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How to Easily Remove the Peels from Canned Chickpeas

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If you have been around Clean Eating Veggie Girl for a while now, you are well aware that I have a thing for chickpeas.  I have featured them in countless recipes, and they often appear in the dishes I share for my Friday Foodie Favorites posts.  Though it took me years of my life to ever begin cooking with them, you will now always find at least a can or two in my pantry.

Some chickpea recipes do not require you to remove the peels.  However, I have found that there are many occasions where I personally view de-peeling chickpeas as a necessity.  The perfect example of this is when I make chickpea salads.  Trust me, you do not want all of those peels hanging out in your chickpea salad!

How to Peel Chickpeas 6 GraphicI don’t remember where I first heard about this trick (and I would love to give credit to whoever discovered it), but it has become one of my favorite kitchen hacks.  And since I write about chickpeas an awful lot, I figured it was only right that I pass along the trick to you!  Following is a step-by-step pictorial on How to Easily Remove the Peels from Canned Chickpeas.  Be sure to watch the accompanying video at the end, too!

ChickpeasStart by opening the can of chickpeas, draining them in a colander, and rinsing them very well under cold water until clean.

How to Peel ChickpeasLay the chickpeas out onto a towel to air-dry for at least an hour.  You do not have to dry the chickpeas first, but the peels come off more easily if they have been dried.

How to Peel Chickpeas 2Place a second towel over the chickpeas.

How to Peel Chickpeas 3No, not halfway.  All the way!

How to Peel Chickpeas 4There.  That’s better!

How to Peel Chickpeas 5Using both hands (only one here for the sake of photography), gently rub the towel over the chickpeas for approximately 30 seconds.  Feel free to repeat this step if necessary.

How to Peel Chickpeas 6Remove the towel and admire your halfway peeled chickpeas.

How to Peel Chickpeas 7You will notice that some of the peels will be fully removed.  Others will simply be partially removed.

How to Peel Chickpeas 8One at a time, remove the peel from each chickpea.  This can be a tedious task, but it will go much more quickly now that the chickpea peels are already partially removed.

How to Peel Chickpeas 9See!  Easy peasy!  Discard the peels and place the chickpeas into a bowl.  Use them in your favorite recipe that calls for chickpeas.  Maybe you’d like to check out one of these?

Chickpea Polenta Breakfast Scramble
Cashew and Grape Chickpea Salad
“No Chicken” Noodle Chickpea Soup
Roasted Buffalo Chickpeas
Roasted French Onion Chickpeas

In case the photos above aren’t enough, I did a Clean Eating Veggie Girl first.  I… (get ready for it)

… made you a video!  I have pretty much been terrified of making a vlog for the past couple of years.  It turns out they aren’t so bad! 😉  It was a no make-up Saturday when I filmed this, so I stayed out of the video (except for my hands and voice).  I think that the step-by-step pictures are helpful, but if you want to see them in action you need to check out the video below.  Also, please excuse the not-so-great quality of the video.  Remember, this is the first one I have ever made!

What is your favorite way to cook with chickpeas?  Share the links in the comments!

