How To Cook Chickpeas In A Slow Cooker

Crock Pot Chickpeas

Crock Pot Chickpeas

Chickpeas are arguably the most delicious and versatile of all the legume family. They have enormous health benefits too.

Using a crock pot is simply the easiest way to cook chickpeas (garbanzo beans), but the main reason I cook my chickpeas in a slow cooker is that they come out so beautifully tender. Once you’ve had chickpeas cooked this way you won’t want to go back to canned chickpeas from the supermarket.

Ingredients:
2 cups dried chickpeas
6 cups water
1 teas salt

Instructions:

Cooking Dried Chickpeas

Cooking Dried Chickpeas

Rinse and drain chickpeas in cold water. Pick out any stones and dark brown chickpeas.

Put drained chickpeas into your crock pot. Add water and salt.

Cook on High for 2-3 hours or until soft. Depending on your tastes and what you are going to use them for you can remove when slightly firm or cook until they are very soft.

When done, carefully pour into a colander, being careful to use oven mitts to handle the crock – it will be hot. Drain and rinse well.

Chickpeas will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge. They will keep longer if made into hummus. They also freeze quite well.

Freezing chickpeas:
To freeze chickpeas rinse and drain them thoroughly. Leave to drain well for about 15 minutes. Spread chickpeas onto a baking tray, making sure they don’t touch one another. Put into freezer. When frozen, you can transfer the chickpeas to a freezer bag or plastic container for more permanent storage.

Related products you might be interested in:

  • [ad#Crockpots – Amazon]
  • [ad#Vegetarian Slow Cooker – Amazon]
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DISCLAIMER: The statements enclosed herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products and information mentioned on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information and statements found here are for education purposes only and are not intended to replace the advice of your medical professional.

68 Responses to “How To Cook Chickpeas In A Slow Cooker”

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  1. I love Chickpeas

    Good recipes about Cooking Dried Chickpeas, Crock Pot Chickpeas. keep submitting more..

    Thanks for…

    • andrea says:

      This worked out great, is it my imagination but I find this so much more flavourful, just tasting after done, with no additives. I wanted to cook some up so that I have them on hand in the freezer for soups, but I find that I am eating them by the spoonfuls wont have too many left for the freezer.

      Andrea

      • Donna says:

        Hi Andrea, it’s not your imagination it is more flavorful. I think partly because of the time it takes to cook. The slow cooking really brings out the flavors and makes everything very tender.

  2. Julie says:

    Thanks! Awesome and super clear/easy guide! Would give it a try!!

  3. nadja segatto says:

    Hello,

    I would like to know if you soaked the dried chic peas before adding them to the crock pot or if you added them dry directly.

    Thanks,

    Nadja

    • Donna says:

      hi nadja, that’s a good question because if you cook them on the stove they definitely benefit from soaking. for the crock pot though i just add the dry chickpeas directly without soaking first. you can soak the chickpeas if you want, but i’ve found you don’t really need to because while the crockpot is heating up slowly it seems to have the same effect as soaking them overnight.

  4. Sui says:

    Thkx for the tip. Usually steam my chickpeas, a bit troublesome though. Love chickpeas as snacks and with curry and salads. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year 2011!

  5. G'ma says:

    This is a wonderful site. I’m glad I found you. I cook a lot of dried beans–at least 2 pounds a week, but have never thought to do them in the crock pot. I am trying it for the first time today. I always seem to have something going with my beans. They’re either soaking or cooking or being frozen. Since I’m alone, I always have a couple of cups to go into the freezer. No matter what type of seasoning I use, they always freeze well and add a surprise flavor-wise to any soup or stew. Don’t know how people live without dried beans in their repertoire. LOL. Thanks for all your great information. I will visit this site often. Happy holidays!

  6. Ann says:

    I want to know if I need to add cold or boiled water to my crock pot. I haven’t tested how long it takes the cold water to boiling.

