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Farinata might not be a dish you’ve tried before, or even heard of, but it’s a delicious Italian street food recipe. This tasty dish is based on chickpea flour (garbanzo bean flour). Garlic and fresh rosemary add vibrant flavors to the farinata and then you can add whichever toppings you want to your chickpea pancake. It’s a rustic and hearty flatbread with a savory and nutty flavor. It can be an appetizer, snack, or side dish to serve with soups and salads. I am certain you will love Italian chickpea pancake flatbread!

A sliced savory farinata Italian chickpea pancake flatbread topped with red onions, zucchini ribbons, and chickpeas on a white plate. A small bowl of chickpeas is placed beside the plate, and a white cloth is nearby.

Although wheat pancakes are more common, this chickpea flour pancake or flatbread is cut into portions and served hot, definitely makes a tasty change.

If you’re an Italian food fan, you might also like chicken parm subs, baked feta soup or this easy caprese pizza.

A round farinata chickpea flatbread garnished with sliced zucchini and red onion, served on a white plate with a glass of beverage and a bowl of chickpeas on the side.

Why You’ll Love It

Unusual: If you enjoy pancakes but you want to try something a bit different, this farinata recipe could be the perfect thing! Try this unusual savory Italian pancake for breakfast, brunch, appetizer, side dish, snack or a light meal.
Delicious: Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, have a distinctive nutty flavor which you can taste in the finished farinata recipe. If you like dishes with chickpeas (such as hummus) you’ll love this savory chickpea pancake recipe.
Gluten free: Wheat flour might be off-limits for those who can’t have gluten, but chickpea flour is naturally gluten free. It is also vegan!

A round, oven-baked farinata flatbread in a skillet with sliced red onions and sprigs of rosemary on top.

Chickpea Farinata Flatbread Ingredients

A complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

Chickpea flour: Also known as garbanzo bean flour, this is made from ground chickpeas. If your local grocery store doesn’t carry it then you can buy it online (I use this one!)
Garlic: For flavor. Fresh garlic is best, although pureed garlic from a bottle or tube will work too.
Rosemary: Adds a tasty herb flavor. If fresh rosemary isn’t your favorite, you can sub basil, oregano or any other fresh herbs you like.
Extra virgin olive oil: To cook the farinata. You can use any good olive oil or even a different type of oil if you prefer. The hot oil is to stop the chickpea batter sticking to the pan, and also to add a hint of olive flavor to the finished flatbread.
Onion: I use yellow onion but you can use red or white or even shallots if you prefer.

Various cooking ingredients including sliced red onion, rosemary sprigs, olive oil, chickpea flour, salt, pepper, garlic, and an empty glass bowl arranged on a wooden surface with a white cloth—perfect for making traditional farinata.

How to Make Chickpea Farinata Pancakes

For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.

Prepare the farinata batter: Whisk the chickpea flour with water using a balloon whisk, then cover and let it sit for up to a couple of days (or 4 hours as a minimum). Stir it well a few times during this fermenting period.
Get the batter ready to cook: Use a metal spoon to skim any impurities off the top of the batter. Stir in the garlic and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Preheat oven: Preheat the oven to 450°F and put a 10-inch cast iron skillet in there for the last 10 minutes of preheating time. Remove the skillet from the very hot oven, add the olive oil and swirl it around.
Pour batter in the skillet: Add the chickpea batter to the hot skillet and sprinkle the sliced onion and fresh rosemary leaves on top.
Bake farinata: Put the skillet in the hot oven and cook for about 10 minutes or until done. If you have a pizza oven, this is a great recipe to try in it.
Remove from the skillet: Release the chickpea pancake from the skillet by running a spatula around the edges. Be careful not to break the farinata.
The finishing touches: Let it cool for a few minutes and then cut into servings and add your preferred toppings. Serve immediately.

A baked Italian farinata with visible ingredients including red onions, zucchini ribbons, and chickpeas on a white plate. A slice is served on a separate plate. A bowl of cherry tomatoes is next to them.

Substitutions and Variations

Another flour: Chickpea flour is the classic choice for farinata but you can also use a fava bean/chickpea flour blend or similar. Bear in mind it won’t taste as authentic and the flavor/texture won’t be the same.
Different flavors: You can swap the rosemary for your favorite fresh herbs or use another type of onion.

