There are only about 10 ingredients in our pantry that we get panicky if we run low on, and dried chickpeas (or garbanzo beans…same thing) are number seven on that list. Throw a pound of chickpeas in a slow cooker (no soaking required) and just like that, you can replace four cans. Not only do they taste better in the long run, they’re a heck of a lot cheaper.
Chickpeas, like most dry legumes, should be sorted to remove debris and then rinsed to remove dirt before cooking. Spreading the dried beans out into a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet (or half sheet pan) is the easiest way to sort the them. Toss out any shriveled or dark beans as well as any small rocks (which are never good eats, by the way) then move the beans to a colander and give a quick rinse under cool water before cooking.
Slow Cooker Chickpeas
- 7 cups water
- 1 pound dried chickpeas (sorted and rinsed)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda (makes the water more alkaline, softens skins)
- Combine the water, chickpeas, salt, and baking soda in a 2 1/2 quart slow cooker. Cook for 4 hours on high or 6 to 8 hours on low until the chickpeas are tender, but not mushy.
- Divide the cooked chickpeas into four 15-ounce increments (the size of a standard can of chickpeas), and cover with about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
- The beans can be use right away or stored in airtight containers in the fridge for up to a week.
Slow Cooker Chickpeas are extremely creamy and ideal for pureeing into hummus.
For longer-term storage: Seal the cooked chickpeas and their liquid in zip-top freezer bags and freeze flat. Thaw frozen beans in the refrigerator overnight before using. The cooked chickpeas can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Makes about 4 pounds cooked chickpeas
So this may come to you as a shock, but I’m not the only culinarian around here (here being Brain Food Industries my test kitchen) generating life-enhancing recipes, tips, and advice for American cooker-folk. In fact, my Director of Culinary Ops, Meghan Splawn, has been working behind my scenes for years. She’ll be sharing wisdom from our test kitchens on a weekly basis — nothing classified mind you, but she can cook up a storm so you might want to pay attention.