Cooking Chickpeas from Scratch: Is It Really Worth It?

updated May 2, 2019
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(Image credit: Dana Velden)

I’ve always been an avid canned chickpea user. At least once I week I open a can to toss into a salad, whir into hummus or add to a soup. Nothing could be easier and tastier. But I recently cooked a batch of chickpeas from scratch and I now know that fresh cooked chickpeas are something entirely onto themselves. Does this mean that I will stop buying canned chickpeas? Not at all!

The way I see it, canned chickpeas still have a place in my kitchen because they’re convenient. I can open a can in 10 seconds, whereas a pot of chickpeas takes quite a bit longer. And while fresh cooked chickpeas are sublime, the canned ones are not that bad, so I’m not adverse to using them.

But freshly made chickpeas are definitely going to become a regular part of my cooking routine. Their texture is infinitely creamier than their canned siblings, which can feel a little grainy in comparison. I also like that they’re BPA-free, more cost effective, and that I can control the salt. But my favorite thing is the taste. Fresh chickpeas are richer and fuller and somehow meatier (maybe less tinny?) tasting than their canned cousins.

While home cooked chickpeas aren’t a spontaneous ingredient, they don’t require much work either. Just soak them overnight in water, drain the next day, put them in a pot with plenty of salted water, and set them over a low flame to gently simmer until done. A Kitchn reader commented in another post that home cooked chickpeas freeze really well, too. Does anyone have any experience with this or a preferred method for freezing?