Instructions on how to cook chickpeas in the slow cooker, or crock pot, and tips on adding salt and whether you need to pre-soak the beans.
Slow cooker chickpeas are soooo easy. This way of cooking them allows you to pile the chickpeas in the slow cooker or crockpot along with water or broth, cover, and walk away for a few hours.
Updated August 10, 2022.
A stash of cooked chickpeas in the refrigerator or freezer means you can make a lot of dinners with little advanced planning. And cooking dried chickpeas in the slow cooker or crock pot, is incredibly easy to do.
While they slowly cook, go to work, pick up the kids from school, or run errands.
📝 Ways to Cook Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)
The biggest difference between the various methods for cooking dried chickpeas is the amount of time it takes.
#1. Slow Cooker or Crock Pot
- Cooking dried chickpeas in the slow cooker isn't the fastest way to cook chickpeas, but it may be the easiest.
#2. Stovetop Chickpeas (or in the oven)
- Check out this post on How to Cook Dried Chickpeas on the Stovetop. The article includes tips for getting the best texture, and what to do when your beans won't soften.
#3. Electric Pressure Cooker
- Here's a post for How to Cook Black Beans in the Instant Pot, which can be easily modified for chickpeas.
- Cook time: 35 minutes for presoaked chickpeas; 50 minutes for non-presoaked chickpeas.
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🎉 Advantages to Slow Cooker Method
- Cooking dried chickpeas in the slow cooker is almost completely hands off as compared to cooking them on the stovetop.
- Foaming is largely if not completely eliminated thanks to the slow cooking process. This improves the texture of cooked beans.
- There's no fiddling around with the burner temperature with a slow cooker. It's truly plug and go.
🤷♀️ Why Won't My Dried Beans Soften?
One of the common complaints I hear from readers is that their beans don't soften, even after prolonged cooking. There are a number of things that can cause this ranging from the age of the chickpeas to the hardness of your water.
Here are solutions that work for me.
- You don't need to pre-soak the dried chickpeas before cooking in a slow cooker, since the idea behind a slow cooker isn't about speeding up the cooking process. But you may want to consider it if you have a problem with beans that won't soften. An overnight soak in a brine water with 2 - 3 tablespoons kosher salt and ¼ - ½ teaspoon baking soda can often solve this problem. Rinse well before cooking the chickpeas.
- Use vegetable broth or bottled water for both soaking and cooking the chickpeas if your tap water is hard (aka mineral-rich) water. This is likely to be the culprit if you have consistent problems with dried chickpeas, or another other legume with a thicker skin.
- Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt for every 1 cup of dried chickpeas to the cooking water to help create an alkaline environment for the chickpeas. This helps to break down their skins, allowing them to absorb more water and become tender.
- Don't add anything acidic to the beans until the chickpeas are completely softened. Acids harden the skins of dried beans, so it's always best to add tomatoes, citrus, vinegar and other acidic ingredients after they're cooked.
🛁 Should I pre-soak the beans?
No. One of the advantages of using to slow cooker or crockpot to cook dried chickpeas it that soaking is not required.
⏰ Cook Times
- Cook time for cooking dried chickpeas in a slow cooker is dependent both on the type, size, and age of bean, and the slow-cooker equipment you're using.
- Generally, if you haven't presoaked the chickpeas, they will take 3 ½ - 4 hours on HIGH or 6 - 7 hours on LOW to become tender in the slow cooker.
- Preheating the water or broth in the microwave for 4 - 5 minutes can shorten the cooking time.
- Cut a couple of beans in half to check for doneness.
📌 Important Note:
A toxin known as kidney bean lectin, is found in many beans - and is particularly high in kidney beans. In fact, ingesting just a few improperly cooked kidney beans can make you very sick. Unfortunately, slow cookers don't heat the beans to a high enough temperature to rid them of the toxin. In fact, it can make it even worse. Other beans, including white kidney beans, broad beans and lima beans, contain the same toxin in smaller but still dangerous amounts. This is easily solved by boiling them for 10 minutes, draining, and rinsing before adding them to the slow cooker. Be sure to use fresh broth or water to cook them. There is no evidence that this risk applies to chickpeas in the slow cooker.
Want more vegetarian and vegan dish ideas? I can help you. I have three newsletters for different topics: 1) Vegetarian Recipes, 2) Vegetarian Meal Plans, and 3) Vegetarian Tips for helping you to move to a more vegetarian diet. Choose which newsletters are most relevant to your lifestyle and you'll also get my 5 SECRETS TO FUSS-FREE VEGETARIAN DINNERS.
📇 Recipes with Chickpeas
Roasted chickpeas make a great snack and replacement for croutons in salads. This post includes ways to get them nice a crispy, and STAY that way.
This Spaghetti with Chickpeas and Spicy Tomato Sauce can be made ahead over the weekend when you have more time, so all you have to do is warm it up for a weeknight meal.
This Chickpea Salad with Garlic and Olives is perfect for a quick lunch, or even lunch on-the-go.
If you roast the chickpeas ahead of time, and air fry the cauliflower, this Mediterranean Cauliflower Salad with Crispy Chickpeas comes together in under 30 minutes.
Slow Cooker Chickpeas (Recipe)
- Rinse the chickpeas and pick out any stones.
- Pile them into a slow cooker, add the water (or broth), and salt.
- Pro-tip: pre-heat the water (or broth) in the microwave to give the cooking a little kick-start.
- Cover the slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 3½ - 4 hours or on LOW for 6 - 7 hours. Check the beans at 3 hours if cooking on HIGH, and at 5 hours if cooking on LOW if you prefer your beans to be al dente. Different slow cookers cook at different temperatures, which will affect the cook time.
- Drain the chickpeas. Store in the refrigerator for 3 - 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Completely cool and dry the chickpeas before freezing.