Chickpeas are a versatile little legume that absorb the flavour of whatever they're cooked in and are packed full of protein. It's for these reasons – plus the fact that they're super affordable – that chickpeas are particularly good in vegetarian dishes, though they can be enjoyed alongside meat too.
Below you'll discover how to cook chickpeas, whether you're working with the dried version or the much more popular tinned variety. There are plenty of options available to you, so don't be afraid to start experimenting with the way that you work with chickpeas.
For more recipe ideas and cooking hacks, head over to our food hub.
How to cook tinned chickpeas
Tinned chickpeas are generally ready to eat, so you could forgo the cooking entirely if you're enjoying them in a salad, or if you're planning on making hummus.
Alternatively, if you're planning on adding chickpeas to a curry, stew, soup, or another warm dish, you can cook them simply by adding them to your mixture as little as 10 to 15 minutes before you plan on serving. Generally, chickpeas can't be overcooked, so you don't need to be too precious about timings.
We also love roasting chickpeas in the oven with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika as a healthy snack or as an addition to a salad. You can also pan fry them with seasoning in about 5 minutes.
How to cook dried chickpeas
The process of cooking dried chickpeas is slightly more arduous than working with tinned chickpeas, but it's still not too difficult. You'll need to begin by soaking your chickpeas in water or stock overnight or for around 8 to 12 hours – they should triple in size, so take this into consideration when measuring out the amount of chickpeas you want to use.
From there, you can cook your chickpeas in boiling water, or add to a dish and allow them to infuse with the flavours for up to one hour.
Looking for chickpea recipes that are tasty, healthy and packed full of plant based protein? You'll find some of our favourites below...
- Sweet potato curry with chickpeas and red cabbage
- Sweet potato, chickpea and tomato curry
- Moroccan lentil stew with chickpeas
- Tabbouleh recipe with homemade hummus