Chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) are a staple ingredient in many vegan and vegetarian diets. They’re also infiltrating their way into the meals of many meat-eaters as they’re an excellent source of protein.
My mum is an avid meat-and-two-veg kind of cook, but has recently started using chickpeas in many dishes with a little encouragement from me.
So, what’s the best way to store chickpeas? To store leftover chickpeas, make sure they’re completely dry and cool before putting them in an airtight container to store in the fridge. They’ll last for up to three days. Alternatively, you can freeze them for up to six months.
How to store roasted chickpeas
Roasted chickpeas are a crispy, delicious, healthy alternative to crisps. But what’s the best way to store roasted chickpeas?
Chickpeas aren’t naturally crunchy, so storing roasted chickpeas is all about how to prolong the crisp.
For maximum crunch, roasted chickpeas are best consumed right away. If you do need to store them, keep them in a container at room temperature with the lid slightly ajar. This means that air can circulate, which helps the chickpeas to retain their crunchy texture. Using this method the chickpeas should last you for around 3-4 days (if you manage to not eat them all before then!).
You can also use a bowl and cover the chickpeas with a paper towel to stop any bugs landing on them.
If you’re less concerned about the crunchiness of your chickpeas and just want to store them for as long as possible, keep them in an airtight container where they’ll last for up to 2 weeks. You can also freeze your roasted chickpeas for up to 2 months.
The roasted chickpeas will become softer and lose their crunch using these methods, but will still taste just as good.
Before you put the chickpeas in any container, make sure they’re completely cool. Otherwise, they can sweat, which will produce moisture and reduce their shelf life.
Do you need to refrigerate roasted chickpeas?
The reason we refrigerate food is to prevent mold (caused by bacteria) from growing on it. Bacteria need moisture to be able to survive, which foods like dry rice and pasta don’t have. Therefore, mold isn’t an issue, and they can be kept at room temperature.
Roasted chickpeas have been dried in the oven and contain very little moisture. Because of this, bacteria won’t be able to survive on the chickpeas and you don’t need to refrigerate them. The only time I would advise refrigerating roasted chickpeas is if you’ve used a seasoning that you’d typically keep in the fridge (such as butter).
How to store soaked chickpeas
If you buy dried chickpeas, you often need to soak them before you use them. Soaking them softens the chickpeas and makes them more digestible.
To store soaked chickpeas, drain all the water and rinse the chickpeas thoroughly. Once done, put them in an airtight container in the fridge where they’ll keep for 3-4 days. You can also freeze the chickpeas in a sealed container where they’ll stay at their best for up to 6 months (more on this below).
Try to get the chickpeas as dry as possible before you store them. Pat them dry with a paper towel or leave them to air dry for a few hours before putting them away. This will prevent them from absorbing excess moisture and becoming soggy.
How to store cooked chickpeas
Cooked chickpeas are chickpeas that have been soaked and boiled, and are now soft enough to be eaten.
To store cooked chickpeas, rinse and drain them, then keep them in an airtight container in the fridge. The cooked chickpeas should last for 2-3 days. Some people also like to keep the cooking water, commonly known as aquafaba. Aquafaba will last for 2-3 days in the fridge if you keep it in a covered container.
You can also freeze both the cooked chickpeas and aquafaba for up to 6 months. You can freeze them together or separately. More on this in the how to store aquafaba section below.
If you’re storing chickpeas in the fridge or freezer without the cooking liquid, make sure to dry them as much as possible before putting them away. This will help to prolong their life.
If you’re batch cooking chickpeas to store and reheat them later, then it’s best to undercook them slightly. That way, when you warm them up, they won’t become mushy and overcooked.
You can store cooked chickpeas in any form. If you’ve already incorporated your chickpeas into a delicious curry or you’ve pureed it make hummus, that’s still okay. You can still refrigerate or freeze the chickpeas to save for another day. The only consideration here is the other ingredients in your dish and whether they can be stored successfully.
How to store canned chickpeas
If the can is sealed, then you should store it according to the instructions given on the can. There will usually be a best before date that indicates how long the chickpeas will stay at their best for.
