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Are Canned Chickpeas Cooked? Revealed

You often notice rows of neatly stacked canned chickpeas in your local supermarket and ask yourself if they are (really) cooked. 

I’ve been using canned chickpeas in my dishes for many years now. This is why I know that they are already cooked and ready to eat. They save you from the hassle of soaking and boiling dried chickpeas for several hours! These cans of goodness are the game-changer in my kitchen. 

In this article, I’ll answer the following commonly asked questions:

  • Are canned chickpeas cooked?
  • Which is better, canned or dried chickpeas?

Are canned chickpeas considered cooked?

Cans of branded canned chick peas on a table top

Yes, my friends, canned chickpeas are already cooked when you purchase them from the market. 

Canning is a preservation process. It involves cooking the chickpeas at a high temperature before sealing them in a can with liquid (Usually water or brine). 

Let me tell you something else! Canning helps to sterilize the chickpeas. It makes them perfectly safe to eat and lets you store them at room temperature for a long period of time. So, say “Goodbye” to bacteria and germs and “Hello” to quality and nutritional value!

With these canned chickpeas, you don’t have to do any soaking or boiling like you would with dried chickpeas. It’s really convenient and saves you a lot of time when you’re busy preparing yummy meals. 

Which is better, canned or dried chickpeas?

The choice between canned and dried chickpeas is (totally) your call! If you choose canned ones, they’ll be very easy to work with because they come pre-cooked. They’re perfect for last-minute meals and offer consistency in texture.

But you know what? They can sometimes contain added salt and are generally more expensive than their dried fellows.

Now, if you go for the dried chickpeas, you will have more control over the cooking process. You can adjust the meal-prepping time according to the tenderness you’re looking for. The best part? They are more cost-effective and don’t let you break the bank!

Cooking dried chickpeas from scratch also allows you to manage salt in your dishes just the way you like. 

So, it’s you who needs to decide: canned chickpeas or dried ones (Or both)!

Are canned chickpeas fresh?

Even though canned chickpeas are already cooked and sealed in cans, they are not fresh in the same way as dried ones (Because you soak and cook them whenever you need them). 

I have used both varieties in my culinary experience. And I’m sure that dried chickpeas are richer and meatier in their flavor profile and texture when compared to the canned ones.

This meatier quality fits the best in dishes where you want chickpeas to provide a heartier and bigger bite (Such as in stews, salads, or dishes where they serve them as a main protein source). 

Canned chickpeas, on the other hand, have a pleasant texture. But it might not be as firm (Or meaty) as dried chickpeas that you’ve cooked yourself to perfection.

Do canned chickpeas soften when cooked?

An opened can of chickpeas, glistening in the light

Yes, there’s no question about it! Canned chickpeas do soften further when you cook them. Although they’re pre-cooked in cans, they have the potential to become even softer and absorb some of the flavors of the ingredients they’re mixed with.

In my experience, people do that on purpose to get a softer texture. They simmer or cook the canned chickpeas (in a sauce or broth). As the ingredients heat up, they can absorb some of the liquid and become more softer and tender. 

This is actually common in recipes like stews, curries, and soups, where the chickpeas have more time to soak up the flavors and become melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

Do canned chickpeas lose nutrients during the canning process?

Canning chickpeas does involve some cooking, and during this process, a small amount of nutrients are lost (Such as vitamin C, as it is sensitive to heat). 

But don’t worry! This loss is pretty small and doesn’t affect the overall nutritional value of your canned goodies. 

Key nutrients like protein, dietary fiber, various B vitamins (Folate and vitamin B6), minerals (Magnesium, potassium, and iron), and antioxidants live through the canning process quite well and hang there tightly. 

How long to cook canned chickpeas?

Cooking canned chickpeas is a breeze! Why? As I told you above, they’re already pre-cooked. You can eat them right out of the can if you want. But if you would like to warm them up or use them in a recipe for a change, here’s what you need to do:

1. For Simply Warming Up:

Just pick up a microwave-safe bowl and pour your canned chickpeas in it. Put it in the microwave for about 1 to 2 minutes, and that’s it! Don’t forget to drain and rinse them first if you want to reduce the salt content or the canning liquid’s taste.

2. For Adding in a Delicious Recipe:

If you want to enjoy chickpeas in your recipes (Like soups, stews, or stir-fries), you can add them with other ingredients and let them simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes. This allows them to soak up the flavor of your dishes and make them taste out of this world!

Easy-Peasy, right? 

Do you need to wash canned chickpeas?

Definitely! It’s a good idea to wash canned chickpeas before using them. When chickpeas are canned, they are (usually) stored in a liquid called brine. This contains salt. Washing them helps to remove the extra salt and improves their flavors as well. 

Here’s how I wash my canned chickpeas:

  • First, I open the can and pour the chickpeas into a strainer or colander in the sink.
  • Then, I rinse them under chilled running water (I use my hands to thoroughly swish them around to get rid of the salt and brine).
  • Once they are well-rinsed, I use them in my recipes as needed.

Ending Words

As I wrap up this read, I hope you now clearly know the answer to the question: “Are canned chickpeas cooked?” Let me put this in a simple way! They’re ready to use, calling you from the pantry to eat them up or use them in your recipes. 

So, let those canned chickpeas be your trusty, pre-cooked pals, and have your back in your many culinary adventures!