Savory Chickpea Cakes – Recipe

Chickpea cakes (fritters) with tomato jam

These little chickpea cakes are versatile; you can serve them as an appetizer, a side dish on an entree plate, or as the protein-packed star of the show. They are somewhat like a pan-fried falafel, but without the benefit of a deep-fried crust, so we amp up the internal flavoring. Try them with this tomato jam for a big flavor combination.

The basic recipe is vegetarian. You could use an egg-replacer if you’d like it to be vegan, and gluten-free breadcrumbs and alternative flour if you want it to be gluten-free.

I also think it would be good with the ratio of breadcrumbs to flour reversed, for a lighter consistency, but I haven’t tried it.

Chickpea Cakes
Makes about 16 small cakes
Vegetarian (vegan if you use an egg-replacer)

  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas (two 15 oz. cans, drained and rinsed)
  • 1/2 cup green onions, minced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 t. minced rosemary leaves
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup homemade breadcrumbs 
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • oil for shallow frying
  • sea salt (ideally Maldon (aka the world’s greatest salt) or fleur de sel) for finishing
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and buzz until you have a fairly uniform mixture, but before it is completely pureed. We want some texture left. You should be able to form it into a ball that holds its shape. It should be neither crumbly nor a batter. Add liquid or breadcrumbs as necessary to find the right moisture level. If you don’t mind tasting raw egg, taste a bit and adjust the seasoning as needed.
  2. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large skillet, preferably cast-iron, over a medium-high flame. Take a golf-ball sized piece of dough, press it in your hands into a flattened 3-inch patty and place in the skillet. Repeat with as many as will fit comfortably. Fry on one side until golden brown, about 3 minutes, then flip and brown the other side. Remove to paper towels and finish with a little bit of sea salt.
Print Friendly and PDF
Posted by Michael Natkin on Monday, July 26th, 2010 in Appetizers, Kid Friendly, Recipes.

26 Responses to “Savory Chickpea Cakes – Recipe”

  1. Reply
    July 26, 2010 at 8:08 am #

    I really like lemon and rosemary together. These sound great! And pretty photos as always.

  2. Reply
    July 26, 2010 at 11:13 am #

    Yum! Chickpeas are a favorite of mine and I’m always looking for more ways to use them. Thank you!

  3. Reply
    July 26, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

    Yes please!

  4. Reply
    July 26, 2010 at 7:07 pm #

    these look great. I like falafel, but don’t usually deep fry at home, so never make them. I would make these though! Thanks for the recipe.

  5. Reply
    July 27, 2010 at 2:26 pm #

    Wow, my mouth is watering. Delicious way to cook with chickpeas!

  6. Reply
    July 27, 2010 at 5:51 pm #

    Yum! I never thought of using rosemary with chickpeas before…

  7. Reply
    July 27, 2010 at 7:44 pm #

    Looks like a tasty source of protein. 🙂 This would be a good alternative to trying to make falafels.

  8. Reply
    July 29, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    What a great hit of protein and a very original way to use summertime tomatoes.

  9. Reply
    July 30, 2010 at 7:43 am #

    These chickpea cakes took so filling and tasty. I love the sesame here. Have you tried baking these?

  10. Reply
    Michael Natkin
    July 30, 2010 at 10:33 am #

    @veggiebelly – I haven't tried baking them; I sure it would work but you probably wouldn't get the same degree of delicious crispiness.

  11. Reply
    August 1, 2010 at 9:54 am #

    My mother-in-law is coming in town, and since she eats VERY differently from us it’s always a little tricky to cook for her. These just might do the trick!

  12. Reply
    August 2, 2010 at 4:34 am #

    these were great, loved by all. Made them Friday night along with the tomato jam. can’t wait to make them and eat them again.

    thanks for all you do!

    delicious ……

  13. Reply
    August 2, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

    Aside from the tomato jam, what else would you serve these with, if it were the main entree?

  14. Reply
    Michael Natkin
    August 2, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

    Hey Alicia – Great question! My first thought would be couscous or a rice pilaf, maybe flavored with preserved lemon, and an Israel or Greek style salad.

  15. Reply
    August 4, 2010 at 7:27 pm #

    I made these tonight and they were out of this world! Seriously. So good. The tomato jam was the perfect compliment too. I made roasted asparagus with it and called it dinner! Even my four-year-old ate it! I know I’ll be craving these often in the future so the recipe is going in my binder to keep 🙂

  16. Reply
    Michael Natkin
    August 4, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

    Roasted asparagus sounds like a perfect accompaniment. Thanks so much for taking the time to write and let me know you liked the cakes and tomato jam!

  17. Reply
    September 2, 2010 at 5:43 am #

    I have always been wary of chickpeas. I have friends that toss them over salad but I have never been on board with this practice, so when my when my friend found this recipe and suggested I use it for a dinner party last week I was hesitant to say the least. But I decided to indulge her and was pleasantly surprised. They were delicious! I am definitely adding this to my book of Appetizer Recipes. I work with Better Recipes but I had yet to come across a recipe like this. I have been recommending it all my other anti-chickpea friends and trying to convert them as well!

  18. Reply
    Michael Natkin
    September 4, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    Glad to hear we've made another garbanzo convert :)!

  19. Reply
    January 21, 2011 at 9:46 pm #

    These were amazing! My boyfriend surprised me one night by making me this wonderful dish, and we ate the entire batch between the two of us. We didn’t have the ingredients for tomato jam, but they were very good with a little hot sauce. Thank you for giving us a new go-to recipe!

  20. Reply
    March 18, 2011 at 9:18 am #

    i’m planning a casino themed party for my husband’s birthday and think this would be great for one of two vegetarian mains since they would work so well as “poker chips”! silly question though.. could i substitute panko for breadcrumbs? would it change the flavour or consistency?

  21. Reply
    Michael Natkin
    March 18, 2011 at 10:22 am #

    The issue with panko in this recipe is that the breadcrumbs are used on the interior, not as a breading. I think that panko would serve that same function of absorbing moisture and adding a bit of fluffiness, but I'm not completely sure. If you try it, let us know how it turns out!


  22. Reply
    April 12, 2011 at 6:39 am #

    I made these with panko last night. They were delicious, but the texture was not great. My guess is that the texture was off because I processed them for a bit too long rather than the use of panko, though. I’ll have to try them a second time to be sure.

  23. Reply
    January 16, 2013 at 3:31 am #

    oooooh, yay, my mom just gave me a bunch of home canned garbanzos, so i am searching for good recipes to try. i’m excited to make these patties to use as garden burgers!

    i’m hoping i will be able to freeze some …. advice on whether to try this prior to frying or after?? i would think before, so i can get a crispy outside after thawing?

    thanks for the recipe.

    • Reply
      January 16, 2013 at 7:08 am #

      Agreed, if I was going to freeze them, I’d do it before. I might just freeze the whole batch and defrost and scoop when it is time to fry.

      • Reply
        January 17, 2013 at 3:14 am #

        what a lightening fast response! thanks so much.

        and now that i’ve looked around your blog some more, thanks for this really fantastic resource! bookmarked! lots of recipes i want to try already. 🙂

  24. Reply
    October 11, 2013 at 4:47 pm #

    Can’t really understand the great reviews by the people who have actually made these. I followed the recipe exactly and found the chickpea cakes VERY VERY bland…maybe the lemon i used was too small to provide the right amount of juice and zest to bring out the flavors…Maybe i’ll try this again some time, perhaps with some extra lemon zest and perhaps a bit of crushed red paper. But not too excited about these as written…

Leave a Reply