Zucchini and chickpea pancakes


Continuing with my light and quick summer dishes:

This year we got a bit more serious than usual about our garden, and planted three zucchini plants. If you have a garden with zucchinis, you know that sometime around midsummer they start to produce babies like crazy. We've had a rather cold and rainy summer here up until now, but this week our three innocent looking zucchini plants have gone into high gear, and we're picking them as fast as we can before they turn into seedy, tasteless baseball bat sized monsters.

Zucchini pancakes are one way to use up a lot at once. This version uses chickpea flour instead of wheat flour or eggs, with a little bit of spice in it. It's great hot or cold, and is a perfect snack, side dish or complete vegan main dish, since the chickpea flour is such a terrific source of protein and carbs (nutritional info). Serve it with a salsa, curry, or just on its own. Here I just served them with some super-ripe tomato wedges. The shredded zucchini adds moisture and a rather creamy texture, which I love.

Chickpea flour is used in Mediterranean and Indian cooking. I get mine from a local Indian grocery store, where it's sold as gram flour; it's also known as besan, ceci flour, and so on.

Zucchini and chickpea pancakes


Makes 2 large pancakes, which make 2 main dish servings or 4 appetizer/side dish servings

  • 3 medium zucchini, or about 4 cups shredded
  • 2 zucchini flowers (optional; adds a bit of color)
  • Some coriander or basil leaves (optional: adds flavor)
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp. hot red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. curry powder
  • Olive oil for cooking

Equipment needed: a non-stick frying pan

Finely shred the zucchini - I use a food processor for this. Julienne the zucchini flowers and the herbs. Put all into a large bowl; add the salt, spices and the chickpea flour. Mix well - the moisture that comes out of the zucchini may be enough to turn this into a batter, but if not add a tiny bit of water, just so that it turns moist but not runny.

Heat up a small (8 inch / 20cm) non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add some olive oil and spread around. Put in about half of the batter and spread around to form a circle. Cook for about 5 minutes, then turn and cook for another 5 minutes or so, until it's cooked all the way through. (You can slice into the middle a bit to see if there's any batter oozing still; if so, cook a bit more.) Repeat for the other half of the batter.

Cut into wedges, and serve hot or at room temperature.

Note: If you want a crispy outside, use more oil in the pan; if you want it soft (and less caloric) add less. You can use ghee or butter instead of the olive oil.

Filed under:  lighter vegetables vegetarian summer vegan gluten-free

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I don't even like zucchini but you have me craving these. Bravo on the food styling or photography (you pick) - the color of the red tomatoes complements the green and yellow hazy hue of the pancakes perfectly! A+!
I imagine the tomato also provides a bit of sweetness to complement the savory flavor of the pancakes. Am I right? Thanks for sharing this!

Yep the sweetness and the slight acidity of the tomatoes complements the pancakes very nicely. If I had more time/energy I would have made a salsa...but the tomatoes by themselves did nicely! Thanks for your compliments on the photo :)

Those look seriously delicious.

Yum! I've discovered zucchini this summer and I know what i'll be doing with my zucchini this week- sounds tasty, and best of all already GLUTEN FREE! Yay! Thank you Maki.


Sea, we've already had them like 4 times since I wrote that...it's become one of our staple carbs for dinner, since the zucchini are reall coming on strong now! I vary it a bit by the spices or herbs I add to it. And yep, it's gluten-free too!

What a great twist on zucchini pancakes. I lve the taste of chickpea flour and I will definitely try these while zucchini are plentiful and cheap!

They look so good I included them on my July roundup of gluten free recipes. I also saved two zucchini from the grilled squash lasagna with homemade ricotta that I made last night JUST for this recipe. There have been so many wonderful zucchini recipes posted lately that I've bought more zucchini this month than I have bought my entire life, combined. I'll tell you how it goes- I'm sure it will be delicious!

The zucchini from our garden is now producing like bunnies in heat, so I'll have to try that squash lasagna!

This summer I've fallen in love with the fresh, mild, summery flavour of zucchini. I've been making pasta chock full of the stuff! I really wanted to try this recipe today but I realized I didn't have most of your ingredients. Instead I made a three-cheese, mini zucchini pancakes with a couple eggs, 3 random cheeses (Asiago was one for sure, also feta I think and something else that was white) white flour, and zucchini (of course!). I fried them up and topped with slices of juicy tomato. Delicious!

Thanks for the inspiration! I'll definitely have to try your recipe too.