    Thanks,

    Ann

  7. G'ma says:

    You never need to add boiling water to a crockpot. Always start with cool or room temp liquids. And remember that you don’t need large amounts of liquid in a crockpot. If you’re cooking beans you need enough water to cover by 1-2 inches. The crockpot comes up to temp slowly and cooks at low temperatures for longer periods. You can set your crockpot on high, but I’ve always found I got better results cooking low and slow. You don’t say what you are cooking. Some things might do better with a couple of hours on high and than a switch to low for 6 hours or so. Crockpot cooking is a wonderful experience and now that I’ve learned to do my beans it one as well as everything else, I’m a very happy grandma. Good luck.

    • Donna says:

      Hi G’ma, thank you for jumping in and giving such a great and thorough answer to Ann’s question! Crockpot cooking is wonderful isn’t it? It may just take a bit of adjustment for some people to get the hang of “slow cooking”, but it’s so easy and the food is extra delicious. Easy to see why it’s so popular isn’t it? The crock in my crockpot cracked :-( so I need to get a new one, then I’ll start adding lots more crockpot recipes again :-)

  8. Debbie says:

    I tried this recipe last night and I love it! It was so easy to do and they taste so much better than the ones in a can. I’ll never buy the canned version again! I put the chick peas in two containers to cool down in the fridge last night and today I spread them out on two pizza pans and put them in the freezer. When they were frozen I put them into a large freezer bag and now I can just pull out a small container full to enjoy when ever I want. Thanks so much for the recipe!!!!

  9. Isabel in Spain says:

    Hi Donna, this is great for making chickpeas all by themselves but, what about cooking whole recipes this way. I find most recipes using chickpeas add them already cooked but, I want to cook everything together as in many Spanish legume dishes. Can this be done?? Are there any special instructions for cooking all in one pot?? And can I cook the chickpeas at low from the start?

    • Donna says:

      Hi Isabel, thanks for the question. You can use the crock pot to cook a one pot meal, like a soup for instance. I have a recipe here for chickpea & split pea soup. Works great for something that, where all ingredients can cook for that same length of time. You just want to make sure you have enough water to ingredients because most legumes will absorb a lot of water and double in size (at least). I’ve have a few experiences where I got a bit carried away and put too much. If you can soak your legumes overnight, they will swell up to about their final size, so if it’s easy to do (and you remember to) that makes it much easier to guess the amounts of water and space you’ll need. Discard the soak water if you do pre-soak them.

      Curries are well suited to cooking in a crock pot too. My very favorite is actually chickpea and potato curry. Unfortunately the crock in my crock pot cracked before I got a chance to document that recipe. I use dried chickpeas, potatoes and cauliflower as the main bulky ingredients. It’s nice with sweet potato (called kumara here in New Zealand) added as well. Then of course the beautiful spices. I tend to make it really thick (the potatoes will thicken it if they cook until very soft), then towards the end after everything is cooked and soft I add a can of coconut cream and let it go for another few hours on low. It’s beautiful!

      Word of Warning when cooking legumes in a crock pot:
      Kidney beans contain a toxin that is neutralized by boiling them for at least 10 minutes. Since a crock pot never comes to a rolling boil, if you add dried kidney beans to a crock pot/slow cooker they will cook but some of the toxin will still be active and can cause digestive upsets and (I have read) cause death in small children. So it’s best when using kidney beans to pre-boil them in a saucepan on the stove for 20 minutes at a rolling boil. Then drain and add to crockpot to continue cooking.

  10. katem says:

    Referring to soaking the chickpeas…I think this is good, no matter HOW you are
    cooking them. An even better way is to soak them, then sprout them until you have
    a little tail, about 1/4 inch long…then cook them, starting on low, and just keeping them on low. when sprouted, they actually turn into a veggie, and don’t cause gas that beans can sometimes cause.

