chickpeas in a glass flower-shaped bowl

This easy, economical, healthy vegetarian (and vegan) chickpea recipe is a Greek classic commonly eaten by just about anyone. It’s even better if you squeeze fresh lemon juice onto your bowl of chickpeas before eating. Start with dry chickpeas rather than using canned, and soak them overnight; it’s healthier, cheaper, and not at all difficult.



  • 500 grams (1/2 kilogram) or 1.1 pounds dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • Water
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1-2 heaping tablespoons, more or less, of flour (or not, if you want a gluten-free recipe and don’t mind thinner broth)



Select chickpeas that haven’t been sitting around too long—that is, try to buy them from a store where they are popular and regularly replaced. Rinse, drain, and sort your chickpeas to remove small stones that may be hiding among them. Soak them overnight (8-12 hours) in a large covered bowl or pan with plenty of cold water to allow them to double in size and still remain completely covered.

If you forget to soak your chickpeas until it’s approaching cooking time, you can bring them to a boil—and some people suggest boiling them from one to five minutes—then cover, remove from heat, and let them soak for one hour in that hot water.

After soaking, discard the soaking water and rinse and strain the chickpeas. Add enough fresh water to cover the chickpeas in the pot, plus another inch (2 centimeters) or more, depending on whether you will be using a pressure cooker or a conventional pot.

Add the olive oil, chopped onion, salt, and pepper.

If you are using a conventional cooking pot, bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer the chickpeas until they reach the desired tenderness, probably from 1 to 1 ½ hours. Be sure enough water remains in the pan during cooking so the chickpeas are always fully covered.

If you want to use a pressure cooker, read the directions that come with your pressure cooker, for example to be sure yours is large enough for over a pound of chickpeas and to be sure you know how to use it safely. You could check this chart for help determining the cooking time, as well, since that will vary. Bring the chickpea mixture to a boil, close the pressure cooker tightly, and once it begins releasing steam, reduce heat to medium high and cook for about half an hour—or according to directions for your own pressure cooker. Once you remove the cooker from the heat and release the pressure as directed for your cooker, check to see if the chickpeas are as tender as you like them; if not, cook them more.

Once the chickpeas are as tender as you like them, remove 1 cup of the broth. Add the lemon juice to the broth. Then add a tablespoon or two of flour, or more, depending on how thick you’d like your broth. Blend these well (with a mixer, food processor, or wire whisk), until all flour lumps disappear. Mix this in with the chickpeas.

Serve with rice and fresh lemon to squeeze onto the chickpeas at the table as desired. You can freeze some to have later, too.

Vegetarian Dishes

Desserts, Sweet Snacks, Breakfast Items



Other Main Dishes