This recipe for Instant Pot Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans), shows you how easy it is to cook dried chickpeas in an Instant Pot, or any pressure cooker. It's a low-sodium and cheaper alternative to canned chickpeas for sure!
Did you know that Chickpeas, also called Garbanzo Beans, are one of the earliest cultivated legumes? They were first cultivated around the Mediterranean region, approximately 7500 years ago. Some popular names for it include Garbanzo Beans (Spanish), Kabuli Chana (Indian) or Ceci (Italian). With the perfect blend of creamy and nutty, chickpeas are a very popular ingredient in many cuisines around the world. Their unique and versatile texture and flavor lends to some of the most delicious curries & stews, salads, spreads, and who can forget the world-famous chickpea-fritter, falafel.
Nutrition Packed Chickpeas Snack
Chickpeas are low in fat, a great source of plant-based protein and dietary fiber. A single serving of 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas contains: 120 calories, 2 grams of fat, 6 grams of lean protein and 6 grams of dietary fiber.
I use chickpeas in many recipes. I make Chana Masala with it, use them in salads, make humus with it and also roast them in the oven for snacking . On weekend, I like to cook a big batch, refrigerate it and use it in different recipes through the week. That comes in real handy for weeknight meals.
Cooking With Acidic Foods Increases Cook Time
Did you know that if you cook Chickpeas or any beans with acidic foods, such as tomato, vinegar or lemon juice, it more than doubles the cook time? Interesting right! The reason is that acid makes the outer coat of the bean tougher and it takes much longer for it to cook through. So, if you were to cook a soup, curry or stew using tomatoes and dry chickpeas, it would take you 35-40 minutes to pressure cook vs. the 15 minute cook time of plain chickpeas.
Instant Pot Chickpeas vs. Canned
Let's be honest, canned chickpeas are great! They are quick, easy and these days you can choose to buy organic, BPA free, which is great. I always have a can or two of my favorite brand of canned chickpeas in my pantry. But, when I have the time, I do like to cook dried chickpeas, where I get to control the sodium, and they are cheaper than canned for sure.
I grew up in India, where dried chickpeas were the only kind available. So, I saw my grandmother and mom soak them overnight to re-hydrate them, then pressure cook them with water and salt. Cooking dried chickpeas in an Instant Pot, or any pressure cooker is way easier. Pressure cooking reduces cook time considerably, you don't have to watch the stove, and, it preserves the nutrients in the food.
Two ways of cooking dried chickpeas in an Instant Pot: Pre-Soaked or Direct
Pre-soaked: Soak dried chickpeas in water overnight, or, for about 8-10 hours. Rinse them and add them to the pot, with fresh water and a little bit of salt. Set the cook time to 15 minutes and let the pot release pressure on its own after cooking. . The total cooking time, excluding the soak time, is about 40 minutes (10 mins to build pressure + 15 mins cook time + 10-15 mins NPR time)
Direct: You rinse the chickpeas and add them to the pot, with water and salt. Set the cook time to 40 minutes followed by a natural pressure release. So, about 10 minutes to build pressure, 40 minutes to cook and about 10-15 minutes of NPR time. The total time to cook using this method is about 1 hour.
I prefer the pre-soak method. I always soak the chickpeas overnight so I'm not waiting on them. Because of that, I end up saving about 20 minutes of cooking time. Also, it's more of a muscle memory thing for me, since I've been cooking them this way for so long, I prefer it. Choose whatever method works for you better!
Step-by-Step Instructions for Instant Pot Chickpeas
Recipes I use Cooked Chickpeas in
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Instant Pot Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)
- If using the 'Pre-soaking' method, soak dry chickpeas in water overnight, or 8-10 hours. If using the 'Direct' method, skip soaking and simply rinse the chickpeas.
- Rinse well and add to the Instant Pot. Add fresh water and salt. Close the lid. Pressure Cook on Manual/PC or Bean/Chili mode. Set the cook time to 15 minutes for pre-soaked chickpeas, OR, 40 minutes for unsoaked. If using Instant Pot DUO, turn valve to sealing position. For Instant Pot ULTRA, Press Start.
- Let the pressure release naturally for 10-15 minutes (NPR). Release any remaining pressure and open the lid. Strain the chickpeas. You can use the stock as vegetable stock, in soups, curries and stews.
- Store chickpeas in the refrigerator for up to a week
Notes & Recipe Tips
- 1 cup uncooked chickpeas yield around 3 cups cooked chickpeas.
- There can be a 3-5 minute time variation in cooking time in some varieties of dried Chickpeas. If chickpeas look undone after 15 mins, close lid and pressure cook for another 5 mins.
- You can enhance the flavor of chickpeas by adding butter or olive oil, and some crushed ginger and/or garlic to this recipe.
- If you are new to the Instant Pot, please read my FAQ on Instant Pot Terminology and Accessories to learn more.
- Check out my preferred KITCHEN GADGETS and PANTRY STAPLES on the Spice Cravings Amazon Store