    • Donna says:

      Hi Katem. I agree. I’ve recently been finding out more about the phytic acid contained in all grains, nuts, seeds and legumes. For that alone it’s worth soaking all those things prior to cooking and eating them. That’s interesting what you say about letting them sprout a bit to turn them into a vegetable rather than a legume. I have sprouted chickpeas and made raw hummus from them. But I never made the connection that spouting before you cook them so they don’t cause gas. Thanks for the great advice!

      • Rae says:

        Hi all. I found this website while looking for crockpot recipes for chickpeas. Thanks for the easy instructions!

        Thought I would add what I recently learned about soaking grains, nuts, seeds and legumes. The legumes/beans and grains benefit from soaking in an acidic solution (water with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar added) up to 72 hours prior to cooking. Use water and sea salt for nuts and seeds and soak for up to 48 hours. This will greatly breakdown the phytic acid and aid in digestion of these super healthy foods.

        I’m also trying my hand at sprouting and currently have both lentils and chickpeas going on. The lentils (which I started 2 days ago) are sprouting cute little tails already and should be ready to eat in a day or so. Can’t wait!

        • Donna says:

          Hi Rae, thanks so much for your comment, that’s really interesting. What’s the ratio of water to lemon juice/acv that you use? What does the addition of the lemon juice/acv/salt do exactly? Is it to inhibit the growth of ‘bad’ bacteria and organisms, or does it do more than that? I love it that there are such simple, virtually free, ways to enhance the digestibility and increase the nutrition of foods. Love learning about stuff like this! Thank you so much for sharing the information.

          Yeah sprouting! It’s fun isn’t it? Lentils sprout so readily. You can usually even use the ones you get in the store for cooking (all except the red ones which have been de-skinned and split), although using lentils specifically for sprouting will probably yield better results. As soon as those lentils start showing their tails you can eat them. Once they get a bit longer and start turning green (that’s the first leaves starting to show) they get a bit tougher. You can still eat them though. One of the great thing about sprouting your own is that you can eat them at the point you like them, at the point they taste best. I notice that the sprouts sold in the stores are often sold when they are past their best eating stage. Not to mention they are not as fresh, and are FAR more expensive.

          • Rae says:

            Hi Donna- Adding the acidic medium to the soaking water helps to neutralize the enzyme inhibitors (from the phytic acid). It makes the beans and grains more digestible and you absorb more nutrition from them during digestion. I just learned about this (after decades of cooking), so I’m still experimenting. I added a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a bowl of chickpeas I was soaking for 2 days and just put them in the crockpot this morning. I also soaked my steel cut oats for about 24 hours with water and the juice from half a lemon. The oats turned out GREAT! I have read some people use whey in the soaking water, but I like to save my whey for cooking the rice or beans as more of a flavoring, so don’t want to use it up for the soaking process (and pour it down the drain).

            Thanks for the info about the sprouting. I didn’t know they got tougher as they grow, so my lentil sprouts are probably ready to eat already. I did use some lentils I had in the cupboard for soup, so hope they taste OK. Store bought sprouts are kind of scary because there have been quite a few salmonella recalls on sprouts. That’s why I decided to try growing my own. I ordered some sprouting seeds (clover & radish) from mountain rose herbs so those will probably turn out better. Can’t wait to get them and keep on sprouting!

    • Millie says:

      How do you sprout chickpeas? I keep seeing this kind of suggestion and don’t know how to do it.

  11. Laura ortega says:

    Hi thAnk you for this recipe I have been wondering how to make beans in the crockpot. I would like to use this for a homemade chickpea stew I guess Is the best way to say it. It contains hamhocks, pork, tomato paste, potatoes would it be possible to put this recipe on low and allow everything to cook slowly would 5 hours be enough? Thank you for your help.

