This Instant Pot Chickpeas recipe can be prepared with either soaked or dried chickpeas. A perfect recipe whether you have planned ahead or need to get something on the table fast. The soaked or unsoaked chickpeas go into the pressure cooker with water and seasonings to cook to perfect tenderness.
There are a multitude of uses for chickpeas. Of course, you could simply serve the seasoned chickpeas as a side dish with a main meal, but they are also excellent to add to salads, soups, or stews. Simply make a large batch of these pressure cooker chickpeas and you can store them in the fridge or freezer to enjoy for the weeks or months ahead.
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How to Cook Chickpeas in a Pressure Cooker
The process of cooking chickpeas in a pressure cooker, such as an Instant Pot, is tremendously simple, even for a novice cook. The chickpeas cook under high pressure in a flavourful mixture of onion, oregano, cumin, and garlic until fork tender, and in a matter of minutes.
While you may want to peel the onion due to dirt, the garlic cloves can be left whole with their skins. This makes prepping these Instant Pot chickpeas even easier to cook if you decide to make them last minute.
How Long Does it Take to Cook Chickpeas in an Instant Pot?
Soaked - Most people like to soak their chickpeas or beans prior to cooking as it shortens the cooking time. When cooking chickpeas in an Instant Pot, the cooking time reduces even more to below 1 hour. In the case of these Instant Pot chickpeas, expect the cooking time for your chickpeas to be 13 minutes at high pressure. If you live in a higher altitude, however, the chickpeas will take 18 minutes to cook in an Instant Pot.
Unsoaked - A pressure cooker will sufficiently cook dried chickpeas. So these Instant Pot chickpeas are great for when you decide on a whim that you would like to have chickpeas to add to your favourite recipes. The cooking time will be a little longer with a total time of 40 minutes. Or 45 minutes at a higher altitude.
Since chickpeas, like other carb-rich foods, can have more one-note flavours, it is essential to season them. Dried oregano provides an herbal note to freshen up the taste of earthy dried chickpeas, whereas onion and garlic add some savouriness.
There is a reasonable assumption that adding ground cumin to chickpeas and beans makes them easier to digest, which is why it is an optional ingredient here. If you don't love cumin, however, spices like turmeric, fennel, and ginger could be potential options to ease digestion while eating chickpeas.
If you aren't entirely sure what you will be using your chickpeas for, feel free to leave the seasonings out. For savoury chickpea dishes, these Instant Pot chickpeas would be perfect to cook with the onion, garlic, and bay leaves. If you intend to use them in your favourite dessert recipes like chocolate chip energy balls or cookies, however, leave the seasonings out.
Benefits of Soaking Chickpeas Before Pressure Cooking
While you can cook chickpeas in an Instant Pot without soaking them, soaking provides the benefit of making them cook faster. It also makes the chickpeas easier to digest. Oligosaccharides are the sugar coating on chickpeas and beans.
These can pose a challenge to digestion causing gas and discomfort. Soaking the chickpeas softens this coating so that the human body can start breaking it down earlier in the digestion process.
Since soaking chickpeas provides such significant benefits to digestion, I highly recommend soaking them for at least 12 hours before cooking them in your Instant Pot. For maximum benefits, however, you can soak them for up to 48 hours while storing them in the fridge. In that case be sure to change the water every 12 hours and rinse the chickpeas before cooking in a pressure cooker.
Can I Cook Chickpeas without Soaking?
While soaking chickpeas is my preferred first step before making this Instant Pot chickpeas recipe, you can absolutely cook chickpeas in an Instant Pot without soaking. The steps are almost the same, but soaking will be eliminated.
The chickpeas will also take significantly longer to cook, although the cook time will still be under 1 hour at 40 to 45 minutes. This means that even if you didn't plan ahead, you can still cook dried chickpeas on the same day or evening you think of using them.
How to Store Cooked Chickpeas
Storing chickpeas is a relatively simple process, but will be a little different depending on when you intend to use them. If you plan to use them in the upcoming week, store them refrigerated in their cooking liquid. Since I wouldn't keep these longer than 1 week, however, I recommend you freeze them for longer storage.
