Can I Cook Chickpeas in a Rice Cooker? (Yes, 100%)

Have you ever asked yourself, can I cook chickpeas in a rice cooker? If so, the answer is 100% yes. It’s easy!

Since discovering this way of cooking dried chickpeas, I don’t have to buy the pre-cooked chickpeas in a jar anymore (or very occasionally), which is great for my shopping list, super for my recycling bin and even better for my wallet.

Why Should I Cook My Own Chickpeas?

Rewind a few years back and my cupboard was filled with jars of chickpeas. I used to think it was too much hassle to cook my own, too time consuming and too much planning needed.

Well, they’re not. And I’m here to debunk those arguments for you.

  • Home-cooked chickpeas tend to be much tastier than tinned or jar versions
  • They’re so much cheaper!
  • No extra added salt
  • Easy to cook
  • Making your own chickpeas cuts down on household rubbish which is good for you and great for the environment!
Can I cook chickpeas in a rice cooker? Yes! Bowl of chickpeas that were cooked in the rice cooker.
Chickpeas cooked in the rice cooker

Do I Have to Soak Dried Chickpeas Overnight?

The easiest way to cook chickpeas is to soak them overnight, because that will speed up their cooking time. Soaking also makes them more digestible by reducing the lectins in the chickpea, so it’s a good thing all round.

But what happens if you forget to put the chickpeas on to soak the night before?

No worries, there are other possibilities!

What if I Forget to Soak the Chickpeas Overnight?

Instead of soaking overnight, you can soak the chickpeas for a few hours instead. Put them on to soak in the morning, ready for cooking for lunch for example. The cooking time will be longer, but the chickpeas will still turn out fine.

If you don’t have time to soak them for a few hours even, then you can bring them to the boil and leave them to sit in the boiling water as it cools down.

Rinse the chickpeas and cook as normal.

Soaking the chickpeas and even just bringing them to the boil will also help to remove/disable the lectins which can cause digestive upset.

It basically makes the chickpeas more easily digested, though if you have a slow cooker, you can also eat chickpeas which haven’t been soaked, especially once you’ve got used to eating legumes.

Tips for Soaking Chickpeas Overnight

Here are a few tips for soaking dried chickpeas.

  • If possible use filtered water or soft water, as hard water can make the chickpeas come out harder themselves.
  • Cook without salt and add salt to your final recipe rather than to the cooking process. Salt can also make the chickpeas harder.
  • In warm climates, soak the chickpeas in the fridge.
  • If you don’t have overnight option, just soak the chickpeas for as long as you can and allow extra cooking time.
  • Rinse the chickpeas and refresh the water before cooking.

How to Cook Chickpeas in the Rice Cooker

This is assuming that you’ve soaked the chickpeas overnight. If you haven’t, keep an eye on the chickpeas by opening the rice cooker to check and adding more water as necessary.

  • Measure the dry chickpeas using the rice measure.
  • Cover the soaked chickpeas in accordance with the rice instructions. So for 3 cups of fully soaked chickpeas, you’ll fill the water up to the same level as if it were for rice. This ratio will be more if the chickpeas are less soaked.
  • Turn on the rice cooker as normal, but make sure to come back and check it after about the first 20 minutes and keep an eye on it so that the water doesn’t all evaporate leaving hard chickpeas.
  • After about 40 minutes the chickpeas should be soft and ready for using.
  • Switch off the rice cooker and leave them to sit in the steam for another 30 minutes or so if possible.
  • If you want to soften the chickpeas to be super soft and have an extra smooth final result, add 1 tsp of soda bicarbonate to the cooking water.

What Can I Make with Chickpeas?

There are so many delicious meals you can make with chickpeas!

Should I Peel the Chickpeas?

It isn’t necessary to peel the chickpeas but if you do, you’ll get a smoother finish. Chickpeas have a translucent skin, which makes for a more grainy hummus.

And believe me, there’s a LOT of that little skin in your bowl of chickpeas lol! You’ll be surprised when you actually peel them, how much quantity of peeling you get left with.

If you’re happy to spend a little time peeling the chickpeas, you have a couple of options.

Use Soda Bicarbonate in the Cooking

By cooking the chickpeas in soda bicarbonate, you’ll get softer chickpeas and the skin with break up and dissolve into the water.

You then need to rinse the chickpeas until all the bits of skin have gone.

Be careful not to block up your drain with this though as there’s a lot of skin that comes off each batch of chickpeas. See in the image below how much came from this one small bowl of chickpeas and now imagine that all broken up in your rinse-water.

Use Soda Bicarbonate After Cooking

Once the chickpeas are cooked, cover them in warm or hot water and add a teaspoon of soda bicarbonate.

Wait for a few minutes, then begin to swirl the chickpeas between your hands and you’ll see the skins begin to fall away from the chickpeas.

Repeat until all the skins are off, then drain and use.

Peel the Chickpeas by Hand

Bowl of chickpeas with the skins removed
Peeling the chickpeas by hand is easy but time consuming

Fill the pan of chickpeas with cold water and rub them together, then individually pick up each chickpea and pop it out of its shell.

This works okay for small quantities, but it can be a bit tedious, especially if you’re preparing a larger quantity.

Bowl of chickpea salad
You can use chickpeas in so many ways – pictured is a simple chickpea salad with cumin and black pepper

How to Cook ChickPeas in a Rice Cooker

Serving Size:
300g dry chickpeas
40 minutes cooking


  • 300g dried chickpeas
  • optional 1 tsp soda bicarbonate to make the chickpeas softer
  • soft water or filtered water is preferable


  1. Soak the chickpeas overnight.
  2. Rinse the chickpeas.
  3. Use the rice measure to place the chickpeas into the rice cooker container.
  4. Cover with fresh water up to the same marker as for rice or a tiny bit more.
  5. If you’d like extra smooth chickpeas, add 1 tsp soda bicarbonate to the rice cooker.
  6. Turn on the rice cooker. Check the rice cooker after 30 minutes. If necessary, add more water to cover the chickpeas.
  7. Check the chickpeas again after 40 minutes. Bite into one to test how soft it is. If it isn’t cooked, leave it a few more minutes and keep checking.
  8. When soft enough, switch off the rice cooker and leave the chickpeas to sit in the heat for another 30 minutes (or until they cool down). This is completely optional and can make them a bit more juicy.
  9. Use the chickpeas to make you favourite chickpea recipes!

12 Reasons to Eat Chickpeas Every Day!

So many benefits of eating chickpeas!

I hope you enjoy making lots of chickpea recipes!

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