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{ 40 comments… add one }
  • Kristy @ Southern In-Law March 27, 2015, 6:16 am
    This is a smart way to do it! I usually take the lazy way and soak mine in a bowl of water until the peels come off and float to the top - then I just agitate the chickpeas in the water to loosen up any remaining ones, drain and rinse! Kristy @ Southern In-Law recently posted...Recent Things: 7 Year-Un-iversary, Mushroom Overload and a Competition!My Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl March 27, 2015, 9:02 am
      I hadn't thought to do that, Kristy, but now I'm going to have to try that too! Thanks :)
  • Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine March 27, 2015, 9:29 am
    I actually like keeping the skin ON! Roasted, hummus, or just in a dish, I love the skins on ;) But when I cook dry ones in the rice cooker, the skins usually just come off anyway :P Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine recently posted...Friday Finisher 3/27/15My Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl March 27, 2015, 12:51 pm
      I am "lazy" and always just buy them in the can. Maybe I should try to start cooking my own! Also... I am now craving roasted chickpeas ;)
  • sharsti@sugarplumrunner March 27, 2015, 9:44 am
    I have never made anything with chick peas before, but now I really wanna make some hummus! Great tips=)
    • ClnEatingVegGrl March 27, 2015, 12:57 pm
      Oh my gosh, you need to!! I have about a million chickpea recipes here on CEVG if you need some inspiration ;)
  • Beverley Cheng March 27, 2015, 10:46 am
    Haha i love the comment 'no not halfway, all the way!!' Next time i have to peel some chickpeas i will definitely try this out. i also love your video! nice job :) Beverley Cheng recently posted...Weekly Workout Wrap Up!My Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl March 27, 2015, 12:57 pm
      Thank you Beverley!! I like to try to add in a little lightheartedness ;)
  • Sam @ Grapefruit & Granola March 27, 2015, 11:15 am
    I loved your video! I've been thinking of doing a vlog for some time but it seems like it would take a lot of energy, lol.
    • ClnEatingVegGrl March 27, 2015, 3:51 pm
      It's not too bad... but that's also probably why mine was super basic and I literally did ZERO editing. I don't know how people make such amazing vlogs. It definitely wouldn't be my strong suit!! ;)
  • Erin @ Her Heartland Soul March 27, 2015, 11:31 am
    Ahh I love your video! Great trick!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl March 27, 2015, 3:52 pm
      Thanks Erin!! I hate videos so I sort of still can't believe that I actually posted it ;) haha
  • Marisa @ Uproot from Oregon March 27, 2015, 11:58 am
    Love the video and hearing your voice for the first time :D Marisa @ Uproot from Oregon recently posted...What I Ate {#21}My Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl March 27, 2015, 3:53 pm
      It is pretty fun to hear others' voices isn't it? It's kind of like being able to MEET other bloggers in person, too. It's so surreal but VERY cool!! Speaking of... I'm planning to be in the Denver area sometime in June. Maybe I can meet up with you and Tara!
      • Marisa @ Uproot from Oregon March 27, 2015, 4:02 pm
        Yes please!! Let us know when you have solidified your plans. I would love that! :) Marisa @ Uproot from Oregon recently posted...What I Ate {#21}My Profile
        • ClnEatingVegGrl March 27, 2015, 7:12 pm
          I think we are planning on June 20th to the 26th, but I'm not for sure yet on which days we will be in Denver. I'll let you know when I know more :)
  • emma @ be mom strong March 27, 2015, 1:25 pm
    So glad I found you! We just switched to primarily plant-based lifestyle... love me some chickpeas! emma @ be mom strong recently posted...Women- Plan Running Around Your CycleMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl March 27, 2015, 3:54 pm
      I'm so glad you found me, too!! Thanks for stopping by. Don't be a stranger! :)
  • Jaime March 27, 2015, 6:52 pm
    That's really cool, and I didn't realize chickpeas could be peeled. =P I'll have to try this next time. Jaime recently posted...Meijer Deals 3/29-4/4My Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl March 27, 2015, 7:07 pm
      They can in fact be peeled... it took me awhile to figure it out too ;) I don't feel the need to for all recipes, but I like to for some!
  • Angela March 27, 2015, 7:49 pm
    Will you be doing a 'foodie favorites' this week?
    • ClnEatingVegGrl March 27, 2015, 8:44 pm
