Socca Recipe: The (Gluten-free) French Appetizer

The traditional Niçoise socca recipe is made from chickpea flour, and is one of the best gluten-free french appetizers that is easy to make. Similar to falafels or the farinata, a batch of socca can be whipped up in less than 20 minutes.
Socca Recipe: The (Gluten-free) French Appetizer
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Socca, a flatbread from Nice in the South of France, has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years. The traditional socca recipe is made from chickpea flour, and is a gluten-free french appetizer that can be whipped up in less than 20 minutes.

Now, I said it was from Nice in Provence, but variations of socca have been around from the days of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. You might be familiar with farinata from Italy, or the ubiquitous falafel. All have more or less the same ingredients but take different forms. Falafels are usually round, but the French socca recipe calls for keeping it flat like a pancake.

Table Of Contents

Main ingredient: Gluten-free Chickpea flour

If you are not familiar with chickpea flour (also called garbanzo flour), it is a gluten-free flour that looks very much like regular flour, except a tinge more yellow.

It is full of protein and is gaining in popularity, as awareness grows around gluten-free recipes and its health benefits for those with an intolerance. So you should find that it is easily available in most large grocery stores.

But one thing to watch out for is that the chickpea flour in a socca recipe needs to be finely ground, so make sure you are purchasing it from a quality grocery store.

☞ READ MORE: ABC of French Cuisine (the Food Dictionary)

Frequently asked questions

What to serve with socca?

cutlery

Once the socca is out of the oven, it should be cut into small thin slices (like a pizza). Socca is meant to be finger food, so you want to cut it into pieces that people can easily pick up and eat.

It is usually served as an appetizer, so you can serve it with some olives, cheeses and cured hams for a French apéro.

The traditional socca in France is usually served by itself, not with sauces, but you can always put out some hummus or aubergine dip with it. A marinara dipping sauce or cream cheese sauce will also be lovely.

☞ READ MORE: French Dining etiquette: the Do’s and Don’ts

What drinks should you serve with it?

two wine glasses

Since socca is usually served at happy hour, any light apéritif will do. Cocktails and apéritif drinks are never served during a typical dinner in France, only wine and water, so this is your chance to get creative.

Try a Byrrh or a Suze as apértifs with the socca, to get the tastebuds flowing. Check out more apéritif ideas here.

If you do want wine, a light white Côtes de Provence or Cassis Blanc goes well and is keeps with the South of France theme. A chilled Rosé or champagne also marries well.

☞ READ MORE: Easy Guide to the French Wines

Can you freeze Socca?

freezer

If you want to prepare socca in advance and freeze it, you can. Let the socca cool and wrap each slice in film paper, and then put in an airtight container. This should reduce water accumulating, and you will easily be able to take out the portion you want.

socca recipe

Socca Recipe

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes

An easy traditional appetizer from Nice, France.

Ingredients

  • 250g of chickpea flour
  • 50cl of water
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • a pinch of fresh pepper
  • a couple of sprigs of thyme

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, mix the chickpea flour, olive oil, salt, and the water together.
  2. The mixture should be like thick milk, but still liquid. If it is too thick and doughy, add a bit more water.
  3. Use a large deep pizza baking dish and oil the base.
  4. Spread out the mixture thinly and evenly in the baking dish.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven for 7-10 minutes at 300C (570F) until the top is golden brown and crispy.
  6. Add freshly milled pepper and some fresh thyme leaves on top.
  7. Cut the socca into slices (like a pizza) and serve while warm.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 151Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 286mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 7g

Note: We are not certified nutritionists and these estimates are approximate. Each individual’s dietary needs and restrictions are unique to the individual. You are ultimately responsible for all decisions pertaining to your health. This website is written and produced for informational purposes only.

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If you enjoyed that, check out our other classic French appetizers and provençale recipes that are easy to prepare.

Bon appétit and à bientôt !

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