    • Donna says:

      Hi Laura, thanks for your question. I’m not experienced with cooking meat, so I’m not sure about the time it would take. I would guess, 5-8 hours. 5 hours may very well be enough. One thing you can do, if you are going to be around for a while after you put it on, is to start it off on high until it heats up. It should start bubbling away at some point. Then you can turn it down to low and just forget about it for the remaining time. I think if you do that 5 hours would be good. You can even start it off with the water and chickpeas, which are pretty quick to get ready, turn it on high and prepare the rest of the ingredients, adding them as they are ready. That’s usually what I do, so crockpot and liquid are heating up on high while I prep the ingredients. Once you do it once you’ll have a better idea if it cooks in less time. But for soups, curries, and things like that it’s hard to overcook them. It’s a matter of experimenting a bit, different size and shapes of crock pots will affect the cooking time. It sounds like it’s going to be a tasty and nutritious soup!

  12. Cathy F. says:

    I am just starting to experiment with sprouting and am starting with chickpeas….they are soaking right now…..if I cook the sprouted chickpeas in the crock pot can I cook on low (or only on high as mentioned in the above recipe)…and does sprouting the chickpeas before cooking shorten the cooking time or will it be about the same??? I want to make sure to do it right :)…thanks

    • Donna says:

      Hi Cathy. You can cook the chickpeas on low, especially if you soak them first. I’d advise you to start off on high until it gets up to temperature. Once the water gets hot, almost boiling if you can leave it on for 10 minutes or so that would be great but I don’t think it’s essential. They will cook faster if they have been soaked overnight. I don’t know how sprouting will affect the cooking time, I usually use the sprouted ones raw (in raw hummus for instance). I imagine that it would shorten the cooking time if anything because it then becomes a vegetable rather than a legume. But I know for sure that soaking them will shorten the cooking time.

      Soaking is also a good way to deal with chickpeas that stay hard even though you have cooked them long enough. I’m not sure if it happens with old chickpeas or what causes it, but I have run across them, and I can see that many people are searching for information about that, so it must be fairly common. Soaking helps the chickpeas to absorb lots of water and soften a lot before they start cooking.

      Let me know how your experiment turns out!

  13. Megan says:

    I can’t find dry chickpeas at my grocery store. Are they uncommon? It’s a big store with a generally huge selection.

    Also, any tips for cooking plain great northern beans in a crockpot? Would the same recipe work or do they need to soak overnight?

    • Donna says:

      Hi Megan, I’m so sorry for the late reply. I was sure I had replied to your question soon after you asked it. But it doesn’t seem to have saved it here. Chickpeas are very common here in New Zealand, and in the places in the USA that I have lived. But I notice that the dried ones can be hard to find in supermarkets here. If you have a bulk food store near you that might be a good place to look for them.

      The great northern beans would probably work with the same recipe. It never hurts to soak them overnight though. You may have to adjust the cooking time somewhat. I don’t think I’ve ever cooked great northern beans, they are not common here.

      • Megan says:

        Thanks! I ended up finding them in the “international” aisle in our grocery store in the Hispanic section.

        Why do chickpeas keep for only 2 days in the refrigerator? What happens to them? Do they lose texture and start rotting?

        • Donna says:

          Hi Megan. They just get a little slimy. I should really have said they last 2-3 days. I’ll change that. If they get like that, you can give them a really good rinse, get in there with your hands and run through them. You’ll find that many of them have a skin, it’s almost transparent, that will come off. That’s what gets kind of slimy and weird. But it comes off really easily, and if you do that they will be fine and will last a bit longer longer.

          • Megan says:

            My hubby says the ones in the can have a skin, too. :-) Good to know we can get them to last a little longer.

  14. Paul says:

    Would a rice cooker work with this?
    I cook peas and lentils in them.
    I don’t put on high cooking heat,
    just simmer over night.

    • Donna says:

      Hi Paul. I’m not sure, I’ve never used a rice cooker. I would have thought it wouldn’t work, but if you have used it for peas and lentils successfully then it might just work. If you do try it let us know how they turn out.

  15. DarlingDee says:

    I found this to be very useful. I make loads of hummus and decided to use dried chickpeas instead of the canned – less sodium. I soak the peas for two days, refreshing the water after 24 hours, tnen cooking in the crockpot. I set mine onto automatic and went off to work…returning after six hours, the chick peas were soft, but still whole. Thank you for sharing your experience, it has help me a great deal. I’ve also tried this with sugar beans and had a happy result.

