While we can all agree that French fries are a filling snack, sometimes they need a twist to liven up the flavor. One of our favorite ways to do this is by making the fries out of chickpea flour instead of potatoes. This surprise swap creates homemade fries with a nutty flavor that’s noticeable but not overpowering. And they’re delicious to enjoy plain or alongside any seasoning or dipping sauce. Since chickpea flour is derived from the popular legume, it’s packed with nutrients like protein — which has positive benefits for helping you feel fuller longer and keeping your muscle health in tip-top shape. Making these fries requires only 5 ingredients, and we’ve included a nutrition expert’s trick for turning chickpeas into a smooth flour in just 2 minutes. Here’s the scoop on chickpea fries and an easy recipe to try when you crave a fun snack!
How are chickpea fries made?
These fries (sometimes called panisses) are made by simmering chickpea flour, water and seasonings until the mixture thickens. The mixture is then poured into a baking pan, cooled in the fridge and sliced into sticks before they’re fried. This creates fries with a browned crust and solid yet creamy interior — perfect for dipping in a variety of sauces. Also, chickpea flour gives this snack an earthy and nutty flavor along with a nice health boost.
What is chickpea flour?
This type of flour contains just one ingredient: ground dried chickpeas (a type of legume). Meghan Dillon, MS, RDN, nutrition associate at HelloFresh, notes that ½ cup of dry chickpeas provides 7 grams of protein — which is 14% of the % daily value for this nutrient. This is great news, especially when you’re making fries, as a single potato only has 3 grams of protein. Research shows that protein is key for cell repair and growth, which can help decrease muscle loss and promote healthy weight management.
“The nutrients chickpeas provide (along with a balanced diet) may protect against the development of diabetes, colorectal cancer, heart disease and obesity,” Dillon notes. Incorporating chickpea flour into your diet is simple since its versatile to use when making pizza dough, baked goods and, in this case, crunchy fries. By doing so, you’ll be able to satisfy snack cravings and boost your daily intake of this essential nutrient!
An easy trick to make your own chickpea flour
You can find this flour sold in your store’s baking aisle or gluten-free section. But, it’s cheaper and quicker to make at home using dry chickpeas. In fact, a 1 lb. bag of dry chickpeas can cost around $2, while some brands of chickpea flour are sold for $8 per 1 lb. bag. Below, Dillion shares some easy steps to make your own chickpea flour in 2 minutes.
- Place a bag of chickpeas in a high-powered blender or food processor.
- Blend chickpeas until all of the legumes are crushed and look like powder. (Note: Do this step in batches if your machine is too small.)
- Push flour through a fine mesh sieve placed over a bowl to remove any lumps.
- Store chickpea flour in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for about 6 months.
How to make chickpea fries
Dillion’s recipe for Chickpea Fries works well if you want to crisp them up in a skillet or the air fryer. Once cooked, sprinkle them with salt and pepper or seasoning blends like BBQ or Italian — and enjoy with dipping sauce!
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 1 tsp. olive oil + more for greasing and cooking
- ¾ tsp. sea salt
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- Yield: 12 chickpea fries
- Generously grease 8-by-8-inch baking dish with olive oil. Set aside.
- In bowl, mix chickpea flour, sea salt and garlic powder until fully combined. In medium saucepan, bring water and 1 tsp. oil to boil. Once boiling, reduce to simmer.
- Slowly add dry ingredients to simmering water. Whisk constantly around 3 to 5 minutes, until mixture is thick and smooth. (Note: The mixture may burn if not whisked constantly.)
- Once thickened, transfer mixture to grease baking dish. Smooth top with spatula. Cover baking dish with plastic wrap and put in fridge to cool at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
- After mixture has turned into solid block, transfer from baking dish to cutting board. Cut chickpea block into 12 even-sized fries and fry accordingly.
- To air fry: Preheat air fryer to 400°F. Spread fries in even layer on air fryer basket and lightly drizzle with oil. Cook about 6 minutes on each side. Remove from air fryer and cool slightly before serving.
- To pan fry: Add enough oil to cover surface of large skillet pan. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add a few fries, making sure not to overcrowd pan. Fry around 3 minutes per side, until fully golden brown. Transfer fries from pan to wire rack to drain excess oil. Repeat with remaining fries. Serve.
5 best dipping sauces for chickpea fries
Since chickpea fries are thicker than the usual potato kind, they hold more dipping sauce — which creates an extra flavorful bite. For sauce inspiration, try these five tasty options!
1. Yogurt Dip
This dip is a creamy, tangy and refreshing addition to the crispy fries.
You can never go wrong with this classic condiment as it’s sweet and savory notes complement the fries’ nuttiness.
3. Ranch Dressing
Give your fries a zesty kick by serving with a side of delicious ranch dressing.
4. BBQ Sauce
For a sweet and smoky twist, dip the fries into your favorite BBQ sauce.
5. Flavored Mayo
Mayonnaise infused with minced fresh garlic or a few dashes of hot sauce creates a velvety and pungent dipping sauce.
For more mouthwatering snack recipes, check out the stories below!
This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.