How to Make Socca: French Chickpea Crepes

The street food of Nice, the first time I actually ate socca was when my mother made it. Yeah, I don’t have your average culinary family. Since then I’ve had a strange obsession with it, having tracked it down from the one guy who makes it in all of Paris, to trying to master my own recipe.

What makes socca distinct from a regular crepe is that it’s made with chickpea flour (which happens to be gluten free and if you ask me, much more interesting than regular flour). It’s also called besan or garbanzo bean flour of course, and in the US you can get it from Bob’s Red Mill as well as tracking it down in stores that sell Middle Eastern ingredients. Beyond using it for socca, it’s also good  for coating fritters and using as a thickener.

Here in France, it’s readily available at my local organic shop, so I have had plenty to play with lately. Numerous socca attempts to find the right consistency of batter? There are worse problems to have in life.

“Crepe” might in fact be the wrong word for socca – they’re a little thicker, somewhere in between a crepe and an American pancake, but much more delicious of course. I like mine thick enough that you can break off in healthy bits.

After a bit of tweaking and adding in a few spices (and healthy amounts of olive oil) I’ve ended up with a basic socca recipe that makes a crepe that’s just as good on its own as it is served wth grated carrots and a salad. Eat by itself or deck it out with whatever vegetables you have on hand.

Oh hi, it’s gluten free and vegan.



1 cup chickpea flour

1 1/4 cups water

1/4 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence

1 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Dash of ground pepper

Oil for frying


In a bowl, mix together chickpea flour, spices, water and oil. Mix together well with a whisk, cover with a tea towel and let sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

While in Nice you’ll find these made on big griddles… my kitchen is however not as well equipped. If you’re stocked with only a basic frying pan, the trick to socca is frying them at a very high temperature. Scoop about a quarter of a cup into a hot frying pan with a bit of olive oil in it and fry until the center of the socca looks solid (a couple of minutes) flip and fry the other side.

The first ones might not look that nice, but who cares? They’re delicious.

Serve hot, and preferably with rosé. You’re pretending you’re in Nice after all.

Comments 9

  1. Alix Revel

    Hi Anna, Luc sent me the link to your site…i am going to try this delicious recipe tonight!!

    • Anna Brones

      Aw, thanks Alix! Means a lot that you came to check it out. And YES! Make the socca. Cannot make that enough…. xo

  2. Rob

    I spend a few months every year in Nice and really enjoy the local cuisine! Having read this recipe for socca I’ve decided to prove to myself that even an Englishman might be successful in the kitchen! I bought the ingredients this morning and will post comments on my culinary progress in the coming days!

    • Anna Brones

      Look forward to hearing how it goes!

  3. Rob

    Although I realise the world has been awaiting the results of my first attempts in proving that even an Englishman can create a socca dish that would make the French weak at the knees, I will have to ask you all to be patient and wait until Monday!
    I’m still confident that Anna’s recipe will be a hit!
    Mind you, I still wonder what kind of salads or what have you would go along with socca…

  4. Rob

    It worked out! Very happy with the result, thanks Anna! Mind you I forgot to add Herbes de Provence! But will do next time.

    Thanks for a good and simple recipe!

  5. Dafna

    I’ve never had one of these. Can they also be served more like a pancake and seasoned with cinnamon?

    • Anna Brones

      Hi Dafna, thanks for asking! The taste of the chickpea flour is pretty strong, so you want a spice that goes well with it. I have never tried cinnamon, but I like it with cumin, so maybe it’s worth a test! They are traditionally served savory, but no harm in trying to do a sweet one (although, again, the taste of chickpea flour is pretty strong, so you would have to work with that). Let me know how it goes!

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