We Tried All the Canned Chickpeas So You Don't Have To

February 23, 2018

Everyone had an opinion about our upcoming chickpea taste test. And by an opinion, I mean just that—like, the same opinion. “I vote for Goya!” one staff member chimed in. “Are you going to do it blind?” another asked. Should I? “Yeah, you should. Because I’m going to pick Goya. Brand loyalty.” A few days later, as I was opening cans, more commentary: “It’s got to be Goya.”

What is this? A chickpea club no one invited me to? (Also, doesn’t a chickpea club sound fun? Do you want to start one with me?) I’ve eaten plenty of canned garbanzos—more than I’ll ever admit, even to you—but I’m not committed to any one brand. I mean, they’re all, more or less, the same. Right?

We decided to put it to the test. Five cans, facing off: Which one is Goya? You tell me. (And by you, I mean my co-workers, who, very generously, ate very many chickpeas for this test.)

Trader Joe’s Organic

These were favorited by no one. Several mentioned “no salt” (not true, guys, but noted), while others remarked that they were “bland.” They were also noticeably firmer than their competitors. While this makes them well-suited for cooking—say, an olive oily braise—they won’t get an invite to our salads anytime soon.

Eden Organics

Does organic mean less delicious? (Asking for a friend—the comment section is below!) Like the Trader Joe’s variety, these chickpeas were largely described as underseasoned. “Not a fan!” one remarked. The adjectives “bland,” “mealy,” and “mushy” were also thrown around.


One lone taste tester marked these the “Clear winner!” (And also underlined each word, just in case.) No one agreed with her. One person said these chickpeas tasted “canned, metallic.” Another called them “slimy.” A few did commend their effort, though: “Tastes very chickpea-y.” And “strong chickpea flavor.”


I’ll cut to the chase: Most of our taste testers declared these their favorite. One drew a heart. Another, a star. The beans were praised for being well seasoned and creamy—a friend to salads everywhere. Side note: This test took place over a couple hours, as staff swung to/fro editorial land at their leisure. As other chickpeas started to oxidize and turn grey, these ones, somehow, stayed perfectly rosy-beige.

Goya Organic

A little curveball for all you Goya loyalists. Bon Appétit’s Basically declared these “The Best Canned Chickpeas.” Over here at Food52, we disagree. “These taste like meat,” one fan noted. “Yum.” Others, meanwhile, declared them underseasoned, from “neutral flavor” to “blandest so far.” Some considered their composition lackluster, from “kind of mushy” to “too much skin.”

Shop the Story

Are you loyal to one brand of canned chickpeas? Is it Goya? Discuss in the comments below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Susan
  • borbor
  • Donald
  • Roger
  • Marina
Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.


Susan July 20, 2020
I know this isn't about cans, but I have to tell you what I've been doing as we eat chickpeas daily. I cook 3 cups of dried (not pre-soaked) in my instant pot for 65 minutes. I then fill up my "tupperware" container, and freeze the rest in a zip lock after freezing them in a pan so they aren't all stuck together and when the container is finished, I have the frozen to go to for a couple days before a cook another batch.
borbor July 20, 2020
I've never tried any brand but Goya! Now that I know the owners are in favor of caging small children I'll find something else! Thanks for the help!
kasia S. March 3, 2022
Yeah their stuff was good but I can't honestly buy it and feel good eating their food, agree :) there are many brands tho that are wonderful, I just got 4 cans of another brand and can't wait to get cooking.
Donald February 29, 2020
Goya was the winner from America's Test kitchen as well.
Roger February 28, 2020
I go for Goya and it's their firm texture as much as taste. Most other brands arrive so soft (over cooked) that they begin to disintegrate when mixed into a dish. Goya have a reliable firmness and "chew"that I prefer.
Marina February 28, 2020
Why buy canned chickpeas when there are alternatives in glass? Le Conserve della Nonna brand has fabulous cooked chickpeas from Italy, and they are THE BEST. So good to just toss in a salad, use as a side with authentic olive oil, or sprinkle on top of a dip for a bit of texture.
Kendall February 28, 2020
Do you know where I can buy Le Conserve della Nonna chickpeas in the US? would like to try it
Marina February 29, 2020
Unfortunately I don't know, but I'm sure if you write the company they will direct you. All their pulses are truly delicious.
The english website:
vicki February 28, 2020
I am Jovial fan myself. They come in a jar and tend not to have a tinny taste
Brent March 1, 2020
I agree, Vicki! Jovial brand is the best! Packed in glass with just sea salt and water, organic chickpeas from Italy. I also love their cannellini beans, kidney bean, borlotti beans and tomatoes- all from italy, packed in glass. When they are on sale on their website, I stock up!
vicki March 1, 2020
Try Vitacost they have great sales on all Jovial products. They have the best prices and they package their products much better than amazon does. If you are gluten free they have a great selection of those products also. No I do not work for them. HA HA
Brent March 1, 2020
thanks for the tip!
Mari O. February 1, 2020
Canned chickpeas are awful, while cooked from dry chickpeas have a delightful near nut-like flavor.
Donna P. April 12, 2019
Compare your canned chickpeas to properly cooked dried chickpeas.

