Have you ever tried socca? This gluten-free chickpea flatbread hails from Nice, France, and it makes a delicious appetizer, side dish, or light meal.
When Jack and I visited Nice, France, I ate two things as much as I could: Niçoise salad and socca. If you’re not familiar with socca, it’s a savory chickpea pancake with crisp, golden brown edges and a moist interior. It’s popular throughout southern France and northern Italy, and once you try it, you’ll see why. Chickpea flour and olive oil give it a rich, nutty flavor, and its crispy edges are so tasty that you won’t be able to help reaching for a second slice.
Served plain, it makes a delicious appetizer, side dish, or snack, but with the right toppings, this easy socca recipe can pass as a main dish too. At this time of year, I love to pile it with a flavorful sauce, fresh herbs, and veggies and call it dinner.
Socca Recipe Ingredients
You only need 4 ingredients to make this simple socca recipe:
- Chickpea flour – This grain-free flour is made from finely ground dried chickpeas. Also called garbanzo bean flour or besan, it’s easy to find online, but many regular grocery stores carry it too. Look for it in the gluten-free section or baking aisle of your store!
- Water – It mixes with the chickpea flour to create a pancake-like batter.
- Extra-virgin olive oil – It adds richness and depth of flavor.
- Sea salt – It gives the socca a yummy savory flavor and highlights the chickpeas’ earthy, nutty taste.
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
When you’re ready to cook, whisk together the chickpea flour, water, olive oil, and salt.
The socca batter should be smooth, so whisk until there aren’t any lumps. Then, set it aside to soak for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 475 with a 10-inch cast-iron pan inside it.
When the batter’s ready, remove the pan from the oven (careful, it’ll be hot!), and brush it with 3/4 tablespoons of oil. Pour in the batter, and transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake until the socca is well-browned and crisp around the edges.
Allow the socca to cool slightly before you use a spatula to remove it from the skillet. Then, dig in while it’s still hot!
Socca Recipe Tips
- Don’t forget to preheat the pan. It’s essential that your skillet is hot when you add the socca batter, so put your pan in the oven as soon as you turn it on. If your skillet is too cool, the socca will stick to it, and the edges and bottom won’t crisp up as they bake.
- Don’t cut the soaking time short. Chickpea flour takes longer to hydrate than wheat flour does, so giving the batter time to soak is crucial for making a moist, cohesive flatbread. Let the batter rest for at least 30 minutes and up to 12 hours before you cook it.
- Eat it right away. Socca is best hot from the oven, when the edges are still nice and crisp. If you have leftovers, store them at room temperature for up to 2 days, or freeze them for longer storage. Reheat them on a baking sheet in a 400-degree oven until the edges become crisp again.
The rich, crispy socca is fantastic plain, but it’s even better with toppings or dips. Have fun experimenting with different ways to dress it up! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Top it with a drizzle of olive oil and za’atar for an easy, flavorful appetizer.
- Shower it with grated Parmesan cheese and freshly cracked black pepper.
- Slather it with labneh, hummus, baba ganoush, or tzatziki.
- Drizzle it with green goddess dressing, tahini sauce, pesto, or vegan pesto. Then, layer on thinly sliced beets or radishes and fresh herbs to make a light, refreshing meal or snack. Pickled red onions would be great here too.
- Use it as a gluten-free alternative to regular pizza crust. Top it with your favorite fixings, or make a socca pizza recipe! I love this Falafel Flatbread and the Spring-On-A-Plate Socca Flatbread on page 153 of Love and Lemons Every Day.
Serve this socca recipe as an appetizer for pasta, polenta, or your favorite protein, or make it the main event! It’d be delicious with my Greek salad, Caprese salad, strawberry salad, or grilled vegetables on the side.
I also love using plain socca to scoop up shakshuka, baked feta, charred cherry tomatoes, and grilled zucchini with lemony yogurt.
How do you like to eat socca? Let me know in the comments!