I made this over the weekend to go with kabobs. This could be my new favorite thing to do with zucchini!! It was delicious. Thanks for the easy and yummy recipe :)

Hi there,

and greetings from the Helsinki area in Finland! I'm completely loving your stuff here and craving to do these tomorrow. Only I don't have a clue whether you actually can buy chickpea flour anywhere in Helsinki?! Is it possibly to make the flour by processing dry or can chickpeas in a food processor? I've never heard about it before but I adore the idea. I already like using zucchinis and chickpeas for all sorts of things. The photo is simply capturing. Thanks for the inspiration and let's here it about the flour! :-)

Take care,

Ylimuuli Mukkelis

Hi Ylimuuli. Unfortunately I've only been in Helsinki once, for a day (I took the ferry from Stockholm...) so I don't really know about food sources there. But you could try looking in Indian or South Asian grocery stores, if they exist there. Chickpea flour is also used in Mediterranean cooking, such as for socca, a flat thin pancake of sorts that's eaten in the Marseilles area. I hope that can give you some clues as to where to look! Otherwise...you could try mashing down chickpeas that have been well cooked - that would have some additional moisture in them already, but they could very well work.

Hey again, and I actually did pop by to an ethnic store today morning and found chickpea flour! So your suggestions would've worked. :-) Thank you for replying and nice to hear you've been here, it's mot that common! :-D

I'll continue scanning your recipes, keep up the good work!

this is delicious, even tinkered as I had to, with summer squash and fennel, julienned on my mandoline (those where what I needed to get rid of...)-- with some thyme and rosemary, and served with a squirt of fresh lemon juice, delicious! thanks for the inspiration!

Fennel would be a great addition indeed. Now if only the ones in my garden would bulb up... (to me fennel is rather a winter vegetable, since it's one of the few 'local' veg we get here in the colder months...)

Heya! I did these yesterday and loved them with some sweet chili sauce :-P Fennel sounds wonderful too, I'm a fan. Also one of my fellow bloggers in Finland suggested to try some feta crumbles in the mix, that might do the work too. I myself added some soya to the other half of the batter since I needed the protein and that didn't harm it either. Versatile, your recipe is. Thanks for letting me and chickpea flour together successfully :-D

Sweet chili sauce sounds like a great idea. I'll have to try that next time!

I've never thought of making pancakes with Zucchini, but I guess I need to change my mind :-D

and as a side note... Sweet Chili Sauce (as well as the mentioned Chili powder) is a perfect addition to almost everything :-D

A great twist! I have been experiementing with this recipe, and find a ground lamb and fine mushrrom sautee over the pancake with a pain yogurt/garlic/ emon topping is really good. Also don't forget to try garlic hummus as a topping too.

As a bonus, I like to run the shredded zucchini through the salad spinner to remove the liguid since it makes a firmer pancake. Take the removed liquid and drink it. I am beginning to think that is the best part.

For all you growers, when you have an overabundance, shredd and dry them in a food dehydrator and you can add to soups, stews and of course make pancakes during the winter months. Last year I put up 16- 1 gallon bags of dry shredded zucchini.

Just made these tonight and they are absolutly delicious, I added some gluten free rice noodles, which added some beautiful crunch
I was surprised how tasty these were, and been gluten free is wonderful for me

Thanks, Maki, for a fun and easy-to-follow recipe. I'd been looking for a way to use the ceci flour I bought on impulse, and my mother-in-law is always trying to pawn off her zucchini on me. At first glance the two seemed an odd combination, but somehow it works, deliciously!

Made this yesterday and it is a keeper! My husband threw some in with his scrambled eggs this morning and said it was delish. I look forward to diving into your blog. :)

Note to anyone who can't find chickpea flour:

Use quinoa flour! I just tried the recipe with quinoa flour and it is dee-lish. Thanks again for a wonderful recipe Maki!

I just tried these and they were amazingly easy and lovely!

Did a half recipe this morning substituting yellow squash for the zucchini and, since we were out of curry powder and garam masala, used a combination of Penzey's Cajun and Bengkok Blend seasonings. Added two eggs rather than water, as the batter was quite dry. Topped with yogurt, it was a great Sunday breakfast.

these are delicious! i also added some tofu with the zucchini into the food processor and the pancakes are still delicious... just if you were needing a little protein for your meal...

:-( Don't try to make these with rice flour. I did this morning for my son's lunch and it was no good! I cooked and cooked and cooked it but the insides were still all runny and goopy! That's what I get for committing to a recipe when I don't have the proper ingredients! lol

I'm going to the co-op today so I'll look for some chickpea flour and try again with the right ingredients! :D

Rice flour has a very different texture, so it won't work with this recipe.

