Slow Cooked Chickpeas
I used to struggle with cooking chickpeas until I discovered this method of cooking them slowly in the oven. It might take longer than boiling them on the stove but I love that I can just pop them in the oven and literally forget about them until they’re done, rather than steaming up my kitchen and having to check them constantly. I love this version with flavourings but also cook them in plain water.
If you have a block about soaking legumes, it’s really not that hard and literally only takes a few seconds to set up. Just pop them in a bowl and cover with cold water. They can stand for a few hours up to a few days. And if your plans change and you don’t have time to cook them just drain the chickpeas and freeze until you can cook them. Too easy.
enough for 4
takes: 4 hours + soaking
chickpeas 500g (1lb), soaked overnight
2 onions, chopped
1 tablespoon ground coriander
3 tablespoons tomato paste
za’atar to serve (optional)
salad leaves to serve
1. Preheat your oven to 150C (300F).
2. Drain the soaked chickpeas and place in an oven-proof dish. Add onions, coriander and 6 cups water. Cover and cook for 3.5 hours.
3. Stir in tomato paste and remove the lid. Continue to cook for anther 1/2 hour or until chickpeas are tender and the liquid has reduced. If they dry out at any stage just add more water.
4. Taste and season generously with salt. Serve sprinkled with za’atar (if using) with salad leaves on the side.
slow cooker – pop on low for 8-10 hours. You can probably halve the water but the extra isn’t going to hurt.
canned chickpeas / short on time? – soften onion in a little oil on the stove then add coriander and tomato paste and about 4 drained cans of chickpeas. Add a splash of the canning liquid to make them as saucey as you like and bring to a simmer. Serve with za’atar and salad leaves.
more substantial – serve with flat bread and extra virgin olive oil. Or try with a poached egg on top.
creamy – serve with a dollop of natural yoghurt or hummus.
carnivore – serve with browned sliced chorizo or other sausages. Or as a side to roast or BBQ chicken.
pescetarian – serve with drained canned tuna or sardines tossed through.
plain chickpeas – just cook in water and use anywhere you’d normally use canned chickpeas. Cooked chickpeas can be frozen.
different legumes – replace chickpeas with any dried bean.
no za’atar – Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend using dried thyme, sumac and sesame seeds. You could make your own using equal parts of each. Or just use some sesame seeds. Or forget about it all together.
paleo – use fresh beans instead of the chickpeas. No need to soak and reduce the water by half.
alternative to canned chickpeas – skip the spices, tomato and salad and use anywhere you’d normally use canned chickpeas. Note: 1 drained can = 240g (8oz) cooked chickpeas.
chickpea curry – try this quick chickpea curry.
in hummus – recipe here but basically whizz 240g / 8oz cooked chickpeas with 3 tablespoons each lemon juice, tahini and water and a clove of garlic.
chickpea ‘chilli’ – a vegetarian chickpea version of chilli con carne.
soup – try this chickpea and tomato soup.
frittata – one of my faves is this chickpea and rosemary frittata.
chorizo – another all time favourite recipe from my book 5-ingredients 10-minutes.
with cheese – in these hot cheesey chickpeas.
as a veggie burger – recipe here.
tortillas – as a vegetarian filling like these chickpea and eggplant tortillas.
as a snack – like these roast chickpeas.
as a healthy alternative to mac & cheese – recipe here.
tajine – Moroccan stew with sweet potato.
A must! Takes about 4 hours cooking + 6 hours soaking. I like to make up a big batch to have on hand for quick meals during the week.
Storage Best Practices
Store in an airtight container or ziplock bag. Will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks or so. Can be frozen for up to 12 months.
Can be stored either in the cooking liquid (if any left) or drained. I tend to drain before storing.
Waste Avoidance Strategy
chickpeas / onions / ground coriander / tomato paste / za’atar – keep them in the pantry.
salad leaves – are highly perishable. My first path would be to use them for another meal (salad for breakfast!) but if that isn’t possible you can pop them in the freezer. They will wilt down but can then be used anywhere you’d use wilted greens. At least this way they wont go slimey.