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 1 cup water
- 1¾ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 475°F with a 10-inch cast-iron skillet inside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the chickpea flour, water, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and salt and whisk until smooth. Cover and set aside to soak for 30 minutes.
- Using a potholder, remove the preheated skillet from the oven and add the remaining ¾ tablespoon olive oil, brushing to coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 17 to 20 minutes or until the socca is well-browned and crisp around the edges. Do not underbake - the crispier the better. Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, and then use a spatula to loosen and transfer the socca from the skillet to a serving plate.
- Enjoy as a flatbread served with suggested spices, herbs, dips and/or toppings listed in the post above.
Socca is also called “Farinatta” and it actually originates from Italy ..NOT France 😊
I thought it was best not to heat olive oil to such high temperatures. What do you think?
Hi Kim, I haven’t had an issue in this recipe, if you’re concerned about it you could use avocado oil or vegetable oil.
Your Socca recipe is delicious. I followed your recipe to the letter including using a 10 inch cast iron pan preheated in my 475 degree oven. I added onion powder, black pepper and red pepper flakes to my batter. Served up a slice with a fried egg with melted Gruyère. c’est si bon :). Merci
Sounds fantastic! So glad you enjoyed it.
I’ve made this recipe several times now, and it is just delicious. I love it with scrambled eggs and cheese for breakfast. It’s so easy to make and it is so good.
That sounds fantastic! I’m glad you’re loving the recipe.
I made sure to let the batter sit and it resulted in a beautifully hydrated and crispy socca! It was also easy to scale down to make 1/4 portion.
I’m so glad your socca came out perfectly!
I only have a 12-inch cast-iron pan. Could you reccomend how much I should increase the recipe to fit this pan?
I make the recipe with the same amount of ingredients and use a 12-inch cast iron, and the recipe comes out perfectly every time. Perhaps it’s a little flatter, and it’s done closer to 15-17 minutes in my oven.
This was delicious. We topped with shredded Gruyere and a fried egg. This is a simple, inexpensive dish that we plan on making all the time!
Hi Jessica, Those toppings sound fantastic! So glad you enjoyed the recipe.
Made this today. It was yummy, crispy around the edges, and moist in the middle. I ground up dry garbanzo beans into flour with my Vitamix. The only thing I changed at all was that I preheated the cast iron skillet on my stove and then put it into my 475 degree oven. It didn’t stick at all to the pan.
I’m glad your socca turned out so well!
I always make socca to accompany a shakshuka I make with a ratatouille inspirado base! Delicious!
My batter is thick like mashed potatoes. Your picture is runny.
mine too! i had to use about double the amount of water
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Wow! I almost wish I had never discovered this recipe! This is the 3rd time I’ve made it and it gets better every time. Sprinkled with Parmesan shavings today and ate with sweet potato and chickpea curry. Last little bit tempted me so I put my home made strawberry jam on that…fatal attraction!!
Nice base for dipping and topping. I served it with baked tomato hasselback halloumi – was yum! The only thing was that it was a little bit too dense in the middle for me, but it did have a lovely crispy outer. It stuck to my pan a bit so ensure your pan is really well-oiled.
My wife is Nicoise and I just made this.(twice)
And it was delicious!! You should have it with a rose wine as in Nice. I fried it in a large frying pan and broiled it after in the oven until it was blackening pretty good on top. That’s what gives it taste. Also I added paprika (1 tsp) and Italian herbs (2 tsp). Herb de Prevences are better but harder to find.
I only have a square cast iron griddle pan – would that work? I’d hate for half of it to stick in between all the ridges, but if it’s hot and oiled, maybe it would come up ok?
Hi Lisa, no the batter is very thin and it’ll spread (and it needs to finish baking in the oven). A cast iron skillet is a must-have for this recipe.
does it really need to be 475 F? could it be cooked over stove using a skillet pan?
yep, this recipe needs to be baked in the oven.