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Are Canned Chickpeas Cooked? (Can You Cook Them?)

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When it comes to saving time in the kitchen, having a pantry stocked with some canned items can help you get dinner on the table in a flash.

Having everything from canned tomatoes to canned chickpeas and everything between ensures you’ll always have the staples required for a tasty meal.

But if you’re unfamiliar with the canning process, you might be wondering whether legumes, such as chickpeas, are cooked before they are sealed and stored in the cans.

But don’t worry, we’re here to answer all the questions you have about canned chickpeas so you can use them like a pro.

So, are canned chickpeas cooked? Yes, they are! But that doesn’t mean you can’t still cook with them. You can roast canned chickpeas to make a crunchy snack, add them to soups and stews, make them into hummus, and tons of other fun recipes!

Read on to discover more about whether canned chickpeas are cooked, if it’s safe to eat chickpeas right out of the can, how you can use them in the kitchen, and how to roast perfect crunchy chickpeas, and more!

Are Canned Chickpeas Cooked?

One of the great things about buying canned chickpeas is that they are already cooked, which means you can give them a rinse and use them however you like in your kitchen.

This is great news because cooking chickpeas can take a very long time!

Sometimes canned chickpeas can still be a little firm and dense, which means that you can soften them up by using them in all kinds of delicious recipes.

It’s super easy to use canned chickpeas in your kitchen to save time and add lots of texture, protein, and fiber to your meal.

Are Chickpeas Safe To Eat Out Of The Can?

Sometimes life gets busy, and we just want to get dinner on the table as fast as possible. That’s where the modern conveniences of prepared and canned foods can play a super helpful role.

One of the main questions we often get is, “Is it safe to eat my chickpeas raw right out of the can?”

The answer is yes! Since chickpeas are cooked before they are canned, you can eat them right out of the can.

With that being said, we always recommend rinsing your chickpeas thoroughly before eating them since they come in a rather thick liquid (sometimes called aquafaba and used in vegan baking).

If you want to get your chickpeas from can to belly quickly, just open the tin, pour the chickpeas into a strainer and give them a rinse under cool water.

Shake the strainer around a bit to make sure all the chickpeas are evenly rinsed and then use them however your recipe calls for.

You don’t need to warm up your chickpeas once they are rinsed; just go ahead and use them as directed either warm or cold. Some ways we like to use canned chickpeas include:

  • Sprinkled on top of salads
  • Added to grain bowls as a source of protein and fiber
  • Use them as a pizza topping (they will crunch up really nicely!)
  • Turned into a delicious hummus dip
  • Mash them up and season them to make a vegan “tuna” sandwich substitute
  • To make a bean salad

There are lots of other ways you can use chickpeas, but these are the simplest ways that don’t require any extra cooking- maybe just a little mashing and mixing! Keep reading for more chickpea recipe inspiration!

Can You Cook Canned Chickpeas?

If you pick up a can of chickpeas, you might be wondering whether you can still cook with them since they are already cooked.

Since chickpeas are so hardy, you can absolutely cook with canned chickpeas! In fact, it’s one of the ways we love to use them.

Using canned chickpeas in recipes can save you a ton of time and effort, while still allowing the chickpeas to absorb flavor from whatever dish you use them in. You can add canned chickpeas to all kinds of dishes that require cooking such as:

  • Soups
  • Stews
  • Curries
  • Creamy Sauces
  • Plant-Based “Meatloaf”
  • Roasted into Crunchy Chickpeas
  • Plant-Based “Meatballs”

This list is designed to give you some inspiration, but there’s really not much you can’t do with canned chickpeas.

Can You Bake With Canned Chickpeas?

A trend that you’ve likely seen on social media is to make brownies with black beans. These brownies are delicious and filling, so you might be wondering whether you can do something similar with chickpeas.

So, can you bake with canned chickpeas? Absolutely you can! They make a great base for:

  • Brownies
  • Blondies
  • Cookie Dough Hummus (it sounds weird, but it is SO good)
  • Cookies
  • Cakes
  • Cookie Bars
  • Truffles
  • Muffins

If you’re interested in using canned chickpeas in baking, there are tons of recipes you can find online that are super easy and delicious.

Baking with canned chickpeas is a great way to make your desserts a little more filling and nutritious, without sacrificing texture or flavor.

This recipe for cookie dough hummus is one of our current favorites. Check out this video on how to make it!

Are Canned Chickpeas Healthy?

Canned chickpeas are a great source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which makes them a great addition to any meal plan.

They are super filling and incredibly versatile, so you can use them to make all kinds of delicious treats in the kitchen.

How To Make The Best Chickpea Curry

One of the most delicious ways to use canned chickpeas is in a delicious, hearty, and nourishing curry dish.

There are many varieties to choose from, but below we’ll share a delicious Chana Masala (Indian Chickpea Curry) that’s simple and delicious!

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil (feel free to use more if needed)
  • 3 tbsp. chana masala mix (use madras curry powder if you can’t find it)
  • 1 large red onion, sliced into strips
  • 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 white potato, cubed (bite-sized)
  • 1 small sweet potato, cubed (bite-sized)
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 5 tomatoes, diced or 1 large 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 large can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • 2.5 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • Splash of maple syrup or a teaspoon of sugar

Directions

  1. Heat a medium-sized saucepan over low-medium heat for 2 minutes.
  2. Once the saucepan is warmed, add coconut oil and chana masala mix, stirring to combine. Cover your pot to toast the spices and release their flavorful oils and aromas.
  3. After 1 minute when spices become fragrant and a little charred, add red onion and garlic, stirring to coat. Let them cook while you chop the potato and sweet potato.
  4. Continue adding potato and sweet potato as you chop them. Stir the mix and recover it between additions.
  5. Add tomato paste, diced tomatoes, chickpeas, stock, and sea salt.
  6. Stir together, turn to high heat and bring your curry to a boil.
  7. Once the curry has boiled, reduce the heat and allow everything to simmer for 25-30 minutes. The longer you let it simmer, the better the flavor.
  8. Add a splash of maple syrup or sugar, stir, taste, and enjoy!