Why didn't I see this recipe before??? O_o

this is perfect to mask the flavor of the zucchini which my hubby dislikes!! :D

thanks maki! ^^

Thanks for a great recipe! Do you think it'll come out okay if I decide to bake it?

I baked these in small pancake-like amounts, about 2-3 tablespoons of the batter each. They come out delicious and we're making them once or twice a week now! Thanks!

So glad that I found this recipe. I bought a bag of gram flour and plan to make some type of pancakes with it,didn't know what to put in, I love Indian dosas and may make some with this flour, hope it turns out good, last I made from a packaged product was too hard. I suppose I can put anything with the gram flour, onions, green onions etc. I wonder if I can bake with it, like making some pasta from it..! Thanks for suggesting this recipe. Sue

OMGosh, I just made these, and they are AMAZING! Just wanted to drop a big THANK YOU for the recipe!

Hi! I loved this healthy vegan recipe. It takes awhile to beat the zucchini shreads into the batter to make it the proper consistency for those who think its too dry---just keep mushing it in circles it will moisten up. I added minced green onion to mine and garlic poweder, topped them with mashed avocado as "cheese" and topped it with food processed fresh tomato mixed with salsa jar leftovers for vegan mini "pizzas"!! I cut into fours and ate 2 slices each with a salad. I'd like to try adding fresh garlic instead. I liked chili powder better than cayenne in this. Very filling!

Wow! Well, Thanks!

Was looking for where to find chick pea flour to make a dish very similar to this one. The other dish calls for a batter made with pretty much the same spices and herbs along with the chick pea flour but is using eggplant instead as the vegetable. Just slices of eggplant, dipped in the batter and then pan fried. With a green pea dipping sauce! Yum!
Would make a terrific appetizer.

The lady's name is "Spice Goddess" if you want to try the green pea dip.

Will definitely try these pancakes as I LOVE zucchini!

Now...... on to finding the flour!

Yum, Yum, Yum! I've had my eye on this recipe for a while and finally got around to making it tonight. These pancakes were WONDERFUL. I served them as main dish with steamed broccoli, carrots, and homemade peanut sauce for a filling vegan meal. Thank you so much for this little gem!

My spin on these which I'm just eating the last of...yellow squash instead of zucchini (what I had), red bell pepper, and some diced ham. Wonderful pancake and I topped with a poached egg.

Wonderful, versatile recipe - Thank you!

This became my first cooking disaster after culinary school and 7 years of cooking. Advice: don't dilute the batter with any water. Let it be thick and chunky.

Found this wonderful recipe and I am eager to try it out! I have a bag of plain flour sitting at home - just wondering can I use that instead of chickpea flour? Cheers.

I found this page in my search for chick pea flour.

For those of you who have never used chick pea flour, it is worth the effort to find it. It gives a more hearty flavor to the dish, but the best part is the crispy-cruncy-freshness it adds to the dish. Yum!! Delish!!

I'm now adding or even replacing, chick pea flour to other dishes. If you want to add some crispness to the fish filet you just dredged in egg, just use chick pea flour! The delicious crunchyness does not last though, so left overs will still taste good, just not have the crispness.

The recipe for the Zucchini pancakes is just totally delish! We are now making them frequently. We have also added yellow squash and eggplant when on hand.

Thanks again for the recipe and the intro to Chick Pea flour!

exquisite, just made it for lunch, low cals and sooo filling.
I just popped it into the griller (double sided) so there was no need to fry it.


Thanks for this! It is absolutely delicious and really easy too! The mixture seemed to absorb a lot more than 1 cup of chickpea flour to make a good batter, but maybe my zucchini were very large.

I stumbled across this recipe while trying to find something to use up a load of zucchini from my CSA packages, and I have to say these are one of the best things ever ! I have made several batches this week to freeze. Thank you for the great recipe.

I see also that you are going through cancer treatment, and as someone who is not long out of treatment myself, I wanted to send you internet good wishes and hugs. Cancer sucks !

I just tried this for the first time and made a few modifications. I had some fresh spinach on hand, so I chopped up about four cups worth instead of zucchini. I had garlic masala instead of garam masala and threw in some crumbled fresh feta. I also used about a 1/4 cup more of the chickpea flour. The end result was fabulous! They tasted like saag paneer pancakes. I will most definitely be making this again!