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:
4.84 from 18 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

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.

46 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Mary
    08.16.2021

    How to subscribe to Love and Lemons?

  2. Di Bulter
    04.05.2021

    5 stars
    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!!

  3. lorna
    03.29.2021

    4 stars
    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.

  4. DB
    02.28.2021

    5 stars
    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.

  5. Lisa
    02.18.2021

    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?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.18.2021

      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.

  6. Serena
    01.15.2021

    does it really need to be 475 F? could it be cooked over stove using a skillet pan?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.15.2021

      yep, this recipe needs to be baked in the oven.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
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.