How To Cook Dried Chickpeas On The Stove Or In A Pressure Cooker

by on September 24, 2012

How To Cook Dried Chickpeas From Scratch

Tuscan Roasted Tomato and Chickpea Soup from my Comfort Soups ebook

In my recipe books I cook all of my own beans from scratch because it’s less expensive and overall tastes much better. It’s also a good way to control the amount of sodium in your diet and you can cook your beans with or without added salt. For those of you interested in cooking your own chickpeas/garbanzo beans, it’s probably because you’ve gotten hooked on how amazingly delicious (and cheap) it is to make your own.

I recommend making a big batch if you are going to go to the trouble of cooking chickpeas/garbanzos yourself. You can save any leftovers in containers or bags and freeze them for later, or you can just make a double batch of your recipe to use them all up and have meals for the week. The best tip I have for flavorful chickpeas is to use a bay leaf and some seaweed like kombu. When you’re not using salt, (or much at all) beans can taste very bland and these seasonings will greatly enhance the flavor of your chickpeas over the canned versions.

(If you’re looking for directions for cooking non-soaked chickpeas, scroll to the bottom)

Stove Top Directions For Cooking Chickpeas:

Step #1: Pick through your dried chickpeas/garbanzos and remove any bits of rock, broken shells, gross looking chickpeas, random other beans etc.

How To Cook Chickpeas

Step #2: Rinse your chickpeas and place into a large bowl or container. Add 3 cups of water for every 1 cup of beans that you are making. Let the beans soak overnight, or first thing in the morning so you can make them for dinner. I find that chickpeas are fine if they are soaked 5-8 hours, but when I soak them overnight they get overcooked really easily and are disappointing. Try not to soak your beans more than 8 hours if leaving them overnight. If you you do, it’d be better to cook them over the stove as there is less risk of overcooking when you use a pressure cooker.

Step #3: Drain and rinse the chickpeas again in a colander.

How To Cook Chickpeas

Step #4: For cooking the beans on the stovetop add 3 cups of water for each 1 cup of dried chickpeas and bay leaves and/or a kombu seaweed strip for flavour. Bring to a boil and then simmer over medium-medium low heat for 1-2.5 hours until they give to pressure. (it depends on size, small beans cook faster) Make sure they are not crunchy inside and are cooked through. Since each bean has a different size, the cooking times will vary. You can add salt or additional seasonings if desired part way through cooking, but this is optional.

*Non-Soaking Method For Cooking Dried Chickpeas In Pressure Cooker:

If you have an EZ Bean Cooker or digital pressure cooker you DON’T HAVE TO presoak your chickpeas.  You can just rinse them and put them in a pressure cooker and 3 cups of water to every 1 cup of dried chickpeas. Season if desired. Choose the garbanzo (80 min) setting on your EZ Bean Cooker or program for 80 minutes on a digital pressure cooker. Once the timer goes off release the pressure from the valve and let the pressure continue to drop. Drain and use chickpeas as desired.

Regular Pressure Cooker Directions For Cooking Pre-Soaked Chickpeas:

Step #1: Pick through your dried chickpeas/garbanzos and remove any bits of rock, broken shells, gross looking chickpeas, random other beans etc.

Step #2: Rinse your chickpeas and place into a large bowl or container. Add 3 cups of water for every 1 cup of beans that you are making. Let the beans soak overnight, or first thing in the morning so you can make them for dinner. I find that chickpeas are fine if they are soaked 5-8 hours, but when I soak them overnight they get overcooked really easily and are disappointing. Try not to soak your beans more than 8 hours if leaving them overnight. If you you do, it’d be better to cook them over the stove as there is less risk of overcooking when you use a pressure cooker. *Note see below for Non-soaking method for cooking chickpeas.

Step #3: Drain and rinse the chickpeas again in a colander. When using a pressure cooker use enough water to just cover the beans beans and add bay leaves/kombu/a little salt or baking soda if desired and cook for the recommended time on a pressure cooker timing chart. For chickpeas it’s around 5-7 minutes at high pressure in a stove top pressure cooker. (Less if you soaked them 8+ hours) Ultimate Pressure Cooking Chart is a good starting point of reference, but I find their times to be a little high for my gas stove pressure cooker. Always start with a lower time the first time. Once you figure out your perfect time, it’s best to write it down so you remember for next time. (Like the amount of hours you soaked the chickpeas and the number of minutes cooked at high pressure.)

When pressure cooking, keep it on high heat until it reaches full pressure (a steady stream of steam coming out), then reduce it to medium-medium high heat (depending how hot your stove is) and cook for the time indicated in your manual or the pressure cooking chart. I like to play it safe as cook a at least a minute or two less than the charts stipulate. Turn off the heat as soon as the timer goes off. Once the pressure has been reduced and it’s safe to open the lid you can check the beans and see if they are cooked enough.

