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How to Cook Garbanzo Beans in a Pressure Cooker

Here on the blog, any time a recipe calls for beans, I like to talk about the timesaving value of pressure cookers. IMHO stove-top pressure cookers or electric pressure cookers like the Instant Pot are the only way to go when cooking beans. This recipe teaches you how to cook garbanzo beans in the pressure cooker!

cooked Garbanzo Beans How to Cook Garbanzo Beans in a Pressure Cooker

Click here to PIN How to Cook Garbanzo Beans in a Pressure Cooker.

One quick thing–what’s the difference between garbanzo beans and chickpeas?

Nothing, the 2 words are interchangeable. A one-sentence explanation is the name chickpea evolved from Latin to French to British English and the name garbanzo evolved from Spanish. You can read a lot more chickpea/garbanzo etymology here.

Ditch the can!

People shy away from cooking beans from scratch because they take hours and forever to cook. Besides, it’s easy just to open a can. Forget that.

When it comes to beans, start with the dried ones. It’s fair to say that all beans taste better when cooked in a pot from scratch, whether they’re seasoned or not. Another bonus is that pot beans are toothy tender; they have bite-feel not found in canned beans.

There’s the liquid in canned beans too, a salty insipid juice we should drain and rinse away. Pot beans on the other hand produce mouthwatering broth.

Not to mention, scratch beans are economical. One cup of dried beans yields about 2 ½ cups cooked, and one (14-ounce) can delivers about 1 ¾ cups of cooked beans.

Dried beans soaking for How to Cook Garbanzo Beans in a Pressure Cooker

About cooking beans from scratch in a pressure cooker, some burning questions:

  • To soak or not to soak? If you cover the beans with water and let them soak at least 6 hours or overnight, your pressure-cook time is cut in half. Soaked and natural pressure release is my preferred method for sure.
  • I tend to put off dinner prep until the last minute–oftentimes I don’t get it together ahead of time. When that’s the case, the beans go right in the pot, no soak. Have to say that “pot’ beans have the best texture when soaked beforehand, so, if you plan ahead, you’ll want to pre-soak your beans.
  • Another big question: Do you turn off the heat and let the pressure come down naturally, or is it better to “quick-release?” Both work.
  • That said, I’ve found that with natural pressure release, the cooked beans have a slightly better texture, and the skins stay on the bean.
  • To natural pressure release, with the Instant Pot or a stove-top cooker, just turn off the stove or electric cooker and wait until the pressure release pop-up valve comes down.
  • To quick release the pressure with a stovetop pressure cooker, place the pot in the sink and run cold water over the top until the pressure comes down. With the Instant Pot, turn the top dial to Vent.

How to Cook Garbanzo Beans in a Pressure Cooker | Letty's Kitchen

How long does it take to cook garbanzo beans in the pressure cooker?

  • Once the cooker is up to pressure, soaked garbanzos/chickpeas take 12 to 18 minutes to cook. If you plan to let the pressure come down naturally, cook the beans 12 minutes. Cook them 16 minutes under pressure if you run them under water to stop the cooking.
  • If you decide on beans at the last minute and you haven’t soaked them first, plan on 35 to 40 minutes cooking time.
  • If a pressure cooker hasn’t made it into your kitchen yet, you can count on 2 ½ hours until the beans are tender.
  • Keep in mind that cooking times can vary a few minutes either way, depending on your pressure cooker, the size of the beans, and how old they are. If you open the lid and the beans are not done to your liking, simply put the pot back on the stove or set the dial on your Instant Pot for another minute or two.  The beans are still very hot so it doesn’t take much time to get up to pressure again.
  • *** Another thing to consider: Is your water hard or soft? Hard water can prevent beans from softening. Adding 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to your soaking and cooking water can help.

How to cook garbanzo beans (chickpeas) both in the stovetop pressure cooker or electric pressure cooker:

  • For stove-top pressure cooking, bring the pot to pressure over high flame. When the steamy jiggle noise begins in earnest, turn the heat down just so it maintains pressure. Set the timer, the time depending on whether you soaked the beans or not.
  • With the electric Instant Pot or Mealthy, turn the top dial to Sealing, press Manual on the Instant Pot and set the timer, also depending on whether you soaked the bean or not.
  • Soaked or not, you want to rinse the dried beans and pick out any rocks that might be masquerading as beans. To cook, put the beans in the pressure cooker. Cover with a generous inch of water. If you wish, add garlic or onions, dried chiles or all three. (I love the subtle flavor dried chiles gives to beans). I don’t add salt until the beans are cooked.

