Farinata (Herbed Chickpea Flour and Onion Pancake) Recipe (2024)

By Brian Levy

Published June 21, 2024

Farinata (Herbed Chickpea Flour and Onion Pancake) Recipe (1)

Total Time
1 hour 50 minutes
Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook Time
1¾ hours
Read community notes

Farinata is a popular street food from the Ligurian coast surrounding Genoa, Italy, to the French Côte d’Azur, where it’s called socca. Typically a humble pancake built on only chickpea flour, water, olive oil and salt, it’s inexpensive, gluten-free and suitable for vegans. It can be very thin, highlighting its crispy, golden exterior, and is usually eaten plain or with a simple side of cured meats. This version is thicker, showcasing its creamy herbed interior, and topped with an array of garnishes for a more substantial dish and a plant-based alternative to a frittata. (For an even heartier meal, top with roasted vegetables, such as broccolini.) Thyme, sumac and sesame oil are not traditional seasonings — unlike rosemary, fennel seed or sage — but they recall za’atar and meld with the chickpea flour and olive oil.

Featured in: This Easy Brunch Dish Feels Like a Trip to Italy



Yield:4 side or light main course servings

  • cups/150 grams chickpea flour
  • 8tablespoons/120 milliliters extra-virgin olive oil
  • Scant 2 cups/450 milliliters warm water
  • 1teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½teaspoon ground sumac
  • 1teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1small red or yellow onion, peeled, halved and very thinly sliced
  • Optional toppings: handfuls of fresh arugula, a drizzle of tahini or sliced feta, olives or capers, halved cherry tomatoes

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings)

413 calories; 31 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 21 grams monounsaturated fat; 4 grams polyunsaturated fat; 25 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams dietary fiber; 5 grams sugars; 9 grams protein; 492 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Farinata (Herbed Chickpea Flour and Onion Pancake) Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    In a large bowl, whisk the chickpea flour with 4 tablespoons/60 grams olive oil, plus the water, sesame oil, thyme, sumac, salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Set aside the batter. For best results, let rest at room temperature at least 1 hour (this gives the chickpea flour a chance to hydrate, producing a softer, creamier farinata), or cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

  2. Step


    Place a 10-inch skillet (preferably cast-iron) on the oven’s bottom rack; heat the oven and skillet to 500 degrees for at least 15 minutes.

  3. Step


    Carefully remove the hot cast-iron skillet from the oven. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons/60 grams olive oil to the skillet. Swirl to coat the inside of the pan. Scrape the batter into the pan; it should sizzle. Oil will rise to the top of the batter. Use a fork to lightly and quickly whisk it into the batter, without scraping the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle onion slices over the batter in an even layer without completely covering it. Remember that the skillet’s handle is still hot and put the skillet back on the oven’s bottom rack and bake until the surface of the batter is spotted, golden and dry, and the onion slices are very dark in spots, 25 to 30 minutes.

  4. Step


    Let the farinata rest to firm up as it cools slightly, 5 to 10 minutes. Slice the farinata into wedges and serve warm, topped with any of the optional toppings.

  5. Step


    Wrap leftover farinata in aluminum foil. Refrigerate for up to 2 days. Reheat in a 375 degree toaster oven or oven until warm.



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Cooking Notes


In India, this is called a Besan Chilla... Besan is Bengal Gram or Chickpea flour and a Chilla is a pancake. A pancake can be made of any ingredient, including on its own or a combination of rice, millet and other flours... great for a quick protein rich breakfast. Add fresh coriander and sesame seeds


I make a much simpler version of this without the onion and with just salt & pepper for flavor. It’s an easy way to add protein to a vegan meal. I am looking forward to trying this.


As a vegan, I've made socca/farinata for breakfast for years, often mixing diced tomatoes and sauteed arugula into the batter. Bob's Red Mill is adequate, but in Italy even the chickpea flour from Conad makes tastier farinata.


I make versions of this regularly and sometimes add fetta to the mix before baking it. I Love it.


The perfect summertime recipe!!….. Maybe it’s something about the 500 degree oven for so long. ;-)But I’m sure it is delicious. Maybe cooking it outside on a grill?


I make a much simpler version of this without the onion and with just salt & pepper for flavor. It’s an easy way to add protein to a vegan meal. I am looking forward to trying this.

Karina C

In Argentina, with only chickpea flour, water, oil and salt, this is called faina and used to top fugazetta (onion and cheese pizza).