The cooked Instant Pot chickpeas will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months. They should be safe longer, but their texture may start to deteriorate and be less appealing. To freeze, I like to divide them between freezer-safe container or silicone storage bags and place them in the freezer.
To ensure they don't take up too much room in your freezer, be sure to remove as much air as possible, so that they will lie flat. You also don't want the chickpeas to become squashed, if you have to stack them with other things. So it is ideal to lay the chickpea bags in a single layer to freeze initially, and then once they are solid, you can stack them.
You can store chickpeas in the freezer with or without the cooking liquid, although I usually like to freeze them with liquid. This way they will be ready to add to any stew or brothy dishes at a moment's notice. If you know that you will be using them for salads that require drier chickpeas, however, feel free to drain them before placing them in the freezer. The broth is delicious, though, so don't discard. You can add the cooking liquid to soups or even cook your rice in it for added flavour.
How to Use Instant Pot Chickpeas to Replace Canned Chickpeas in a Recipe
Cans of chickpeas can be a great timesaver when trying to get a meal on the table fast. However, they can be high in sodium and expensive. A pound-sized bag of chickpeas, in contrast, is much cheaper than cans and results in a higher volume.
A standard 15-ounce can of organic chickpeas costs about $1.80-3.00 and contains approximately 1.5 cups of drained chickpeas. While a 1 pound-sized bag of organic chickpeas costs $3 to $5 and results in 6.5 cups of cooked chickpeas. That equals more than 4 cans and would put the product cost per can at $0.75 t0 $1.25.
The convenience of canned chickpeas is that they are ready to use on a whim, but you can prepare yourself similarly with these Instant Pot chickpeas. I like to divide 1.5 cup portions of the cooked chickpeas into freezer-safe containers or as silicone bags. This way I have can-sized portions ready to add to all my favourite chickpea recipes.
Pressure Cooker I Use
Delicious Recipes Using Chickpeas:
Instant Pot Chickpeas
- 1 pound dried chickpeas picked over and rinsed
- ½ onion
- 3-5 garlic cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- ¾ tablespoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin optional
- Sort the dried chickpeas and remove any misshapen garbanzos or pieces of debris that may have mixed in. Then give the garbanzo beans a very good rinse.
Optional Soaking (highly recommended)
- Place the chickpeas into a bowl. Then add with enough water to cover them by several inches. Let the chickpeas soak for at least for 12 hours (overnight). You can soak them for up to 48 hours (refrigerated). In that case change the water every 12 hours and give the chickpeas a good rinse. After soaking discard the soaking water and rinse the garbanzo beans one last time.
- Add the chickpeas to the inner pot of your pressure cooker and fill it with enough water to cover the chickpeas by 2 inches.
- Add ½ onion, unpeeled garlic cloves, bay leaves, sea salt, oregano, and cumin (optional) to the Instant Pot.
- Close the lid and turn the pressure valve to sealing. Cook soaked chickpeas on Manual high pressure for 13 minutes (18 mins for high altitude). Cook unsoaked chickpeas for 40 minutes (45 mins at high altitude).
- The pressure cooker will take about 15-17 minutes to come to pressure before the timer starts to count down. Afterwards, let the pressure release naturally (NPR) until the pin drops by itself, or quick release (QR) any remaining pressure after 20 minutes.
- Open the lid and discard the onion, garlic cloves, and bay leaves. Serve the chickpeas as a warm side dish right away or use in salads and other recipes.
- You can store the chickpeas including liquid for up to 1 week in the fridge. If storing longer, divide into smaller portions of about 1.5 cups and freeze for several months.
Soaked chickpeas typically take around 13 minutes at high pressure in an Instant Pot. At higher altitudes, it might take up to 18 minutes.
For 2 cups of chickpeas, you'll need about 6 cups of water to cook them in an Instant Pot, ensuring they are adequately covered for even cooking.
Soaked chickpeas require approximately 40 to 45 minutes to cook in an Instant Pot, or 45 minutes at a higher altitude, without any prior soaking.
Yes, garbanzo beans and chickpeas are the same legume. They are known by different names in various regions, but they refer to the same type of bean.