Once you have cooked-from-scratch garbanzo beans, what can you make with them? Some ideas:

  • Chickpeas are the toothy star of so, so many vegan and vegetarian recipes because they’re a versatile protein substitute for chicken and other meats.
  • Beans, garbanzos, black beans, and pintos, when served with a big salad, and fresh-made corn tortillas or herb-flecked brown rice make a delicious meal. If I’m serving beans simply like that, I’ll spice them with fresh or dried chiles like I do in this recipe.
  • As the protein component in salads–stellar!
  • From a stash of cooked beans, make hummus. Easily turn that into hummus vinaigrette salad dressing!
  • With their toothy texture, garbanzo beans make a fabulous taco filling.

More chickpea recipes from Letty’s Kitchen:

Beans and greens:

My treasured stainless-steel pressure cooker (affiliate link) comes with us whenever Robbie and I take the van on a road trip, to Baja Mexico or the Columbia River Gorge. Pressure cookers hold an important place in our kitchen(s), be it a rental house or a trailer. At home, I use both my electric cooker and my stovetop one.

Stainless steel pressure cookers are pricey enough to throw a budget out of whack. And worth every penny. Back in college, I invested in an Italian stainless steel jiggle top, and a few years ago I bought a modern pressure cooker (affiliate link) with 3 safety valves. The Instant Pot is a recent addition to my pressure cooker quiver and you can find them for less than $100. Whichever you have, stove-top or electric, for heaven’s sake, use it to cook beans!

Wishing you a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and cook something in your pressure cooker! 

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This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase products via my links, it doesn’t cost you anything and I earn a tiny commission, which helps me continue to provide free content here on Letty’s Kitchen. Thank you!!

If you make this recipe and love it, please consider leaving a blog post comment. Your comments help other readers learn more about the recipe. If you’d also give the recipe a ✮✮✮✮✮ rating, I’d be delighted!

Nutrition information is meant to be an estimate only. The numbers will vary based on the quantity consumed, brands used and substitutions that are made.

Nutrition Facts
How to Cook Garbanzo Beans in a Pressure Cooker
Amount Per Serving
Calories 156 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 10mg0%
Potassium 375mg11%
Carbohydrates 26g9%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 29IU1%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 45mg5%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  • Priscilla

    Your photos are beautiful and my stomach is growling for garbanzo bean soup but most of all I want to see a picture of this pressure cooker who is the star of todays blog. Reply · 9 January, 2015

    • Letty

      Thanks Priscilla. Ahh the pressure cooker. It’s just an old stainless steel thing 😉 I will post a photo on my Letty’s Kitchen Facebook page! Reply · 9 January, 2015

  • kathleen

    Great idea! I love garbanzos!! Can’t wait for the soup recipe! Reply · 9 January, 2015

  • Judy

    I’m looking forward to the soup recipe! I’ve been soaking and then pressure cooking garbanzo beans for years, but recently saw an article in a Cooks Illustrated book about how pouring boiling water over the beans, letting them soak for an hour, and then cooking, is a better technique in some ways. I’ve tried it and like it. If nothing else, it’s quicker! They also mention that adding a little baking soda to the cooking water makes the skins softer. I’ve tried that, too, but since i’ve never objected to my pressure cooked beans’s skins, I’m not sure I’ll bother with that. I’m glad you’re warm and happy! Reply · 9 January, 2015

    • Letty

      Thanks Judy. I am going to try the boiling water over the beans and letting them soak the hour. Might work better with my lazy-woman schedule. Reply · 10 January, 2015

  • Patricia Constable

    Thanks Letty, We just got a new pressure cooker for X-Mas and the new cooking instruction were so different than the old ones. This clarifies the whole thing. I agree that the natural cool leaves the beans in better shape. Wonder if it makes a difference if you are mashing them for refried beans? Patricia Reply · 9 January, 2015

    • Letty

      Thanks Patricia. I’ve been mashing refrieds just fine. Havea a stash of black beans right now!!! Reply · 10 January, 2015

  • We just made these for dinner tonight. I added some shallots and garlic- delicious!! Reply · 12 January, 2015

    • Letty

      Kelley–love those aromatics–shallot and garlic. Reply · 12 January, 2015

  • Lesley Davies

    I just cooked my first batch of PC garbanzos and I can believe how incredibly smooth textured they are. I presoaked and then cooked them with salt onion garlic and some fresh bay leaves. Im never opening a can again. And I have this lovely broth to use as well. Reply · 25 June, 2015