If the can has any signs of leaks or has any sizeable dents, then it’s likely the seal has broken, and you should throw the chickpeas away.
Once opened, you should cover the can with plastic wrap or tin foil and store the chickpeas in the fridge. Alternatively, you can empty the chickpeas into an airtight container and put this in the refrigerator. Canned chickpeas will last around 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
If you need to keep them for longer, you can freeze them for up to two months.
How to store aquafaba
Aquabafa is the liquid you find in canned chickpeas. You can also make it yourself at home by soaking and the cooking dried chickpeas. The cooking water turns into aquabafa. It’s full of proteins and if often used as a substitute for eggs in vegan cooking.
You can keep aquabafa in the fridge in an airtight container for 2-3 days. It also freezes really well. Before you freeze it, make sure to portion it up because once it’s defrosted, you can’t re-freeze it. An easy way to portion it out is to use an ice cube tray.
One ice cube is approximately equal to one tablespoon of aquabafa, which is equal to ½ an egg white. Once the cubes are frozen, you can transfer them to a freezer bag for more convenient storage.
How to store dried chickpeas
You can keep dried chickpeas at ambient temperatures in a cool, dry place for up to a year. After a year, the chickpeas can start to become stale which affects their texture once cooked.
It’s not advisable to put dried chickpeas in the refrigerator because they can absorb moisture in the fridge. Absorbing moisture will dramatically lower their shelf life and could cause the chickpeas to mold.
Can you freeze chickpeas
Yes, you can freeze chickpeas. It’s best to freeze chickpeas when they’ve just been soaked or are slightly undercooked. This will prevent them from getting mushy after defrosting. Chickpeas will last for up to 6 months in the freezer and you can freeze them with or without the liquid.
Dried chickpeas shouldn’t be frozen, and you can freeze roasted chickpeas but the freezing process will cause them to lose their crunch.
If you’re planning to use the chickpeas in a salad or wrap where you don’t want the texture to be too mushy, I would advise freezing them without any liquid.
Make sure the chickpeas have been rinsed and are as dry as you can get them before putting them in the freezer. Excess moisture forms ice crystals as it freezes and causes the chickpeas to become soggy.
To stop the chickpeas all sticking together as they freeze, I use a technique called pre-freezing. Lay the chickpeas out in a single layer on a baking tray and freeze them for around an hour. Once they’re partially frozen you can put the chickpeas in a larger container with no fear of them sticking together.
This method means you don’t have to pre-portion out the chickpeas and store all the portions in separate freezer bags saving you vital freezer space.
If you’re planning to use the chickpeas for something like a soup or a stew, it doesn’t matter so much if the chickpeas are a little soggy. If you don’t mind losing a little crunch, you can freeze them in their cooking liquid (aquafaba). The cooking liquid makes a good substitute for stock and using it means you don’t lose any of the nutrients.
To thaw the frozen chickpeas keep them in the refrigerator overnight, or if you forget to take them out in advance you can defrost them in the microwave. If you defrost them in the fridge the chickpeas will stay good for another 2-3. However, the chickpeas should be used immediately if you’ve defrosted them in the microwave.
How to store black chickpeas
Black chickpeas are similar to normal chickpeas except they’re slightly smaller and have a nuttier taste.
They can be used in a lot of the same ways as regular chickpeas, and the storage instructions are also the same.
- Dried they should be kept in the cupboard.
- Canned you should follow the instructions on the tin
- Soaked or cooked you can keep them in the fridge for a few days or freeze
How To Store Chickpeas
- 1 portion roasted chickpeas
- Keep the chickpeas in a container at room temperature with the lid slightly ajar. This means that air can circulate, which helps the chickpeas to retain their crunchy texture.
- You can also use a bowl and cover the chickpeas with a paper towel to stop any bugs landing on them.
- If you’re less concerned about the crunchiness of your chickpeas and just want to store them for as long as possible, keep them in an airtight container where they’ll last for up to 2 weeks.
- You can also freeze your roasted chickpeas for up to 2 months. The roasted chickpeas will become softer and lose their crunch using these methods, but will still taste just as good.