  16. Brad says:

    Hello,

    I just came across this page in hopes to be able to cook beans in a few hours! I was wondering if I could use the same technique (or something similar) for other types of beans (black, and pinto). Or do those need to be soaked first?

    Thanks!

    • DarlingDee says:

      if I may reply…I believe that it is always best to soak dry products before cooking them…the enzyme that allows the product to dry is released in the soaking process, making the food better for digestion. Hope this helps.

    • Megan says:

      This is a very late comment but I cook beans in the crock pot all the time without soaking them first. For black and pinto beans, I put 3 cups beans with 9 cups water and an onion and spices (if you want), cook on high for 8-10 hours. I know there’s benefits to soaking. I usually just forget. Good luck to you!

      • Donna says:

        Hi Megan, yes you can definitely cook them without soaking if you forget. There are benefits to soaking and throwing away the soak water, you get rid of some enzymes that make them less digestible and reduce the cooking time. But you can definitely cook them without soaking first.

  17. charrisca says:

    I’m Spanish and we usually eat chickpeas, I was really amazed when I found them in England with a label saying ‘don’t eat the product raw’ Hahaha! It would be the same than for an English reading in a beer can ‘open it before drinking’ We have eaten lentils and beans and chickpeaks for ages, they are part of our traditional recipes. We do stews with them. Years ago, when Spain was a poor country, 40 or 50 years ago we still didn’t have washing machines or even WC in many rural areas, and people eated delicious recipes that has been the same since the middle ages. They used a lot this alternative source of proteins because meat was expensive and poor people only could afford a small portion of ‘tocino’, animal fat, because the fat was cheaper, as the bones. So there are many spanish recipes in witch you boil the ‘legumbres’ (lentils, chickpeas, whatever) with a porcion of tocino, a ham bone and some vegetables. For doing a famous ‘cocido’ you have to boil during 8 hours, my mum still do it in the traditional way most of the times, but nowadays you can use a pressure cooker and ¬°it takes only an hour to do it! only 15mins for lentils! obviously you have to soak them the night before. We also ate lentils cooked only with vegetables, without any meat, for those who doesn’t want to eat meat, you only have to do a ‘sofrito’ (to fry) some cutted onion, red and green pepper, and tomato or any other vegetable you want. Then, in the presure cooker you can also add a potato, some rice, or carrots, that will contribute to thicken the ‘caldo’ (sorry, I don’t know the Englis word for that, in French is ‘bouillon’)

    • Donna says:

      Wow, thank you for that Charrisca! I love hearing about traditional foods. What you’ve described sounds delicious. The great irony is that what many poor people had to eat because of what they could afford was so much healthier than what the rich people ate. The vegetable stews without meat sound delicious to me. I love how you included the Spanish words too! The English word for caldo is the same as the French, bouillon, but we also call it broth.

  18. Linda B says:

    This method was terrific. It was so easy and the beans turned out beautiful. The flavor and texture as definitely better than canned. I don’t think I will ever buy canned again.

    • Donna says:

      Thank you Linda! Yes I think they are so much better than canned too. I have tried many brands of canned chickpeas that were undercooked, hard and tasteless. Using a crockpot makes it so effortless, and cheaper, that it becomes a viable option even for very busy people.

  19. Jessica says:

    I just made these today and was so happy when I found this page showing me exactly how to make them come out perfectly. I’ve never had a lot of luck with dried beans, they either go to mush or are still a bit crunchy. I did leave out the salt just because I limit my sodium intake and will have more than enough when I make my soup. They are perfectly tender and I am so crazy happy!! Now to get my red beans and white beans done up and I can bag then all up together so they’ll be ready for soup.
    Thank you so much!

