How To Soften Canned Chickpeas That Are Too Hard or Undercooked – A Comprehensive Guide

Do canned chickpeas always turn out perfect? Well, not really. Sometimes they can be too hard or undercooked, leaving you with a frustrating cooking experience. But don’t worry! In this article, we will guide you on how to soften canned chickpeas and use them in your cooking.

Firstly, let’s explore the reasons why canned chickpeas can turn out too hard or undercooked. It could be due to certain factors such as poor quality control during production, poor storage conditions, overcooking or under-cooking.

But what should you do if your chickpeas come out too hard after opening the can? We’ve got you covered! We’ll show you simple steps and tips on how to make them soft and tender so that they’re perfect for any recipe.

Next up is using these softened chickpeas in delicious dishes such as salads or hummus. So instead of throwing away those “ruined” cans of chickpeas, learn some amazing recipes that will make use of these little wonders!

Finally, we have put together a list of frequently asked questions that might pop up your mind while dealing with canned chickpeas.

What Causes Canned Chickpeas To Be Too Hard or Undercooked?

Have you ever opened a can of chickpeas and realized they were too hard or undercooked? It can be frustrating, especially if you were planning on using them for a recipe. Here are some reasons why this might happen:


  • Undercooking during the canning process: Chickpeas could have been undercooked during processing. This is rare but can occur.
  • Salt content: Excess salt in canned chickpeas could make them hard and difficult to cook even after soaking overnight.
  • Baking soda usage: Sometimes, baking soda is added during the cooking process to soften chickpea skins which enhances quick cooking. But adding excessive baking soda quantity can lead to this undesirable texture in some cases.

How to Identify If The Chickpeas Are Hard or Undercooked?

The texture of an uncooked/partially cooked canned chickpea varies from its soft texture when fully cooked. Hence identifying it should not be that difficult:

  • If they’re too hard: Try mashing them with your fingers, if they don’t easily mash down then they need further boiling.
  • If underdone/undercooked: The best way is to taste one directly just before fixing into any dish–if the center remains tough and gritty-like compared to others, it’s still raw or partially done hence needs extra boiling time. “

If you experience either of these scenarios with canned chickpeas; grab a pot, sieve the peas from the liquid brine (reserve your stock) add fresh water and cook them on medium or high heat for an extra 10 to 20 minutes until soft (taste for desired tenderness). Drain, store in the fridge, and utilize it just like any other chickpeas. You can also choose to reduce excessive salt content by washing them off under running water before boiling.

How To Soften Canned Chickpeas

Canned chickpeas are a convenient and healthy food option, but they can be quite hard, making them difficult to use in certain recipes. Here are some methods to soften canned chickpeas:

Soak the Chickpeas Overnight

  • Drain the canned chickpeas and rinse them thoroughly with water.
  • Place them in a bowl and add enough water to cover the chickpeas completely.
  • Cover the bowl with cling wrap and let it sit overnight at room temperature.
  • The next day, drain the water, rinse again with fresh water before using them in your recipe or cook until tender.

Boil The Chickpeas In Water

  • Drain the canned chickpeas and rinse well with fresh water.
  • In a pot, add enough water to cover about 1-2 inch over chickpea. Salt if desired.
  • Bring it boil over medium-high heat then reduce the heat Reduce heat to low-medium flame for a gentle simmer cooking..
  • Cook for between 45 – 60 minutes or until tender. Skim foam while boiling.

Add Baking Soda To Soften The Chickpeas

  • Rinse one can of chickpea (15 oz. ) under cold running tap-water in the strainer colander.

    Note: You cannot do this method on soaked chickpes (overnight).


    Add drained canned chikpecto saucepan with filled six cups of drinking tap-water along with one tsp backing soda that mix until dissolved.

  • Boil for 20-30 minutes or until tender

Pressure Cook the Chickpeas

  • Drain and rinse canned chickpea(sa) a couple of times under running drinking water using strainer colander.
  • Add chickpsas to the pressure cooker with enough fresh water that covers it (limit 2/3rd tank). Pressure cook on High flame.
  • Cook for around six to nine whistles till it become soft.

Use A Slow Cooker To Soften The Chickpeas

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