Food preservation

Are Canned Chickpeas Cooked? The Truth Uncovered

Canned chickpeas are a protein-rich superfood. This versatile legume can add texture to stir-fries, be blended to create creamy dips and sauces, or tossed in salads. Chickpeas are also a popular vegan meat alternative, but are canned chickpeas pre-cooked before canning, or is further processing required?

Canned chickpeas are completely cooked and ready to eat. Rinse the canned chickpeas to wash off excess salt in the starchy aquafaba solution. They can be consumed straight from the can or added directly to recipes. Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, are a versatile protein-rich legume.

Although dried chickpeas can be stored in vacuum-sealed bags, this food is most convenient when canned. Find out how to process and can chickpeas so you always have a stock of these healthy super beans available as snacks or to add to meals.   

Are Canned Chickpeas Cooked Or Raw?

The soft yet firm texture of canned chickpeas can be confusing. Despite being soft enough to mush, they retain a wholesome, neutral taste profile that can easily be mistaken for raw.

All canned chickpeas are cooked and seasoned with salt. In addition to being cooked, they have also been soaked in clean water for several hours to soften and prepare them for the cooking process.

Chickpeas are an excellent way to add texture, fiber, and protein to any meal. Cooking raw chickpeas from scratch can be very time-consuming. Having a few jars of canned chickpeas is a great way to save time and always have a supply of this healthy ingredient on hand.

Can You Eat Raw Chickpeas?

Most of us love eating fresh produce straight from the veggie garden, but when it comes to chickpeas and several of their bean relations, it is always recommended to cook them first. Although they are super healthy once they are cooked, in their raw form, chickpeas contain toxins and sugars that are likely to result in a stomachache.

How Long Do Canned Chickpeas Last?

Unopened canned chickpeas have a remarkably long shelf life. It is, however, recommended to use them within three to five years, as the quality of the product tends to deteriorate over time.

Once canned chickpeas are opened, they can be refrigerated for 3 to 4 days. An excellent way to store leftover canned chickpeas and keep them fresher for longer is to freeze them. Laying the beans out in a single layer and freezing will keep them loose before packing them into labeled freezer bags.

For long-term storage of this valuable high-protein food, consider dry storage. Vacuum-sealing dry chickpeas and keeping them protected from light and pests can ensure that they can remain fresh for more than two decades. For bulk storage, 5-gallon buckets are an inexpensive, space-saving method to store various dry food products.

How To Can Chickpeas

If you own a pressure canner, it is easily can your own supply of nutritious cooked chickpeas, which will save you money. Also, since you will be storing them in glass jars, they tend to taste less ‘tinny’ than store-bought chickpeas.

There are several varieties of chickpeas to choose from. Although some differ in appearance from the plump tan balls that are usual in most store-bought chickpeas, there is not much difference in taste or nutritional value.

To can chickpeas, this is what you will need:

  • 1 pound of dried chickpeas for every 2 pint jars you want to fill.
  • ½ Teaspoon of salt per pint
  • Water to cover
  • Pressure canner – Chickpeas are a low-acid food, so they must be pressure canned to kill any possible pathogens in the food.
  • Canning jars with new lids and metal rings

Canning chickpeas is not a quick project, as the hard, dry beans need time to soak before being processed further. There are two ways to do this:

  • Cover the dry chickpeas with water and leave them to soak overnight.


  • Use a quick soak method. Place the dry chickpeas in a saucepan and cover them with fresh water. Bring to a boil for around five minutes. Switch off the heat and let the chickpeas soak for an hour.

Chickpeas double in size when they are soaking. Once they have softened, they are ready for the final cooking and canning process.

  • Place the soaked chickpeas in a saucepan and cover with fresh water.
  • Add salt if required.
  • Boil them for 30 minutes, then remove them from the heat.
  • Fill jars with chickpeas and cooking water, leaving 1 inch of headspace.
  • Check each jar for air bubbles before adding a new lid and metal ring.
  • Place the jars containing the chickpeas in the pressure canner and follow the canner’s instructions.
  • Pint jars of chickpeas are usually processed at around 10 pounds of pressure for 75 minutes and quarts for 90 minutes in altitudes of less than 1000ft. Adjust the processing time according to the altitude.
  • When the time is up, allow the canner to return to zero pressure. Remove the sealed jars and cool for 24 hours. Then label them, and store them in a cool dark area.

What Is Aquafaba?

Even if you eat chickpeas regularly, you may not have realized that the starchy, watery mixture in the jar around the beans has a variety of culinary uses. Aquafaba is a staple in vegan cooking, as it works perfectly as a binding agent and replacement for egg whites.

The aquafaba produced while boiling the chickpeas before canning can also be saved and stored for later use. A handy tip is to freeze it in ice cube trays. Three tablespoons of aquafaba are equal to one egg in recipes. 

Note that the water used to soak the bean from their dry form does not produce aquafaba and should be discarded. Only use the water that the chickpeas are boiled in or the aquafaba from around the chickpeas when you open jars.

What’s The Difference Between Chickpeas And Garbanzo Beans?

There is no difference between the tan color beans we call chickpeas and garbanzo beans. They are the same thing, and these terms can be used interchangeably.

The legume Cicer arietinum is commonly referred to as chickpeas in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The very same beans are called garbanzo beans in Spain and Latin America. So whether you see this type of beans marked as chickpeas or garbanzo beans, you can be assured that they are the same.


Canned chickpeas are always cooked and are safe to eat straight from the can. They should be rinsed to remove excess salt before using them as a versatile ingredient in hot or cold dishes. Creating homemade canned chickpeas from dry beans is uncomplicated, although the jars must be pressure canned to be considered safe.

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