Here’s everything you need to know about how to cook chickpeas on the stovetop from scratch. You’ll learn how long it takes, whether you should soak them, when to salt beans, and other tips about perfectly cooking dried garbanzo beans. Tips for storing, freezing, and using chickpeas are included.
Cooking beans from scratch is a great way to make plant proteins in bulk to have on hand for recipes. Dried beans are also very affordable and typically cost less than canned beans.
This tutorial focuses on how to cook chickpeas on the stovetop. There are other ways to cook garbanzo beans, including in the slow cooker and Instant Pot, but I am just focusing on the stove method in this post. After reading through my tips, be sure to check out the chickpea recipes at the bottom of the post. There are so many great ways to enjoy them!
- Dried chickpeas: I buy dried beans in the bulk section of my grocery store, but you can also find them online or in bags next to canned beans at the store.
- Water: You need enough water to cover the chickpeas by a couple of inches both when they are soaking and again when they are cooking.
- Salt: I like to use about a teaspoon of kosher salt per 1 cup of dried chickpeas. See the section below about when to add salt to beans for the best results.
- Bay leaves: This is optional, but you can add a couple bay leaves to the pot while the chickpeas cook to boost the flavor. If you are using chickpeas in sweet recipes, such as baked goods or my Chickpea Cookie Dough Balls, you will want to omit the bay leaves since that flavor would not work well in sweets!
To cook dried beans, you need the following equipment:
- A bowl for soaking
- A pot or Dutch oven for cooking
- A spoon and/or strainer for draining the cooked beans and putting them in containers
- Storage containers (if you want to freeze them, use freezer-safe options like Stasher bags)
If you prefer to follow a recipe card, scroll to the bottom of the post.
Place the dried chickpeas in a large bowl. Add enough water to cover them by a couple of inches. For 1 cup of dried chickpeas, that’s usually 4 to 6 cups of water. For 1 pound (about 2 cups), that’s about 10 cups. Soak for at least 6 hours and up to 12 hours. Drain and rinse after soaking. See the below section on soaking for other options and what to do if you don’t soak chickpeas.
Transfer the soaked beans to a large pot. Add enough water to cover them by about 2 to 3 inches, which equates to 4 to 6 cups for 1 cup of dried chickpeas (and about 10 cups for 1 pound). Add the bay leaves. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer (there should still be some bubbles in the water). Cook until tender, stirring occasionally and skimming off any foam that develops at the top of the pot. This will take between 45 and 90 minutes for soaked beans. Add salt as desired (see tips below for when to add it).
If you’re wondering how long it takes to cook chickpeas on the stovetop, it depends on the age of the beans and whether you soaked them or not. Soaked chickpeas take between 45 and 90 minutes to cook, with old beans taking a longer time than new beans. Chickpeas that haven’t been soaked prior to cooking can take up to 1 and ½ to 2 hours to cook on the stove. Beans are finished cooking when they are tender, easy to split in half with a knife or your fingers, and have a creamy texture.
Soaking chickpeas before cooking offers a lot of benefits. Soaked beans tend to cook more evenly and take less time to cook than those that have not been soaked ahead of time. These are the main reasons that I recommend soaking dried beans. Some people also find that soaked beans are easier to digest and cause less gas when consumed.
You can still cook chickpeas that haven’t been soaked on the stove, but they will take longer to cook and may not cook as evenly.
If you forget to soak your chickpeas or just lost track of time and can’t soak them for at least 6 hours, try a quick soak in hot water. To do this, place the chickpeas in a pot with enough water to cover them by a couple of inches. Bring to a boil and cook for a few minutes. Then turn off the heat, cover, and let the beans soak in the hot water for 1 hour before draining and cooking.
Some chefs and cooking experts claim that adding salt to beans at the start of cooking prevents them from getting soft and lead to uneven cooking. In my experience, I prefer to add salt towards the end of cooking time, about 15 to 20 minutes before beans are finished cooking. However, I don’t think it makes a big difference. Tons of people add salt to beans at the start of cooking and don’t have issues! Plus, adding salt early tends to yield more flavorful beans.
I like to use about 1 teaspoon of kosher salt per 1 cup of dried beans. If you are watching your salt intake, you can use less salt or omit it entirely.
Dried to Cooked Amounts
A cup of dried chickpeas will yield about 3 cups of cooked chickpeas. A pound of dried chickpeas (about 2 cups) makes about 6 cups cooked.
You can store chickpeas with or without a little of the cooking liquid. It’s entirely up to you. Some people prefer to drain, rinse, and dry cooked beans before storing, while others like to keep them in ¼ cup or so of liquid. It can be helpful to store beans in 15-ounce portions, which equates to 1 and ¾ to 2 cups, since this is the typical size of a can of beans.
Whether you store them with or without liquid, keep cooked chickpeas in airtight containers or bags with as much air removed as possible. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Frozen beans work best in hot recipes and can be thawed first or added straight from frozen.
Now that you know how to cook chickpeas on the stovetop, let’s talk about how to use them! Here are my favorite chickpea recipes:
I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.
How to Cook Chickpeas on the Stovetop
- Bowl for soaking
- large pot
- Rinse the chickpeas. Inspect and discard any shriveled or broken pieces.
- Place the chickpeas in a large bowl. Add enough water to cover them by about 2 inches, which equates to 4 to 6 cups water for 1 cup dried.
- Let the chickpeas soak for at least 6 hours and up to 12 hours. See notes for a quick soak option.
- Drain the chickpeas.
- Put them in a large pot and add enough water to cover them by about 2 inches (again this is about 4 to 6 cups for 1 cup dried or more if they expanded a lot while soaking, or about 10 cups for 1 pound/2 cups dried). Add the bay leaves (optional).
- Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer (there should still be gentle bubbles forming in the water but not a rolling boil). Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally to promote even cooking, until the beans are tender and creamy on the inside. This usually takes anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes for soaked beans. Mine usually take 55 to 60 minutes. Check for doneness around 35 to 40 minutes, since cooking time varies depending on the age of the beans. Foam will appear on the top of the water during cooking. Skim this off with a spoon from time to time.
- About 15 to 20 minutes before the beans are finished cooking, add the salt. Alternatively, you can add it at the beginning if you want the beans to taste a little more seasoned. However, some claim that adding the salt at the beginning will prevent the beans from getting soft. I prefer to add it 20 minutes before they're done just in case.
- When the beans are tender, you can drain them if you prefer to store them without cooking liquid or you can transfer them to containers with some of the liquid. I like to store them in 15-ounce portions (about 1 and ¾ to 2 cups beans), since this is equal to a can of beans you find at the store. Keep in airtight containers or bags in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Add to your favorite recipes. Enjoy!
- Leave a rating or review by tapping the stars on this recipe card (above) or in the comments section (at the end of the post)!
- If you would like lower sodium beans, add less salt or omit it entirely.
- For a quick soak option, add the beans to a large pot with enough water to cover them by a couple of inches. Bring to a boil, cook for a few minutes, then turn off the heat. Cover the pot and let the beans soak in the warm water for 1 hour.
Have fun in the kitchen! – Lizzie