Chickpeas are one of my pantry staples. I always keep some on hand, so I can make hummus as a quick appetizer. For years, those pantry chickpeas were in cans. Then I learned how easy it is to cook chickpeas in a pressure cooker.
But homemade chickpeas have a deeper flavor, and a creamier mouthfeel. And the bean cooking liquid is delicious - it adds another layer of flavor to any recipe you use it in. Try some homemade chickpeas; you will be surprised at how much better they taste. (I'm not against canned chickpeas. They work, if you're in a hurry. But if you have an hour, homemade chickpeas are so much better)
No soaking, no fancy stuff, just a simple pot of garbanzo beans, cooked from dried in about an hour. And they make fantastic hummus!
- Dried Chickpeas
- Bay Leaf
See recipe card for quantities.
Chickpeas are also called Garbanzos in Spanish, or Ceci in Italian.
You can replace the onion with a couple of unpeeled cloves of garlic, or skip it altogether.
You can also skip the bay leaf if you don't have any. Beans, water, and a little salt are enough - but the onion and bay add a subtle extra flavor to the beans.
A 6-quart pressure cooker. (Or larger - this recipe was originally cooked in my 10-quart stovetop pressure cooker, but I switched to full time Instant Pot use years ago.)
Pressure cooker dried beans are one of the reasons I became a pressure cooker convert. Try them - you’ll never go back to canned beans. (OK, maybe you will, for convenience - but see the Storage section for tips on make ahead freezer beans.)
This recipe scales down easily - cut everything in half if you don’t need as many beans, or have a 3-quart pressure cooker. Scaling up runs into space issues; if you have an 8-quart pressure cooker, or larger, you can double this recipe, but it’s too much to fit in a 6-quart pressure cooker.
🤨 Soaking chickpeas?
I get the “to soak, or not to soak?” question all the the time. I don’t soak my chickpeas in this basic recipe. They don’t need an overnight soak, and cook to tenderness with 45 minutes at high pressure.
That doesn’t mean you can’t soak the beans. They turn out fine, though the bean broth isn’t quite as full bodied. Soaked beans cook much quicker, 20 minutes at high pressure. I use that when I’m cooking the beans with other ingredients, where the shorter cooking time keeps me from overcooking the whole dish just to get the beans tender.
Beans are an agricultural product, and stuff tends to creep in when they are processed. Beans should always be sorted and rinsed before using, to get rid of any twigs, stones, clumps of dirt, or broken beans.
To sort the beans, I pour them out on one side of a rimmed baking sheet (a half-sheet pan), to keep the beans from escaping. Then I slowly run my fingers through the pile of beans, pulling them towards me on the sheet. I watch the beans as they move, looking for anything that doesn't seem right. If I see something, I poke around in the beans until I find what caught my eye, and discard it. I repeat this a couple of times, until I'm satisfied everything is out of the beans.
Then I dump the beans into a fine mesh strainer and rinse them under cold running water, to wash off any dirt or dust still on the beans.
Now the beans are sorted, rinsed, and ready for soaking or cooking.
💡Tips and Tricks
- Salt your bean water! “Salt toughens beans” is a myth. Salting before cooking helps season the beans all the way through as they cook.
- If your beans are still tough when the cooking time is over, especially any “floaters” at the top of the pot, give the beans a stir, lock the lid, and pressure cook for another five minutes. Older beans take longer to cook, and if the beans have been sitting in the shelf at your store for a while, they may need extra time.
- Simmer to thicken: If you have the time, and want thicker bean liquid, simmer the beans for 20 minutes after pressure cooking. I set my Instant Pot to Sauté mode adjusted to low, set the timer to 20 minutes, and leave the lid off to let the broth evaporate.
Adapted From: Lorna Sass, Great Vegetarian Cooking Under PressurePrint
Pressure Cooker Chickpeas recipe - a basic technique for pressure cooker chickpeas. Use them right away, or save for later in the freezer.
- 1 pound dried chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans)
- 6 cups water
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 small onion
- 1 bay leaf
- Sort and rinse: Sort the chickpeas, removing any stones or dirt clods you find. Rinse the chickpeas, then put them in an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker
- Pressure Cook for 45 minutes with a Natural Release: Add the water, onion, and bay leaf to the pot. Lock the lid and pressure cook at high pressure for 45 minutes in an electric PC, or for 40 minutes in a stovetop PC. (Use Manual or Pressure Cook mode in an Instant Pot). Let the pressure come down naturally for 15 minutes, then quick release the rest of the pressure.
- Serve: Remove the pressure cooker lid – open it away from you to protect yourself from the hot steam. Discard the onion and bay leaves. Serve the beans with their broth, drain them for use in other recipes, or freeze them in their broth in 2-cup containers for up to 6 months.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: Basic Technique
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: American
A 2-cup container of cooked chickpeas, with cooking liquid, replaces a 15-ounce can of beans from the grocery store. They’ll last in the refrigerator for a few days, and freeze for up to 6 months. I always make extra beans, and freeze the leftovers for use in other recipes. Freezer beans are ready to use with about 5 minutes in the microwave, and are so much better than canned.
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