A cast-iron skillet holds three triangular pieces of baked chickpea flour socca, or farinata or cecina toscana, with visible red onion slices. A silver spatula is placed under one piece.

Serving Suggestions

Side dishes: Enjoy farinata as a main dish, paired with anything from burrata caprese salad to panzanella. Corn casserole or sheet pan eggs would be tasty too.
Desserts: Finish the meal on a delicious note with orange bars or nanaimo bars.

Top view of a meal featuring plates of farinata with scattered olives, feta cheese, and sliced vegetables on a wooden table. Bowls of various toppings surround the plates.

How to Store Italian Chickpea Pancakes

Store: Keep leftovers refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Freeze: You can freeze leftovers for up to 3 months but wrap them well first!
Thaw: Defrost in the refrigerator overnight or on the counter for a few hours.
Reheat: Give the chickpea pancake about 10 minutes in a 350°F oven or toaster oven, or reheat it in a skillet in a splash of olive oil. Microwaving isn’t advisable because it won’t crisp back up.

A round Italian chickpea flatbread is topped with red onions and herbs, garnished with zucchini ribbons and chickpeas in the center, all displayed on a white plate on a wooden table.

Top Tips

Plan ahead: The longer you allow the farinata batter to ferment, the tangier and fluffier it will come out, so give it an absolute minimum of 4 hours fermentation time, and up to 2 or 3 days (it ferments faster in a warm kitchen than a cool one).
Preheat the skillet: Don’t skip the skillet preheating step, otherwise your farinata won’t get a crispy bottom!
Tasty toppings: Pitted olives, cherry tomatoes, thinly shaved zucchini, and cooked garbanzo beans are all great toppings, but you can experiment with others as you wish. The toppings are usually arranged in the center of the pancake rather than evenly all over, for a unique and attractive presentation.
Eat Immediately: Although you can warm these up later and they are delicious, they are most delicious right out of the skillet. When the edges are golden brown, whip it out of there, add whatever toppings you want and dig right in!

Slices of an Italian chickpea pancake flatbread recipe (aka farninata) on a wood board.

Farinata di Ceci FAQs

What makes farinata special?

This traditional Italian recipe has been popular in the Liguria region of Italy for many years, especially around Genoa. It’s also known as socca in France and cecina Toscana in Tuscany. (Cecina means air-dried beef in Spanish, just in case you spot it on the menu somewhere Spanish speaking!) The main ingredient in farinata is chickpea flour and this pancake/flatbread is known and loved for its golden crust and soft, fluffy interior.

Do you have to use olive oil to cook chickpea pancakes?

Olive oil is the classic choice in Italy. You can use another kind of oil if you prefer, but the finished farinata won’t have that authentic olive oil flavor.

Why do you have to let the batter sit for hours or even days?

This allows the flour to fully hydrate and the flavors to meld together. The longer you let it sit, the fluffier and tangier your farinata pancake will come out. Remember to skim off and discard any impurities from the surface of the batter before cooking it.

A triangular slice of farinata garnished with chickpeas and sliced cucumbers rests on a bed of mixed greens, accompanied by a bowl of cherry tomatoes and several other small dishes, including a savory piece of farinata in the background.

Italian Farinata Recipe

5 from 2 votes

Farinata Italian Chickpea Pancake

By: Bella Bucchiotti
Although wheat pancakes are more common, chickpea flour pancakes, known as farinata, make a delicious change and these golden brown pancakes pair with all kinds of tasty toppings.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Fermenting and Resting Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 1 Cup chickpea flour
  • Cups water
  • ¼ Cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • ½ Teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 or 2 Stems fresh rosemary, leaves only

Topping Ideas:

  • Pitted olives, cherry or grape tomatoes, thinly shaved zucchini slices, cooked garbanzo beans

Instructions 

Make and Ferment the Batter:

  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour and water. Whisking is better than stirring with a spoon, the flour mixes with the water easier with a whisk. Let sit, covered lightly with a dish towel for at least 4 hours, but overnight is best, even 2-3 days. The longer you let the batter sit, the tangier and fluffier the bread will be.
  • Stir batter with a spoon, at least once daily. The amount of time it needs to ferment will be determined by how warm or cold it is in the room. It will ferment faster in warmer environments.

