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SOCCA (FARINATA) – CHICKPEA FLATBREAD RECIPE

Socca is a wonderfully quick and easy flatbread recipe made with chickpea flour and cooked in a skillet until golden and crispy along the edges. It’s bakes up dense, yet tender, and can be easily customized with herbs & spices!

top down view of sliced socca flatbread.

You may already be familiar with the Savory Chickpea Pancake which is another way to use chickpea flour. It’s made like a pancake with vegetables of choice mixed right into the batter and is delicious served any time of day – it’s a must try as well!

What Is Socca Bread?

Socca is a simple and savory, unleavened, round flatbread cooked in the oven until crispy on the edges and tender in the center. It’s made with chickpea flour, making it gluten free, grain free and a good source of protein and fiber.

Traditionally, socca is cooked in an open oven on a large tin-plated copper pan, where it is then sliced and served plain, with an optional sprinkle of pepper on top. It can also be topped and used as a pizza crust of sorts, or stuffed making a chickpea omelette or crepe.

Where Did Socca Originate?

The origin of socca is believed to have originated in Genoa, Italy, where it is said that Roman soldiers roasted chickpea flour on their shields. Others believe it comes from the French Riviera (southeast France). But what we can all agree on is that this Mediterranean flatbread is delicious no matter where it began!

You will find this popular dish rooted in and around the area of Nice, France and the province of Genoa, Italy. And depending on your geographical location, this flatbread is served various ways using the same batter base of one part flour to water plus salt and oil.

top down view of ingredients used to make socca farinata flatbread using chickpea flour.

Ingredients You’ll Need

In this recipe, chickpea flour is whisked together with water and optional spices and herbs, creating a savory flatbread to be eaten as a snack or as a side to a main meal.

Here is everything you will need:

  • Chickpea flour (aka besan)
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Olive oil

For additional flavor:

It’s great as is, but you can change up the base using a generous pinch of any of these flavor enhancers:

  • cumin
  • rosemary or thyme
  • red pepper flakes
  • basil
  • black pepper
  • garlic powder
  • za’atar
  • sliced shallots

There are no rules to the spices, simply use what you love, or will pair well with the accompanying dish.

Today, I added red pepper flakes for a little heat along with a dash of cumin and garlic powder.

side by side photos showing the mixing the socca batter in a glass bowl.

How To Make Socca

(Note – The full printable recipe is at the bottom of this post)

  • The base of socca bread is a 1 – 1 ratio of chickpea flour to warm water whisked together with salt and optional spices and/or herbs.
  • This batter, once whisked together, will need to rest at least 15 minutes, and up to 12 hours, covered.

side by side photos showing the process of making socca, farinata chickpea flour flatbread in a skillet.

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place skillet in the oven to preheat with the oven.
  • After batter has rested, give a good mix, and add it to the preheated skillet swirled with oil, place back in the oven to cook for 12 – 15 minutes.
  • Once your socca is done, gently lift edges with a spatula, pull apart, or slice, and enjoy hot or warm!

Tip: In this recipe I’ve used a cast iron skillet but you can use any flat, shallow and oven-safe baking dish you have on hand.

top down view of socca flatbread in a cast iron skillet.

How To Serve Socca

Typically this savory flatbread is served with a few herbs and spices and eaten with the hands. The flatbread can be eaten as is (torn apart or sliced), served with condiments or serve topped with various ingredients. Here are a few of my favorite options for a full meal:

side angle view of sliced socca flatbread.

More Easy Bread Recipes

If you try this socca flatbread recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

Print

SOCCA (FARINATA)

Socca is a simple, savory gluten-free, grain free flatbread that pairs well with soups, salads or eaten alone!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 - 8 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: oven, bake
  • Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten Free, Mediterranean

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup chickpea flour (aka besan or garbanzo bean flour)
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon mineral salt
  • 12 tablespoons olive oil

optional add-ins for variation

  • 1/81/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary or thyme
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • small handful chopped basil
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/81/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • sliced shallots

Instructions

Mix and let rest: In a medium size mixing bowl, add flour, water and salt. Whisk until smooth, cover and let set for at least 15 minutes, up to 12 hours, covered, on the counter or overnight in the fridge.

Preheat: Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Place a well seasoned skillet on the middle rack while oven is heating (we want it to get nice and hot).

