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Socca Pizza with Shrimp and Leeks

Socca Pizza with Shrimp and Leeks

Made with chickpea flour, socca is a delicious gluten-free pizza crust option.

I can tell you to the day the first time I had socca: June 13, 1993.

Socca – also known as Farinata, Torta di Ceci or Cecina – is a thin pancake made with chickpea flour, olive oil and salt. It originated in Genoa, Italy but is popular throughout the Northern Italian and Southern French coasts.

Back in 1993, I was backpacking with two friends through Europe for five weeks (and keeping a daily journal – thank goodness I did as I’m not remembering much these days.) We were definitely roughing it back then, staying in youth hostels, sleeping on trains and carrying everything on our backs. After taking an overnight train from Geneva to Nice, we arrived to the luxury and the sunny coast of the French Riveria.

We stumbled onto a gorgeous farmer’s market and there was a woman making “La Socca” in a big skillet over a large charcoal heated tin drum. We all sampled it and thought it was the most delicious thing we had tasted in weeks. I didn’t take many food photos on this trip (mind you, this is WAY before smart phones, Facebook, or hell, THE INTERNET) but as you can see, I did capture that foodie moment.

#GlutenFree: Socca Pizza (made with chickpea flour) with Shrimp + Leeks @tspbasil Click To Tweet

It’s always been in the back of my mind to recreate it and I figured it would make a delicious gluten-free pizza crust, too. (As did Abby of Abby Langer Nutrition who posted her Chickpea Flour Pizza Crust a few days ago – be sure to check out her topping ideas!)

Made with chickpea flour, socca is a delicious gluten-free pizza crust option. Topped with shrimp and leeks! @tspbasil

Chickpea flour is fairly easy to find these days – look for it in the natural or gluten-free section of your supermarket. Or you can buy it online – it’s also called garbanzo bean flour. Bonus: it’s one of the least expensive flours out there.

Pros to making socca pizza:

  • Gluten-free if you can’t eat regular pizza crust
  • Good source of protein and fiber
  • Easy to make (no yeast or rising time needed)
  • Versatile for many veggie toppings

The toppings I used – shrimp, leeks and tomatoes – are an homage to one of my favorite pizza restaurants ever: Figs. Back when I was a dietetic intern in Boston, me and my girlfriend would splurge every now and then and eat at the one in Beacon Hill. We’d always get half Portobello and half Spicy Shrimp with Leeks.

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Socca Pizza with Shrimp and Leeks

  • Author: by Deanna Segrave-Daly, RD
  • Yield: 2 - 4 servings. 1x


Made with chickpea flour, socca is a delicious gluten-free pizza crust option.



For the leeks:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced leeks

For the crust:

  • 1 cup chickpea flour (also called garbanzo bean flour)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup warm water

For remaining toppings:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup roasted tomatoes
  • 1/2 pound uncooked small or medium sized shrimp, peeled
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and leeks to cast iron skillet. Place in oven and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. While leeks are cooking; in a large bowl, whisk together chickpea flour, 2 tablespoons olive oil, rosemary, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Slowly pour in warm water and mix until thin batter is formed. Let sit.
  4. Using a oven mitt, remove skillet from oven. Pour batter over leeks and spread so it reaches all sides. Place back in oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven again using mitt. Loosen socca around the edges with a knife. Place a large plate on top and flip the skillet so the socca turns out onto the plate. Slide the socca back into the pan (cooked side now up.)
  6. Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over top. Spread roasted tomatoes and shrimp on top. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Put back into oven and bake for another 5 – 8 minutes or until shrimp are cooked through.
  7. Remove from oven and cool slightly before cutting and serving (keep oven mitt on skillet handle as it will stay hot for awhile.)

Paired with a hearty salad, this socca pizza will serve 4 for lunch or a light dinner.

Made with chickpea flour, socca is a delicious gluten-free pizza crust option. Topped with shrimp and leeks! @tspbasil

Have you ever cooked with chickpea flour or tasted socca? Share with me a travel food memory that has stuck with you – I love hearing these kinds of stories!

Sonali- The Foodie Physician

Monday 16th of May 2016

Yay for socca!! I love, love, love it and then you went and added those shrimp...swooning :)

Katie | Healthy Seasonal Recipes

Friday 13th of May 2016

I'm in the midst of planning our summer trip to Italy and I have been thinking constantly about the summer I backpacked in Europe. Love this one foodie photo you took and hearing about how you loved the socca after your journey to Nice. I've never been to Figs. I need to go next time I am in Boston, one of my chef instructors in school had worked the line there and he told us about the food. It sounds amazing! I would love both of your "usual" toppings. Have a great weekend my friend!

Deanna Segrave-Daly

Friday 13th of May 2016

Ahhhh Italy - where are you going?? And I'll have to compare notes on your European backpacking trip next time we meet up. And yes, you must go to Figs next time you're in Boston - granted I haven't been in many years but it looks like the same menu :)

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