Prep Batter for Baking:

  • When you are ready to make the farinata, skim the impurities off the top of the batter with a metal spoon and then give it a stir. You might see bubbles in the batter and that’s normal due to fermentation.
  • Add salt, black pepper and minced garlic to the batter. Stir or whisk until well combined.

Preheat Oven and Pan:

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  • For the last 10 minutes of preheating the oven, place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet in the oven to preheat as well. If your pan begins to smoke in the oven before it's fully heated, use oven mitts or heat-resistant gloves, and carefully remove the pan from the oven to prevent any further smoking or burning. Check to see if there's oil in the pan that might be causing the smoke. If so, wipe down the pan with a paper towel, removing any excess oil. Return pan to the oven.
  • After 10 minutes, carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven using oven mitts and place it on a level, heat-safe surface. Add the olive oil to the skillet and swirl it around to coat the bottom evenly. Make sure you have added enough oil to thoroughly cover the bottom of the pan. The oil will create a shield beneath the batter that allows it to cook perfectly and makes it easy to remove from the pan.

Pour Batter into Pan:

  • Pour the chickpea batter into the hot, oiled skillet over a wooden spoon, in order not to break the oil’s surface. To do this, hold the wooden spoon at a 45-degree angle with the tip of the spoon just barely touching the oil. Pour the batter into the spoon, letting it run into the pan from the spoon.
  • Once the batter is in the pan, the edges of the batter should begin to bubble and cook, even before you put it back in the oven (if the pan was hot enough). Don’t worry if it doesn’t, your farinata just might not come out as fluffy this time.
  • Sprinkle sliced onion and rosemary leaves over the top of the batter for added flavor.

Bake the Farinata:

  • Put the skillet back in the oven and bake the chickpea pancake for 10 minutes, watching it closely, as the cooking time depends on how hot the pan got while preheating. Watch for the edges to become crisp and golden brown, and the center to set. With a very hot skillet, it can bake in 5 minutes. With a cooler skillet, it can take up to 15 minutes.
  • If the top does not brown by the time the edges become crisp, broil for 2 or 3 minutes or until the surface just starts to turn golden brown. Do not over-broil. Remove it as soon as it's done, as it can dry out easily if overcooked and you want it to remain fluffy, like the consistency of polenta or scrambled eggs.

Remove from Oven:

  • Remove the skillet from the oven. The pancake may deflate slightly as it cools, but this adds to the beautiful texture of this bread.
  • Use a thin, metal spatula to release the farinata from the pan, slowly working your way around the entire thing.
  • Allow the farinata to cool for a few minutes before slicing it into wedges or squares. You can use a pizza cutter or even kitchen scissors to get nice, clean slices.

Time to Serve:

  • Serve the chickpea pancake hot, either as a main dish or as a side. It’s delicious on its own or topped with additional ingredients like Greek olives, cherry or grape tomatoes, thinly shaved zucchini, cooked garbanzo beans.

Notes

Plan ahead: The longer you allow the farinata batter to ferment, the tangier and fluffier it will come out, so give it an absolute minimum of 4 hours fermentation time, and up to 2 or 3 days (it ferments faster in a warm kitchen than a cool one).
Preheat the skillet: Don’t skip the skillet preheating step, otherwise your farinata won’t have a crisp bottom.
Tasty toppings: Sliced olives, cherry tomatoes, thinly shaved zucchini, and cooked garbanzo beans are all great toppings, but you can experiment with others as you wish. The toppings are usually arranged in the center of the pancake rather than evenly all over, for a unique and attractive presentation.
Eat Immediately: Although you can warm these up later and they are delicious, they are most delicious right out of the skillet. When the edges are golden brown, whip it out of there, add whatever toppings you want and dig right in!

Nutrition

Calories: 244kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 605mg | Potassium: 285mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 36IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 2mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

With its tangy flavor, crispy edges and fluffy interior, this dish is ideal for breakfast, brunch or a light meal, or paired with anything from arugula salad or fresh fruit to your favorite vegetable sides. This versatile dish is one to try!

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Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.

 

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