Oil skillet + pour batter: Once oven is ready, carefully remove skillet, add 1 – 2 tablespoons oil and carefully twirl skillet so the oil coats the bottom evenly. Pour the batter into the skillet.

Bake: Place skillet into the oven and back in the oven for 12 – 15 minutes, until golden on the edges and firm throughout.

Optional broiler: Once done you may like to add a more golden and rustic look, turn broiler to high, place skillet under broiler for about 2 minutes, until top starts to golden a bit.

Cool & remove: Remove from the oven and let cool a few minutes. Using a spatula gently push under and around the sides of the flatbread. Tip skillet to remove socca bread or carefully flip skillet over to remove.

Serve: Cut into 4 – 8 slices or pull apart and eat. Socca is best eaten right away.

Store: Socca can be stored on the counter in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Notes

Using a 12 inch skillet, pan or baking dish will give you a thinner bread, while a 10 or 8 inch skillet will give you a slightly thicker bread. The one I have shown here is a 10 inch, bread was about 1/4 inch thick.

If you don’t have an iron skillet, you can use any flat, shallow oven-safe baking dish.

Chickpea flour (aka garbanzo bean flour or besan) can be found on-line, at most health conscious stores and at Indian and Middle Eastern markets.

Updated: Changes made to the recipe include omitting 2 tablespoons of oil added to the batter (as is traditional). It’s delicious without it, but make sure to oil the pan well!

Nutritional information is calculated with 1 tablespoon olive oil included.

Keywords: socca, socca recipe, farinata, chickpea flour flatbread

Updated: Socca was originally published in September 2014. It has been retested and updated with new photos and helpful tips in February 2020. The only changes made to the recipe were omitting 2 tablespoons of oil added to the batter (as is traditional), but it’s delicious without it.

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56 Comments

  1. Fantastic! I’m glad I got the updated recipe without the oil in the batter. This is a traditional recipe in my country (we eat it by having a slice of this underneath a slice of a napolitana pizza, or just on its own whilst waiting for pizza) and since living abroad I was out off by the amount of oil traditional recipes used. This will become a staple. Truth be said, cold the next morning with a cup of coffee is a great breakfast too! Thanks x

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Thanks for sharing, Bea! I’ll have to try it in the morning with my coffee too. I hope you enjoy the recipe often!

  2. Darlene Rutledge says:

    I made this last night for dinner and it was delicious. I know it will be a favourite. So easy and full of flavour. Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Great, so glad you loved this socca!

  3. I am so excited to see this recipe, I have been wanting to make this type of bread. Thank you!

  4. A Eastlake says:

    What about using almond flour instead of chickpea flour?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      This recipe is specifically for chickpea flour. It won’t work with almond flour.

  5. Hi I have a question regarding nutrtional analysis. Why is the fat content so high, when your only using 2tablespoons of oil.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      It’s because I have the serving size for 2. The chickpea flour amount has 6 grams, and the oil 27 grams of fat. You can cut the oil to 1 tablespoon of oil if you like.

  6. Is it possible to make this ahead of time and store it?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      I find socca is best when eaten right away. But, you can certainly save if for later and see if it suits your taste. I do apologize for the late response. Cheers :)

  7. WonderGirl says:

    Would this work as a pizza crust? Was thinking I would add pesto, thinly sliced zuchinni and tomatoes.. Would I add those ingredients before baking so as not to burn the bread?

    1. No, it won't work but you could try to add the thinly sliced zucchini and tomatoes to the bottom of the hot skillet before pouring the batter and cook as directed. Use your pesto as a spread or dip. The only other thing you could do is cook the bread for about 9 – 10 minutes and then top your ingredients and bake a little longer until zucchini and tomatoes are done. Hope that helps!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Mmmmm I just made this right now, and was trying to save half for my boyfriend who isn't due home for another 2 hours…but…I think I'll have to make him a new one… hehe…I added za'atar, garlic powder, and ground pepper…it was heavenly!!! Thank you!!!

    1. I think this bread is best fresh anyway so making him a new one is perfect.Thank you for the inspiration, I will have to try your variation of spices soon…so delicious! Cheers :)

  9. Anonymous says:

    i can't even find words to explain how excited i am to make this. :)

  10. Earlene Lown says:

    Can you substitute chickpea flour with something else?

    1. Sorry for the late reply. I think you can but the water amount will vary, most likely adding more water. You may like to google and see what you find in way of recipes before you attempt anything. Would love to know how it goes!

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