I'm following a recipe that calls for 200g of dried chickpeas, soaked overnight. I have two 28 fl. oz. (796 ml) cans of chick peas, packed in water.

This is made complicated by two things:

  1. You can't easily convert a weight measurement to a volume measurement. (What is the density of a chickpea?)
  2. The recipe wants me to measure dry chickpeas, and I have canned chickpeas. (How much of the weight is water?)

How much of my canned chickpeas should I use?

  • 1
    I assume the recipe is actually cooking the chickpeas (garbanzo beans) fully (a time consuming process, eg. hours)? Some recipes, like falafel, sometimes require uncooked chickpeas.
    – Orbling
    Commented Mar 7, 2011 at 1:01

6 Answers 6


There is no exact conversion because there are so many different varieties of chickpeas or any bean types for that matter

Their water absorption rate and amount is effected by many things including how they have been stored, have they been heat treated on import, and what time of year they where grown!

My rough rule of thumb for beans in general is 2.5 ±.5 times the volume and 2 ±.5 the weight after an overnight soak

With our local chickpeas it's 2.2 times the weight after 10 hours at 20°C (on the bench)

200g should be around 440g of soaked chickpeas. 1 cup of chickpeas is around 240g, so just shy of two cups of soaked chickpeas should do it


I have just cooked 290 grams of dried chickpeas which filled 1 cup, in a pressure cooker. After cooking the drained weight was 616 grams or 2.12 times the dry weight. The volume was 3.75 cups or 3.75 the dried volume


The USDA guidelines for canning dried peas or beans (or here) gives the rule of thumb that 12 ounces of dried peas/beans produces 1 quart (32 fluid ounces) of canned product. That's a ratio of 3 oz dry per 8 fl oz cooked. They don't specifically mention chickpeas in the document, but the same ratio appears in other places, here for example.

At that ratio, 7.05 oz (200 g) of dried chickpeas would produce 18.8 fl oz. A 28 fl oz can of cooked chickpeas would represent about 10.5 oz of dried chickpeas.


Hydrated chickpea = 1/2 dry chickpea. So If the recipe calls for 8 ounces dry chickpeas use 16 ounces hydrated chickpeas. I ran a small study weight 10g of dry counted them and then weighted 10g of hydrated ones. Ratio is 2:1 Dry:Hydrated. Hopes this is helpful


All of these are measurements I've done myself:

1/2 cup (100 g): uncooked dry chickpeas = 1 cup (170 g): uncooked soaked chickpeas.

Based on this data, I can say the density of uncooked dry chickpeas is of 0.85 g/mL, and for uncooked soaked chickpeas is of 0.72 g/mL. This is assuming that 1 cup = 236.588 mL, not 250 mL as usually.

I don't have the measurements for cooked (and soaked) chickpeas, which should be even higher. The chickpeas were soaked for 8 hours in 2 & 1/2 cup: water.

So, for your first question, 200 g: uncooked soaked chickpeas = 278.339 mL (assuming again 1 cup = 236.588 mL). You should use 278.339 mL to get the 200 g the recipe is asking for.

In regards to your second question, cans usually have drained weight, or at least for canned sea food like tuna or salmon. This is the amount of weight after draining oil/water. However, some beans are canned with veggies.


As an approximate guide, I multiply the dry weight by 2.25 to get the soaked and cooked weight of beans and chickpeas. Most recipes are forgiving for a few grams difference in weight. It always works and I cook a lot with legumes and prefer using dry over canned for confidence in knowing what is in the food I cook. Check out Nourishing Traditions for information on soaking

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