    • Donna says:

      Thank you Jessica! I’m glad you found it helpful. I know what you mean, beans can be a bit hit and miss. If they are crunchy they are much harder to digest, and I suspect that often people who think they have a hard time digesting beans are usually eating them undercooked. Sometimes if the beans are old, you can cook them for ages and they still don’t seem to be cooked through. Soaking overnight, and then throwing out the soak water really helps with that, and in itself soaking makes the beans more digestible. It shortens the cooking time required too. With this recipe, they still come out nice if you don’t soak them, but if you can they will be more digestible. Black eyed peas cook faster than most beans, and come out tender and almost buttery, if you ever get the chance to try them.

      Just be careful if your ‘red’ beans are kidney beans. It’s important to cook them at a rolling boil for about 15-20 minutes before you put them in the slow cooker. All beans have a toxin in varying amounts (that’s why soaking helps make them more digestible, you neutralize the toxin and throw it out in the soak water). For most beans it’s not crucial, but kidney beans have the highest amount of this toxin and you can get very sick (especially small children) if you don’t boil them for 15 minutes at least.

  20. Steve says:

    I’m curious whether the salt can be omitted? I’m on a low sodium diet and am attempting to make low sodium hummus. Thanks for the tip on preparing the Garbanzos!

    • Donna says:

      Yes Steve, you can omit the salt, it won’t affect the cooking of the chickpeas. If you want a little salt, or something you may use as a substitute you could add it later and it will require less. Thanks for asking!

  21. Mike says:

    So, tell me how do you soak them to grow stems?. I found two bags chickpeas in my hallway today. I bought a crock pot for Christmas. I hope I can get to eating healthy again.

    • Donna says:

      Hi Mike, you don’t actually want them to grow stems. You just soak them in water. Put them in a bowl and cover with water, they can swell up to twice their size so make sure the water level is far enough above the chickpeas to accommodate that. Or you can just keep checking them and add more water as needed.

    • Jeanne says:

      Mike, did you want to grow chickpea sprouts? There are instructions here: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/how-to-sprout-garbanzo-beans-chickpeas

      • Donna says:

        I used eat chickpea sprouts and make raw hummus from them, but I stopped because I don’t think they are very digestible. Beans contain toxins that are neutralized by cooking. Soaking helps, but I don’t think it’s enough. The only legume sprouts I eat now are lentils, and mung beans (adzuki are not too bad either).

  22. Mike says:

    Thank you Jeanne & Donna.

    • Lisa says:

      I cooked as directed and they are still crunchy. HELP I was told by someone not to add salt because they will quit cooking

      • Donna says:

        Did you soak yours? I’ve had that problem of crunchy ones on occasion. I have tried cooking them an incredibly long time and they are still crunchy. It’s frustrating. I’ve heard that can happen when they are old, like they’ve been around for a while, but I’m not sure how true it is. The only thing I’ve found that helps is soaking them for a really long time before cooking. I like to soak mine at least overnight. They will at least double in size, so be sure to put them in a big enough container with plenty of water. Throw out the soak water, and start with fresh water in your slow cooker. But don’t assume it’s you, try again with chickpeas from a different source and see how it goes. Oh yeah, if you soak them they will cook faster too. I have never done an exact comparison of the times it takes for soak/not soaked though.

        I’ve heard that too about the salt. I always add salt, it never makes a difference to how they cook for me they always come out tender and soft (except for the occasional times I get those crunchy-no-matter-what-you-do ones. I add the salt at the end when I can, but there have been times I add it at the beginning because I’ll be gone while they are cooking, it doesn’t seem to make a difference.

  23. Christy says:

    Made these today & YUM! I soaked them overnight & cooked on low for 4 hours (my shortest setting) without salt. They came out perfect!
    Thanks!

  24. Kathy Wardley says:

    Would it be possible to cook Chick Peas and Black Turtle beans together in a slow cooker please?

    • Donna says:

      Hi Kathy, yeah I don’t see why not. I would recommend soaking them beforehand though. You can soak them overnight, then pour off the water and put them in the slow cooker with fresh water. Soaking helps them cook better and faster, plus makes them easier to digest.

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