Note: I do not use oil when cooking my beans with a pressure cooker myself. Most companies recommend that you do so that you don’t get bean foam clogging up the pressure release valve and make a mess. I prefer to cook everything without oil.

To alleviate this foam problem, I use what’s called the “Quick Release Method” by turning off the heat once the timer goes off and then move the pressure cooker into the sink and run cold water on top of the lid until it cools down and the pressurized release opens. This way I do not get any bean foam coming out or making a mess. (This works only for stovetop pressure cookers.)

For the electric pressure cookers it can be a little trickier. You can unplug it and place it in the sink and run cold water on it, or you can put a towel over the top and turn the valve and let out the pressure that way, but there will be bean juice and foam coming out of it and it will soak your towel.

For most things I let the pressure come down naturally, but especially when cooking black beans you need to do the quick release method or else they will be mushy and overcooked. They are very finicky and can only be pressure-cooked 1-2 minutes maximum.

Quick Soak Method For Beans: 

If you forget to soak your chickpeas or beans the night before or in the morning and you want to make a recipe that day you can do the “Quick Soak Method”.

Place your dried beans into a pot and fill with water 3 inches above the beans. Bring to a full boil and then turn off the heat and remove from the stove. Cover and let the beans soak in this hot water for 1 hour. Drain and then cook as above, and your beans should be similar to beans soaked for 8 hours. Please make sure you cook them afterwards, this is just a quick soak method and not a quick cooking method.

Additional Tips For Cooking Chickpeas:

Once your beans are cooked, you can drain them and use them in a recipe, or you can save them in their cooking water and freeze in smaller portions.

Bean cooking liquid is great served over rice or potatoes (if it’s a little seasoned) so don’t just throw it away.

For the best taste in your chickpeas I always recommend using 2 bay leaves, kombu seaweed (if you can find it) and seasoning with a little salt or kelp. If you don’t season the beans at all they will be very bland and probably taste dry and pasty! So I don’t recommend this. Fresh thyme is another delicious suggestion.

Kombu is available at Asian markets and health food stores beside the Nori seaweed. But you probably won’t find this at a regular grocery store though.

Have you ever cooked your own chickpeas before? What’s your favorite chickpea recipe?

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Casey November 15, 2016 at 12:51 PM

Thanks for the detailed bean cooking protocols, Veronica. I’ll have to drag my old pressure cooker out of the garage.

Not that kombu & beans are eaten frequently enough to be a problem, but in general be careful with kelp (e.g., kombu). Too much kelp can cause iodine toxicity. Just 0.75 g (0.026 oz) contains about 1000 micrograms (1 mg) of iodine, which is the upper limit of safe for daily consumption. In fact, the upper limit of iodine for young children may be about 300 micrograms per day.

Just to be clear, too little iodine is not healthy, either. The recommended amount of iodine for adults is 150 micrograms per day (WHO).

Nori has safe levels of iodine, and so does dulse if you don’t eat too much. Avoid hiziki because of the arsenic content.


2 jem September 18, 2015 at 1:33 PM

I bought a large bag of dried chickpeas from Amazon, organic & non-gmo, and just made my first batch. I’ll never buy canned again. They’re so delicious……Thank you!


3 Veronica Grace November 20, 2015 at 10:32 AM

You’re welcome!


4 jem September 10, 2015 at 12:36 PM

Hi Veronica…..I have a flattop electric stove. The directions for my pressure cooker indicate that I should set the burner on med-high for the cooker. Doing that it takes about 15 minutes for it to begin steaming. This is very frustrating because I feel that I spend a lot of time watching the pot before I can set the timer. It takes longer for the pressure to build up then it takes to cook the beans! Is there a solution to this? For instance, can I add boiling water to the beans instead of tap water?


5 Veronica Grace November 20, 2015 at 10:35 AM

I do not find it worth the time and effort to use a stove top pressure cooker on a flat top stove. The heat is uneven and the element turns on and off and makes it hard to keep it at the ideal temperature for pressure cooking. If you don’t have a gas stove, i don’t recommend a stove top pressure cooker. I solved this problem by buying an electric pressure cooker that i plug in and use on the counter. No more watching or worrying, i simply flip the release valve after the timer goes off. I have used both the EZ Bean Cooker: and the Nesco Pressure Cooker with great success.


6 SuziCat May 13, 2014 at 8:25 AM

Veronica, please help! I was checking into the EZBean unit which says you “put in the beans and walk away”. I have always cooked my beans the old-time way as you described and was taught that the FIRST soak helped lower the gas issues associated with beans. So, if you were to cook in the EZBean cooker, following their instructions, there would be no first soak followed by throwing away the “gaseous” soak water.
Does using a pressure cooker somehow alleviate the need for the “first soak” altogether or do you think it’s still necessary to soak them before cooking to avoid the gas issue?