    • Letty

      Hi Lesley–that is so cool–thanks for writing. Yes the broth is bonus. I store it in the freezer so it’s ready when soup is on the menu. Reply · 25 June, 2015

  • Deborah

    Interested in vegan cooking Reply · 11 November, 2015

    • Great Deborah. Have a look around this site using the search word vegan. Reply · 11 November, 2015

  • Tim

    I put Italian seasoning and basil in with my chickpeas. I just eat them plain out of a container after cooking them. I have started drying them in the oven for about 30 to 45 minutes that way they don’t get slimy if they sit too long in the refrigerator and they taste a whole lot better dry if you’re eating them plain. I.e. between three and 4 pounds of chickpeas a week . I will have to try the pressure cooker trick as I have a regular pressure cooker that plugs in not off the stove. Reply · 31 December, 2015

    • Thanks for the comments Tim! I want one of those plug-in pressure cookers so I am jealous, though since I already have 2 stove-top ones it isn’t likely that I get one–but who knows! I love dried (and salted) cooked garbanzos as a snack! Even have a recipe up here on the blog: Reply · 31 December, 2015

      • Tim

        I have recently found that after cooking them to satisfy my craving or something hard and crunchy.. I now put them in the Hot air fryer’s that are so popular now. By the time they are nice and hard and crunchy almost like grape nuts, they end up being about 1/2 the size. I chomped down 9 pounds of pressured cooked chick peas in less than a week. Guess what… I gained over 5 pounds and have to struggle now to get back into the top ranger of my BMI. If they did not do that to me.. I could literally live off of those yummy crunchy peas. Reply · 16 May, 2019

        • I love those crunchy baked chickpeas too! Salty with kosher salt. Love the air fryer idea. I am getting one that goes on top of an Instant Pot–actually a competitor, Mealthy. Thanks for the note. Reply · 16 May, 2019

  • Tim

    I don’t use any salt or oils as I have been eating the Daniel diet/last heart attack diet for over 4 years now. Very restrictive. I need to do more things to liven up my veggies. Thanks. ? Reply · 31 December, 2015

    • Ahh–I bet just drying them is delicious anyway! Reply · 31 December, 2015

  • No

    Completely dry beans & 40 min cook worked great. It was pretty hard to find that considering your one of the first in Google for cooking chickpeas. Reply · 3 June, 2016

    • thanks–I totally love pressure cookers! Reply · 3 June, 2016

  • Tim

    I’ve cut back on the chick peas as I could eat them all day long. When I do make them now I cook them or mix them with lentils and split peas and using little or no seasoning. It’s a bland way to eat them but have learned to enjoy them and other foods that way. It’s the price you pay. 🙂 Reply · 4 June, 2016

  • sharon

    Thanks for these recipes. Is your pressure cooker a 10 or 15 pressure? Reply · 13 March, 2018

    • Hi Sharon, I tested these recipes on a Stovetop 15 pound pressure cooker. I now have a Duo 60 Instant Pot which I believe is 12# so times must be adjusted for that. Reply · 13 March, 2018

  • George Edwards

    Your instructions are spot on!

    I’ve been cooking with a pressure cooker all my life and I’m 65 this June, it’s difficult to convince my children to use them now.

    A tip, I pressure cook a chicken seasoned with Tumerick onions garlic and salt and pepper. I use this stock to pressure cook my garbanzo beans. The outcome is totally amazing for hummus or with mixed vegetables and egg plant! The chicken falls apart at 35 minutes after the jiggling commences! Reply · 19 March, 2018

    • Thank you George! Pressure cookers are the best time saving tools ever! Reply · 19 March, 2018

  • Elizabeth

    Thanks Letty, for your detailed instructions that gave time for both instant and slow pressure release. The cookbook that came with my pressure cooker lists times for eleven different legumes, but alas, not garbanzos! Reply · 11 April, 2018

    • You are very welcome, I’m happy you found my post helpful. With the recent electric pressure cooker popularity, cooking times will vary as well. Can be confusing. Reply · 11 April, 2018

    • Julie

      Hi Letty, first off, I really enjoyed reading your recipe description, the various details and without the continual skipping past annoying advertisements and promos, the old Pinterest, I just exit those types in a hurry. Clearly you are in it for love of your craft and skill. I have a couple of very old pressure cookers that I’ve hung onto for decades. Their seals are in great shape so I use them. I’m not anxious to buy a new dangled one just so I can find room to store it in my small cupboards. I used to have a “Beans” cookbook but it was borrowed and never returned. My question for you is what is the pounds of pressure setting you use if you are aware? My pans come with pressure setters that can be done using 5, 10 or 15lbs just by selecting how you put your “jiggler” when steam begins to come from the vent. When I question this, I usually just choose 10 to be safe and not turn my beans to mush. This Iowa’s a lost art once the microwave was developed. I still remember what a miracle a Microwave seemed like when they first became available, about the same time disposable diapers were created. Thank you so much for blessing my life with your wealth of information and inspiration! Reply · 12 April, 2020

  • Jonny T

    I’m in my mid 40s and love my pr sure cooker. I have a modern stovetop pot from WMF. It is brilliant because it has a pop-up pressure gauge on the top.