In India, this is called a Besan Chilla... Besan is Bengal Gram or Chickpea flour and a Chilla is a pancake. A pancake can be made of any ingredient, including on its own or a combination of rice, millet and other flours... great for a quick protein rich breakfast. Add fresh coriander and sesame seeds

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Farinata (Herbed Chickpea Flour and Onion Pancake) Recipe (2024)


What is farinata in Italy? ›

Farinata is an iconic Italian street food with crispy edges and a custardy center. This savory chickpea pancake is made without wheat so it's a great gluten-free appetizer, snack, or side dish. Whether you avoid gluten or eat it like candy this Italian speciality is sure to please.

What does farinata mean? ›

A farinata is made from a few simple ingredients: chickpea flour, water, salt and olive oil. Farinata means “made of flour” in standard Italian. A batter is formed from the ingredients and with it one creates 4mm thick pancakes.

Is chickpea flour the same as garbanzo flour? ›

Chickpea flour, also known as gram, besan, or garbanzo bean flour, has been a staple in Indian cooking for centuries. Chickpeas are versatile legumes with a mild, nutty taste, and chickpea flour is typically made from a variety called Bengal grams.

Why soak chickpea flour? ›

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.

What is the nutritional value of farinata? ›

  • Total Fat 14g.
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 2.5g.
  • Monounsaturated Fat 8.6g.
  • Cholesterol 0mg.
  • Salt 1.3g.
  • Total Carbohydrates 26g.
  • Dietary Fiber 4.9g.
  • Sugars 4.9g.

Can you reheat farinata? ›

In general, farinata is best served hot when its edges are still nice and crisp but it can be stored in the fridge for up to one week. Reheat slowly in a non stick pan with a bit of olive oil to make it crispy again (picture below).

What can I use chickpea flour for? ›

Chickpea flour is used throughout the Mediterranean, the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa to make sweet and savory flatbreads, thicken soups and stews, and add richness to dumplings and cakes. It is the main ingredient in shiro wat, a hearty, spicy Ethiopian stew laced with tomatoes and onions.

Was farinata an epicurean? ›

Farinata, along with Cavalcante, is in the circle of the Heretics, partly because both he and Cavalcante were Epicureans. According to Dante's society, a heretic was a person who chose his or her own opinion rather than following the judgment of the papacy; Cavalcante and Farinata followed the Epicurean philosophy.

Can I use chickpea flour instead of all-purpose flour? ›

Chickpea flour is more versatile than you might think. It can be used, in part, in decadent baked goods like banana bread and cupcakes, or in classic breakfast dishes such as pancakes and crepes. It's also the perfect substitute for white flour in savory staples like meatballs, pizza dough, and dumplings.

Is chickpea flour good for diabetics? ›

Furthermore, numerous studies have demonstrated that pulse crops, including chickpeas, aid in blood sugar regulation [27,28,29]. These research findings imply that incorporating pulse crops, including chickpeas, into diabetes management diets can improve the health status of diabetic patients.

Can you eat uncooked chickpea flour? ›

Chickpea flour or Garbanzo flour is ok for raw baking though it has a bitter taste. Corn flour is safe raw but doesn't have a particularly pleasant taste and texture. Quinoa flour made from raw, sprouted, and soaked grains is safe to eat but not commonly used. Oat flour is another safe-to-eat-raw flour.

How do you get the bitterness out of chickpea flour? ›

Remember to toast the chickpea flour in a dry skillet or oven beforehand to eliminate any bitterness in the final dish.

Should you refrigerate chickpea flour? ›

Like other types of flours, chickpea flour and besan should be stored in a sealed container to keep out moisture in a cool place. It stays fresh for upto 6 months, and longer if refrigerated.

How to make chickpea flour taste better? ›

It is important to make sure the chickpea flour or gram is always well cooked before eating (both to get rid of the astringent aftertaste and to stop it giving you tummy ache - remember all legumes/pulses need to be well cooked!) and this also removes any bitter taste and gives you a nuttier flavour.

What is plain flour called in Italy? ›

Grano tenero is generally what we think of as white flour, and is more broadly used in bread, pizza, and pastry, and northern pasta doughs.

What is farinate? ›

Fainè, also called farinata, is nothing more than a simple garbanzo bean flour batter which is spiked with olive oil and salt and baked in a very hot oven. The surface gets crusty and the edges get crispy yet the inside stays moist and sort of creamy.

What is the difference between panelle and farinata? ›

Farinata: Farinata is primarily made from chickpea flour, water, extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and sometimes rosemary. Panelle: Panelle, on the other hand, is made from chickpea flour, water, and salt. It typically does not include olive oil in the mixture.

What did farinata do? ›

Farinata degli Uberti (died Nov. 11, 1264) was a Florentine nobleman who became the leader of the Florentine Ghibellines, the proimperial party. According to Dante (Inferno, canto X), Uberti alone dissuaded the members of the Ghibelline coalition from razing the city of Florence, which they had just captured.

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