if you see what I mean. Perhaps keeping the skins on helps to do this and if I may refer to the above post; I always keep the skins chickpeas on as I think they add to the texture and taste of hummus. I suppose everyone looks at things from a different angle

  35. Jennifer
    October 21, 2013

    In regards to the discussion about baking soda: The baking soda is supposed to help in getting the chickpeas to soften up better. Chickpeas, especially, can be difficult to get to soften, especially in higher elevations. The baking soda is the remedy to this problem.

  36. Chris Clement
    October 23, 2013

    REMOVING THE SHELL – half way through cooking, drain and submerse in cold water. The shells will crack and float to the top with some agitation. Gets most of the shell off.

    • Tori Avey
      October 24, 2013

      Great tip Chris! I am totally trying this next time…

    • Al Swilling
      November 6, 2013

      Chris, thanks for the tip on removing the skins from chickpeas. I never bothered trying, because frankly the skins provide fiber; but I have often thought about it when making hummus, because I like the smoother texture that removing the skins allows. I will definitely try this the next time I cook chickpeas for hummus. Thanks again.

  37. Al Swilling
    November 6, 2013

    Tori, thank you for the detailed cooking instructions. I was looking for a “quick soak” method of cooking chickpeas, and your site came up in the search. I’m happy I found this site. As Arnold would say, “I’ll be back”. I’m amused at the way you used the term “shiksa” to your advantage. Cheeky, as the Brits would say. ;>

    Thanks again.

    • Tori Avey
      November 12, 2013

      Cheeky– I like it! :)

  38. Murray Learer
    November 12, 2013

    Does freezing work the same way on other types of cooked beans (eg Kidney beans, lentils etc).

    • Tori Avey
      November 12, 2013

      Hi Murray, most beans freeze well. The only one I’m not sure about is lentils, as they are small and delicate. I haven’t tried freezing lentils so I am unsure about them, but other beans like kidney, black and navy work well.

  39. gabi
    November 13, 2013

    I was told to remove the foam that gathers at the top of the boiling water, is that true?

  40. Yves Nicol
    November 18, 2013

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    Hi, I am a guy so easy is always best when it comes to cooking. Canned beans were easy and I used to run them in cold water for a while to try washing away all the added nasties. Now comes my predicament. I have moved to South East Asia and the canned variety is not available. For this reason I visited this site and everything looked great until I saw the word ‘peel’ pop up somewhere. This is not an activity I anticipated. I am a guy with no fingernails and big hands. To me peeling a chick pea would be worst than torture. Do I need to peel them to make hummus? If so what is the easiest way. I appreciate anyone input on this. Peeling tomatoes was bad enough but chickpea is my worst nightmare. ;-)

    • Tori Avey
      December 2, 2013

      Hi Yves! You certainly don’t need to peel chickpeas for most cooking applications. I recommend peeling them when making hummus, but you don’t even need to do it then if you don’t want to– it only makes the hummus smoother and lighter. Otherwise, don’t worry about the peeling. If you want to try peeling, it’s fairly easy– gently squeeze each cooked chickpea between two fingers and the skin should slip right off.

  41. Chrissy Steele
    December 6, 2013


  42. Patricia
    December 11, 2013

    What about freezing hummus, do you think I can make small cubes, and take one out each Sunday?
    How much nutritional value do chickpeas retain when frozen?

    • Tori Avey
      December 15, 2013

      Hi Patricia, I’ve never frozen hummus, but I would be worried about the texture after freezing… if you try it let us know how it goes. Nutritional value shouldn’t change much due to freezing, I wouldn’t think, but then again I’m not a nutritionist.

  43. Jim
    December 31, 2013

    once you soak them overnight, how long will they last in the fridge before you have to either use them or toss them ?

    • Tori Avey
      January 1, 2014

      Hi Jim, I wouldn’t keep them longer than two days, and I would change the water twice a day with fresh cold water.

  44. Alice
    January 16, 2014

    Lov your blog. First time commenting. Am a diabetic and beans and chickpeas and lentils are the bases for keeping me healthy.

    • Tori Avey
      January 16, 2014

      Thanks Alice!

  45. Ken in Brooklyn
    February 19, 2014

    You’re the best! Thanks! OK, back to the kitchen…

  46. Tommy Joseph
    February 21, 2014

    I used to make my own hummus from scratch. I was raised on the stuff. We used canned beans for hummus. I used them later when I began making it on my own. I never used a blender, it did it the way I learned it, with a mortar and pestle.

    Anyway, one day a good decade or two ago I tried making the beans from scratch. I make beans all the time. I like them when they’re falling apart. So it’s not like I don’t know how to cook beans.

