Socca is a quick easy vegan gluten-free chickpea flatbread that’s usually grilled or baked. See how to make it in a pan on your stovetop in minutes.
Why you’ll love it
- It’s the quickest easiest flatbread there is!
- It’s super easy to make.
- It’s healthy and filling.
- You just need a handful of ingredients.
- It’s an easy way to work more legumes into your diet.
- No kneading, just a quick one-bowl batter.
Ingredients and substitutions
With just a handful of ingredients, there are not many substitutions you can make but you can play around with the taste a little. Make sure you have the right ingredients by looking at the picture below and then scroll down to see any substitutes or add-ins.
Garlic powder: You can use either powder or granules here, I don’t recommend using fresh garlic as the cooking time is so quick that it will still taste “raw”. If you don’t like garlic you can omit this.
Water: Just plain water here, don’t substitute with stock.
Chickpea flour: This is the star of the show and I recommend sticking with it, also called garbanzo bean flour. I’ve also used gram (besan) flour before with great results.
Black pepper: Use freshly ground.
Rosemary: I love the earthy taste here but if you don’t like it or don’t have it you can omit it or substitute it with thyme. If you don’t have dried you can also use fresh rosemary, just chop it finely and increase the amount to half a tablespoon.
Salt: You can substitute with a lower-sodium alternative but some salt does help the chickpea flour absorb the water.
This tastes great as is but you can also add in some other ingredients.
Try thinly sliced onion fried in the pan before adding the batter on top.
Or adding fresh chopped basil to the batter and then ladling the batter on top of thinly sliced olives and chopped sundried tomatoes.
Have a light hand with added ingredients as too much extra moisture will make your socca fall apart.
Once your socca is cooked you can also use it as a vegan gluten-free pizza base, although I’d suggest adding the cheese and toppings first and a little sauce later.
How to make it
Making this couldn’t be easier. You’re just going to mix up the ingredients, let them sit for at least half an hour, and then fry it with a tiny amount of oil. I’ve added some process photos in this section so you can see how easy it is and check in if unsure at any step of the process.
First, add all of the ingredients to a mixing bowl (image one below).
Then whisk well until smooth as in image two. Be diligent about mixing, it doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth but you don’t want any big lumps as the water won’t absorb properly into the flour.
I like to whisk it well and then whisk it against the side of the bowl to smash all the lumps.
Let it sit for at least half an hour. If you want to make the batter ahead of time you can leave it at room temperature for up to three hours. Some socca recipes say to leave it overnight but this yields a very crumbly socca.
Next, set a non-stick pan to heat on the high side of medium-high. Try a notch or two below the highest temperature.
To make sure your socca is the right thickness, try to use a 9.5-inch omelet pan – the pan can be slightly smaller or larger. A well-seasoned cast-iron skillet would also be great.
Slightly smaller would be better. Using a pan that is too big will mean that your socca isn’t thick enough and is more like a crepe.
Make sure the pan is hot, then add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan and spread it – you can use a silicone pastry brush or a piece of paper towel, it just needs to be a very thin layer.
When the oil has heated up, whisk the batter again and take two-thirds of a cup and add it to the pan as in image three below.
Quickly swirl the liquid around the pan so it forms a uniform layer as in image four above.
Leave it to cook undisturbed for around three minutes. Don’t worry if any bubbles form. It should look something like image five below.
Then loosen the edges with a large long spatula, slide it under, and quickly and gently flip your socca pancake (image six above). If the batter is stuck to the pan it may need a little longer to cook (or your non-stick coating may be missing in certain parts).
Flatten the flipped socca with the spatula and leave for another two minutes, then remove to cool on another plate while you make up the rest of the flatbreads.
You want your socca to be slightly blackened or charred, it gives it a ton of flavor. if it isn’t, you can return it to the pan and adjust the heat upwards a little.
When cool enough to handle, cut up with some kitchen scissors or a pizza cutter. Serve hot or at room temperature.
What to serve it with
Charred hot socca is delicious all by itself or with a slick of olive oil, but if you’re like me you prefer some dips with your flatbread.
Socca is amazing:
- As part of a mezze with quick spicy Greek feta dip (pictured above), hummus, and baba ganoush without tahini.
- As the base for a quick pizza (once it’s done add toppings and cheese and grill it).
- Sprinkled with crumbled feta, sliced olives, and sundried tomatoes and grilled for a minute.
- Sprinkled with torn buffalo mozzarella, seeded quartered cherry tomatoes, and fresh basil.
- With a tasty lemon tahini dressing drizzled over (or try this spicy cashew dressing).
- Drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and served alongside a fresh simple salad.
- As part of a vegetarian charcuterie board.
- With tapenade.
- With smashed avocado on top.
Great question, it’s also eaten in Italy and called “Farinata” but in France it’s eaten in freshly cooked hot charred shards with lots of black pepper and a glass of cool rosé wine.
Yes! Socca will keep for up to four days tightly covered in the fridge, but it will soften. To crisp it up again pan fry on low-medium heat for a minute or two on each side until hot again, or enjoy at room temperature.
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Whip up a quick batch of this healthy vegan gluten-free socca chickpea pancake in the pan, made on the stovetop no oven required, and watch your friends and family demolish it in minutes!
- 1 cup chickpea flour (120g)
- 1 cup water (240ml)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil,plus extra for the pan
- 1 cup water (240ml)
- ½ teaspoon ground garlic
- ½ tsp dried rosemary
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste (use LOTS)
- Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl. Make sure to eliminate any lumps by pressing them against the side of the bowl with the whisk. Leave aside for 30 minutes at room temperature.
- Heat a 9.5-inch non-stick pan on the high side of medium-high heat (try two notches below the highest heat). Add a drop or two of oil and extend using either a pastry brush or a piece of paper towel.
- When the oil is hot, add 2/3 cup of the batter and swirl to cover the bottom of the pan. Leave to cook for 3 minutes.
- Loosen the edges with a large long spatula (or fish slice) and work the spatula under the socca pancake. If the socca doesn't come away easily it needs more time. Carefully flip the socca and press down into the pan and leave to cook for a further 2-3 minutes until done. If not browned and slightly charred like the photos, the heat is too low so adjust accordingly.
- Remove to a plate and when cool enough to handle, cut into sections like you would cut a pizza with either a pizza cutter or scissors.
- Serve hot (preferably) or at room temperature with olive oil or dips of choice. Enjoy!
This recipe makes two socca flatbreads but can easily be doubled or tripled up.
Change up the seasonings as you wish, but do not add moisture-heavy vegetables (such as tomatoes or onions) to the batter - fry small amounts in the pan instead and then ladle the batter on top.
Keeps for up to four days in the fridge tightly covered, reheat on a medium-heat in a dry non-stick pan until hot,
Amount Per Serving Calories 149Total Fat 7gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 0mgSodium 315mgCarbohydrates 14gFiber 3gSugar 3gProtein 5g