Dried chickpeas require overnight soaking and long cooking times, so canned chickpeas provide a convenient alternative while still providing protein, fiber, and essential nutrients. This article will provide tips for preparing canned chickpeas to enhance their taste and culinary uses.
1. Benefits of Using Canned Chickpeas
Convenience – Canned chickpeas skip the presoaking and long cooking process, making them fast and easy to use in recipes.
Nutrition – Chickpeas offer plant-based protein, dietary fiber, iron, potassium, magnesium and more. Canning process locks in many nutrients.
Affordability – Canned chickpeas are budget-friendly, especially compared to alternative protein sources like meat.
Long shelf life – Unopened canned chickpeas last 12-24 months. Once opened, store leftover chickpeas in a sealed container for up to one week.
Though canned chickpeas are pre-cooked, taking a few extra steps when heating them amplifies their flavor. Follow these steps for cooking canned chickpeas.
2. How To Cook Chickpeas From a Can
- 1 can of chickpeas (15-ounce can)
- 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder (optional)
Drain and rinse the chickpeas under cold running water to remove any excess starch and salt. Transfer the chickpeas to a pot and add enough water to cover them by an inch or two.
Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and let the chickpeas simmer for 15-20 minutes. If desired, you can add some salt, garlic powder, or other seasonings to the cooking water for extra flavor.
After 15-20 minutes, check the chickpeas for tenderness. They should be soft but not mushy. If they’re not fully cooked, continue simmering for a few more minutes.
Once the chickpeas are fully cooked, drain them and use them in your desired recipe.
Note: Canned chickpeas are already cooked, so you can eat them straight from the can if you want. However, if you plan to use them in a recipe, it’s best to simmer them for a few minutes to soften them up and allow them to absorb any added flavors.
3. What To Do With Heated Canned Chickpeas?
Roast or Toast Them: Toss chickpeas in olive oil and seasonings (like salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, or garlic powder). Roast them in the oven at around 400°F (200°C) for about 20-30 minutes, or until they’re crispy.
Make Hummus: Blend the chickpeas with garlic, lemon juice, tahini, and olive oil. Adjust the ingredients to your taste. You can also add extras like roasted red peppers, cumin, or coriander for added flavor.
Chickpea Salad: Toss heated chickpeas with fresh vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, red onion, and a simple vinaigrette dressing. You can also add fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro.
Chickpea Curry: Simmer the chickpeas in a tomato-based curry sauce with spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala. Serve it over rice or with naan bread.
Chickpea Stir-Fry: Sauté chickpeas with your favorite vegetables and a sauce made from soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and a touch of honey or brown sugar. Serve over rice or noodles.
Chickpea Tacos or Wraps: Mash chickpeas and mix with spices, then use as a filling for tacos or wraps. Top with fresh vegetables, salsa, and your choice of sauce.
Canned chickpeas provide an accessible source of plant-based protein and fiber. Preparing them with aromatic vegetables and seasonings boosts their natural nutty, buttery flavor. Keep cans of chickpeas stocked for an easy addition to soups, salads, rice bowls, vegetarian meals and more. Their convenience coupled with their stellar nutrition make chickpeas a pantry staple.