How To Soften Canned Chickpeas That Are Too Hard or Undercooked?

canned chickpeas need to cook

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a type of legume that is versatile and good for your health. You can eat them by themselves or put them in salads, chicken dishes, and other foods.

Canned chickpeas are also easy to prepare and cook quickly. They are a great pantry staple because they have a long shelf life and are very versatile. However, sometimes they can be too hard or undercooked. 

There are few things more disappointing than opening a can of chickpeas only to find that they’re too hard or undercooked. Luckily, there’s an easy fix for this problem. With a little bit of water and some patience, you can soften up those chickpeas in no time.

In this article, you will learn how to soften canned chickpeas that are too hard or undercooked.

Why Are My Canned Chickpeas So Hard?

Canned chickpeas are a convenient way to get your daily dose of legumes, but they can be notoriously difficult to eat. The skin is tough, and the inside is often dry and hard, making it a less than enjoyable experience. 

But why are canned chickpeas so hard? It turns out that the canning process and the freshness of chickpeas are to blame.

Below are some reasons why your canned chickpeas end up being hard to eat out of the can.

  1. Chickpeas are typically cooked before they’re canned, which makes them harder. They’re also packed into the can with a little water, which further dries them out. The result is a tough, chewy bean that’s not very pleasant to eat.
  2. Canned chickpeas go through a process called retort cooking, which involves sealing the beans in a can and then heating them to a high temperature. This kills any bacteria that might be present and makes the beans shelf-stable. However, this also makes the chickpeas tougher and less flavorful than their fresh or dried counterparts. If you’re looking for a more flavorful bean, you’ll want to cook with fresh or dried chickpeas instead of canned. 
  3. If you think your chickpeas are taking forever to cook, it could be because they’re very old. Chickpeas can last for up to two years if stored properly, but after that, they start to lose their flavor and texture. If your chickpeas are more than two years old, they may not soften no matter how long you cook them. So next time you’re in the supermarket, make sure to check the expiration date of canned chickpease on the package before you buy!

Can You Eat Hard-Canned Chickpeas?

If you’ve ever wondered whether or not you can eat hard canned chickpeas, the answer is yes! While they may not be as soft and tender as their cooked counterparts, hard chickpeas are perfectly safe to eat.

But it’s not recommended. Hard chickpeas can be difficult to digest and may cause stomach discomfort. If you do choose to eat them, be sure to cook them thoroughly first.

How to Soften Canned Chickpeas

If you find that canned chickpeas are too hard for your liking, there are a few ways to soften them.

1. Soaking in Water

Before you can use canned chickpeas, you need to soak them. Soaking can make them tender and remove the remaining natrium in the liquid.

Here’s a guide to soaking canned chickpeas:

  • Soak your chickpeas in water for at least four hours, or overnight. The longer they soak, the more tender they will be.
  • Once your chickpeas are soaked, drain them and rinse with fresh water. Then they’re ready to use in any recipe you like!

2. Adding Baking Soda While Soaking

If you’re looking for a way to make your chickpeas even more tender, try adding some baking soda to the soaking water. The baking soda will help break down the skins of the chickpeas, making them even more tender.

Soaking the chickpeas in baking soda water for at least three hours will give you the best results. Be sure to drain and rinse the chickpeas before cooking them. You’ll notice a difference in texture and flavor when you add this simple step to your cooking routine.

Baking soda also cuts down on cooking time, but if the beans aren’t well rinsed, it can give them an unpleasant “soapy” taste.

3. Simmering with Water

First, drain the chickpeas and give them a rinse. Then, put them in a pot with enough water to cover them. Bring the water to a low boil and let the chickpeas simmer for about 20 minutes. This will help break down the tough skin and make it more tender.

4. Boiling: How Long?

One way to soften canned chickpeas is to boil them in water for 30 minutes. This will help break down the cell walls and make them more tender. Boiling also helps to remove any residual salt or preservatives that may be in the canning liquid.

Here are a few things you can do to soften them up and make them ready to eat by boiling them:

  • First, drain the chickpeas and rinse them under cold water. 
  • Then, place them in a pot on the stove over medium heat.
  • Add enough water to cover the beans and bring to a boil
  • Boil for 10 minutes, or until they are soft enough to eat. 
  • Once they are cooked, drain the water and add them to your favorite recipe.
  • If you are using chickpeas in a recipe that requires them to be soft, such as a hummus, boiling is a good way to achieve the desired consistency. 

