Cooking beans from scratch can take so much time. Use your slow cooker to cook your chickpeas hands-free! It's so easy. Takes no time at all, will save you money AND avoid all extra chemicals found in canned beans.
This post was originally written in February 2012 (Yikes!!) and has been updated with new photos and more detailed instructions, including instructions for using an electric pressure cooker as well.
Have I ever shared this method with you before? I hope that I have, but I think I may have neglected to do so. I'm sorry.
Have you ever convinced yourself you did something because you really wanted to make sure you did it? But then didn’t actually do it? This is one of those times.
This is important, it will change your life. I promise.
🌱 Easy, from scratch chickpeas
Did you know, you can cook chickpeas in your slow-cooker?
Well, yes, yes you can! And they will be perfect and soft and taste oh so much better than out of a can. And best of all, you will have enough to throw into your freezer for another day, so you will have some handy next time you want to throw some into a soup or make a quick humus or what ever dish you are planning.
All you need is a bag of dried chickpeas.
- 2 cups of dried chickpeas, rinsed under cold water and soaked overnight
- 6 cups water
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of salt or Herbamare seasoning salt*
How much salt to use?
The salt depends on whether you are trying to cut your sodium intake or not. I tend to go with the half teaspoon, as I know that most recipes I use the chickpeas in will need me to add some salt along the way.
If you are trying to minimimize your sodium intake, you can totally skip the salt.
⏰ How to use your slowcooker to cook dried beans
I like to soak the beans first. I find even and dependable results when I soak the chickpeas overnight first.
You can see that the soaked beans are almost as big and plump as the fully cooked beans! Soaking saves so much cooking time.
After soaking, drain and rinse the chickpeas and add them to the slow cooker along with fresh water and salt, if using. Set to High setting and cook for 3 hours.
If this is the first time you have used your slow-cooker for this, you may want to test your chickpeas after 2 and half hours for the right texture, I find some crock pots run hotter than others. However, I’ve found 3 hours is perfect.
The above makes about 5 cups of cooked chickpeas.
Meal prep tip:
I will make a batch on the weekend and separate the chickpeas into into 1-1/2 cup or 2 cup bags and stash in the freezer.
Most recipes will call for a can of beans. Memorize this! A standard 15 oz can of beans hold about 1-1/2cups.
A 15 oz can holds about 1-1/2 cups
A 19 oz can holds just over 2 cups.
Now you have chickpeas in the freezer in little bundles. Just the perfect amount to toss on a few salads for thee work week, or measured and ready to go when you need a few cups for a recipe.
No. No you don't. It will take a bit longer for the beans to cook. Cook the beans for about 4 hours on high heat, 8 hours on low setting.
For sure! Go for it. I usually just stick with salt so that my beans are neutral and will work in any recipe I decide to make. But if you like a specific flavour combination, go for it. Try - garlic, rosemary or bay leaves.
Yes, of course. To use your instant pot to cook chickpeas. It works like charm actually.
The slow-cooker is my preference, however. I think because it requires less thinking on my part.😉 I love just setting it up and walking away and literally forgetting about it. I'm meal prepping and I don't even know it.
But if you want to use your Instant Pot to cook chickpeas, here is how I do it:
For soaked beans: for every cup of beans add 1 cup of water. Cook on HIGH presssure for 12 minutes. Natural pressure release for 15 minutes.
For unsoaked beans: for every cup of beans add 2 cups of water. Cook on HIGH pressure for 50 minutes. Natural pressure release for 15 minutes.
Cooked beans will last in the freezer up to 6 months.
Don't worry. It's not you. It's the beans. Old beans can take FOREVER to cook. And quite honestly, you might have a batch so old, it doesn't matter how long you cook'em, they will just not get soft enough.
If you find your chickpeas are not as soft as you would like, go ahead and just cook them a little longer. In the slow cooker -- try an extra 30 minutes to an hour. In the Instant pot, for soaked beans return the lid and cook for another 1-3 minutes on high pressure. For unsoaked beans, try adding another 5-10 minutes. In each case, let the pressure release naturally after the cooking time is up.
A few tips:
- First, try to avoid old beans! Buy from a store that has high turnover. Dry beans last forever, so this can be challenging. I do buy from our local bulk store because I can see how busy it is. I've never had any trouble with their products. I trust them. You will need to find a store that you trust.
- Buy smaller quantities. Don't buy more than you think you can through in a few months. At least until you know the store or the merchant you are buying from and if you know you are getting something fresh.
How to Cook Chickpeas
- 2 cups dried chickpeas rinsed and drained, soaked overnight or about 8 hours
- 6 cups water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Drain chickpeas and discard soaking water. Add chickpeas, 6 cups of water and salt to base of a slowcooker and cook on high heat for 3 hours. Allow to cool before dividing into freezer containers, I usually store in 1 cup to 1-1/2 cup packages for easy use in recipes. makes about 5-6 cups cooked chickpeas.
How to cook chickpeas in electric pressure cooker
- For soaked beans: Drain chickpeas and discard soaking water. For 2 cups chickpeas add 2 cups clean water and salt, if using. Set to HIGH pressure for 12-15 minutes and secure lid. Once cooking time is done let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes before releasing remaining pressure and opening. If chickpeas are not fully cooked or cooked to your liking, return the lid and set machine to HIGH preassure for another 1-3 minutes. Again allow pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes before opening lid.
- For unsoaked beans: For 2 cups chickpeas add 4 cups clean water and salt, if using. Set to HIGH pressure for 45 minutes and secure lid. Once cooking time is done let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes before releasing remaining pressure and opening. If chickpeas are not fully cooked or cooked to your liking, return the lid and set machine to HIGH preassure for another 5-15 minutes. Again allow pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes before opening lid.
🍴Recipes to try with a chickpeas
What to do with all these chickpeas now that you have them!? There are so many options.
Add them to salads! I take a fresh salad for lunch almost every day. Chickpeas are a great source of vegetarian protien.
Mash some up and make a sandwich
Roast some for yummy snack...
Some of my favourite chickpea recipes: