Mediterranean Chickpea Fritters

(with a Smokey Romesco Dipping Sauce)

a large platter of chickpea fritters with some cilarntro and parsley sprinkled on top

When it comes to easy-to-make tapas recipes, you can’t go past chickpea fritters with a tasty romesco dipping sauce. This fantastic vegetarian option is loaded with flavor and can be fried or baked in the oven for an even healthier option. Combine them with a delicious smokey romesco sauce, and you’re in foodie heaven! 

Chickpea fritters require no special equipment and contain easy-to-find ingredients that are a part of the Mediterranean diet. Whether you’re looking for finger food for a tapas party or a healthy snack, chickpea fritters are the perfect option!

Easy Recipe | Tapas Recipe | Chickpea Recipe | Mediterranean Recipe | Summer Recipe | Healthy Recipe | Vegan Recipe | Authentic Spanish Recipe 

Serving:

Tapas for 4 people

Ready in:

1 hour, 30 minutes

Skill level:

Easy

Serve with:

Romesco sauce

ingredients for making chickpea fritters are laid out on a white granite counter top

What you’ll need to make chickpea fritters

For the chickpea fritters

(tapas for 4)

  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 cup fresh spinach (chopped fine)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • ½ sachet of baking soda (around 8 grams)
  • 1 cup tinned chickpeas, drained
  • 1 small white onion, diced fine
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the homemade romesco sauce

Makes around 400ml/13 fl. Oz. 

  • 200g/7oz. blanched almonds
  • 200g/7oz. roasted red peppers from a jar, drained
  • 3 tomatoes, grated, and skin removed 
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar, plus extra to season (optional)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 50ml/1.75 fl. oz. of olive oil
  • ½  a teaspoon of cayenne pepper or chili flakes (optional if you want them spicy)

Equipment needed

  • 1 large 12-inch/30cm frying pan 
  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • 1 small mixing bowl
  • 1 food processor or blender (for the romesco sauce)
  • 1-2 sealable jars (for any leftover romesco sauce)
Oven-baked chickpea fritters sit on a white plate with a sprinkling of chopped parsley

Chickpea flour fritters – Healthy and gluten-free tapas

You’re probably wondering if you should bother using chickpea flour for your fritters, and once you check out some of the health benefits of chickpea flour, you’ll soon see why chickpea flour is the unsung hero of the flour world! 

One of the best things about this recipe is that chickpea flour fritters are so healthy! You’ll find chickpeas used extensively in the Mediterranean diet and they are packed full of healthy nutrients and vitamins. Chickpeas are also loaded with slow-release carbohydrates. This makes them very filling and healthy for your gut too. Win-win!

Another huge benefit for anyone with gluten allergies is chickpeas (and chickpea flour) are also gluten-free

a alrge bowl holds some chickpeas

Tinned or Dried chickpeas?

When it comes to convenience, you can’t beat tinned chickpeas. They’re cheap, already prepared, and ready to use in any recipe. 

You’ll find tinned or jars of prepared chickpeas in virtually any supermarket or grocery store, and a 15 oz. (400g) tin or jar is usually well under USD $1 making them a staple for anyone who’s looking to eat healthy on a budget! 

Dried chickpeas are even cheaper and are usually found in 15oz. – 30oz. bags, but the downside is that dried chickpeas require some preparation before they can be used in recipes. 

To prepare dried chickpeas, you’ll need to allow some extra time to make this recipe and follow the steps below;

  • ​​First, soak the dried chickpeas in some clean fresh water overnight. The chickpeas will expand to around twice their size so add around double the amount of water to chickpeas in a large bowl. 
  • Next, drain them from the water and add them to a pan with some fresh water. 
  • Simmer them for around 2 hours for them to soften up. Alternatively, use a slow cooker or pressure cooker to prepare your chickpeas.

Vegan fritters

Another great health benefit is no animal products are used to make chickpea fritters, making them 100% vegan-friendly

Chickpeas Nutrition facts

The nutritional value of chickpeas is very impressive. A 100g serving of chickpeas has the following nutrition facts;

  • 364 Calories
  • 6g Total fat (0.6g Saturated fat)
  • No Cholesterol
  • 24mg Sodium (very low)
  • 875mg Potassium
  • 17g Dietary Fibber
  • 11g Sugar
  • 19g Protein
Ove-baked chickpea fritters sit on an oven tray

Oven-baked or fried?

When it comes to cooking methods for your chickpea fritters, the good news is you’ve got a few options. We’ve tried both methods to find out which was better for taste, the healthiest option, and for texture. Here are some points of comparison between frying and oven-baking your chickpea fritters. 

Fried chickpea fritters

While we aren’t huge on fried foods due to the excessive oil content, frying chickpea fritters is the easiest cooking method and offers great results. 

Fried chickpea fritters have a delicious crunch on the outside that compliments the soft, gooey inside of the fritters perfectly. Frying your fritters takes around 3 minutes per side, so it takes around 20 minutes to shallow fry a batch (the amount you’ll make from the ingredients list specified in this recipe). 

Oven-baked chickpea fritters

Oven baking chickpea fritters takes around the same amount of time and we found baking them at 200°C/400°F for 20 minutes resulted in lightly golden fritters. The baked versions weren’t as crunchy as fried fritters, and they were slightly less exciting in texture, but they retained more of the flavor of the spices. 

Of course, the oven-baked fritters are the healthier option with much less oil used in the cooking process. We suggest drizzling a little olive oil on each fritter before baking just to give it some extra flavor. 

Chickpea fritters air fryer

Air frying your chickpea fritters is another healthy option. To air fry your fritters, cook a few fritters at a time at 200°C/400°F for around 5-6 minutes or until the fritters are golden. It’ll take around 20-25 minutes to cook the entire batch made in this recipe.

crispy chicpea fritters fry in a large frying pan

How to improve chickpea fritter texture

If your batter is too runny or thin, you may find that your chickpea fritters can tend to fall apart when frying them, especially if you do not use a non-stick frying pan. To avoid this problem, it’s worth lightly ‘mashing’ your chickpea fritter mixture just before you add it to the frying pan. 

Use a fork to lightly mash the fritter mixture, but don’t mash it too much otherwise you’ll end up with a paste that lacks texture. 

Crispy chickpea flour fritters

If you want perfectly cooked crispy chickpea fritters, we found it’s best to gently mash the fritter mixture to break up any whole chickpeas, then shallow fry your fritters in a little oil on medium-high heat for around 3 minutes a side.

Mediterranean sauce options

We love the combination of adding smoked paprika and cumin to our chickpea fritters and we found this really works well with romesco sauce, but there are plenty of other great sauce options served up and down the Mediterranean. Here are just a few great options;

  • Yogurt and cilantro dipping sauce
  • Honey and yogurt dipping sauce
  • Allioli Verde dipping sauce
  • Green, red, or picón Mojo dipping sauce
a large platter of chickpea fritters with some cilarntro and parsley sprinkled on top

Mediterranean Chickpea Fritters (with Romesco Dipping Sauce)

When it comes to easy-to-make tapas recipes, you can’t go past chickpea fritters with a tasty romesco dipping sauce. This fantastic vegetarian option is loaded with flavor and can be fried or baked in the oven for an even healthier option. Combine them with a delicious smokey romesco sauce, and you’re in foodie heaven!
Chickpea fritters require no special equipment and contain easy-to-find ingredients that are a part of the Mediterranean diet. Whether you’re looking for finger food for a tapas party or a healthy snack, chickpea fritters are the perfect option!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Resting time: 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, starter, tapas, vegetarian
Cuisine Mediterranean, spanish, vegan option, vegetarian
Servings 4 Tapas
Calories 335 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 large 12-inch (30cm) frying pan (or oven if you oven bake your fritters)
  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • 1 Small mixing bowl
  • 1 food processor or blender (for making the romesco sauce)
  • 1 sealable jars (for any leftover romesco sauce)

Ingredients
  

For the chickpea fritters

  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 cup fresh spinach chopped fine
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • ½ sachet of baking soda around 8 grams
  • 1 cup tinned chickpeas drained
  • 1 small white onion diced fine
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the homemade romesco sauce

  • Makes around 400ml/13 fl. Oz.
  • 200 g/7oz. blanched almonds
  • 200 g/7oz. roasted red peppers from a jar drained
  • 3 to matoes grated, and skin removed
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar plus extra to season (optional)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 50 ml/1.75 fl. oz. of olive oil
  • ½ a teaspoon of cayenne pepper or chili flakes optional if you want them spicy

Instructions
 

Step 1 - Prepare chickpea fritter batter

  • In a large bowl, add the chickpea flour, salt, cumin, and smoked paprika.
    1 cup chickpea flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
    chickpea flour and spice sit in a decorated bowl
  • Add around ½ a cup of hot water a little at a time and stir into the mixture to make a smooth paste.
    whisked chickpea batter sits in a decorated dish
  • Let mixture stand for 1 hour.
    whisked chickpea batter sits in a decorated dish

Step 2 - Prepare the romesco sauce

  • Note: While waiting for the flour to hydrate, prepare the romesco sauce. We prefer to make a big batch, as this sauce goes with pretty much anything (and is super addictive!). If you want to make a smaller amount that’s just enough for tapas, halve the ingredients listed.
    A small bowl of romesco sauce sits with a jar full of romesco sauce in the background
  • In a dry pan, lightly toast the blanched almonds on medium-high for 5 minutes. Stir well to stop them from burning. Allow almonds to cool before moving on to the next step.
    200 g/7oz. blanched almonds
    toasted almonds in a large frying pan
  • Add the roasted red peppers, grated tomato, garlic, vinegar, and smoked paprika into a blender or food processor along with the toasted almonds.
    200 g/7oz. roasted red peppers from a jar, 3 to matoes, 4 garlic cloves, 1 tbsp sherry vinegar, 1 tsp smoked paprika, ½ a teaspoon of cayenne pepper or chili flakes
    ingredients for romesco sauce sits in. a blender
  • Buzz for 3-4 minutes or until smooth.
    Blended romesco sauce in a blender
  • Slowly drizzle in the olive oil to achieve the desired consistency. A good texture should slowly drip from a spoon.
    50 ml/1.75 fl. oz. of olive oil, Makes around 400ml/13 fl. Oz.
    A small bowl of romesco sauce sits with a jar full of romesco sauce in the background

Step 3 - Prepare the fritters (frying option - See blow for oven-baked option)

  • Stir the spinach, garlic, onion, chickpeas, and baking soda into the chickpea flour batter.
    1 cup fresh spinach, 3 cloves of garlic, ½ sachet of baking soda, 1 cup tinned chickpeas, 1 small white onion
    chickpea fritter ingredients are laid out in an ornamental bowl
  • Add around half of the oil to a large frying pan on medium-high heat.
    1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    Olive oil is poured into a small clear glass
  • Once the oil is hot (but not smoking), use a large spoon to pour the mixture into the oil. Make each fritter around 3 inches/7.5 cm in diameter and 1 chickpea thick.
    mixed chickpea fritter batter stands in a bowl
  • Fry each fritter for around 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown.
    crispy chicpea fritters fry in a large frying pan
  • Transfer to a plate with some kitchen towel to remove the excess oil.
    a chickpea fritter dries on a paper towel

Oven-baked option

  • Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F.
    An oven gauge turned up to 210c
  • Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
    Ove-baked chickpea fritters sit on an oven tray
  • Use a ladle or a large spoon to pour the fritter mixture onto the tray. Make 3-inch/7.5 cm disks in diameter and 1 chickpea thick.
    Ove-baked chickpea fritters sit on an oven tray
  • Add to oven and bake on the middle shelf for 20 minutes or until golden.
    Oven-baked chickpea fritters sit on a white plate with a sprinkling of chopped parsley

Step 4 - Serve

  • Serve your oven-baked (or fried) fritters on a plate with a small bowl of homemade romesco sauce.
    a large platter of chickpea fritters with some cilarntro and parsley sprinkled on top

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 100gCalories: 335kcalCarbohydrates: 50.8gProtein: 16.2gFat: 7.6gSaturated Fat: 0.8gSodium: 1173mgPotassium: 717mgFiber: 13.7gSugar: 6.2gCalcium: 124mgIron: 5mg
Keyword chickpeas, Easy Dinner ideas, easy to make, mediterranean cuisine, Romesco Sauce, summer
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Chickpea fritters – Cooking tips and FAQs

How long does it take to make chickpea fritters?

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Resting time: 1 hour
  • Cooking time: 15-20 minutes

Is chickpea flour healthy?

  • Chickpea flour is considered more healthy than traditional wheat flour (all-purpose flour) because it contains more fiber, protein, and vitamins than white flour. 
  • The fiber in chickpeas makes them excellent in helping with digestion, preventing constipation, and aiding in weight loss since they fill you up quickly and for longer.
  • Another advantage is chickpea flour is Gluten-free. 

Can I substitute chickpea flour for all-purpose flour?

Chickpea flour can easily be substituted for any white flour, however, chickpea flour is very easy to find in any supermarket and offers more health benefits compared to white flour. 

How long do chickpea fritters keep in the fridge?

Refrigerate chickpea fritters in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. 

Can I freeze chickpea fritters?

Freeze any uncooked chickpea fritters for up to 3 months. Store uncooked fritters in an airtight container or bag. Thaw for 1 hour before cooking.

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a large platter of chickpea fritters with some cilarntro and parsley sprinkled on top

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