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Would you believe me if I told you that this eggless vegan frittata with zucchini, made in 15 minutes with chickpea flour, is just as good as a traditional frittata? Probably not. Because before I made it, I didn't believe it either.
This vegan frittata is crisp on the outside, soft and moist on the inside, and for some reason it feels like eating a regular egg frittata.
What to Expect: surprisingly similar to egg frittata, soft, a little moist, not dry and very nutritious. There's no eggs or tofu. Quick to make, it cooks in 8 minutes on a pan, or in 18 minutes in the oven. Can be made with any vegetable of your choice.
In Italy we LOVE frittata. Frittata is an egg-based Italian dish that is similar to an open omelette. We usually eat frittata with all kinds of seasonal vegetables, such as zucchini, asparagus, artichokes, onions and potatoes.
It can be served as a starter, side dish, and even for breakfast in a sandwich, but most often is made as a last-minute dinner.
Here I would like to invite you to try this plant-based alternative to the traditional frittata made with eggs. A very simple and delicious dish that can be made in a few minutes. It tastes very similar to the real deal, but unlike the one with eggs, it's free of cholesterol and saturated fats, and it's packed with plant-based protein.
The main ingredient is chickpea flour, also known as garbanzo bean flour. I waited exactly 3 years before making it, because I just didn't want to try chickpea flour.
Don't miss out like I did! I wouldn't want you to wait so long because this vegan chickpea frittata with zucchini is truly magical and no one will notice that it is made with chickpeas.
🍎 Ingredients & Substitutions
For the frittata batter
- Chickpea flour: also known as garbanzo bean flour is the main ingredient in this recipe. You can replace it with red lentil flour or with fava bean flour, but for best results stick to chickpea/garbanzo bean flour. It does NOT work with soy flour or with regular wheat flour.
- Olive oil: best if extra virgin, we add it to the frittata batter to make it extra delicious. It can be replaced with any other vegetable oil like canola, sunflower, etc. But with olive oil it will taste more Italian. If you want to reduce the amount of olive oil, try the baked version. Recipe below.
- Water: plain tap water is fine.
- Salt and pepper: chickpea flour needs to be well seasoned so don't be shy with salt and pepper in this recipe. Also, if you want to go the extra mile, you can add a pinch of Kala Namak, a black Indian salt that gives an eggy flavour.
For the filling
This vegan frittata, just like egg frittata, can be flavoured with any vegetables of your choice. Here we show you a classic Italian frittata filling, but feel free to pick your favourite veggies. The most important thing is that you cook them and season them before adding them to the batter.
- Zucchini: or courgette in the UK are my favourite vegetable in this frittata. They can be replaced with any seasonal vegetable that you have available in your area. Asparagus, mushrooms, and artichokes are all great alternatives.
- Red onion: onion really brings the flavour of the frittata to the next level. In Italy we often put onion in the real egg frittata, so I strongly recommend it in this chickpea frittata too. I use red onion for a milder, sweeter flavour, but any other onion, shallots, and green onions are great too.
- Water or oil: since this recipe has already a good amount of oil in the batter and in the pan to cook the frittata, we choose to cook the vegetables with water. If you don't want to cook the vegetables in water, then use oil.
- Salt and pepper: to season the vegetables. They need to be seasoned or else the frittata will be bland.
You'll need a non-stick pan to cook the frittata. Ours is 12 inches (28cm) in diameter. For best results we also recommend using an immersion hand blender, or a regular blender, to mix the batter. If you don't have that, a whisk or a fork will do just fine.
💭 How to cook vegan frittata in the oven?
Oven-baked vegan frittata is an even healthier alternative to our stovetop vegan frittata. We really liked the oven-baked version too, it's still soft and moist and full of flavour, and perfect for a healthy breakfast.
But if you want to impress non-vegan friends and family we recommend cooking it on a non-stick pan, on the stove, with oil, as described in our recipe box. Anyhow, here's how to cook this delicious vegan frittata without eggs in the oven:
- Preheat the oven to 390F or 200C.
- Prepare the batter and the zucchini as described in the recipe box.
- Line the bottom of a cake pan with parchment paper and lightly oil the sides.
We like to use a square cake pan, but any shape will do, even a muffin pan.
Our pan's dimensions are 9inch x 9inch (24cm by 24cm) and we used 1.5 cups of water and 1.5 cups of chickpea flour.
- Pour the frittata batter in the cake pan and bake for about 18 minutes. It can take a minute more or less, depending on the oven.
- Start by mixing the chickpea batter: this way the batter will have a few minutes to set while you prepare the vegetables. This will help the water and the chickpea flour stick together.
- Use a blender: we recommend blending the batter with an immersion hand blender or with a regular blender. We did many tests, and blending the batter gives a smoother, creamier texture to the vegan frittata.
- Season the vegetables: you can make this vegan frittata with pretty much any vegetables that are in season. The trick for a flavourful frittata is to cook and season the vegetables before you add them to the chickpea batter.
- Use a clean pan for the frittata: do not cook the frittata in the same pan you cooked the zucchini (unless of course you wash it). I tried doing it but the frittata burns a lot faster this way. It's a lot better to cook it on a fresh, clean non-stick pan.