Also, keep in mind not everyone wants to eat overly processed, sodium-laden canned beans. Not everyone can eat them. Some of us have dietary restrictions on sodium. But that is okay. I’ll keep eating my yummy chickpeas my way.
Andikap June 16, 2018
I have been making my hummus’s for years and always buy what’s on sale. Last week in Costco I notice an 8 pack of Goya chickpeas so I picked it up. When I made hummus last week in was so creamy I thought maybe I put too much olive oil. I made it again today and OMG I’m never buying anything else but Goya chick peas. That’s how I found this post, I googled Goya chickpeas.
Susan May 14, 2018
Whole Foods 360 brand is our go-to canned option. No preservatives please.
Jana May 14, 2018
Most of the brands I've tried are flavorless except the organic (chemical free) generic brand at my local store. I don't care how good beans taste, if they are sitting in a chemical soup I don't buy them. They say chickpeas, water and salt or they go back on the shelf. Period.
NuMystic May 13, 2018
Worth noting that the Goya and Progresso use preservatives while the other brands tested don’t. Personally, under seasoned is a plus. I don’t want my canned beans pre-seasoned. They’re an ingredient not a ready to eat dish. I much prefer the flexibility of seasoning them in exactly the way I want myself.
ninadora February 25, 2018
For some reason the Faurway house brand of canned chick peas (and black beans) are unusually good! I don’t know if these get private labeled at other supermarkets I just know they are noticibly better than other canned beans!
Ttrockwood February 25, 2018
Certainly not a comprehensive taste test but i’m definitely pro-Goya myself for canned chickpeas. My neighborhood market even has the big 29oz cans which are great. I was also surprised by how not delicious the trader joe’s chickpeas are. Whole foods 365 brand are good enough i pick those up when i need some instead of making another stop
Joan D. February 24, 2018
I love the Fred Meyers Store brand of chick peas.
Mike E. February 24, 2018
All right, so it's Goya. But how do they compare to dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and cooked?
jenniebgood February 24, 2018
I agree - Would love to know how all of these brands stand up to soaked from scratch/cooked!
George H. February 24, 2018
I only eat dried chickpeas. I always soak and cook myself. Why bother if you are food52-organized?
Stephanie B. February 23, 2018
Ok so I don't remember trying Goya - I'm sure I have I just don't remember them being particularly memorable. But I did recently try Kroeger's house brand. They were a surprisingly more saturated golden color than other chickpeas I had, and I thought they tasted great.
witloof February 23, 2018
Marcella Hazan recommended Goya.
emarie February 23, 2018
I usually cook chickpeas by the pound and freeze them, but I always have a few cans of Goya on the shelf for emergencies!
Marie February 28, 2020
Can’t believe I never thought of this! Thank you for the idea!
Windischgirl February 23, 2018
Buy dry, soak overnight, and cook in your Instant Pot for 15-20 minutes. Delicious and freeze well. Cheaper too.
jpriddy March 1, 2018
That's what I do. I heat just to a simmer, leave them overnight and they cook fast.