Vegan Chickpea Pancakes With a Creamy Pesto Dressing (Gluten-Free)

vegan chickpea pancakes with a creamy pesto

You’ll be surprised how good these vegan chickpea pancakes taste! Especially considering that they’re gluten-free, grain-free, egg-free and dairy-free.

I haven’t experimented too much in the kitchen with chickpea flour, but have been on a slightly stricter diet lately (due to health issues) and I’m not able to eat wheat nor sugar. I’m also focusing on high protein low carb meals. 

I set out to make myself something delicious, that also had plenty of flavour, and was quick and easy to make. I’d been looking at all the other chickpea pancake recipes online and wanted to make my own version with loads of veggies.

If you’re short on time, you can, of course, eat the pancakes on their own. Still very delicious and filling and perfect to pack for a work or school lunch! 

Vegan Chickpea Pancakes with a Creamy Pesto Dressing

Perfect for any meal

These vegan chickpea pancakes can be served for any meal. Breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner! You can also throw in pretty much any veggies you like. I’ve made it with fresh tomatoes inside the pancakes before and works well. I’ve also done it with mushrooms and spring onions.

You can use whatever you have in the fridge. I like the colour and flavours that come from the onions, red bell peppers and the grated zucchini and lots of greens give it a wonderful texture. 

Vegan Chickpea Pancakes with a Creamy Pesto Dressing

I’ve also left the batter in the fridge overnight as I made a double batch once and they were still amazing when made the next morning for breakfast. I haven’t experimented with freezing them once they’re made so I can’t say how well they will hold when thawed. If you give it a try, please let me know how you went!

Before we get into the recipe, some of you may have never heard of chickpea flour before. So I thought I’d share some useful information on this wonderful ingredient. 

Chickpea Flour

What is chickpea flour? 

Chickpea flour, also known as besan, gram or garbanzo flour is made up of ground-up raw chickpeas. 

It has a distinct smell and flavour when wet, however, when you cook it, most of that flavour goes away. If you add the right balance of flavours, you won’t taste it at all. I don’t recommend you taste the raw batter, trust me, it’s pretty awful.

The flour may also vary brand to brand in consistency, so please use the image of the wet pancake batter as a gauge for what it should look like. If it’s too dry, mix in a little more water. Too wet, add in a tablespoon or so more of the chickpea flour. 

Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be whipping up these chickpea flour pancakes all the time! I don’t say that to scare you, but to give you confidence that it’s not that tricky to stuff up if you know the consistency you’re going for in the batter. 

I buy my flour from my local bulk store. That way I can just take my jar in and fill up as much as I need. I always have some in my pantry. 

Chickpea Pancake Batter

The benefits of chickpea flour

As I mentioned earlier, I started digging around for ideas of meals I could eat that were high in protein. Anything to make with chickpea flour kept coming up time and time again. 

Not only is it high in protein, but it’s also a great source of fibre amongst other nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron and B vitamins. It may assist in helping keep weight down, has been known to improve cardiovascular health, assists in boosting your immune system, and since it’s high in fibre, it helps with constipation. 

It’s truly is wonderful stuff! 

Veggies in skillet Chickpea pancake batter Cooking chickpea pancakes

I hope you fall in love with these fluffy, golden chickpea pancakes as much as I have. Soft and healthy, they’ve become my go-to meal when I don’t feel like cooking. Paired with a deliciously creamy, earthy and rich pesto dressing, the rocket and tomato salad will take it to another level. 

I would totally serve this dish to guests when they come over for breakfast or brunch. It caters for so many dietary restrictions that it’s perfect in any situation. If you have someone that is allergic to nuts and can’t serve the pesto, you can swap the cashews out for sunflower seeds. 

If you try this recipe, let me know! Would love for you to leave a comment and rating below. If you want to go that extra mile, tag us on Instagram or share your photo of the recipe on Pinterest

Vegan Chickpea Pancakes With a Creamy Pesto Dressing (Gluten-Free)
Yield: Yields 10-12 pancakes

Vegan Chickpea Pancakes With a Creamy Pesto Dressing (Gluten-Free)

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

These fluffy vegan chickpea pancakes are a great high protein gluten, grain, egg and dairy-free breakfast or brunch option. Packed with veggies and a delicious creamy cashew pesto, this dish is a wonderful healthy meal option.

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 cup red peppers (capsicum), diced
  • 1 cup zucchini, grated
  • 2 handfuls of greens (you can use kale, collard greens, baby spinach, silverbeet), chopped

Dry ingredients:

  • 2 cups chickpea flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper or to taste

Wet:

  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • Neutral oil for frying

To serve:

  • Rocket (arugula)
  • Any kind of tomato, diced

Creamy pesto dressing:

  • 2 handfuls of fresh basil
  • ⅓ cup of raw cashews
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup of water
  • ¼ cup vegan mayonnaise

Instructions

  1. In a skillet, add in a tablespoon of oil and add the onion. Cook for a few minutes until the onion is soft.
  2. Add in the red peppers and let it cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add in the zucchini and cook for a further 3-4 minutes until the zucchini becomes soft.
  4. Add in the greens and put a lid on the skillet. This will help the greens to shrink and then cook for a further 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  5. While the veggies are cooking, in a large bowl add in all the dry ingredients. Whisk to combine.
  6. Pour in the wet ingredients and whisk to make sure that there are no lumps in the mixture.
  7. Add in the vegetables and combine well.
  8. Give the skillet a wipe out and add oil to it again (1-2 tbsp) on medium heat.
  9. Using a ¼-⅓ cup, scoop out some batter and spread out evenly to the desired shape.
  10. Let it cook until the edges of the batter look like they're cooked (see image above), this should take around 4 minutes. Flip over (it should be nice and golden) and cook for a further 2-3 minutes on the other side.
  11. Repeat the process until all the batter is used.
  12. Serve on a bed of rocket with some cherry tomatoes and a generous dollop of the creamy basil pesto.
  13. Instructions for pesto: Add all but the vegan mayonnaise to a blender or food processor and blend until you reach a nice consistency. I like to still have a little bit of texture in mine, but if you want it super smooth, just blend for a further 30 seconds. Add in the mayonnaise and blend enough to combine.

Notes

These pancakes do tend to be a little on the dry side (in my opinion) if eaten on their own, so I recommend that you either use some sauce/dressing with them or with a salad (as recommended).

Vegan Chickpea Pancakes with a Creamy Pesto Dressing

Other recipes you’ll also love:

  1. Sugar-Free Chocolate & Hazelnut Granola (Vegan and GF)
  2. Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus Toast with Asparagus
  3. Vegan Bruschetta Toppings Done Four Ways
  4. 1-Bowl Tofu Scramble
  5. Easy Vegan Hash Browns With Caper Mayo

Interested in more recipes?

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  • Laura 18/12/2019 Reply

    If you specify “vegan mayonnaise” as an ingredient, please include the recipe so people don’t need to go elsewhere to look it up.

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