When I was down in Georgia, my daughter and I were in the kitchen when she took a few minutes to sort out her pantry. With all the wedding preparations, visitors doing the shopping and cooking, adding and using things, she was just about fit to be tied. One thing she had in abundance was chickpeas. And when she asked me about using the Instant Pot for them, I knew I had to get this post on Instant Pot Chickpeas out.
This post has been sitting in my “drafts” since January of 2018, and it’s now June of 2019. I guess I’m always giving more “love” to what I think are more “fab” recipes, and these poor old Instant Pot Chickpeas fell by the wayside. This recipe, though, is gonna show you just how fabulous chickpeas can be. Not only are they easy and fast to make in the Instant Pot, but I also have a few tricks up my sleeve to add tons of flavor. If you ever thought chickpeas are dull, this recipe is a game-changer! If you don’t have an Instant Pot, see A Chickpea by Any Other Name – Garbanzos.
About Instant Pot Chickpeas:
I do go on streaks with chickpeas. I know they’re nutritional powerhouses and when I’m feeling like I need to up my nutritional game, I’ll cook up a batch or two, freeze some and eat them in various forms for weeks. Then I might forget about them for a while, which is a shame, because chickpeas, according to the World’s Healthiest Foods, have all kinds of health benefits. Among them: Chickpeas are full of protein, help increase satiety (make you feel full faster), improve colon and cardiovascular health and a half cup of chickpeas a day will help lower and stabilize blood sugar.
And these aren’t your everyday old chickpeas – a few years back, I learned from Fine Cooking to “braise” my chickpeas with aromatics, onion, and herbs and they taste amazing. (See A Chickpea by Any Other Name – Garbanzos.) This method makes just about everything else you make with those chickpeas amazing, too. The flavor isn’t enough to skew the flavors of other recipes you might want to make with them (and I have several on my site, and a new one coming up for Chickpeas & Kale in Spicy Pomodoro Sauce that I lifted from Food & Wine) but it IS enough flavor to keep things interesting!
You don’t need to make a recipe, though, to enjoy these Instant Pot Chickpeas. You might find yourself snitching them from the fridge, cold, they’re that tasty. Warm a bowl of them for lunch, toss them in salads, smash a few to spread over your morning toast or add into quesadillas. Use them in place of noodles or rice as a bed for anything saucy.
Drop them into soup, toss them into “bowls.” Of course, you can always roast them, too, for snacks, like my Crispy Oven Roasted Chickpeas. They’ll keep forever in an airtight container so if you’ve made too many chickpeas (really, is there such a thing?) it’s a great way to keep them from being wasted. And you can always freeze them in a Ziploc with a little of the cooking liquid.
Chickpeas are not just for hummus anymore! I do though have a pretty comprehensive post on Make Your Own Hummus with lost of hints and helps and a fabulous Roasted Red Pepper Hummus on my site. There are other recipes made with Chickpeas, too. Just use the search in the upper right or follow the tag for chickpeas at the bottom of the page.
Making Instant Pot Chickpeas:
First of all, when buying chickpeas, shop at a market with a high turnover if possible, for the freshest beans. They’re going to cook up much faster; old beans can take forever to become tender. If you suspect your beans are older, try adding in 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda when you cook them. Rinse and sort through the chickpeas for any debris or small rocks before cooking.
I’ve done a lot of experimenting with chickpeas and found that, even though people say when cooking Instant Pot Chickpeas that you don’t have to soak them or say that you can do a quick soak, either in the Instant Pot or by bringing to a boil and letting them sit for an hour, both methods will give you inferior chickpeas. They will take longer to become tender and it is very likely you’ll have a mix of tender and either too well-done chickpeas or tender and crunchy chickpeas.
The ones that are too well done will be falling apart, ok for hummus but not necessarily the best for other recipes and the ones that still have some crunchy chickpeas will need to be cooked longer, which means the pot has to come back up to pressure, you have to guess at how much time to set them for, then the pressure needs to be released again, which will take time, and when they are all done, some will be too well done and falling apart.
