Chickpea 101: How To Soak, Sprout, Cook, and Freeze Chickpeas

Chickpeas (or Garbanzo beans) are one of our protein staples. As some of you may know we are flexitarians, meaning we mainly eat plant-based foods, but fish or organic lean meats are on the menu too. While my hubby still eats fish or chicken twice or thrice a week (which is a major accomplishment for the carnivore he was), I recently reduced that amount to occasionally. And I feel great!

But that aside, let’s talk “how to cook chickpeas” now.

Many of us buy canned chickpeas because of the long soaking and cooking times. I have been in the same zone the past year because we simply couldn’t buy dried chickpeas here in Cambodia. They have all sorts of lentils and other beans but no chickpeas.

Luckily, Cambodians are amazingly friendly and always smiling and happy to help you out. So one lovely lady from one of the little shops in town was so kind to stock them up for us!!!


Here are my soaking, cooking, and storing tips to help you get one canned item out of your home


Before I reveal my secrets, I quickly want to share with you why you should consider dumping the canned chickpeas.  Many canned variations contain added salt, preservatives, and other additives linked to many health issues.

And the biggest bonus nothing beats the taste of home-cooked chickpeas!

So if you can find the time to use dried chickpeas… here’s how to do it! Your time and effort are well worth it!


Quick soaking method (2h30 min)

Add chickpeas to a large pot. Place them on the bottom of the pot and cover with water. Make sure there is enough water. The chickpeas will double to triple their size. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the beans soak in hot water for 1 hour. Drain and rinse chickpeas before cooking. Cook chickpeas in a large pot for 60 to 90 minutes, depending on your preferred tenderness. Hummus requires soft chickpeas, for stews and freezing they are best a bit firmer.

FYI: I use about 1 quart of water per 1 cup of soaked beans.


Overnight soaking method (at least 8 hours)

If you have time, soak chickpeas overnight. Make sure to add enough water, they may triple in size, and cover with a clean kitchen towel or lid. Drain and rinse the chickpeas before cooking them for 45-60 minutes, or to desired tenderness.

FYI: I use about 1 quart of water per 1 cup of soaked beans.


Pressure cooker

Pre-soak chickpeas for 12 hours. Drain, rinse and cook them for 20 to 25 minutes in a pressure cooker.


Sprouting chickpeas (a few days)

Sprouted beans are easier to digest and improve their nutritional value. It takes a few days but they are a great addition to your diet. CLICK HERE for more info.


Make a larger batch and freeze

We always soak and cook a bigger batch.  You can easily store them in the fridge for 3 to 4 days or freeze them for later use. This makes life so much easier. Cook a whole batch, allow them to cool first, then remove as much moisture as possible with a paper towel. Place them in a Ziploc bag. Best is to spread them out in a single layer to avoid big chickpea clumps. You can fit 1 portion into one bag, layer one flat on top of the other.

Or spread chickpeas on a baking sheet with parchment paper and freeze for 30 minutes. Take them out and add to a Ziploc bag or airtight container. No need to put them in a single layer. They will be firm enough. Label bag before you put them in the freezer. Cooked chickpeas can be stored in the freezer for up to 1 year. Every time a recipe calls for a can of chickpeas take out a freezer bag and allow to thaw.

And that’s how simple soaking, cooking and storing chickpeas can be! Make one big batch during the weekend and you’ll be good to go for the coming week(s).

For more time and money saving tips and tricks, also read: Batch Cooking 101: Tips & Tricks to Save Time and Money


Thanks for reading. I hope this information was helpful. Until next time!



Amy Goodrich

Amy Goodrich


Crazy cat lady, life and food lover, certified biologist, and holistic health coach.

Exit mobile version