Have you ever made Chickpea Fries? Also called Chickpea Panisse, these healthy oven baked fries are vegan, gluten-free, and packed with protein. A street food style recipe that's an amazing appetizer or snack, these chickpea fries are simple to make and delicious.
Oh chickpeas, is there anything you can't do? You can be braised in olive oil for a decadent appetizer, or you can make crispy roasted chickpeas for a salad topper or snack.
You make a damn fine curry in the slow cooker, and an even finer spicy curry wrap. You blend into a mighty good hummus, and you are the star of many salads.
And now, dear chickpeas, we're turning you into fries?!
We sure are, friends! Today we're making Chickpea Panisse, which is a fancy pants way of saying Chickpea Fries.
I had Panisse for the first time probably 15 years ago at a Mediterranean restaurant in Vancouver. It was a plate of roasted vegetables together with these incredible slabs of chickpea stuff that were crispy like french fries on the outside and velvety smooth on the inside. So delicious!
I spent ages trying to recreate this at home, futilely mashing up can after can of chickpeas and eventually giving up. It never occurred to me then that the secret ingredient was not chickpeas, but chickpea flour.
Apparently the internet didn't exist back then. Praise Al Gore that it does now, because we can all enjoy some crispy delicious chickpea fries!
What's in this chickpea panisse recipe?
Well I already gave away the most important one, so there should be no surprises here. You're going to need some:
- Chickpea flour --> This may also be called besan or gram flour or garbanzo bean flour, depending on where you buy it.
- Water --> The free range stuff from your kitchen tap will do just fine.
- Fresh herbs --> I used parsley and oregano here, but feel free to mix things up.
- Olive oil --> Use your good stuff here, it's going in for flavour.
- Salt and pepper --> Moooooore flavour!
How do you make chickpea panisse?
Making baked chickpea fries at home is really simple. How simple?! Let's break it down.
Step 1: First, you're going to bring a big pot of water to the boil. Sprinkle in your chickpea flour a bit at a time, and whisk vigorously to combine.
Reduce the heat to a simmer and keep whisking for a full ten minutes. Your arm will get tired. It's cool, you're earning your chickpea fries. You're going to keep whisking until the mixture has thickened like polenta, and is pulling away from the sides.
There will probably be some lumps remaining. No biggie, you won't notice them when the panisse is baked.
Step 2: Once your chickpea panisse mixture has thickened, add the fresh herbs, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Mix well.
Step 3: Scrape the chickpea panisse out of the pot and into a 9x13 rectangular baking dish. Be sure to lube up the baking dish with olive oil beforehand, and don't be shy about it.
Step 4: Use your spatula and / or wet hands to smooth the panisse out into a mostly even layer. Now place the pan into the fridge to chill for at least one hour.
Step 5: Turn the panisse out onto a cutting board. It should come out easily so long as the pan was oiled well.
Step 6: Use a sharp knife to cut the panisse into chickpea fries.
Transfer the chickpea fries to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and brush with olive oil. Then you'll bake them in a pre-heated oven until they're nice and crispy, about 20 minutes.
Sprinkle with sea salt, pour yourself a nice glass of rosé, and enjoy!
Where can I buy chickpea flour?
I found mine right in the regular grocery store, which these days is a goldmine of alternative flour types. If you can't find chickpea flour there, I suggest looking in an Indian or Middle Eastern Market.
You can also make your own chickpea flour if you have a food processor (I have this one) and spice grinder, or a high-speed blender (I have this one).
Can I make panisse in advance?
You sure can! Mix up the panisse and keep it covered in the fridge for up to one week. When you're ready to make chickpea fries simply remove from the fridge and slice into thick pieces.
You can also bake the chickpea fries and then reheat them by baking them again. I did this with leftover panisse from this photo shoot and they were the crispiest and most delicious chickpea fries I've ever had.
Are chickpea fries vegan?
Level 5 vegan. This is as vegan as it gets, my friends.
Are chickpea fries healthy?
These chickpea fries are baked in the oven, so they're healthy AF! I don't have an Air Fryer (yet!) but I'm willing to bet they'd turn out great using one of those as well.
Chickpeas contain about 12.5 grams of fiber per cup, which is 50% of the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber. About two-thirds of the fiber in chickpeas is insoluble, which is great for digestive health, particularly in the colon.
The remaining third is soluble fiber, which can help lower our LDL-cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides; important for cardiovascular health.
The protein-fiber combination in chickpeas is key for stabilizing blood sugar levels, as both protein and fiber move through our digestive systems at a moderate pace. This protein-fiber combination is also beneficial for improving our sense of satiety, which can help prevent over eating.
Chickpeas are notable for antioxidant nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene, but also contain concentrated supplies of antioxidant phytonutrients such as flavonoids and polyphenols. Chickpeas also contain valuable amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids, including alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
Other recipes you might enjoy:
Crispy Potato Wedges
Baked Zucchini Fries
Crispy Roasted Garbanzo Beans
Olive Oil Braised Chickpeas
Pumpkin and Black Bean Taquitos
Chickpea Fries (Chickpea Panisse)
- 6 cups water
- 3 cups chickpea flour
- 1 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 Tbsp parsley finely minced
- 2 tablespoon oregano finely minced
Make the Chickpea Panisse
- Generously butter or oil a 9 x 13 baking sheet and set aside.
- In a large pot, bring the water to the boil over medium-high heat.
- Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to medium and whisk in the chickpea flour a little bit at a time.
- Continue whisking for about 10 minutes, until the mixture is thick and smooth (I find that a few lumps are unavoidable, but you won't notice them later).