    However, the chick peas were different. Either that or it was an old batch. I have never learned the answer. I had those beans simmering for 5 hours and they were still hard as rocks. I didn’t soak them, but then again I never soak my beans and they always turn out fine, 3 hours maybe, easy.

    So my question is, are chick peas different? I don’t like them hard, as in cold salads – I like beans falling apart. I love them in hummus though. So I thought I’d never see a chick pea I liked till one day I ordered soup of the day in a restaurant in St. Augustine Fl and it was sausage/garbanzo and the beans were whole but very soft swimming in a deep thick yellow broth. I loved it. I asked them if the beans were canned. They said no, but who knows?

    So my question is, are garbanzos like other legumes or do they naturally take longer to cook, or do you think I got a bad batch the time I experienced my failure with them? I don’t soak beans ordinarily, so my question applies to garbanzos alone. Oh, some of the ones in the soup seemed to be cut in half, or fell apart that way. I know I loved the broth and would like to try to make a pot of garbanzos with meat and other flavors. Are they so different a bean that they require soaking while other beans I have used don’t? Wish I could have said this in less time. Thanks for dealing with it.

    • Tori Avey
      February 23, 2014

      Hi Tommy, your likely had an old batch of chickpeas. Older chickpeas and (other old legumes) will not soften up no matter how long you cook them. If you get them from a bulk bin, you can sometimes ask the store manager when the bins were restocked and if they are frequently refilled. But sometimes it happens… can’t avoid it. A batch of chickpeas shouldn’t take longer than 1 1/2 hours to cook, if it takes longer than that you’ve probably got a bad batch.

  47. Zsuzsanna Kapas
    February 23, 2014

    Please sign me up for the weekly newsletter.

    • Tori Avey
      February 24, 2014

      Done. :)

  48. Tommy Joseph
    February 23, 2014

    Thanks Tori, I suspected that was the case but was unsure as I never again experimented with it. I don’t like garbanzos in cold salads, or any bean in any cold salad for that matter – but I gave up on trying because, well, because I give up easily.

    Beans are inexpensive. And what good is time if it can’t be wasted? So I will take your advice and try them again. From all past experiences with garbanzos (except for in hummus), I never liked their texture, they always seemed too hard for my liking (until the day I got that sausage/garbanzo soup in St. Augustine and saw that they could be made as soft as any bean. And now you have reassured me. So I am assuming from your response that if the batch is good I should be able to be make garbanzos as I would any other bean. I don’t soak. I cook beans from scratch and they never take more than 3 and 1/2 hours tops. I was thinking maybe the garbanzo was different. I’ll try it again. Thanks.

    Oh, sorry for the length, but you won’t see me posting much here as my computer equipment is ancient by today’s standards and I’m not going to upgrade until I hit the lottery or someone else pays for it. It’s a long process getting in and out of here, way worse in some sites. There are many I can’t even get into. No big deal. Thanks for the response. You have a nice blog and are very helpful. Yes, the batch was probably old – 5 hours and hard as rocks – a pack of Goya’s. Might even have bought it in an old store. Didn’t check the date. I’ll try Whole Foods next.

  49. Eunice
    February 24, 2014

    Thanks for very informative instructions. I want to prepare some frozen chickpeas as baby food so is it best to leave the pureeing until I defrost and do them as needed,or freeze as purée?. Also any idea how much I would use per meal for a ten month old?

    • Tori Avey
      February 24, 2014

      Hi Eunice, you can puree them either before or after freezing, whichever is most convenient for you. This only applies if you are simply using chickpeas in the puree– other ingredients like milk do not freeze well, so if you are adding other ingredients to the puree it may not freeze as nicely. As for how much for a 10 month old, that question should probably be directed at your pediatrician. Enjoy!

  50. Debbie
    March 23, 2014

    Thanks so much for these directions. Used to do chickpeas from scratch all the time, but forgot how long to cook after soak! My family’s favorite recipe (after garlic hummus) is to have fried chick peas as a snack like potato chips. You just heat two tablespoons of veg oil in a skillet, and fry up a single layer of chickpeas as a time, until they are soft inside and you can mash with a spoon. I add minced garlic to the pan a few minutes before done (don’t want to burn it), drain them on paper towels after and salt to taste. Crispy outside and creamy inside. Kids and hubby love them. Just pop a handful in their mouths while watching tv!

    • Tori Avey
      March 23, 2014


    • Suzanne
      June 22, 2014

      When you fry the chickpeas do they stay intact? When I imagine fried chickpeas, I think of them still being round balls but when you said they are soft inside it made me wonder. I’m intrigued by this recipe as it may be a way to get my 7 year olds to eat beans!!!

      I’m also eager to get the roasted chickpea recipe for the same reason:)

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