Why You Should Choose Canned Chickpeas Over Frozen Every Time

Chickpeas add a mild, nutty flavor to salads, grain bowls, or stews. Rich in protein and iron, a little goes a long way with these legumes – they easily stave off hunger, keeping you full for longer. As much as we love the versatility of chickpeas, cooking them from scratch is a dreadfully long process. Dried chickpeas must be soaked overnight and boiled on the stovetop for about two hours.

If you don't have the patience for that, you've probably opted for canned chickpeas in the past. However, they're not the only pre-cooked chickpea option available. You can also buy frozen chickpeas from the grocery store. While they provide the same ease as canned chickpeas, they are pricier and not always accessible. Frozen chickpeas also have a different taste and can take on a harder, rougher texture than the more tender canned chickpeas. 

Having a can of chickpeas on hand is great for those looking for a last-minute lunch or easy dinner, but if you use a lot of chickpeas, you may want to prepare them yourself and freeze them for later use. Cooked chickpeas can last from three to six months in the freezer; if you make a large batch, you won't need to purchase any more for a while. Plus, you'll save room in your pantry.

How to freeze chickpeas

Despite the taste and textural differences between canned and frozen chickpeas, if you want to freeze chickpeas, start by soaking dried chickpeas in a large bowl. Cover the chickpeas with several inches of cold water and leave them overnight to expand. Alternatively, you can quickly soak them: Cover them with water and let them boil on high heat for five minutes. Afterward, let the chickpeas soak for one hour.

Pour the chickpeas into a colander and rinse them off. Note: You can freeze uncooked and cooked chickpeas. To cook them, put the chickpeas in a large pot and cover them with water. Salt them to taste and let the beans simmer for between 60 and 90 minutes. For pressure cookers, let them simmer for 50 minutes on high, allowing 15 minutes for the pressure to release after. Once the chickpeas are tender enough, pour them into a colander and let them cool.

Before freezing, get rid of as much moisture as possible by patting the chickpeas down with water. Transfer them to a Ziploc bag or airtight container and enjoy them in your salads and Moroccan chickpea stews for months.