      Unfortunately I will not be. I try to post them as frequently as I can, but since I only share recipes I have tried, it generally is not feasible to post them every week. Hopefully I will get another one up over the next couple of weeks! I'll try my best :)
  • Sam @ PancakeWarriors March 27, 2015, 10:41 pm
    How perfect is this tip for when you make roasted chickpeas or hummus!! It's so tedious but this will make it so much easier! Thanks for sharing Sam @ PancakeWarriors recently posted...Ultimate Butt WorkoutMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl March 28, 2015, 9:22 am
      You're so welcome, Sam! I hope others have found it helpful :)
  • Kristine @ Kristine's Kitchen March 28, 2015, 12:16 am
    This is a great tip! I love making homemade hummus and smashed chickpea sandwiches, and sometimes peeling the chickpeas is a necessary (but tedious) step. This sounds so much easier! Kristine @ Kristine's Kitchen recently posted...28 Citrus Recipes for Spring!My Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl March 28, 2015, 9:23 am
      It is definitely easier! Some recipes it is totally fine to leave the peels on for, but I just cannot stand them in my chickpea salads. This trick makes the process not quite as painful ;)
  • Farrah March 28, 2015, 6:41 am
    I've never tried taking the skins off of chickpeas before (never even realized they could be! :O ). I'll have to try this next time I'm using em'! Farrah recently posted...Foodie Friday: 3-Ingredient PancakesMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl March 28, 2015, 9:26 am
      We learn something new everyday, don't we? It's totally not necessary for some recipes (like roasting), but I cannot stand having the peels in my chickpea salads. It's totally up to your personal preferences :)
  • Emily @SinfulNutrition March 28, 2015, 2:25 pm
    Such an awesome tip! I make hummus like it's my job, so I'll have to try this next time. Thanks for sharing! Emily @SinfulNutrition recently posted...Five Things Friday: 4 Truths & a Lie.My Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl March 28, 2015, 8:06 pm
      You are so welcome, Emily! This is definitely a good trick to get the smooooothest hummus possible!
  • Nickely Challenged April 1, 2015, 6:37 pm
    Now I know! I have never attempted to cook chickpeas but I will definitely try. Thanks for sharing. Nickely Challenged recently posted...Liebster AwardMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 1, 2015, 6:49 pm
      You are so welcome! I hope you find it helpful. Chickpeas area amazing, so you should definitely try them out :)
  • maureen April 10, 2016, 4:46 pm
    try soaking them in a mesh colander and give it a whirl every few minutes
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 11, 2016, 7:14 am
      Great idea! I'll have to try that!
  • Mary K. April 16, 2016, 11:41 pm
    There is no question that the difference between canned and dried chickpeas is like night and day....at least for hummus, there's a big difference. I have been spoiled because I have been going to the Greek market here in Toronto for my dried chickpeas and they import a brand called 3Alpha which packs chickpeas dried and NO SKINS on! They don't need soaking....you just cook them. They make THE creamiest, light-tasting hummus! I ran out and need to make hummus so I HAD to buy some regular ones at the market and this is why I looked online for a solution to the 'skin' problem. Glad I looked here. If you are such a lover of chickpeas, I suggest that you try the dried ones and make them yourself. You will not be sorry!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 17, 2016, 8:36 am
      Thank you, Mary! Yes, making my own chickpeas is definitely the most delicious, but sometimes I am a convenience kind of girl ;)
  • Sophia January 2, 2018, 10:04 am
    And what do we do with the liquid inside the can instead of just draining it? https://www.vegansociety.com/whats-new/blog/20-amazing-things-you-can-do-aquafaba
    • ClnEatingVegGrl January 2, 2018, 3:53 pm
      Yes! I so need to try this!
  • Diane June 26, 2021, 12:16 pm
    Thanks! I love love chickpeas! But my pet peeve is those shells! The just gross me out I can’t eat them. It’s such a pain to get them off I will try this. I love mashed chickpeas— for my Buffalo chickpeas taquitos or for sandwiches so I have to take them off. My daughter says I’m wasting my time cause restaurants don’t take them off but the shells just gross me out so much.
  • Tiffany willingham October 9, 2023, 4:40 pm
    My fav chick pea recipe is super simple I replace the potatoes in baked potatoes soup with blended chick peas add coconut milk and shredded Gouda. Chickpeas go great with Gouda

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