- Stir in the olive oil, herbs, and a bit of salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the chickpea mixture into the greased baking sheet and spread out into an even layer. Once it has cooled slightly, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
Make the Chickpea Fries
- Pre-heat your oven to 400°F / 200°C (this is a good place for your convection fan, if you've got one).
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Slice the firm batter into sticks for chickpea fries.
- Line them up on the baking sheet, and brush with a bit of olive oil.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then turn to the other side, brush again, and replace in the oven to bake for another 10 minutes. They should be slightly golden and crispy on the outside.
- Remove from the oven, salt generously, and serve with dip and a glass of rosé.
- Nutrition values are an estimate only
This recipe was originally published July 4, 2013. It was retested, rephotographed, and updated June 4, 2019.
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I’m in the middle of this process. I tried baking a small amount before I bake the rest for company tomorrow. They didn’t crisp at all, even left in the 400 degree oven longer than 20
min. I’m debating making something else and possibly tossing this mixture. What did I do wrong?
It's so hard to know what went wrong without being in the kitchen with you. The mixture should be firm, like polenta that you can slice into firm sticks. There needs to be an adequate amount of fat (olive oil or other) brushed onto them in order for them to crisp up.
Thank you so much for your prompt reply. They are very soft and moist. I’ll be hopeful that todays batch crisps up. I’m thinking I’ll try a hotter oven…..
If they were soft and moist, my guess is that the chickpea batter wasn't cooked for long enough on the stovetop. It needs to be stirred until quite thick and pulling away from the pot, then chilled until firm before you slice it.
I've never tried something like this. I might have to try these out.
I made these tonight to go with a Navy Bean Soup. As an alternative to tea Biscuits. I followed the instructions and they were very easy to make. And my husband thought they were tasty. Just wondered if they should have been cooked a little longer. The outside was golden and crispy, but the inside was still very soft. I think I would have like them a little firmer. Going to try reheating them tomorrow to see if they firm up.
Thanks for the recipe.
Donna in Brooklyn
Is the pan in the photo really 9" by 11" ? I ask because the longer side looks considerably longer than just by a couple of inches. My guess is it's a 9" by 13". Anyway do you think this recipe would work out in a 9" by 13" pan? thanks.
You know what, you're right! I pulled the pan out to measure and saw that it says 9x13 right on it 🤦🏻♀️ I'll update the recipe accordingly.
Donna in Brooklyn
I’m glad, because that means the pan I have will work - ha! Listen, what kind of sauce do you serve them with? The sauce in the photo looks good - what is that? I plan to make these tomorrow (the cashews are soaking right now 😉
The sauce in the photo is just plain yogurt with some chipotle paste swirled in to make it look pretty. Add a squeeze of lime juice and it's super tasty!
Donna in Brooklyn
Can I freeze these? They are delicious!
I have frozen the chickpea base before cooking the fries, and it has worked out fine. Just thaw, slice, and bake when you're ready for them.
These made a HUGE batch and I'm taking them with me to a NYE party on Friday. Already they are crispy and delicious. Can't wait to try them re-heated in the oven for extra crisp.
These came out really well, I appreciate the recipe.
A simple question though. For your panisse (and also for polenta) all the recipes suggest adding the chickpea flour (or cornmeal) a little at a time to the boiling water and stirring like crazy to avoid lumps.
When I thicken sauces or gravy with cornstarch or similar, I add a little cold water to the starch so that the it blends well, then add the slurry to the hot liquid.
I've been doing this with polenta for decades, add a little cold water to the cornmeal and whisk it smooth, then add this to the boiling water. No lumps! This also worked great for your panisse recipe.
Is there a reason not to do it this way? (I'm a lazy cook. I make risotto in a pressure cooker...)
Great idea, Steve! I'll have to give that technique a try.
Oh. My. Goodness! These were to die for. I think I & my elderly parents all could have made a meal with these alone!
I served them alongside vegan shepherds pie, with cauliflower “potato” salad, & fresh cantaloupe & tomatoes from the garden.
WHAT A FEAST!
Thank you so much for this fantastic recipe!
ROFL, Al Gore! Had forgotten about that, now I’m waxing nostalgic at what we used to find scandalous coming from our leaders...
Ok Katie, THIS is the something new I learned today (and It’s only 7:30 am, so yay me!)! I’ve never heard of these before and I’m a little weary tbh but I have a bag of neglected chicken pea flour so I’m giving this a go. I hope mine taste as good as yours look!
Thanks for blowing my mind today.
Try them! They're crispy and delicious and a really great snack or appetizer. Let me know how they turn out if you do 🙂
Have you tried adding sunflower, pumpkin, flax, or sesame seeds (or a mixture)? It adds the texture that straight chickpea flour lacks and that you want in a burger. What I do is add the seeds just at the end of the boiling process, just before pouring the chickpea batter out to cool.
Ooooh, that's a great idea! Thanks for the tip!
Phô mai que
I love your burger. They look so yummy! I'll try to make it for my family some time. Thanks for the recipe!
Thanks! Give it a try and let me know how your family likes it!
AMEN on the breadiness!! I feel exactly the same, and burgers are one of the very few meats I miss. I'll have to try both these panisses, and an added bonus is that they both seem like they'd appeal to the toddler crowd.
I bet you could make little panisse nuggets for the toddler. Hand held, dippable, and tasty. Total win!
Great pictures. Never heard of chickpea fries before.
Thanks! You should try them, they're really good 🙂
Try them sweet! Leave out all seasonong except a very little salt. Deep fry as usual & sprinkle with icing sugar
I love polenta fries but I've never thought of doing the same with chickpea before - what an excellent idea!
Thanks Kathryn! They're really excellent! A much more complex flavour, and so much more nutrition packed in.