Soaking beans overnight can cause them to split, but I’ve found if you brine them in a mixture of salt and water, that isn’t an issue and it makes them particularly tasty. You can see my post on Brining Beans for more info, but the instructions are below in this recipe. You’re just gonna have to trust me on the large amount of salt or see the video from Cook’s Illustrated, below. You can see the difference for yourself. I have side by side photos of chickpeas (from the same store, the same date on the package) that were quick soaked and brined above.
You’ll want to cook the chickpeas on high, but let the chickpeas go to a natural release for 20 minutes before releasing any remaining pressure. It gives the chickpeas a bit of gentle cooking time for maximum tenderness and plumpness. They’re aesthetically more pleasing, but the long release helps to keep the chickpeas intact and will lessen the possibility that foam or bits of broken chickpea will cause your release valve to sputter or clog. I’ve forgotten my chickpeas in the Instant Pot for 50 minutes to an hour or so after they were done and sitting there in the warm pot doesn’t seem to have caused any issues at all.
If your Chickpeas aren’t done in the prescribed time, they’re probably old. Add in the 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and try cooking them for an additional 10 minutes, and then naturally releasing them again for the 20 minutes. If they STILL aren’t done either repeat immediately (without adding in any more baking soda) until they are done or put them in the fridge overnight, cooking liquid and all and then repeat the next day. That usually does the trick.
Saving Money on Instant Pot Chickpeas:
Chickpeas are inexpensive, dried in the bag, and like any bean, you may find them on sale around of after a holiday known for serving ham, like Christmas, New Years or Easter. If you have an Indian or Latin American market nearby, you’ll probably find much better prices, and might very well find fresher chickpeas. I haven’t seen them at Aldi and have never checked for them at any of the buying clubs.
I did do quite a few price comparisons between canned chickpeas and dried on my Hummus post; regardless of how much or how little you might save, keep in mind that for taste and quality, making your own from dried, especially when it’s so easy in the Instant Pot, is the best way to go. It really is when you can infuse so much flavor in them with this recipe. If you don’t wish to use the additional ingredients, though, feel free to make plain old chickpeas. Don’t leave out the tablespoon of oil in the Instant Pot, though. It helps prevent sputtering, foaming and makes for a cleaner release.
Instant Pot Chickpeas
- 1 pound dried chickpeas (about 2 cups)
- 1 gallon of water
- 3 tablespoons table salt (see Conversion Guide)
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil or oil of choice
- 1 small yellow onion, peeled and quartered
- 3 large sprigs flat leaf parsley
- 2 large sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- water to cover by 2 inches
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, if needed
Pick through chickpeas and discard any discolored ones and any debris. Rinse well under running water. Place in cooking pot (either the liner or six quart pot) with one gallon of water and the salt and soak for six and up to twelve hours. Longer soaking may result in more split beans. Soak in refrigerator if worried about fermentation.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Add to Instant Pot. Add the oil, onion, herbs and bay leaf. Add enough water to cover by two inches and set to Pressure, High, 30 minutes. When finished, allow to naturally release for 20 minutes, then release any remaining pressure manually. If anything other than steam comes out the valve, or if the valve sputters, stop releasing and let sit for one minute before proceeding.
Check several beans for tenderness; if not tender enough, stir in 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, re-seal and set for 10 minutes on Pressure High, then naturally release again for 20 minutes, releasing any remaining pressure. If still not done, either repeat (without adding any baking soda) until tender or refrigerate, liquid and all and repeat the next day.
Drain and reserve liquid if you wish to use it, discard herb stems and let chickpeas and broth cool to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator in separate airtight containers for up to five days or freeze in 1 1/2 cup portions, about the size of a 15 ounce can, with some of the liquid.
Yield: five to six cups of cooked chickpeas plus broth.
Move over Avocado Toast – there’s a new toast in town! Hummus with it’s smooth, creamy texture makes an ideal base to pile on your favorite toppings. Shown are layers of avocado, tomato, and red onion sprinkled with my homemade Za’atar spice. While hummus lends itself well to Middle Eastern and Mediterranean flavors, it’s also a team player. Maybe you’d like to go Spanish or Mexican? You’re only limited by your imagination.
Plus, if you run out of chips, if you run out of flatbread, this is a great way to use up any leftover hummus and have a quick, healthy and delicious breakfast at the same time. Check out my menu of Appetizers, Starters, and Munchies for several hummus recipes.