- Hot pan, low heat: to cook this vegan frittata with zucchini to perfection you need to first add some oil to the pan and wait until the pan is hot. Only then put the batter in, and immediately lower the heat. The pan should be hot, but the frittata needs to cook slowly, on low heat, or else it will burn outside and will be raw on the inside.
- Don't overcook it: vegan frittata should be served slightly moist in the centre, it tastes so much better that way. So don't let it dry out in the pan.
Frittata is an egg-based Italian dish similar to an omelette with additional ingredients add it to it, such as seasonal vegetables. Frittata in Italian translates roughly as "fried dish".
The main difference between frittata and omelette is that in an Italian frittata the ingredients are combined with the frittata batter before they are added to the pan. Also the ingredients are cooked and seasoned before hand, and not added raw and unseasoned. Finally, frittata is left open, and not close in half like an omelette.
Use a non-stick pan with a couple of tbsps of oil to cook frittata. You'll get the best results this way.
You can put cream in a frittata if you want to. In Italy some people do, some don't.
This vegan frittata is best served as a complement to a big leafy green salad, and a piece of wholegrain bread. This way you'll get a delicious and nutritionally balanced meal.
Vegan frittata is best eaten minutes after it's made. If you have some leftover, then store it in an air tight container in the refrigerator for a couple of days max.
Then warm it up on a pan or in the microwave, but not for too long as you don't want it to get too dry.
If you have leftovers you can even freeze this chickpea frittata. Then when you are ready to eat it, let it thaw at room temperature for half an hour, then warm it up in the oven for a few minutes at 360F or 180C.
Like egg-frittata, our vegan frittata made with chickpea flour is the queen of variations. You can add pretty much anything you like in it.
Our tip is to always cook the ingredients and season them before adding them to the chickpea batter. Here are some examples of frittata variations that are really popular in Italy.
Clean and cut the end of the woody end of the asparagus, then cut each asparagus into 4 pieces, and cook them on a pan with half an onion and a drizzle of olive oil for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then add them to the chickpea frittata batter and proceed as instructed in the recipe box in step 4.
Red onions frittata
Finely slice the onion (julienne style), then cook it for 10 minutes on a pan with a drizzle of olive oil. When the pan gets too dry, add some water to it. Keep cooking till the onion is soft, season with salt and pepper and add it to the chickpea frittata batter and proceed as instructed in the recipe box in step 4.
Peel and dice the potatoes, then cook them in lightly salted boiling water till soft, but not mushy. It should take about 8 to 10 minutes. Now add the potato to the chickpea batter. Add in also a handful of finely chopped parsley. Season with salt and pepper and cook as described in the recipe box.
Vegan frittata - no eggs, no tofu
- Non-stick pan 12 inch or 28cm
- Immersion hand blender or regular blender (optional - for best results)
For the batter
- 130 g (1 cups) chickpea flour garbanzo bean flour
- 240 g (1 cups) water
- 30 g (2 tbsp) olive oil + 2 tbsp to cook it on the pan
- 3 g (½ tsp) salt
- 1 pinch pepper
For the zucchini filling
- 1 medium zucchini + ½ cup of water
- 1 medium red onion
- 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
- In a bowl, with an immersion blender, blend together water, chickpea flour, olive oil, salt and pepper for a couple of minutes till you have a very smooth batter. Set aside.NOTE: if you don't have an immersion blender you can do this step in a regular blender, or you can even whisk the ingredients together with a whisk or with a fork.
- On a pan add ½ cup of water, a finely sliced onion and sliced zucchini. Cook on medium heat until the zucchini is soft and the water is gone - it should take about 5 minutes. Season well with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Add the zucchini to the bowl with the chickpea batter and stir with a fork.
- On a different pan (should be non-stick and clean), add 1.5 tbsp of olive oil, let it warm up for 30 seconds, then pour in the frittata batter and cook on low heat for 5 minutes without touching it.
- After 5 minutes, make sure the frittata is not sticking to the pan anymore, then flip it upside down on a plate and slide it back into the pan (add ½ tbsp of olive oil to the pan), and cook for another 3 minutes on low heat.
- Flip upside down on a serving plate and enjoy as is, or sprinkled with some fresh herbs such as parsley, chives, or green onions.
Full video on youtube @theplantbasedschool
- One medium zucchini weighs between 6 and 8 ounces (180g - 220g).
- One medium red onion weighs about 2 ounces (60 grams).
- For best results we recommend blending the batter, however we also tried whisking the batter with a whisk and with a fork and the frittata turns out really good as well.
- The pan and the oil must be HOT when you pour the batter in, but then the frittata must be cooked on LOW heat. The pan must be clean, if you use the pan where you cooked the zucchini the frittata will burn.
- Before flipping it, make sure it's not sticking to the pan.
- Do not overcook the frittata, it should be well cooked on the outside, but still a bit moist and soft on the inside.
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Let us know in the comments below if you cooked this vegan frittata at home, or take a picture and tag us on our Instagram @Italiaplantbased.