7 Veronica Grace May 15, 2014 at 10:12 PM

First, chickpeas and black beans are the least gaseous beans I have found, second the more you eat these beans and legumes the more your body acquires the right amount of enzymes to help break down these sugars so you produce far less gas, third I have not found much problem with gas in general for using pressure cookers to cook beans honestly. The point of pressure cooking is to do it all in one step. You can of course choose to do what you prefer, but I haven’t heard any complaints and I’ve had a lot of customers buy them so far.


8 David Dodson April 15, 2014 at 8:50 AM

My wife has not had the best of luck with chickpeas she is cooking them with the hulls/skins on them ! Will this make a difference in soaking and cooking?
Love your website 🙂



9 Veronica Grace April 16, 2014 at 9:48 PM

What do you mean? The skins will always come off a little bit when they cook as they expand and separate a little bit.


10 Lili March 16, 2014 at 10:16 AM

hi Veronica! I have your soup cookbook and Comfort foods around the world and love both of them! But I am so disappointed–I passed up a huge bag of chickpeas at the store this week and your email showed up about two days later. ! Now I’m going to have to go back and get them! Lol. I don’t know why I thought they would be so much harder to cook than regular beans. You have inspired me! Have a good one! Thanks!


11 Lili March 16, 2014 at 10:07 AM

oh no! Now I have to go back to the store and get that giant bag of chickpeas I saw! I don’t know why but I thought they would be too much of a hassle compared to the other beans. Ironically your recipe showed up in my box about two days later. Live and learn. Thank you so much!


12 Brian Bowler February 2, 2014 at 7:29 AM

I actually use chickpeas in a Greek salad that I make and I cooked them then bake them with spices to make them sooooo tasty and they are just perfect in the beautifully made salad with a homemade salad dressing. I’m going to try your suggestion of the bay leaves and nori to see if that delicifies the chickpeas even more.


13 Emili January 19, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Ok help me out here, I have the ez bean cooker but my chickpeas always come out mushy and broken. I even adjust the time to 60min. When I release the pressure I don’t make it a forceful release because it makes a splattery mess, so it does take a few minutes but not long enough that I would think it would make my chick peas explode… They’re just too creamy and soft to do much with. I can’t roast them, and they don’t really hold up in a pasta dish or stir fry, for example. What gives??


14 Veronica Grace January 23, 2014 at 4:17 AM

Maybe due to your elevation or water levels used in cooking you might need less time. You can experiment by using the manual setting on the EZ bean cooker. If 60 minutes is too long try 55 minutes next time. Mine does not sputter when I release the pressure though and I only use water in it so I’m not sure about that.


15 Carolyn January 19, 2014 at 10:32 AM

I soaked overnight then cooked for 1 1/2 frs on the stove but forgot them overnight . Are they safe to eat? Thanks


16 Veronica Grace January 23, 2014 at 4:17 AM

Yes they should be fine.


17 Cecily M Ochsner August 10, 2013 at 3:38 PM

Hello Verinoca, I love your website. I have tried several of your lowfat vegan recipes. This is the way I cook my chickpeas as well. Your picture of your Tuscan Roasted Tomato and Chickpea Soup looks wonderful! I will have to try that one. Thank you for supporting Low fat vegan recipes, there are too many high fat vegan recipes out there.


18 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica August 11, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Thank you


19 Donna Durnell August 9, 2013 at 7:23 AM

I’m ready to cook chick peas from scratch.


20 Hayley August 6, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Appreciate this post – best instructions/tips/hints I’ve come across yet for cooking dried chickpeas! 🙂 Busted my pressure cooker and needed to know stove-top directions – thanks again!


21 Jennifer April 6, 2013 at 8:59 AM

Growing up, my parents and grandparents always cooked beans from scratch. I continue doing it, too, because there is such a big flavor and texture difference from canned. I have found the easiest way to cook any dried bean is soaking overnight, then using the slow cooker on high for the first 90 minutes, then on low for another 2 to 3 hours (depending on the size). Thanks so much for all your wonderful recipes and hard work 🙂


22 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica April 6, 2013 at 9:50 PM

HI Jennifer, yes you can use the slow cooker. I just find I don’t have time to wait almost 24 hours for beans, so I use a pressure cooker instead and then it only takes 30-60 minutes and then they are done. Enjoy your fresh beans!