5. Put inside Microwave

Canned chickpeas can be a great addition to any meal, but sometimes they can be a little hard. If you’re looking for a way to soften them up, the microwave is the perfect tool.

Simply place the chickpeas in a microwave-safe dish and add a little water. Then, microwave on high for 2-3 minutes. The water will help to steam the chickpeas and make them nice and soft.

This is a quick and easy way to get softer canned chickpeas, and it doesn’t take long at all. So next time you’re looking for an easy way to soften up your canned chickpeas, give the microwave a try. 

6. Mash with a Masher

Another way to soften canned chickpeas is to mash them with a fork or potato masher. This will also help to break down the tough skin and make it more creamy and smooth.

Are Canned Chickpeas Already Cooked?

When it comes to canned chickpeas, there is some debate as to whether or not they are already cooked. Some people believe that they are, while others believe that canned chickpeas need to be cooked before eating.

So, what is the truth? Are canned chickpeas already cooked?

The answer is: it depends. Some brands of canned chickpeas are indeed already cooked, while others are not. It is important to check the label of the product in question in order to determine whether or not cooking is necessary.

If you are unsure whether or not your canned chickpeas are cooked, err on the side of caution and cook them before consuming. Cooking canned chickpeas over medium heat will help to ensure that they are safe to eat and also taste their best.
How To Cook: Canned Chickpeas

Why Pay Attention to Undercooked Chickpeas?

Cans of undercooked chickpeas have been linked to a number of foodborne illness outbreaks in the United States. The most recent outbreak occurred in April of this year, when 21 people in seven states were sickened by consuming chickpeas that were not cooked properly.

Chickpeas that aren’t fully cooked can have bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli that can make you very sick. Symptoms of foodborne illness include diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary.

People should know the risks of eating chickpeas that aren’t fully cooked and only buy them from reliable sources. Canning is a process that kills bacteria, but it is important to make sure that the canned food is cooked properly before consumption.


Canned chickpeas are a common staple in many kitchens because they are inexpensive and easy to use. However, canned chickpeas can be quite tough and chewy. This is because they are cooked under pressure during the canning process or are simply too old.

If you are looking for ways to soften hard or undercooked chickpeas in a can, there are some simple things you can do at home. Simmering and soaking in water is the preferred method. These will break down the tough skin and make them softer. 

Another method is to boil potatoes and mash them with a potato masher. 

Whatever method you choose, please make sure that you cook the chickpeas properly to avoid making them hard to digest, which can upset your stomach.

FAQs on Softening Canned Chickpeas That Are Too Hard or Undercooked

Can you overcook canned chickpeas?

Yes, you can overcook canned chickpeas. Overcooking can make them mushy and lose their texture. It’s best to follow cooking times and check for doneness to avoid this.

How do I know if my canned chickpeas are undercooked?

Undercooked chickpeas will be firm and slightly crunchy when bitten. They should be tender and have a creamy texture once properly cooked.

Can you soften canned chickpeas after they’ve been cooked?

Yes, you can soften canned chickpeas after cooking by simmering them in hot water or broth for a few more minutes until they reach the desired texture.

What’s the quickest way to soften canned chickpeas?

The fastest method is to use a microwave. Place them in a microwave-safe dish, add water, and microwave in short intervals until they reach the desired softness

How long should I cook canned chickpeas to achieve the desired texture?

Generally, canned chickpeas should be cooked for 10–15 minutes after reaching a simmer. Taste test to ensure they are not too hard or too soft, depending on your preference.

Can I use a pressure cooker to soften canned chickpeas quickly?

Yes, using a pressure cooker can significantly reduce cooking time. It usually takes about 5-7 minutes under pressure to soften canned chickpeas.

What are alternative ways to use undercooked chickpeas in recipes?

You can repurpose undercooked chickpeas by blending them into dips, soups, or stews where the texture won’t be as noticeable. They can also be roasted for a crunchy snack or used in salads.

Similar Posts