    I also always add salt when cooking beans. After many experiments, 1 tsp salt to 2 quarts / litres of water is great for taste. It seems the no salt rule is an old wive’s tale that is often repeated and not a rule in reality. Reply · 3 November, 2018

    • Thanks Jonny,
      Yes, there certainly is a range of opinions about salt and I tend to agree with you that the no salt rule is not a rule in reality. But I still don’t salt first–that’s just me. Reply · 6 November, 2018

  • Joan

    Hi everyone. I have an old stove top pressure cooker. (I’m not sure if I could adapt to the new ones! I’m old school.) This recipe worked perfectly for my unsoaked beans. 40 minutes and then a natural release. Onions, garlic, olive oil and a bay leaf. Delicious. This recipe cannot get any better. Thank you for the perfect time of the old way. Reply · 14 January, 2019

    • Thank you Joan! I’m delighted you had success! I tested the timing on my stovetop pressure too. Reply · 14 January, 2019

  • Azcowgirrlup


    I just had to let you know that ever since I read your post about cooking chickpeas / garbanzo beans in the pressure cooker, I always throw in a couple of dried chiles, plus onions, garlic, black pepper.
    Amazing! The dried chiles take them to a whole different level of yumminess and without heat, unless I decide that I want some heat.
    I never soak the beans, I just get a taste for them and throw them in the pressure cooker. I have also discovered that I am using my old stovetop hard anodized pressure cooker more than my instant pot.
    I am so very happy that I found your blog. Thank you for sharing your recipes and cooking tips. Reply · 15 May, 2019

    • Thank you! You make my day!
      I’ve been using my Kuhn-Rikon Swiss-made stovetop pressure cooker more too! I like my Instant Pot for polenta and steel-cut oatmeal though…
      There is a new electric pressure cooker on the market–called Mealthy. I was given one to try out but side by side it looks like an upgrade from the Instant Pot–though still Chinese-made. Reply · 16 May, 2019

  • Randy

    Letty, just found your site! It is awesome and full of straight forward facts..I was taught to use a pressure cooker (and to cook for myself) from my mom in the mid 60’s. At 65, I still use her ‘Presto’ pressure cooker, and have since bought a stainless steel one. Keep up the good work and Thank You! Reply · 14 October, 2019

    • You are so welcome Randy. What a wonderful mother you have to teach you cooking and pressure cooking! Reply · 15 October, 2019

  • Just did this. Presoaked and a natural cool down but when I opened, they are not cooked and there is a lot of water left. I am refiring them up?? Thoughts? Reply · 21 September, 2020

    • Bring the beans back up to pressure and cook 3 to 4 minutes more. Reply · 28 September, 2020

  • Hey Letty. I had a long enough lapse in my lablabi cooking that I forgot how long to cook garbanzos in my pressure cooker. Siri had you close to the top of the search results, and your post was far more helpful than the two before you. Reply · 11 November, 2020

    • That is so nice to hear–thank you Judy for your comment! Reply · 12 November, 2020

  • Shari Sanders

    I followed your recipe to the T with a stove top pressure cooker. The beans cooked to mush in 12 minutes. the dogs and the chickens are thrilled. Reply · 15 August, 2022

  • Patti Kish

    Thank you so very much for sharing your knowledge about cooking chickpeas. You are the person that I have been looking for. Perfect beans. 15 minutes in pressure cooker, 1.5 teaspoons of salt and natural release. 😀 😀 😀 Reply · 30 October, 2022

    • Thank you Patti. I’m so glead I could help you to use your pressure cooker to cook beans. Reply · 30 October, 2022

  • Aj

    My granddaughter wanted to make a Homos and beets dip so cooked a batch of garbanzo beans in my pressure cooker. I SEde remaining beans In a zucchini dish over rice. Nothing goes to waste around here. Thanks for your ,informative blog. Regards. Aj Reply · 6 May, 2024

    • Thank you for your comment–so glad the pressre cooker garbanzo beans work for you! Reply · 6 May, 2024

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