Pressure cooking dried chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans, in the Instant Pot is a quick and easy way to prepare this healthy legume. You'll be amazed at how much better fresh beans taste over canned!
Chickpeas, also known as Garbonzo beans, are members of the bean family and packed with nutrition. They are often found in Indian and Middle Eastern recipes, such as curry, falafel and hummus. In the United States, they are often roasted until crunchy, making them a popular, healthy snack. They are also used in many soup and salad recipes and are used to make vegetarian burgers. It's also becoming popular for pasta to be made out of chickpea flour, instead of wheat flour. Check out our "Complete Guide to Cooking with Chickpeas" to learn more about chickpeas, their health benefits, and how to use them.
Here in the United States, chickpeas can be bought at the grocery store in two different forms: canned or dried. Canned chickpeas are already soft and ready to use, but dried chickpeas need to be cooked before being added to a recipe. I have found that the quickest and easiest way to do this is in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker.
Full disclosure, chickpeas are one of those foods I eat because they're healthy, not because they taste great. Sure, if you put enough seasonings on them they can taste good, but by themselves...they nasty! My entire life, however, I had only ever had canned chickpeas. Once I tried Instant Pot chickpeas, my mind (or rather stomach) was changed. Turns out freshly cooked chickpeas are 100% better tasting than canned ones. Do yourself a favor and try it out!
Optional Soaking: At least 6-8 hours before cooking, place the chickpeas in a bowl and cover with water. Soak for a maximum of 12 hours. When ready to use, drain water.
Using a colander, rinse dried chickpeas with clean water and add to the bowl of the pressure cooker. Cover chickpeas with an inch of water. Add salt (if using), and stir. Place the lid on the Instant Pot.
Cook on high pressure for 20 mins (soaked) or 40 minutes (unsoaked). Let natural pressure release for 15 minutes. Then vent any remaining pressure.
Do a taste test to check your chickpeas for desired consistency. If you prefer softer, pressure cook for 5 more minutes and then do a quick pressure release.
- It's a good idea to rinse the chickpeas before placing them into the Instant Pot. This removes any dust or debris that may have settled on the beans in storage.
- Typically water is used to cook the beans, but broth could be substituted if you want to add a specific flavor. You could also add any type of seasonings in with the beans to create more flavor.
- Sometimes people recommend adding in baking soda when cooking dry beans, with the hopes that they cook faster. We've tried this idea out and I would not recommend doing it. Yes, they cooked faster, but their flavor and texture was awful. You can read more about that experiement here.
- The length of time it takes to soften the chickpeas to desired texture depends on personal preference. The times I have given are for chickpeas that are soft, but have a little bit of chew still to them. If you are planning on mashing your chickpeas, you'll probably want to cook them at least an additional 5 minutes to make them even softer. If you like your chickpeas chewy, you'll want to cook them for less time. Experiment a bit until you find the perfect time for you.
Cook time also depends on if you have pre-soaked your beans or not. See section below for more info.
🤷To Soak or Not to Soak
One of the most common questions when it comes to cooking dried beans is whether or not beans need to be soaked before cooking. And honestly, the answer is complicated. From a taste and texture standpoint, I have found when cooking dried beans in the Instant Pot, soaking dry beans is not necessary. The final results are basically the same. (This is different than when cooking on the stove. Soaked dry beans turn out a lot better on the stove).
The real benefit of pre-soaking beans comes down to cook time. Soaked beans cook significantly faster than unsoaked beans. There are different methods on how to soak. For example, some suggest soaking overnight in cold water, while others suggest a quick 1-hour soak in hot water. Once again, I have found that in the Instant Pot, either option results in a similar cook time.
Honestly, the best soaking (or no-soaking) method is the one that works for your schedule. Perhaps it's easier for you to soak your beans all day while you are at work and then come and only have to cook them for a short amount of time. Maybe you have lots of time in the evening and always forget to do things in the morning (me!). You can easily toss the beans in the Instant Pot unsoaked. They will just take longer to cook. But trust me, either method will result in tasty chickpeas.
I have a whole series of posts answering all your dried bean questions. You can find out all about soaking, salting, and various cooking methods. Check out "The Ultimate Guide to Cooking Dry Beans" to learn way too much info about preparing the perfect dried beans.
Cooked chickpeas should be stored in an air tight container and will last in the fridge for 4-5 days.
Cooked chickpeas can also be easily frozen. It's a great idea to make a large batch and freeze portions so you can always have them ready to go.
Make sure your cooked chickpeas are completely cool before transferring to a freezer-friendly container. (Making sure they are completely cool will help prevent freezer burn). Store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
👪 Serving size
1 cup of dried chickpeas makes about 3 cups of cooked chickpeas.
There are about 1.5 cups of beans in a can of chickpeas.
Garbanzo beans are a great source of plant-based protein! In a 1 cup serving, you're getting 11 grams of protein. They are also high in fiber and nutrients. Chickpeas are naturally gluten-free.
They are high in healthy carbs, so they should not be part of a low-carb or keto diet.
There are 269 calories in 1 cup of cooked chickpeas.
For a full rundown of chickpeas' nutritional values, check out the USDA's website.
Here are some of my favorite recipes from around the web:
Need a Pressure Cooker? There are a lot of great options out there, but the Instant Pot Ultra is my favorite. I love being able to make yogurt in it!
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Easy Instant Pot Chickpeas
- 1 cup dried chickpeas
- 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
- Optional Soaking: At least 6-8 hours before cooking, place the chickpeas in a bowl and cover with water. Soak for a maximum of 12 hours. When ready to use, drain water.
- Using a colander, rinse dried chickpeas with clean water and add to the bowl of the pressure cooker. Cover chickpeas with an inch of water. Add salt (if using*), and stir. Place the lid on the Instant Pot.
- Cook on high pressure for 20 mins (soaked) or 40 minutes (unsoaked). Let natural pressure release for 15 minutes. Then vent any remaining pressure.
- Do a taste test to check your chickpeas for desired consistency. If you prefer softer, cook for 5 more minutes and then do quick pressure release.
- Drain chickpeas and use or store immediatley. Chickpeas will last in the fridge for 4-5 days, or can be frozen for months.