23 Teresa de Souza March 27, 2013 at 2:08 PM



24 Yamina March 27, 2013 at 5:47 AM

An original quinoa couscous recipe : One or two tablespoons of olive oil on a slight heat : add 1 medium onion very finely chopped . When lightly coloured, add 1 clove garlic finely chopped, then chunks of one red bell pepper. Slightly cook, then add cumin seeds, coriander powder, Five Flavors of Ducros (anise, fennel, coriander, cinnamon and cumin), my favorite magical powder, add soaked cheakpeas (I agree with you a night is too much) and cook until slightly smooth.
Add chopped carrots, after a while potatoes, preferently yellow not white, then previously cooked quinoa (see LowFatVeganChef blog for the preparation (lol), then butternut squash cubed too for the sweet taste and then for the colour cubes of unpeeled zucchini. Cut the heat before these last veggies are cooked and cover. Be careful the veggies stay firm, not mashed. You may replace quinoa by wholegrain couscous. But it is not optimal, steamed couscous is too tender for this recipe and require less cheakpeas. Quinoa is perfect.


25 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica March 28, 2013 at 9:30 PM

Hi Yamina, thanks for the recipe. I don’t use oil in cooking though. So the onions can be sautéed dry in a non stick pan first, or in some vegetable broth or water if necessary. There’s 120 calories in each tablespoon of calories which is the equivalent to 3 apples or a large banana.


26 Karmyn March 26, 2013 at 9:59 PM

I’ve made chickpeas in a slow cooker and 4 hours on high and 8 hours on low is about right.


27 Sheri March 10, 2013 at 7:34 PM

Hi. Your recipe gave me the courage to make chickpeas from scratch! I have a new pressure cooker and used the non-soak pressure cooker method and the chickpeas turned out perfectly! Thanks again Veronica 🙂


28 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica March 10, 2013 at 7:37 PM

Oh excellent! Fresh chickpeas are so delicious…


29 Ada Gaber September 26, 2012 at 4:10 AM

Chickpeas and Spinach Soup

2 cups dried chickpeas covered with water & 1 tsp. of bicarbonate of soda, for the whole

Just before cooking rinse very well .

1 medium onion chopped
2 cloves garlic sliced
brown in 2 T. olive oil and brown till light brown.
Add chickpeas, cover+++ with water and simmer till chickpeas are soft (not too soft)

Add 2 lbs. chopped and washed spinach, salt, pepper, juice of one lemon, 2 T. powdered vegetable stock and 2 T. olive oil.
Cook till spinach is soft.

Serve each portion with 1 T. of yogurt on top,



30 Ada Gaber September 26, 2012 at 3:47 AM

If I don’t put one tea spoon of bicarbonate of Soda in my soaking chickpeas, it takes over three hours to cook them.
Maybe your chickpeas are pre cooked?


31 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica September 26, 2012 at 8:56 AM

Do you live in high elevation? I used to cook only at sea kevel so it takees much less time. Now i’m higher up in the mountains. It does take longer to cook dried goods the higher up in elevation you are. Baking soda can be used to help keep the skins on too. But no my chickpeas are not precooked. I soak them for 5-8 hours and then usually pressure cook them. It depends how soft you want them too. Softer for soups but a little less cooked for curries or salads.


32 Marilyn February 20, 2013 at 9:30 AM

You also have to remember that bicarb of soda adds Sodium. Each 1/2 teaspoon of Arm and Hammer baking soda contains 616 mg sodium.


33 Casey November 15, 2016 at 12:07 PM

Thanks for pointing that out, Marilyn! Since hypertension is the world’s leading risk factor for premature death it is important to know how salt sneaks into our food.


34 Linda September 25, 2012 at 10:46 PM

Thanks for the info. I’ve never cooked beans from scratch, but now I’m inspired to try it this weekend. I, too, would be interested the answer to a slow cooker as far as timing & is there a change in the water to bean ratio?

I’m going to head on over to the ordering section for the Soup Cooking EBook.


35 Eva September 25, 2012 at 4:33 PM

I’m going to try the bay leaves next time and kombu, I like to soak mine overnight and cook in the slow cooker, I find they are always tender this way, thanks for the hints and recipes:)


36 Karen September 25, 2012 at 8:43 AM

Thanks so much for this info. It’s great. I am wondering if beans can also be cooked in a slow cooker. If so, what would the time frame be? Really LOVE your newsletters! The great work you do is deeply appreciated.


37 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica September 26, 2012 at 9:08 AM

I need my chickpeas sooner for recipes so I haven’t cooked them in a slow cooker. But it looks like it’s 4 hours on high or 8-9 hours on low if you cook them in a slow cooker. This makes sense as i’ve made a black bean and kidney bean chili in the slow cooker before and it’s about 4-5 hours on high.


Leave a Comment

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post:

© 2011-2013 Low Fat Vegan Chef by Veronica Grace. All rights reserved.