Socca Recipe

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.

Socca recipe

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

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.

Chickpea flour and water in a mixing bowl

When you’re ready to cook, whisk together the chickpea flour, water, olive oil, and salt.

Socca batter

The socca batter should be smooth, so whisk until there aren’t any lumps. Then, set it aside to soak for 30 minutes.

Farinata batter in a cast-iron skillet

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 bread in a cast-iron skillet

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.

Socca flatbread

Serving Suggestions

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:

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!

socca

Socca Recipe

rate this recipe:
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 17 mins
Resting Time: 30 mins
Serves 4
Socca is a gluten-free chickpea flatbread from Nice, France. It's surprisingly easy to make at home, and it's a delicious appetizer or meal on its own. See the post above for my favorite ways to serve it.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 cup water
  • tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

Socca is best just out of the oven, while the edges are crispy. If you have leftover socca, store it at room temperature for up to 2 days or freeze it for up to 1 month. Reheat the socca on a baking sheet in a 400°F oven until the edges are crisp again.

21 comments

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  1. Sir Spinach
    06.24.2020

    arent you glad you got featured on Apple’s WWDC

  2. Sir Spinach
    06.24.2020

    arent you glad you got featured on Apple’s WWDC

  3. Kim S
    06.24.2020

    Is the texture of socca supposed to kind of resemble cornbread then? I’ve made them kind of like crepes and then kind of like cornbread, trying to figure out how they’re supposed to be. Regardless, the flavor is bomb!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.24.2020

      Thinner than cornbread – I’d say they’re more like a flatbread, not quite as thin as thin as a crepe.

      • Kim S
        06.24.2020

        and king of crumbly, right? Not really flexible like a tortilla.

        • Jeanine Donofrio
          06.24.2020

          it’s not flexible like a tortilla

  4. Wm
    06.24.2020

    In all the pix, except the one in the frying pan,
    there appear to be herbs or something in or one the socca. Are they added before or after baking?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.24.2020

      They’re all added after baking – see the serving suggestions listed in the post. You can sprinkle with herbs, spices, or drizzle with sauce after the socca is cooked.

  5. Carm
    06.24.2020

    I don’t have a cast iron pan, can I use a
    10” cake pan?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.24.2020

      Hi Carm, I’m sorry, this one really requires a cast iron pan in order for it to cook properly. A 12-inch cast iron pan will work too.

  6. Varun
    06.25.2020

    5 stars
    I have to bring chickpea flour because I can’t stop myself from making this delicious socca recipe.

  7. Joyce
    06.25.2020

    Is there a substitution for the oil or can I just leave it out? Will I get similar results?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.25.2020

      Hi Joyce, I think the batter would stick to the pan and also be pretty dry, so I’d definitely recommend using the oil.

  8. Leah
    06.25.2020

    Hello!

    I have a small 5X8 inch cast iron pan! Would that work for this if I just did multiple batches?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.25.2020

      Hi Leah – yep, that should work! I’d do 2 batches. Just be sure to wipe out the skillet and then preheat it again in the oven for a bit so it starts off hot for the second batch.

  9. Betty C.
    06.25.2020

    I’ve been making this with rosemary and also sprinkling in Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel seasoning. I tried to make a spicy one with smoked paprika and chili pepper flakes but I couldn’t taste any of it. If I try that again, I’ll be heavier-handed with the pepper flakes. Finally, I’ve been known to smear a piece with honey and call it “dessert!”

  10. Angie
    06.26.2020

    How long can you let it rest? Overnight? Should it go in the refrigerator! Can’t wait to try it but not feeling like getting the kitchen hot tonight..

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.26.2020

      Hi Angie, up to 12 hours – store it in the fridge if you’re going to go that long. If you’re going to make it within a couple of hours, you can let it sit at room temp. Hope that helps!

  11. danielle
    06.30.2020

    if using a pizza crust alternative, would you bake fully then add pizza toppings?
    I love socca and always looking for recipes! Thank you for posting!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.30.2020

      Hi Danielle, yes, bake it fully first. It starts out as batter vs. a workable dough, so it’s important to cook it first. I’d take it out when the middle is set (about 17 mins) but before the edges get too brown so that they’ll continue browning as you bake it longer with the toppings. Hope that helps!

  12. Lorraine Thomas
    06.30.2020

    5 stars
    I made this last night to go with some leftover groundnut stew. It was so yummy dipped into the stew. I can’t wait to explore some of the other ways to dress it up. Thanks for the recipe!

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.