Can You Use Canned Chickpeas To Make Falafels?

One of the few things we recommend avoiding, however, is using them to make falafels.

To get that distinct texture, you will want to use soaked chickpeas instead of canned. If you use canned chickpeas, the texture may be a little mushy as opposed to chewy and dense.

There are lots of falafel recipes that call for canned chickpeas, and they can be great in a pinch (it takes a while to soak chickpeas!).

However, if you want an authentic falafel, we suggest looking for a recipe that uses soaked and ground chickpeas instead.

Can You Roast Canned Chickpeas?

One of the most delicious ways to use canned chickpeas is to roast them up to make a crispy, crunchy snack. They’re amazing to use as a crunchy protein element in a salad or you can eat them by the handful as a tasty snack.

Roasted chickpeas are also a fabulous addition to sandwiches, wraps, Buddha bowls, and tacos.

They’re super versatile and add a delicious crunchy texture to whatever you’re making. Plus, they’re loaded with protein and fiber to help keep you fuller for longer.

There is almost no limit to what you can put on your chickpeas before roasting them, but you will always want to make sure that you have at least:

  • Cooking oil (avocado, olive, grapeseed, etc.)
  • Salt

From this base, you can include a variety of spices depending on how you plan to use them and what kinds of flavors you enjoy.

Some spices that taste amazing on crunchy chickpeas include:

  • Smoked paprika
  • Curry powder
  • Cinnamon & sugar
  • Salt & pepper
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Chili powder
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Lime/lemon juice

This list isn’t complete, just a starting off point. You can also combine a variety of these spices (or more!) to make your own unique and delicious crunchy chickpea.

A couple of tips to make the best crunchy chickpeas:

  • Cook your chickpeas at 375°F.
  • Make sure they are in a single layer on a lined baking sheet (parchment paper is your best friend when making roasted chickpeas).
  • Stir the chickpeas every 15 minutes or so to make sure they cook evenly.
  • Roast them for about 30-45 minutes depending on the toppings.

Super Simple Sweet & Salty Crunchy Chickpea Recipe

There’s something incredibly satisfying about food that combines crunchiness, sweetness, and saltiness. These foods are definitely what we call “morish,” meaning they’re so easy to go back for more once you start!

Try out this simple and delicious sweet and salty chickpea recipe. It’s great as a grab-and-go snack or sprinkled on top of a salad, added to wraps, or add to a grain bowl.

Ingredients

  • 1 15.5 ounce (400 gram) can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1-2 tablespoon coconut palm sugar*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine all your ingredients. Stir them around so the chickpeas get evenly coated in the topping.
  3. Spread the chickpeas in a single layer on the baking sheet. They may stick together a little, but that’s ok. They will separate as they cook.
  4. Place your chickpeas in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Open the oven and stir the chickpeas around.
  6. Close the door and bake for another 15 minutes, then stir again.
  7. If your chickpeas are looking crunchy and browned, remove them from the oven (they may need another few minutes). The chickpeas will harden a bit as they cool.
  8. Let the chickpeas cool and enjoy!

*You can use other sugars if you like, but coconut palm sugar has a nice caramel flavor that goes great with the nutritional yeast.

How Do You Cook Chickpeas In An Instant Pot?

If you forgot to pick up canned chickpeas on your last grocery run but found a bag of dried chickpeas in the cupboard, the best way to cook them is in an Instant Pot.

If you’re someone who enjoys legumes and likes cooking them from scratch, then we definitely recommend investing in an Instant Pot since it will save you a ton of time and money in the long run.

This version is a dual pressure cooker AND air fryer—it can literally do everything!

The best thing about cooking your chickpeas in an Instant Pot is that you don’t have to soak them first and the cook time is SO fast. Follow these instructions for perfectly cooked chickpeas every time:

  1. Pour 1-2 cups of chickpeas into your Instant Pot.
  2. Cover them with water by about 2 inches.
  3. Add a teaspoon of sea salt. You can also cook your chickpeas in broth for more flavor or add some extra herbs and spices (bay leaves, thyme, garlic, etc.) for more flavor.
  4. Place the lid on your Instant Pot and make sure it is sealed.
  5. Set your timer for 20 minutes. For softer chickpeas, you can set it to 25 minutes.
  6. Cook your chickpeas. For softer chickpeas, you can let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes before manually releasing the valve. I like mine with more texture, so you can release it as soon as they’re done as well.
  7. Once the pressure is released, remove the lid, put on a pair of oven mitts, and pull the metal pot out of the inside.
  8. Pour the chickpeas through a strainer and give them a rinse.
  9. Use as desired!

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve seen everything that you can do with canned chickpeas, I hope you’re feeling inspired to pick up a couple cans on your next grocery run.

Remember, canned chickpeas are already cooked which can save you loads of prep time in the kitchen.

Canned chickpeas are safe to eat straight from the can. Just make sure you drain and rinse them first!

You don’t need to cook them before you use them, but you absolutely can! Canned chickpeas can be used in virtually limitless ways in the kitchen, so get creative!

We like to use canned chickpeas in everything from baking (chickpea blondies and cookie dough hummus are to die for!) to soups and stews.

You can also roast them up for a crunchy addition to salads, wraps, tacos, and sandwiches. Or feel free to make a plant-based “tuna” salad.

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