Better than Potato Chips: How to Skin and Roast Chickpeas

Better than Potato Chips: How to Skin and Roast Chickpeas
Recently, when I posted photos on Instagram of my addition to roasted chickpeas, I was flooded with requests to the recipe. I have to admit, when it comes to indulgences, I can crunch my way through a bag of potato chips within one sitting. Not so good.
I love roasted chickpeas as a healthier alternative to potato chips, and in fact, the flavors are almost better than chips. They fly off the table at dinner parties. I like to de-skin my chickpeas, which adds a little bit of hassle but really improves the end result (yes, chickpeas do have skins!).

Below are instructions for my hassle-free process to remove the skins and then roast the chickpeas. I've included both a salty and savory versions; the great thing about chickpeas is that you can customize them to suit, so have fun with it!

How to Skin A Chickpea

Chickpeas - or garbanzo beans, they're the same thing - have a very thin skin on the outside. You can eat chickpeas with the skin on, but they're better without. When making hummus, removing the skins will make your hummus much creamier and rich. When it comes to roasting chickpeas, I find removing the skins gives the chickpeas more flavor. Also, when roasted, the skins kind of start to feel like those skins on popcorn - they get in your teeth sometimes. So, I just prefer them without.
The secret to my de-skinning process is that I don't worry about getting every last little bit of skin. Following these steps will remove about 80-90% of the skins, which is enough - many of the last little bits fall off when you roast them.

  1. First, drain your chickpeas if they are canned. Then run ice cold water over them for about 4 minutes. This removes starches in the peas, which improves flavor, and it also loosens up the skins.
  2. After they've had a good soaking, work your fingers in through the chickpeas. You'll be able to slip lots of the skins off easily - after 2-3 minutes of gently pinching, you'll find most of the skins loose.
  3. Shake off any excess water and then dump the chickpeas onto a baking sheet lined with paper towel. Leave the chickpeas to dry, about a half an hour.
  4. Once dry, remove the paper towel and then gently roll the chickpeas with your palm - careful, as they'll be easily smashed in this phase. The remaining skins will fall to the wayside.

Now your gorgeous, de-skinned chickpeas are ready to roast!

How to Roast Chickpeas

Now the fun part! Roasting your chickpeas is quite simple, and easy to customize. Generally, I'll do a big batch at a time (3-4 cans) and then split the batch to be half sweet and half salty.
Pre-heat your oven to 400F. Gently coat your chickpeas with extra-virgin olive oil, using a spatula to flip the chickpeas to ensure they're well coated. Then follow one of these roasted chickpea recipes to enjoy.
Salty n' Simple:
  • Give your chickpeas a generous coating of sea salt with a bit of pepper before putting them in the oven.
  • Let them roast until golden brown on top, about 30 minutes.
Sweet n' Spicy:
  • Just put a touch of salt on your chickpeas before putting in the oven for about 35 minutes.
  • Once out of the oven, leave them 5 minutes to cool and then toss them gently in a large bowl with 2 heaping teaspoons of brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon honey, 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
  • Let the chickpeas cool another 5 minutes before digging in.
Other combinations: In the fall, you might swap the cinnamon for pumpkin pie spice. An old Dutch friend of mine likes paprika powder + garlic powder (careful making those too salty). Cayenne pepper also goes really well with roasted chickpeas.

No matter which you choose, be sure to enjoy a few of them piping hot - they're exquisite. Store in an airtight jar, they'll last for about 5 days (though I can't make them last more than a day!). And if you come up with a new flavor combo, share it on our Facebook wall.

Andy Hayes

Andy Hayes is the founder and creator of Plum Deluxe. He authors our award-winning weekly email newsletter, The Blend and curates our popular organic tea of the month club.
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